By Nancy Johnson Horn, Editor —
Recently I had the extreme pleasure of staying at Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. This rockin’ all inclusive hotel is actually pretty family friendly and we’ll tell you why!
Flying to Cancun is actually pretty easy. If you’re traveling from New York and can’t get a non-stop flight from JFK to Cancun; go for the option that stops in Miami, rather than Philadelphia. The American Airlines connection and flight was much easier down to Cancun via Miami, than on the way back to New York with U.S. Airways via Philadelphia. I flew down via Miami on American Airlines and only had to walk several gates to the second leg of the trip. I didn’t have to go through security again or take a bus ride to another terminal (which I did when I went back via US Airways to Philadelphia and then back to LaGuardia airport). If you are flying with small children, the NY to Miami connection will work better.
Arriving in Cancun:
Make sure you have a pen, you’ll need to fill out your immigration forms on the plane. Like your passport, make sure you can access this form easily when you go through immigration. It took me around 30 minutes go through passport control, bring activities for kids to do (or break out some snacks).
Getting to the Hard Rock Hotel:
It’s pretty easy to set up your hotel transfers before you go. Linda Villafane, Public Relations Manager for All Inclusive Collection, Hard Rock Hotel told me, “If you book through a travel agent,they will assist you with this, using our approved transportation companies. If you book through the hotel, the representative will ask if you’d like assistance with transportation. Booking online will have this option as well.”
I recommend making sure you get your transfers all set, so it’s one less thing to worry about. The hotel is around 15-20 minutes from the airport, which is great for keeping little ones from melting down. En route, see if you can stop and catch a great view of this gorgeous beach.
The hotel is impressive as you pull up the drive.
But what you’ll really want to see is right behind the hotel. The pool and view are spectacular and where everyone spends the majority of their time.
After you check in, you and your family members will get colored plastic bracelets that snap on and they’ll wear for the duration of the stay. If your child will get upset with this (some kids will) please ask if you can attach the bracelet on them.
Your kids may even catch a view of a trusted friend!
What I really liked is that I stayed in a standard room and felt so pampered and special. Plus, there was plenty of room if you’re traveling with kids (but you can go up a room size if you need to).
- Two queen sized beds
- Two person whirlpool tub
- Balcony (that can lock if you don’t want little ones going outside without you),
- Wall mounted flat screen TV,
- Free wireless internet (ALL OVER THE HOTEL)
- FREE calls to the United States and Canada (how amazing is that?)
- In in-room safe
- Alarm clock (that you can dock your iPhone/iPod into)
- Complimentary Minibar with sodas, bottled water, juice boxes & domestic beer (which is restocked daily)
- Liquor dispenser (also complimentary)
- Bottle of wine
- Coffee maker with creamer and sweetners
- 300 thread count egyptian cotton bedding (the sheets were so comfortable)
- Rain shower with rock spa bath products
You can get a larger room if you want some privacy from your kids (or need more space – there are suite options).
Now, if I had my kids with me, I could have easily put the wine bottle and coffee maker out of grabbing reach, so it wouldn’t have been broken. The front desk can set parents up with practically anything you would need, but I suggest speaking to your travel agent or booking agent to make sure you reserve a crib, etc.. The staff wants to please you, so let them! Example, I forgot toothpaste and it was at my door before I knew it.
Now a big plus – room service is also complimentary, so if you need to stay in with a napping child, food will be delivered to your door with a smile. It was awesome to know that I could grab a drink out of the minibar and not have a bill come for it.
The Little Big Kids Club:
If your child likes either Bob The Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Barney, or Thomas the Tank Engine, they are going to be thrilled once they walk into The Little Big Club. Even cynical tween and teens will have a ball.
One cool experience your kids can do is the Character Breakfast. Besides a meet and greet with Angelina the Ballerina, Bob the Builder, and Barney, kids will get to choose from their breakfast foods and cereals (but the names will slightly different), and sit in kid sized chairs. This happens twice a week, make sure you consult the schedule when you book so you can make sure you get in on this (your child will love it).
Besides being an awesome place for a kid to hang out, your kids will be able to actually meet Bob The Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Barney and (Thomas pops in during the stage show).
The Little Big Club was truly cool — babies on up to teens will enjoy themselves. Kids can play in the cool air conditioning. There’s a Thomas area, a Bob the Builder area, a game room with gaming systems for the older kids, two pool tables, a bouncy house, and my two favorite parts, the Angelina Ballerina room and the Barney Music Room. Girls (and boys) can go into Angelina’s room and dress up, take a dance class, get their hair done.. The Barney Music room was really cool too — kids can go in and make music and have a blast bopping around. You’ll see the clip of these special rooms in the video under this.
Thank you to the Hard Rock Hotel for sending me down to check out their Cancun location. As always, all opinions are my own.