HOTEL XCARET WITH A TODDLER OR YOUNG KIDS
If you are reading this post, I would assume you are considering staying at Hotel Xcaret with young kids or toddlers.
A few months ago, we had the opportunity to spend a few days at Hotel Xcaret with our toddler and decided to write a guide/review to help other parents make the most of their time at Hotel Xcaret with a toddler.
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Let me start off by saying this trip was not sponsored. We paid for everything and booked through booking.com for our stay, so our opinions are based on our experience.
The first thing we noticed and loved about this hotel is how eco-conscious they are. There are no straws, plastic bottles, paper cups, and everything is reused or recycled.
WHERE IS HOTEL XCARET?
Hotel Xcaret is located almost an hour south of Cancun in Playa Del Carmen, which is part of Quintana Roo. You do not need to arrange transportation to the hotel from the airport.
There is a shuttle bus provided by the hotel, for guests with confirmed flights to transport you to the hotel, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride to Playa Del Carmen.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT HOTEL XCARET WITH A TODDLER
We booked the cheapest room (although the rooms aren’t cheap), so we stayed in a Garden View Suite.
Our suite was on the ground floor, which was perfect for us because we are always concerned about balconies with our toddler.
Although we know it is safe, we like to stay on the ground floor, whenever possible.
We stayed in Casa Espiral, which is close to the main Mexican buffet, swim-up pool bar, children’s pool, and a few other restaurants. The location was great, except we were also close to the restaurant that has a dinner show. We could hear the music at night, but luckily our toddler is a hard sleeper.
Honestly, I could have stayed in the room our entire stay. The shower and bathtub were heavenly. I almost fell asleep a few times after our long days at the parks.
Every time we came back to our rooms at the end of the day, the fridge was stocked, the bed was made, our clothes were folded, and snacks replenished. We asked for extra juice for our little guy, so he could stay hydrated while we were out. There is a safe in the room, so we kept our passports there while we were out.
I must admit, my favorite part about Hotel Xcaret was the food. Everything we ate was phenomenal. There are 10 restaurants and 8 bars on the property with different types of food.
This is the one thing I wish we would have done better, but my wife and I are creatures of habit, so once we find something we like, we tend to keep going back.
Plus, we had to fit eating into our schedule between our trips to the park and our son’s nap time. Luckily, there is room service, although it isn’t as good as the food in the restaurants.
We loved the location of our room. It was close enough to the children’s pool without being too close to hear all the noise. This is the only kid’s pool at the hotel, but it is a lot of fun.
There is a restaurant a few feet from the pool, where your kids can eat, and you can get a drink.
Lifeguards are on duty to make sure everyone is staying safe. While we were there, we saw three lifeguards observing every area of the pool.
There are lifejackets available, and kids who are not strong swimmers are encouraged to wear them.
I would imagine it is a lot cooler in the winter months, but it is tolerable, and once your body acclimates to the temperature, your kids should enjoy it.
Kid’s Club – Xiquillos
The Xiquillos Kids Club is perfect for young children. They have the chance to socialize with other kids their age at the resort in a fun environment. The Kids Club has activities that help them learn about Mexican culture, so they are not only having fun, but they are also learning.
The activities are different every day, so it’s best to check at the front desk to see what activities are scheduled for that day. Adults are not allowed inside the club. After your drop-off, I recommend using this time to have a quiet meal or take a nap.
Kids between the ages of 4 to 12 can go to the club, while kids 3 and under are not allowed. There is a teen club for older kids between 13 and 17. The best thing about this kid’s club is the hours. You can drop-off anytime between 9 am and 10 pm.
We didn’t have the chance to use the kid’s club because our son is too young. He was only 20 months when we went, and the minimum age is 4-years-old.
I do look forward to returning when he is older, so he can play with other kids while we are there.
Note: The minimum age is 4-years-old for the kid’s club.
Xiipal – Family Club
There is a family club, which is an area for families to play pool, air hockey, foosball, and interact with other families.
The family club is the perfect place to hang out on a rainy day or to get a quick break from everything.
We couldn’t find information on babysitting services at the hotel, so we got a babysitter to come to the hotel to watch our son. There was some miscommunication when we checked-in and informed the front desk we would have a babysitter for a few hours.
When the babysitter arrived, she was not allowed in. After speaking with a manager about the situation. We had to purchase a day pass for her to spend the day (5 hours) in the room with our son.
It would have been great to know they use an outside agency to provide babysitting for $15 per hour, with a minimum requirement of 2 hours. You also have to pay for transportation for the babysitter to take a taxi from the hotel.
If you use the agency, you do not have to purchase a day pass since you are using the contracted agency. The cost of transportation is $10 before 11 pm and $15 after 11 pm.
Note: If you want to use the babysitting services, please inform the concierge at least 4 hours in advance.
Hotel Xcaret Onsite Activities
We aren’t great at kayaking, so we only did this activity for a few minutes because we just kept going in circles lol. It was hard to paddle because our toddler refused to stay in his seat. He wanted to sit on my lap, so that meant my wife did most of the paddling.
Standup Paddle Board
Although this isn’t an activity for toddlers, it is perfect for older kids. Even if your kids aren’t strong swimmers, lifejackets are required, and there are lifeguards in the lagoon to make sure everyone is safe. Plus, the area where the activities are is cool.
Note: Be sure to stop at Bio for a smoothie. They are amazing.
Hanging Rope Bridges
Although this isn’t an activity, the hanging rope bridges are a lot of fun. Our little guy was in his stroller, but we had a lot of fun walking across them.
My wife and I are both afraid of heights, so crossing the bridges was a big accomplishment for us.
If you are too scared to walk across the swinging rope bridges, don’t worry, you can get to the other side of the hotel without using them.
There are a few small ones past the main pool to get to some of the fun activities.
For those who are scared to cross the bridges there are alternative routes that take a little longer, but you’ll still get there.
Beach (Perfect for Toddlers)
There are a few different beaches at Hotel Xcaret. The one we went to was at the end of the hotel, passing the main swimming pool. This is the best beach for toddlers because the water is calm and there are little fish swimming around.
The water was a little cold, but we got used to it pretty quickly. It’s the perfect place to hang out, have a few drinks, and let your toddler plan in the sand or the water.
ALL FUN-INCLUSIVE – PARKS & TOURS
What makes Hotel Xcaret different is their concept of fun-inclusive. This means all of its parks and activities are included when you are a guest. There is no additional charge to go on the tours, go to the parks, and even eat while you are out.
This is truly a great concept, where everything you pay for is included. Of course, there are optional activities that you can pay additional to do. The basics are more than enough if you are traveling to Hotel Xcaret with young kids or a toddler.
There are a total of 11 activities to choose from, which include: Xichén, Xenotes, Xel-Ha Tulum, Xel-Ha Coba, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xplor Fuego, Xplor, Xavage, Xel-Ha, and Xcaret Park.
Since we spent our time at Hotel Xcaret in September, some of the tours were temporarily closed due to the pandemic. We were only able to go to Xel-Ha, Xenses, Xplor, and Xcaret Park.
Xcaret Park is the star of all of the activities that Hotel Xcart has to offer. This eco-park is the most popular in Mexico. There are shows, a children’s world, Mayan Ruins, an aquarium, traditional Mayan cemeteries, underground caves, and so much more.
You can easily spend the entire day here, but as a guest of Hotel Xcaret, you can take the shuttle or boat back to your room and return as many times as you want.
We recommend taking the boat at least once, but make sure you have bug spray because the mosquitoes are relentless.
Xenses is a fun and unique place to visit while staying at Hotel Xcaret. This place isn’t recommended for kids under 5, and I agree.
The upside-down town may make your toddler sick, and it only gets more interesting as you make your way through the different senses.
Some portions may not be suitable for younger kids. There is a large waterslide, mud pit, bird flying (zip line on your belly), and hot water shooting at you from every direction.
If you think your little one can handle this, bring them along. For most younger kids, this will be too much, so I recommend getting a babysitter for this activity.
Xplor isn’t for kids under 5 or 6 years old. Kids under 5 are not allowed inside Xplor for their safety.
This park is packed with adrenaline-pumping activities such as ziplining over a forest, hammock splash, cave adventures, driving a humvee through caves, rafting, and other fun activities.
You can spend the majority of the day here because lunch and snacks are provided to fuel your energy to get the courage to counter all of the activities.
Xplor Fuego is the nighttime version of all the daytime activities. You’ll need a babysitter if you want to do Xplor Fuego, but it would be a lot of fun.
This option was closed during our stay, so we didn’t have an opportunity to zipline at night.
Xel-Ha is the ultimate water park that has everything you need to enjoy your day.
There is ziplining, rope challenges, water encounters, snorkeling, snuba, jungle trails, and many other activities. Plus, there is a buffet included, so you can eat as much as you want throughout the day.
Transportation to the water park from the hotel leaves at 9 am and drops you off until 6 pm. If you want to return to the hotel earlier, you will have to take a taxi, which will cost almost $40.
Although it seems like a long day, time will fly by quicker than you think. Our toddler soldiered through the day without a nap because there was so much for him to do.
Note: Bring lots of eco-friendly sunscreen and bug spray.
TIPS FOR VISITING HOTEL XCARET WITH A TODDLER
Here are some things we wish we would have known before going to Hotel Xcaret with a toddler.
This is taking into consideration this was a last-minute decision since we moved to Playa Del Carmen in August.
It will make your life a lot easier if you plan the activities you want to do before arriving at the hotel.
Due to the current capacity restrictions, some of the activities require reservations, so be sure to make your reservations early.
- Make reservations at the restaurants that you want to eat earlier in the evening.
- Other guests are still at the parks, so it won’t be crowded, you can get in and out with your kids
- If your toddler is old enough, drop them at the kid’s club to have a romantic dinner
- Pack at least 2 swimsuits to alternate while the other pair is dry.
- Your clothes will take longer to dry because Mexico is very humid
- If you are visiting in the winter rash guards are good for cooler months
- If you use reusable swim diapers, bring at least three
- Having several swim diapers will help prevent a diaper rash
- Utilize the babysitting services for a few hours for toddlers under 4-years-old
- This will give you time to go to the parks that aren’t kid-friendly
- Go to Xplor and Xenses on the same day
- If you get a babysitter in the morning go to Xplor first after breakfast then Xenses
- Pack comfortable water shoes
- You will be doing a lot of walking, sturdy comfortable water shoes are a must-have
- Watch out for iguanas
- They aren’t too dangerous, but our toddler kept trying to chase them
- There are strollers available, but I recommend bringing your own
- This will make it easier for you if your toddler needs a nap
- If your kids no longer need a nap but don’t like to walk, a toddler carrier may be a good option
Must-Have Items at Hotel Xcaret with Kids
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT HOTEL XCARET WITH KIDS
Is there a kids club at Hotel Xcaret?
Yes, there is a kids club, but the minimum age is 4-years-old, so if you have a younger toddler, they can’t go.
The age limit for kids club is 4 -12, and there is a teen club for teenagers between 13 and 17 years old.
Does the hotel offer cribs or extra beds?
There are cots(few available), but there are no extra beds available. I do not believe there are cribs either, but we do not go anywhere without our son’s travel bed.
We used our Kidco Peapod Travel Tent for our son to sleep. It is one of the lightest and easiest travel tents for toddlers.
The couch pulls out to a bed if you need an additional sleeping area.
Does Hotel Xcaret have babysitting services available?
Yes, the hotel uses an outside agency to provide babysitting services.
The cost is $15 per hour and requires 4-hour advance notice if you a babysitter.
Also, there is a minimum 2-hour requirement and charge for transportation, which is $10 or $15, depending on the time.
Can I stay at the Hotel Xcaret with a large family?
Yes, but it will come at a cost. Most of the rooms can accommodate a family of four, which includes two adults and two children.
If you have a larger family, you can book two suites next to one another or stay in the family master suite. The master suite accommodates a family of 5.
Unfortunately, if you have a large family, the best option is to get two rooms next to one another.
Is Hotel Xcaret a good place to stay for families with toddlers?
Yes, depending on your toddler, it can be a lot of fun. They can play at the pool, enjoy the beach, eat great food, play at children’s world at the parks, and play with other kids at the kids club if they are old enough.
There is so much to do that your toddler will have a blast. They’ll be exhausted at the end of the day, which should mean they’ll sleep through the night.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT HOTEL XCARET
There are a lot of questions about Hotel Xcaret, and their website isn’t always helpful at answering everything you want or need to know.
Is it really all-inclusive?
Yes, you can go to all of the parks and tours as a guest, without paying anything extra money. Of course, there are optional activities for you to participate in, such as swimming with dolphins, snuba, or a spa treatment.
There is one restaurant at Hotel Xcaret that requires payment and a reservation. HA by Carlos Gaytán, who is the first Mexican chef to receive a Michelin Star offers a 5-star experience.
I believe the cost is $125 per person, and for this, you will receive a 7-course tasting menu that will blow your mind. There is a dress code for this restaurant, so if you plan on eating here, be sure to pack appropriate clothes.
How far in advance should I plan my trip?
I would recommend booking your trip for at least 2 months in advance. We booked our 2 days before our stay and weren’t able to get into a lot of the restaurants that required reservations.
Two months should be more than enough time to make all of the reservations you want. A caveat to this is if you plan on going in the summer or during high season, then I’d recommend 4-5 months in advance.
Is transportation from the airport to the hotel included?
Yes, if you have a confirmed flight with the hotel on file, transportation is provided.
Do you tip at Hotel Xcaret?
There are some conflicting answers to this question, and my answer is yes. I believe in tipping for good service, and the service at Hotel Xcaret was phenomenal.
I recommend taking cash from the ATM, so you can tip the staff at least 50 pesos when you get good service.
Is there transportation to the park?
Yes, transportation to all of the parks and activities is included. There are shuttle buses that run from Xcaret, Xenses, and Xplor every 20 minutes throughout the day. You can take the shuttle to and from the attractions as many times as you’d like.
Other activities have specific pickup and drop off times, so be sure to check with the concierge and confirm the times. If you miss the bus, you will have to take a taxi, which can be expensive.
Are food and drinks from the parks and tours included?
Yes, most of the parks and tours have food included if you are a guest of the hotel. They will ask for your name and room number, and you are all set.
Xenses doesn’t have food because it is not an all-day activity, but all of the other parks and tours have food and drinks.
Are there vegetarian or vegan options in the restaurants?
Yes, when you go to a restaurant, please inform them you have dietary restrictions, and they will make a note for the waiter.
When we were there, they always asked about allergies or special dietary requirements, so they can accommodate you and offer alternatives.
Last update on 2021-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API