My family of five vacationed at the Crown Paradise Resort in Cancun and I have to say that if there is one thing that really made our vacation, it was the child care facilities. Here’s a report of our family’s experience.
The hotel itself is divided in two parts, the original section and a newer tower; all rooms are oceanview with balconies. Our room was in the newer tower and was decorated nicely in yellow and blue and had two full beds and a crib. The hotel itself is huge– over 800 rooms with an open air lobby, five pools, five restaurants and numerous bars and snack bars. Three waterslides are great fun for kids, too. With the all-inclusive plan, you get all meals, activities, drinks and non-motorized water sports.
Kids Care and Kids Programs at Crown Paradise Club
The Baby Club is for babies 18-months to 3-years-old. It was very nicely done with large glass windows so that one could check on the kids frequently without necessarily being seen. There were two large indoor rooms furnished in Fisher Price and Playskool as well as an outdoor small wading pool and jungle gym. There were always at least two caregivers present who spoke perfect English and seemed quite caring and attentive towards the children.
I looked in on my 18-month-old every 1-2 hours and always found him to be playing happily under close supervision. I received daily reports when I picked him up about how he ate, slept, etc. There were never more than five children at the club, which I considered an excellent caregiver to child ratio. Every day around 3pm, I saw the caregivers take the children for a walk on the beach.
The Kids Pardise Club for children 4 to 12 years old was also excellent. It is a large fenced-in area with a pool with multiple water slides, a jungle gym and eating/craft area. Each hour was broken down into swim time, free time, arts’n’crafts time, lunch time, etc. The woman in charge had a British accent and she was excellent with the kids. My 4 and 5-year-olds played Pokemon Bingo, got painted with warpaint like Indians, etc. I had to tear them away every day and they could not wait to go back in the morning. There were usually about 10-15 children and three to five caregivers at any given time. Parents were allowed to use the kiddy pool with children 3 and under but not with older children.
Both the Kid’s Club and Baby Club were open seven days per week from 9am to 4:45pm. We were asked to fill out a brief medical history and leave notice where we would be during the day. I saw other parents who were planning on leaving the hotel for part of the day, but with three kids there, we chose to hang out on the beach or by the main pool in case there were any problems. We spied on the children at least three times during the day and found all to be well. Nightime babysitting was available with the same staff for $10/HR regardless of the number of children, but we did not use it.
There seemed to be a lot of activity around the teens club, so I guess that age group had fun too.
Crown Paradise Restaurants & Bars
The food was outstanding. The buffet was open all day for all three meals. In addition to the usual steam tables, salad bars, cold cut bars and dessert tables, there were made to order pancake/waffle, omelette, and fruit smoothie stations at breakfast. At lunch these were pasta, stir fry, and taco stations. Afternoons, there was a soft ice cream machine going that my kids loved. We ate everything including the fresh fruit and salads and none of us had any problems with diarrhea.
Some people complained to us that they were hoping for more Mexican food, something that tasted local,but we were happy with the buffets and the kids liked having familiar foods available.
There are five restaurants open for dinner. Reservations had to be made one to two days ahead of time. There was a steak house, Caribbean, Italian, Mexican and “adults-only” Continental. We tried all but the adults-only place and found the service to be excellent. Our favorite was the steak house with a mechanical bull that the kids found very entertaining and my husband rode (for at least 90 seconds or so).
Even at the 6pm seating, my kids were so worn out by the daily activities that they had trouble staying awake. However, I saw many other children who had no problem. At 7:30pm on Sunday (9pm other days) there was a show put on by the staff with dancing, singing, etc. The kid’s show on Sunday featured the Power Rangers, the Little Mermaid, etc. and the kids really enjoyed it. There was one ‘fight scene’ between an alligator and Captain Hook that the under-5 crowd found a bit scary.
Crown Paradise Facilities & Activities
The facilities in general were extensive, well-maintained and user-friendly. The main pool was huge and during the day, dominated by loud music and organized activities for adults and teens (water polo, pool volleyball or basketball, etc) run by the very energetic staff. There is an adults-only pool and another outdoor pool that we preferred. The beach itself was impeccably clean, with soft, wide, white sand and clear blue/green water which was quite warm in early March, though the surf was a bit rough. Our kids preferred building sand castles to actually going in the water, but I saw many children swimming with parents.
The overall atmosphere of the hotel was one of friendly and attentive service. On several occasions my kids spilled milk, dropped glasses, etc. and each time, a smiling young man would appear within moments, clean it up, saying “no problem”. The first night our toddler threw up in his crib and we called the front desk. They had housekeeping appear within five minutes to help us clean up and offer a new crib (we kept him in our bed instead).
The only dislikes I had were that there were many offers to tell us about the time shares available and that in ground floor “bridge” between the older and newer hotel towers, there seemed to be an intermittant sewer gas odor.
Planning your Crown Paradise Family Vacation
We booked our trip through Apple Tours and at the time paid roughly $4,200 including airfare from NYC, transfers and all-inclusive for 7 days. I hear it is still a good value. We had no problems with our flights which were on time.
All in all, we had a wonderful trip. I would rate it a 9 out of 10. The kids cried when we told them it was time to go home and we are already planning a return trip some time later this year. I have to say that if there is one thing that really made our vacation, it was the child care facilities.
Those seven hours per day of knowing our children were well cared for and entertained while we were relaxing made a tremendous a difference in our stress level and allowed us to really relax. I’ve also heard that there are larger rooms now to accommodate a family with three kids, that is great.
Editor’s Note: The resort has probably changed a lot since this 2010 report, but it still welcomes kids under 12 free and rooms accommodate a family of five with no problem. For more information and current rates, visit Crown Paradise Club and resorts website.
For more great Cancun resorts, check out FTF’s complete list: “Top Ten Cancun Family Beach Resorts.”
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