ARRIVAL AT THE HOTEL
A quick introduction to this hotel. This hotel is relatively new and is located in Playa Del Carmen. There is a hotel bus that will pick you up at the airport and take your party directly to the hotel. This allows the hotel to start the registration process on the bus, giving guest information about the hotel and cuts some of the checking in time. This hotel is roughly an hour south of the Cancun airport, so be prepared for this drive. Our children slept on the plane ride from Colorado and were wired during the bus ride. When you enter the open-air lobby, you will be greeted with a warm towel and fresh popsicles. The check-in process can be long and frustrating, but we promise this is the only drawback of the hotel. The lobby is stocked with fresh juices and pastries, there is a full bar around the corner, and if your children are starving head downstairs to the full buffet and grab them a snack.
There are many different types of rooms, all amazing. There swim out rooms, that can lead to a lagoon or a child’s pool, there are adult only rooms, ocean view rooms and garden view rooms. We recommend a ground floor non swim out room for younger children, for safety purposes. All the rooms are amazing and you will not be disappointed. The beds are the most comfortable we have ever slept in and cribs are available upon request. The rooms are fully stocked with beer, wine, fruit juices, sodas, snacks, and candy. I can honestly say a bag of chips and a sodie for each of our children after a long flight was just what they needed. This is not a typical snack for our children, but it is a vacation treat.
NAP TIME AT HOTEL XCARET
If you have children that are napping age, please plan for this. This really is true for a vacation anywhere, if you want happy, well behaved children, you need to conform to their schedules and not vice versa. When our 4-year-old would nap, we would bring our stroller, flip it down and add towels for shade. If you know that your child needs a nap, plan to be at the beach or by the pool, where the rest of your family can still experience the fun of this resort, but that you are respecting that nap time. The great thing about this resort is that they have beach and pool service that will bring you extra towels, drinks, whatever you need to have a relaxing, enjoyable day. If a stroller is not your thing, the pool chairs work great for a nap, however the beach does not have chairs, so plan accordingly. After that nap, those kiddos will be hungry and this resort has you covered.
WHAT TO EAT
We had some picky eaters, nothing green on Tuesdays, iceberg lettuce with ranch only, only eating the yellow food group consisting of Cheetos, mac and cheese and bananas, etc. We have stayed at resorts where finding simple food for our children seemed like a scavenger hunt and failing would mean a terrible tantrum. Hotel Xcaret, thought of this and with 10 restaurants and 8 bars on property, there is a little something for all types of eaters. The Mercado buffet is a great option for everyone, with foods ranging from pizza, fresh fruit, and a candy display for those picky eaters to sushi, taco stands, and a salad bar for the adult appetite. Similar, but not comparable to the hotel’s buffet is Las Cuevas. This is a Brazilian buffet restaurant, with rotating meats that are brought to your table, and served to your plate, by the amazing staff. Again, there are plenty of options for picky eaters, steak, grilled chicken, sausage and a buffet with many sides including fruit and salad. The next great option is Xin-Gao, which serves white rice, veggies, and grilled chicken or steak. The adults in your party will love the sushi experience and the flavor of the spring rolls. As adults you cannot miss this restaurant, however if there are not enough options for your child, walk out of the restaurant and there will be a taco stand for your after-dinner snack. The stand can make simple tacos for your child or a quesadilla, just more options this hotel has thought of for you and your child. Our family also loved the dinner theater, they served the kids chicken fingers and French fries, while keeping them entertained with a great show. Lastly, do not miss the BIO restaurant, this is a vegan restaurant open for breakfast only. The kids loved the pancakes and blue smoothies, while the adults loved the fresh avocado toast and chilaquiles. This restaurant can be hard to find, but do not give up.
If you have an excursion planned that day, there are two options. The first option is the Children’s buffet or Chibali. This is located at the back of the resort and is also the location of the candy shop. This is a smaller buffet that has many options for kiddos. The second option we found, for days we wanted to leave the hotel quickly, is to pack a bag of food for breakfast on the road. The hotel even gives you a complimentary bag, located in your room upon check-in. The Mercado and Chibali, both have great options for this. We grabbed about 2 pieces of fruit for everyone, as well as a yogurt and a pastry, it was the perfect size breakfast to take on the road. As parents of three littles, we would recommend against the Cantina Los Flores restaurant. This is an authentic Mexican restaurant and there are not many choices for the littles here. There are several amazing restaurants that I did not include on here, including an amazing poolside seafood restaurant and Ha, the first Mexican restaurant to receive a Michelin Star, that requires an extra charge. For our family, keeping our kids full and well rested allows mom and dad to relax in the sun with toes in the sand.
ON PROPERTY ACTIVITIES
There is an amazing children’s pool on property. It has a large octopus slide that our children loved to play on. There are plenty of lounge chairs and mini lounge chairs for children, that do not fill up like other resorts we have visited. There are 2-3 life guards present and life jackets available for beginning swimmers. The water is cooler in this pool, so prepare those kiddos who are sensitive to this. There is also kayaking available, at no extra cost, which is a great activity to do with your little ones.
The Xiquillos kid’s club is also available for kiddos 4 years old to 12, while kids under 3 are not allowed. There is also a teen club for ages 13-17. The kid’s club allows children to socialize with other children, learn about Mexican culture and participate in fun activities. The club is available for drop off between the hours of 9AM and 10PM, allowing mom and dad a little kid free time. The hours allow for a nice dinner between adults or a day of adult excursions. Adults are also not allowed inside the club, so please plan accordingly. The family club, Xiipal is separate from the kid’s club and is an area that allows families to play pool, air hockey, foosball, and interact with other families. Our children loved to run around and explore this area with their strawberry smoothies, pretending it was their own personal night club.
Let’s shift gears for a moment and talk about the excursions, a topic many of our followers were wondering about. When you book at Hotel Xcaret you have access to all the parks included with your stay. The Hotel has easy and reliable transportation to all of these parks either by bus or boat. Our littles loved taking the boat ferry through canals, arriving at Xcaret Park, which is one of the first parks Xcaret opened. You can swim in underground rivers, walk along trails in the middle of the jungle and let your children experience the magic of the Butterfly Pavilion. There is an amazing coral reef aquarium, as well as jaguars, flamingos and other exotic birds. The river swim is the part where your child will need to be comfortable in life jacket and cool water. Everyone will need a life jacket as it is a long swim, with little access to land breaks. Our 4-year-old’s swim level was “barely not drown,” he can swim to mom and dad 10 feet apart. We pulled him along at times and other times would sling shot him ahead. Our 5-year-old would also need occasional help, especially towards the end of the swim. If your party has a child younger than 4, we would recommend that you separate and take the smaller child around the animal park or grab a beach chair and let that child play in the sand. There is plenty to see and there is no reason to waste a good beach day in the sun.
A second excursion that is family friendly for all ages is the Xsense Park. This is a park that defies all laws of physics. This park can be done in a half a day and the bus will depart right in front of the hotel. Once you enter the park you will see many photo ops that are worth going through slowly and enjoying with your children. Once you have finished exploring the main hall, we would recommend the Xsensatorium. However, if you have children younger than 8, I would recommend them sitting this out as it is very scary. The Xsensatorium is a 5-minute walk in the dark, in which you feel your way with your hands. Our 8-year-old went with mom and our 5-year-old went with dad. As an adult, I was terrified. What we recommend is to ask if your party with younger children to meet your adventurers at the end of the Xsensatorium walk. There are amazing photo ops at the end of the Xsensatorium, that you will not get anywhere else in the park. Once you are done with this, get ready to head to the Pueblo. Walking up and down this street is like no other, however be careful with new walkers, as their balance and equilibrium will be challenged and they will most likely fall when entering the Pueblo. The walkway appears to be going up, however the water in the river is also running upstream. We made sure to take time to look for many Xselfie stations as these were some of the best pictures from our entire trip. Once through the pueblo you will enter the caves and another adventure begins. There are parts in the cave that are height restricted, such as the water slide, air fly, and the two different river floats. If you have younger or shorter children you will be able to stay with them and meet your party at the end of the rides. You will also be able to watch your party as they go through the rides. We advise that older children not miss the air fly and mud river float. We also recommend younger children who are not strong swimmers, steer clear of the water slide. Overall do not miss this park.
Lastly a park that we had a blast at as a family was Xplor! This is an adventure park with the highlight being the zipline with two circuits of seven zip-lines, 2.4 mi total distance, which include the tallest in Riviera Maya. This is one of those places were there is a height limit for a reason. If your child does not meet the height requirement do not try to get them into the zip line as it’s a safety issue. If your child is too small for the zip line that’s okay. You can explore the caves as a family walking through the darkened caves and making sure to stop for a Xselfie. Another fun family adventure at Xplor would be the cave paddle. Everyone in your party will wear a helmet and a life jacket for safety. You will then be sat on a paddle board, with your child and allowed to paddle through amazing caves. This was one of our children’s favorite adventures and is good for younger children, who are able to fit in the minimum weight for the life jackets. These are just three examples of excursions with younger children while staying at Xcaret Hotel, however other excursions included with your stay are Xavage, Xel-ha, Xplor Fuego, Xel-Ha Cobra, Xoximilco, and Xichen.
READY TO BOOK?
We hope we were able to help with your decision in bringing younger children to Hotel Xcaret. We would 100% recommend this hotel to any family looking for a fun relaxing adventurous vacation. Our YouTube video also gives travelers a great picture of what a stay at Hotel Xcaret would be like. Feel free to message us with any further questions regarding the hotel, booking questions, and follow us on YouTube at Perfect Misadventures and Instagram @PerfectMisadventures.