Just Across the Border:
12 more Great Resorts for Families in Mexico
THE BEACH—BIG-TIME RESORTS
Westin Regina Golf & Beach Club San José del Cabo; 800/937-8461 or 52-11/429-000; www.westin.com; doubles from $169; children free. There's a white sandy beach—rare in these parts—seven pools, and a kids' program. Most astonishing, though, is the minimalist red granite structure itself, with 243 rooms, all overlooking the ocean.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita 800/332-3442 or 52-329/16000; www.fourseasons.com; doubles from $560; children free. Mexico at your service—with golf and a state-of-the-art kids' program. Only a 45-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta, but in a realm of its own.
Fiesta Americana Cancún; 800/343-7821 or 52-9/881-1400; www.fiestaamericana.com; doubles from $112; children under 12 free. A 281-room hotel with a poolside family scene (have no fear, no drunken college kids here) and its own marina. Close to great snorkeling and to the ruins of Tulum, Chichén Itzá, and Cobá.
Fairmont Acapulco Princess 800/866-5577 or 52-7/469-1000; www.fairmont.com; doubles from $139; children free. The ease—and the excess—of Acapulco, with 1,017 spacious rooms in Aztec-inspired towers. The big draw for families is the four pools, lagoon, and 12 miles of beach.
THE BEACH—SMALL(ISH) HIDEAWAYS
Majahuitas Puerto Vallarta; 52-3/221-5808; www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com; doubles from $255; $35 per child, including all meals and boat transfers. Gilligan's Island really does exist—and the food's amazing. This seven-casita, candlelit resort isn't actually on an island, but in an isolated cove 20 minutes by motorboat from Puerto Vallarta. More a hub for honeymooners than for families, but those who like beach and quiet are very much welcomed.
Hotel Catalina and Sotavento Zihuatanejo; 52-755/42032; doubles from $75; children under 12 free. Side-by-side sister hotels with simple rooms above the area's best beach (warning: steep stairs). Lots of equipment on hand for boating and fishing. Though minutes away from Ixtapa, Zihua is a refreshingly real town.
Hotel Santa Fé Puerto Escondido; 52-958/20170; www.hotelsantafe.com.mx; doubles from $66; children 10 and under free. Enchanting colonial-style enclave with 62 rooms and eight bungalows, palm-shaded pools, and a wonderful restaurant overlooking one of Mexico's best surfing beaches. Great for families with surfers or young kids happy to play in the sand. Take the lagoon excursion.