I remember being asked, while I was still pregnant, what I was most excited for once baby arrived. That's simple, I said - I was excited to take my baby on their first trip. It seems like a strange answer, but it's true. Travel is and always has been a huge part of my life. My family, due to being a military family and living overseas, were always going on adventures when my brothers and I were young and it made for the best memories. Not only did I want those same memories and experiences for my own child, but I couldn't wait to experience the joy that comes along with seeing my baby experience new things.
Imagine my incredible excitement when the opportunity arose with Air Transat to visit Mexico to check out the recently opened Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, a five-star luxurious family-friendly resort in Cancun. Both Brian and I were ecstatic! Not only would be we able to take Benny on his first trip at 6 months old, but we would be able to return to Cancun as a family - a beloved destination that holds many special memories for us.
So off we went, flying on our first flight with a baby with Air Transat and had the most amazing week in paradise. The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres was an actual oasis. The resort was the perfect choice for a first vacation as a family with a new baby. The experience could not have been more accommodating to traveling with a baby, while still staying in the kind of luxury us late-thirties parents had grown accustomed to. The whole week exceeded my expectations and set the bar for family travel extremely high.
Let me guide you through our week The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres. I know how important choosing the right resort when traveling with kids can be, let alone your first family trip, so I'm going to try to share everything and anything that made our week incredible and why I would recommend this property for family travel (or really anyone looking for a luxurious getaway in paradise.)
Upon first look at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, I was struck by how absolutely gorgeous it is. Being only just over a year old and with beautiful, modern buildings and touches, this property makes an impressions before you even check in! Here's some quick facts about The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres and some things that I really appreciated from this unique and luxurious property.
- The property itself it only 29 km from the Cancun International Airport, which for us translated into a very quick and leisurely 35 minute drive. This is especially important to consider when traveling with a baby - the less time in transit, the better.
- There are multiple pools on-site, to suit every age range and taste! Ourselves, we mostly just used the two pools that are situated in the Family Selection area of The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres and they were excellent. I was also able to sneak away to check out the adults-only pool and it was gorgeous. There is also a large water park that any older children will absolutely love!
- Fast, reliable Wifi is included and available throughout the entire complex.
- The resort itself has over 600 rooms, and never felt overcrowded in the entirety of our stay - both during the week and on weekend.
- There is easy elevator access for the buildings. This is important when traveling with a baby and a stroller.
- The on-site spa is Zentropia, which is easily the nicest and most luxurious spa that I've ever experienced. The services are available at an additional fee, and I found the prices to be reasonable (on-par with Toronto spa prices.)
- I would classify the resort as a nice, medium size. Easily walkable, however with many options if you need get somewhere in a hurry. Normally if we were traveling on our own, Brian and I would have walked everywhere. However, traveling with a baby means that time is of the essence - especially when trying to get to a quick dinner, or getting back to our room for bedtime. We appreciated the many golf carts that were at the ready to assist, as well as the 100% electrical boats that offer a more scenic ride around the property.
Our Room: Family Selection
For our week at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, we stayed in the Family Selection option for rooms. You guys - this was a game changer when it came to traveling with an infant. From the location of the room on the resort, to the incredible family-focused service we received, I could not recommend Family Selection enough. The perks for families seem to be endless; here are the features of Family Selection that really elevated our experience for our first trip with Benny.
- The rooms with Family Selection are located in the most ideal area of the resort, in my opinion. You're close to the beach (in fact, I could see and hear the ocean from our balcony,) and are close to two family-friendly pools. Our favourite family-friendly restaurant on the resort, The Nest is in the Family Selection building itself so it was our preferred stop for a quick breakfast with Benny.
- Family Selection includes a family concierge service, and I honestly think that this service made our experience at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres. From arranging our room to be baby friendly, bringing us sunscreen, a diaper genie, a pack and play - everything! We had two concierges, Louis and Fernanda and they were both excellent. Fernanda went above and beyond to arrange all of our dinner and spa reservations, laundry pick up and ideal housekeeping times that wouldn't interfere with Benny's naps. The attention to detail and the care provided to our family completely exceeded our expectations. Most of all, they both genuinely cared for Benny - you could just feel it from them. I was teary eyed saying goodbye to our family concierges, especially Fernanda. The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres will forever be a main pick for us when it comes to family travel because of the warmth and kindness that we received from the staff.
- Room service is available 24 hours to guests of Family Selection. We took full advantage, and was a game-changer when we wanted to lounge on the balcony during Benny's naps. The coolest part about the room service is that you ordered from a menu on your TV! So modern, and so convenient.
- Our room was spacious and modern, with a large bathroom area and a soaker tub, and a large balcony that overlooked both the pool and the ocean. It was absolutely perfect. The room also included both a coffee and Nespresso machine. You guys know how much I appreciate in-room espresso, so this was a game-changer for me.
- The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is a reservation-free resort, however guests staying in Family Selection are able to reserve times at the à la carte restaurants. Making sure that we had set eating times was really helpful as we learned to navigate dinners with a baby on our first trip. Fernanda, our family concierge, made sure we had reservations for the week at all of our preferred restaurants on the first day.
- Hydrotherapy services at Zentropia, the spa, are available at no costs to guests staying at Family Selection. Although the spa is adults-only, Brian and were able to enjoy a few sessions each by taking turns watching Benny for a couple of hours.
- A small detail, but something that is so useful when traveling with a baby, is that Family Selection is allotted two pieces of laundry per guest at no additional cost. This was so helpful when dealing with accidents in sleepers, airplane outfits - basically the everyday messes that come along with a baby.
One of my favourite things about visiting an all-inclusive resort is having access to delicious food - with the bonus of not having to do dishes or clean up afterwards, haha! That being said, staying at a property for a full week means that the food needs to not only be delicious, but there should also be lots of options. Thankfully the food at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres did not disappoint. Brian and I were particularly impressed with the quality at the à la carte restaurants. Coupled with exemplary service and beautiful, modern décor, every meal felt like a special occasion.
- There are 8 beautiful à la carte restaurants, with one of them being exclusive to Family Selection. Although the property operates on a no-reservation policy, guests staying in Family Selection are able to make reservations. For those of us who like dinning early (Brian and I because of Benny,) getting a table was never an issue - even without reservations.
- The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres takes food allergies very seriously. We were asked at every meal if anyone in our family had any food allergies. We even had a hostess show Brian, who is a pescatarian, around the main buffet so he knew where all of the vegetable and fish options were. We were very impressed.
- The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres also houses a trendy coffee shop and even a sports bar that's open 24 hours. I'm not one for sports, but you know that I was at the coffee shop multiple times a day.
- Although Benny wasn't quite into a solids routine when we visited The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, we noticed so many food options for kids - especially in Family Selection. Fruits and raw veggies, small sandwiches, pancakes shaped like characters - they had it all! On top of that, every à la carte that we visited had high chairs and a fun kids menu.
After a week in absolute paradise at The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, we were all sad to leave. Our first trip with six-month old Benny could not have gone any better, and I'm so grateful for such a positive entry into family travel.
Brian and I have always been very picky about the sorts of properties and resorts that we visit, but we had no idea how much staying at a family-friendly place can really make your trip. The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres has set the bar very high for our first family trip, and was the perfect place for our first foray into family travel. If you're traveling with a baby and/or children, enjoy beautiful surroundings and appreciate attention to details and service then I could not recommend this beautiful place enough.
I hope to be back soon.
Thank you so much to Air Transat for providing our family with this beautiful experience. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.