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You don’t have to choose. Cancun is big enough for both of them. You can visit one and the other won’t get jealous. The other will know that soon you won’t be able to resist and you’ll visit her too. Plus, you’ll bring your family because there’s so much to do and they’ll both love that. They’re welcoming like that.
I’m talking about the sister properties of the Park Royal Golden Cancun and the Grand Park Royal Cancun Luxury Resort. Two miles apart, in the hotel zone of Cancun, both offer Los Angeles families convenient beach fun that begs the question, when is the best time to go so we can hit the reset button in a style that’s personalized for our tribe’s vibe? Both sit by the crystal blue ocean, framed by Cancun’s legendary fine white sand. Both are family-friendly and all-inclusive but that’s where their resemblance ends.
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Park Royal Golden Cancun
I took a mother-son trip with my nine-year-old son, Knox and our first stop was the Park Royal Golden Cancun, the more casual, easy-going of the two sisters.
The two towers of her 310 rooms are connected by jungle-lined, concrete paths. Our sprawling, one-bedroom Master Suite Room had a living room with a balcony view of Laguna Bojorquez. There was a cozy sectional sofa perfect for lounging and two bathrooms which showed she really understood about traveling with kids, boys especially. A mini-bar was stocked with sodas and Mexican snacks. Plus there was a pillow menu, which makes everything great.
She encourages you to go ahead and get your hair wet when you play with your kids at her water park. From beginner, bitty slides and stationary ocean animals to dark, windy chutes, and water guns, her liquid oasis has enough to keep any child begging for more. My son, Knox had me contorting myself in all kinds of challenging positions to go down the slides since his brother wasn’t there to take them on.
I felt I had to represent the girl I had been when I was playing at his age. He loved it. He invented all sorts of games for us and couldn’t have been happier that I was all in with him.
Finally, the time came for me to have a bit of downtime. Adjacent to the water park, a staff of happy and willing counselors waited in the colorful kid’s club to take over with crafts and games. Parents could use their free time to wander over to the adults-only pool, complete with bar and lounge chairs or just relax with a book, enjoying thoughts they can actually think. Across the street is the La Isla Cancun Shopping Village with a giant ferris wheel and plenty of high-end shops to entertain the most dedicated shopper (or grab whatever you forgot!).
Mexican Family Memories Experience
To encourage your family to plant memories into her welcoming soil, the Park Royal Golden Cancun offers everything you’d need to create the perfect photo album of your entire trip, including the photo album! The Mexican Family Memories Experience package is geared for families with kids from ages 5-12 and includes additional experiences to bring the culture of Mexico closer to your family’s heart. Enjoy either an elaborate beach dinner for the whole family that includes a beautiful display of Mexican artwork and clothing or take advantage of the Kid’s PJ Club to enjoy a romantic dinner for two.
Join your kiddos in a typical Mexican family activity in the creation of a piñata. Yes, you’ll even get a photo session and candids of your stay and activities so that’ll be one less thing you need to do when you get back. Prices start at $329 for two adults and two kids under 12, per night.
Grand Park Royal Cancun
And while the Grand Park Royal Cancun is a bit fancier, you’ll still feel right at home in one of her 311 luxury rooms and suites, spread across her vast property. The first person you’ll meet, if you opt to stay in one of the villas, is your butler. He will assure you that none of your needs are too small, to please call upon him for anything. For instance, if you get hungry and you’re too comfortable inside your personal plunge pool, right outside your beachfront room, he will make the walk to one of the six on-site restaurants to grab you a bite. If you desire something which the hotel doesn’t provide, he will make sure you get it. He’ll check in on you in your reserved, canopied Bali Bed, just outside your room, to make sure you’re not too parched or in need of a snack.
Meanwhile, your kids can swim with you in the warm, clear water or swing on the indoor treehouse in the kid’s club, with her doting staff watching over. Her staff might even take them to El Jardin, the snack restaurant by the pool, to make their own pizzas while you take a yoga class in the spa.
Speaking of the spa, when it’s time to relax there, her masseuses offer a kid’s massage and after I treated Knox to his first ever, he said he had never felt anything so wonderful. The adult version was pretty spectacular too. The spa shares a building with the fitness room, which is like a little gym, much larger than typical hotel workout options with a wood-paneled yoga room looking onto palm fronds and foliage swaying slowly outside. The gym is included in the price of your villa but is extra for everyone else.
The Park Royal Golden Cancun has a poolside DJ, playing energetic music, enticing guests to play bingo or other high-energy games while the Grand Park Royal’s activity leader is more like a camp counselor, challenging you out of your comfort zone. Games like “water-polo” at the Grand Park Royal consisted of teams stacked with adults and kids who sometimes had to be carried to the ball. Knox’s team appointed him to be the official goalmaker, a position he took very seriously.
Nightlife at each property can be a family outing, a romantic retreat or a girl’s night out. The Park Royal Golden Cancun opened a skybar on the 10th floor of her main building called Ekinox. Ekinox has nearly unobstructed city views encompassing the lagoon and ocean. Ekinox is a great place to get the freshest air with skyscraper beach views. While Knox hung out at the kid’s PJ Party, I checked out the view and listened to a duo playing live music as groups of people gathered to talk. The Grand Park Royal has her version of Ekinox perched on the roof of her Italian restaurant, El Mirador, overlooking Laguna Nichupte. It’s not as high but still a nice retreat. The Grand Park Royal also has daily evening entertainment in its three specialty restaurants.
A family dinner at the Grand Park Royal can be a fiery experience if you have it at El Oriental. El Oriental offers families a seat at one of their teppanyaki tables as long as they eat before 9:30 pm. Our talented chef not only filled our bellies with life-fueling food but also put on a lively show, carving rice into words then conjuring them into an erupting volcano. Knox loved it even though he was already exhausted from all the previous fun.
Another elegant option is the Italian restaurant, El Mirador. The service staff at every restaurant was fabulous and this was no exception. Even though the choices were a bit complex for my usually courageous eater, our waiter offered an off-menu plain version of a pasta dish that suited him fine. Then the dessert buffet made up for everything. There are Breakfast at each sister property offers a plethora of choices including omelet stations.
Museo Maya de Cancun
Between the two sisters is a Mayan museum, Museo Maya de Cancun, that has archeological ruins and collections displayed inside and out. The small museum retells the story of the Mayan people and offers explanations about the disbursement of this prolific civilization. Between the fun and relaxation, it’s nice to get a glimpse into the lives of the people that inhabit or once lived in the areas we visit.
DON’T MISS! Many other Family Adventures you can take with your kids!
Despite their differing traits, the sisters come from the same great family that strives to help the communities around their hotels through the Royal Holiday Foundation. The Royal Holiday Foundation has created programs for kids who live with their moms in jails, kids who have disabilities and adults who also have handicaps to give them a break from their lives and take them on beach vacations. They also work with Mexico’s environmental department to rescue turtles and preserve the natural environment that makes their locations so special. These sisters and their relatives around the world are not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well.
You don’t have to choose! Visit these sister hotels on your next trip to Cancun. Park Royal Golden Cancun and Grand Park Royal Cancun are both perfect for families!
When You Go
United, Delta, JetBlue, and AeroMexico offer non-stop flights from LAX to Cancun. Flight time is just under five hours. Other airlines offer layover flights but booking one of those typically won’t save you much money unless the stopover is many hours long and who needs that with fiesty kids?
Check out our favorite wholesaler of discount flights, Cheap’OAir. Fill in the fields to book your inexpensive flight on the days you want to visit!
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