One of the only Los Cabos all-inclusives that accepts babies and toddlers in supervised nursery programs.
The Buckley family of Northern California — mom Ita, dad Shane and children Chloe age 10, Cameron age 9, Olivia age 7 and Stefan age 6 – count their week-long stay at Melia Cabo Real as one of their best family vacations ever. They’d previously traveled to Hawaii, Bali, Spain, Portugal and France, “and outside of a wonderful villa vacation in Portugal, this was our favorite family vacation without a doubt,” says Ita.
“The Melia’s children’s program kept all four of our children busy and happy – and my children aren’t usually that interested in participating in resort kid’s programs,” Ita notes. “My husband and I had the chance to have conversations and just relax.”
Another family with toddlers from New Jersey felt the same way. Because the Melia offers a children’s program for kids as young as 4-months of age, these parents were able to get a break for a few hours during the day and sit by the pool with a book.
My kids, at 18 and 19, were too old for the children’s program, but there were enough other teens around during our summer vacation trip to balmy Los Cabos, located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, to keep things interesting. Teens are encouraged, cajoled and even begged to participate in other activities.
My two sampled Spanish lessons, tested the resort’s climbing wall and played in a pick-up soccer game — and that way they met other teens that they could hang out with later during the week. An open-air evening disco and bar on the beach was another draw since the drinking age in Mexico is 18 — a plus or a minus for parents with older teens, depending on how you look at it.
A Variety of Dining & Accommodations
Our first night at the buffet, we saw a family with two young very kids walking back to their table with their plates assembled for dinner. One child had nothing but a small pile of pasta with cheese. The other child had a dinner roll with butter and three kinds of tropical fruit. Mom had cooked-to-order fresh fish and salad, while Dad had Mexican specialties and steak on his plate. Everyone looked happy, as there were plenty of options to appeal to all palates, no matter how fussy.
In addition to the poolside buffet open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are several other options for dinner only. El Quetzal, a colorful Mexican restaurant, has a buffet that offers all kinds of Latin American goodies. Restaurant La Terraza offers Pacific Rim and California cuisines and Kujira features Japanese specialties. Both require advance reservations, and it’s a good idea to reserve them when you check in, as the most popular times for families disappear very quickly. We were able to walk into the Japanese restaurant one evening and get a 9:30pm reservation for dinner, but that’s not an option if you have younger children who need to be fed and put to bed by that time. A popular snack bar by the pool serves hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, salsa and guacamole and other snack foods during the afternoon.
The resort’s five-story cement housing blocks are a bit dated, but the spacious rooms have been renovated and refreshed with colorful bedding and updated furnishings. All the common areas have been renovated and are modern, clean and bright, and all rooms have private balconies. Smaller families with one or two children under 12 tend to stay in one room, but there are also a number of spacious suites for families along with the connecting room options.
Lavish Pools & Organized Fun for All Ages
Like most of the resort area in Los Cabos that stretches between the touristy town of Cabo San Lucas and the real Mexican town of San Jose del Cabo, the ocean is a bit rough. Consequently most resorts have elaborate “waterscapes” with enormous swimming pools. The Melia is no exception, but it also has a small, sheltered, safe zone for ocean swimming. Parents should keep in mind, however, that in summer currents can be strong; during the winter months it’s calmer.
Much of the outdoor action takes place around the Melia’s expansive amoeba-shaped swimming pool. Babies and toddlers like the shallow wading pool arm; pre-school age children and their toys seem to congregate along the zero entry arm of the pool; older kids settle in around the section with a volleyball net and basketball hoop. Another favorite stop for kids is a fountain that breaks on a very shallow island in the middle of the pool, the perfect place to sit and get sprayed by the water. A swim-up bar serving all kinds of refreshments is popular with all ages. You can check out pool floats at the activities desk.
“They had an excellent staff and all were well educated in safety,” noted Ita. “When the children’s club has pool time, the caregivers rope off one of the shallow sections creating a mini pool, making it easy for them to keep an eye on the young swimmers.”
The Melia’s Mini Club is one of the few at Baja resorts that takes babies and toddlers, and there are two rooms — a nap room with four cribs and an activity room – to accommodate them, while kids up to age 12 use the rest of the clubhouse. The children’s facility is fronted by a grassy area with a play structure and a broad field for games, which seemed to be going on most of the day. Other Mini Club activities take place around the resort. Parents are not allowed to leave the resort when their children are enrolled in the program, but can hire a babysitter if, for example, they want to play golf.
There is a lot for families to do together on property. A zipline ride across the sand is offered daily; as are stretch classes, water aerobics, water volleyball and opportunities to try the climbing wall. Adjacent to the pool are two permanent ping-pong tables, a pool table, fusball, and other games.
Every evening has some sort of themed activity, such as a Mexican folklore performance (with a piÃ±ata for the kids), a Brazilian Fiesta, karaoke night, and on-the-beach dance parties. All sorts of other changing activities are planned during the day – merengue and salsa dance classes, cooking and cocktail lessons, and various sports and games. All of the above, plus meals and all beverages, tennis and non-motorized water sports are included in the Melia Cabo Real’s all-inclusive fee, and golf and motorized water sports can be arranged for an additional cost.
Resort Report Card
|Name:||Melia Cabo Real|
|Address:||Carretera Transpeninsular km 19.5
|Seasonal Rates:||$$$ – $$$$|
|Choice of Activities:||B+|
|Quality of Amenities:||B+|
|Bonus:||One of the only Cabo resorts whose children’s program accommodates babies and toddlers.|
|Note:||Extremely family-friendly, with happy children of all ages frisking about in the pools and grounds.|
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.