When the grandparents, aunts, and cousins decide to horn in on your Mexican beach vacation, there’s no need to panic. Instead of block-booking rooms at a characterless Cancún high-rise resort or taking a chance on one of Tulum’s funkier palapa villages, settle your crew into Taninah, a private, fully staffed, eco-conscious jungle retreat that can host up to 35 people, just over an hour’s drive down the Yucatán coast from Cancún International Airport. Taninah’s owners—a Mexican-American couple who initially built the complex as their own getaway—rent to only one group at a time. This means you and yours will rule a rain-forest roost comprising 10 acres of coconut palms and grassy lawn kitted out with five airy guesthouses, a pool, playground, game room, fitness center, tree house with a zip line, and a nine-hole mini golf course. There’s even one of the Yucatán’s famous cool-water cenotes—natural underground pools—right on the premises.
The isolation is truly splendid. Your eight-year-old’s cannonballs into the deep end won’t agitate honeymooning strangers, and in the shady open-air dining area, your toddler can pitch food from her high chair with impunity while the chef deftly serves grilled grouper and flank-steak tacos. He’ll also pack a picnic lunch if you decide to explore nearby Mayan ruins or spend a day at the powdery, uncrowded Xpu Ha beach a few miles away. And in the evening, the Taninah staff is happy to rig up a piñata as you blend the first round of margaritas, deciding that, heck, next year you’ll ask the second cousins to come along too.
Xpu Ha, Mexico; 858/605-1507; taninah.com; $1,850 per night for 10 people, including all meals and transport from Cancún airport; additional guests ages six and up, $95 per night; seven-night minimum.