With 90% of my travel clients being families, I am always on the hunt for family friendly resorts in Mexico. And I’m looking for our little family, as well! Mexico has such a rich culture, and has so many activities. Not to mention fantastic weather. Recently I spent some time on the Riviera Maya and I’m here to tell you why you need to visit Azul Beach Resorts Mexico!
The Azul properties in Mexico are a part of the Karisma Resort brand. Karisma is well-known in the travel industry as having a wide range of hotels and resorts. All inclusive, a la carte, family friendly and adults only – everything is covered. Karisma Resorts now cover Mexico, Caribbean, Colombia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.
When it comes to all inclusives that work well for families, we are pretty picky. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like bad food, watery drinks, a dirty pool and bad service. I didn’t experience any of this at the Azul Properties. In fact, I can’t wait to go back.
Azul Beach Resorts Mexico consists of 3 resorts. The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa del Carmen, Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun and Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya. Each one is unique and has different things to appeal to different families. All properties are all inclusive, touting Karisma’s “Gourmet Inclusive Experience”, all are beachfront and all have a wide variety of rooms for varying family sizes.
The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa del Carmen
I’ve had two clients stay at Azul Beach Resort The Fives this past year. Both raved about it. The resort has a lovely, modern entrance for check-in, where you will be greeted with a drink (and smoothies for kids). To the left, a large plaza with plenty of stores (forget your brush? No problem), plenty of seating, pretty fountains and lush foliage and areas for general relaxation. This resort is stunning because a Cenote runs right through the middle of it and rainforest completely surrounds the main dining area for breakfast. It’s not uncommon to see monkeys sailing through the trees. Thrilling for children and adults alike.
Most of the restaurants are situated around this main plaza area. A gorgeous Asian restaurant, a pretty cafe among them and, of course, a Mariachi bar! In total there are 9 restaurants at the resort. And the food is wonderful.
The resort is divided into two sections – the essence section and the jacuzzi section. The essence section consists of one, two and three-bedroom suites and all have kitchens. A true suite experience is one of the many reasons this resort is perfect for families. There is a sliding door between the living room and the bedroom, making it easy to put the kids to bed while the adults stay up for a cocktail and social time. The essence section guests have their own pools dotted throughout the area, perfect for families who don’t want to deal with loud music or crowds at a main resort pool.
The jacuzzi section of The Fives has suites and swim up rooms and are close to the main pool. Gorgeous rooms and the swim up feature is really fun. The main pool is absolutely gorgeous with beautiful views of the beach and water. And speaking of beach, The Fives beach is perfect. A reef keeps it free of seaweed and, on the off-chance some sneaks through, it is quickly cleaned up by the resort staff.
The kid’s club at The Fives in included and well placed on the resort – not too close to the main pool, but not too far away as well. The club accepts children ages 4 to 12 and always has something going on for them, whether it’s painting, crafts or a beach activity. I love having the option of a kid’s club. Our kids don’t always want to go, but it’s nice to have the option.
The Fives has 524 rooms and suites, nine restaurants, five pools and a wine bar and truly is a wonderful family resort. It’s also not too far from Playa del Carmen and the resort is happy to arrange any activities and outings outside the resort.
Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun
Azul Riviera Cancun is a perfect option from the standpoint of having something for literally everyone. The property caters to both families and couples and does a remarkable job of keeping the two separate. It consists of 435 rooms and suites and at the same time, doesn’t give an overwhelming “huge resort” feeling.
A large, impressive lobby greets you and each adult is welcomed with a glass of wine. Right off the lobby are a few fantastic bars, one an adults only mojito bar. Beyond the main bar (which has entertainment in the evenings), a huge set of stairs will take you down to a large area with restaurants, bars, relaxing seating and several distinct sections. The family area with plenty of family suites and a kids club, a premium section, which gives guests extra attention and amenities, and an adults only section. The adults only section has swim up suites and each suite has a jacuzzi. Many of the premium section rooms have a swim up feature and they are situated right by a fabulous pool, which is utilized only by premium guests. The family section is near the kid’s club, which is ultra convenient for families.
This resort has another beautiful beach, just like The Fives. Free of seaweed and plenty of blue water and white sand.
One remarkable feature is Le Chique, the only five diamond restaurants in the Karisma portfolio and one of the only five diamonds in the Riviera Maya. Le Chique does require an extra dinner charge but it is well worth it. Reservations must be made at check-in and groups are kept at a maximum of 6 people.
Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya
I saved my favorite for last. Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya. From the second we drove up to the front, I knew I would love this resort. The open air lobby just had a wonderful Mexican feel and atmosphere. The view is amazing from the minute you walk in. Dotted around the lobby are swings for people to relax on and plenty of water features.
Azul beach is a boutique property and only has 148 suites. Similar to the other resorts, guests are welcomed with a glass of champagne and smoothies for kids. Located in Puerto Morales, it is only 15 minutes from the airport, which appeals to many people. Additionally, it’s located in Puerto Morales near a reef and therefore, almost never gets seaweed. The beach is truly beautiful.
The resort is divided up between the regular section, which has typical resort rooms, and the premium section, which houses suites. Many suites are swim up rooms with two separate rooms, appealing to parents who stay up later than kids. The regular rooms are all oceanfront rooms.
I loved the suites. The terraces are spacious and many open up right onto the lazy river, which kids love. The suites are huge and tastefully decorated. And is there anything better than an aromatherapy amenity and a pillow menu?
If your kids love Nickelodeon, Azul Beach has a Nik themed kid’s club and a Nik themed brunch especially for families, available at an additional charge. Kids love it, it makes them feel special and it takes place on the gorgeous beach. In addition to the Nik brunch, the resort has 5 restaurants and an adults only tequila bar.
Overall, the casita-like atmosphere of Azul Beach Rivera Maya really appealed to me. I tend to lean towards resorts that are on the smaller size and this place was perfect.
Bonuses regarding all the Azul properties, which you don’t find at most all-inclusives:
- Fresh herbs and produce are sourced from Karisma’s 76,000-square-foot Greenhouse located at its flagship El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort
- Karisma Hotels & Resorts employs half a dozen chefs who previously worked in Michelin-starred restaurants around the world.
- The collection has been honored with Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” as well as Travel + Leisure Mexico’s Gourmet Award for “Best Tasting Menu” (Le Chique).
- Launched in January 2014, Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ inaugural Canadian Beef Culinary Series, by Karisma, invites guests to relish the taste of Canada’s top culinary talent and best cuts of prime beef while enjoying a Gourmet Inclusive® vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico that is as delicious as it is unforgettable.
And for those who are conscientious of the environment, a few of the awards and certifications Karsima resorts have earned…
- MARTI certification
- 2012 Green Globe Certification for Sustainable Travel & Tourism
- Travelife Sustainability Gold Level and Silver Level Awards
- 2011 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards for Loyalty Program and Eco-Friendly “Green” Resort/Hotel
- Most Improved Achievement in Sustainable Tourism by Thomson and First Choice
- Cristal Check Safety First – Certificate of Achievement, HACCP Principles (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)
Interested in a family vacation to one of the Azul Beach Resorts? Contact me here and I’ll hook you up!