After visiting the Park Royal Resorts in Cancun, I was sure that the beautiful white sand beaches of Cancun couldn’t be beat. Our time in Cozumel was a whole new experience. The Grand Park Royal Cozumel really feels like a tropical oasis. From the lush greenery surrounding the resort to the views of the Caribbean Sea, Cozumel is definitely a destination in Mexico you need to experience at least once.
If you’re visiting the Grand Park Royal Cozumel with kids, they recently added even more kid-friendly features to make it better. It’s no surprise that Grand Park Royal is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Cozumel for families. (And don’t worry, if you’re visiting Cozumel without kids, there are plenty of adult only options too!)
In addition to reviewing the resort, we’ve also included some helpful information on planning a family vacation in Cozumel.
Disclaimer: Our stay was sponsored by Park Royal Resorts. As always, all opinions are our own. Toddling Traveler also participates in Amazon Affiliates and other affiliate programs. That means we could earn a small commission for items purchased through our links, at no additional charge to you.
Table of Contents: Family Vacation in Cozumel
Information on Visiting Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is a tropical paradise located on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It’s Mexico’s largest island Caribbean island at about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. Cozumel is filled with mangrove forests and surrounded by coral reefs. Both of which have a variety of plant and animal species.
The Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort in Cozumel is located on the western side of Cozumel. It’s under 10 minutes from the ferry dock and less than 15 minutes from the Cozumel International Airport. The Grand Park Royal in Cozumel is also close to San Miguel, making it a great, central location for exploring Cozumel.
When is the best time to visit Cozumel, Mexico? The weather in Cozumel is beautiful all year round, with temperatures in the mid-80s (Farenheit) most of the year. Like most of the Caribbean, hurricane season in Cozumel is typically July to October. For more information on this and more, check out our Mexico travel tips for a safe family vacation.
Getting to the Island of Cozumel
If you’re wondering what’s the best way to get to Cozumel, you have a few options. Based on our experience, the easiest option is flying into Cozumel directly. Cozumel has a small international airport that’s easy to navigate. It’s a short drive to the Grand Park Royal Cozumel and other family resorts in Cozumel.
The downside of a small airport with limited direct flights is that it’s usually more expensive to fly into Cozumel. For that reason, many people choose flying into Cancun to get to Cozumel. The Cancun International Airport is larger and more chaotic, but you can often get a great deal on nonstop flights.
How to Get from Cancun to Cozumel
If you choose flying into Cancun to get to Cozumel, you have two options to get there. First, you can drive from Cancun to Playa del Carmen and take the ferry to Cozumel. We did this when traveling from the Grand Park Royal in Cancun to Cozumel. The total travel time is approximately 2 hours, including both the 1.5 hour drive and the ferry. We took the Ultramar Ferry and had a great experience. You can purchase tickets for the ferry to Cozumel here.
Alternatively, you can get a flight from Cancun to Cozumel. There are a few daily flights from Cancun to Cozumel on Mayair. Keep in mind that if you choose to fly, the planes on Mayair are usually small island hoppers. For this reason, they’re quick to cancel flights in the case of storms. We originally had a flight booked from Cancun to Cozumel and ended up driving to the ferry instead. If you’re trying to decide between the two, I definitely think the drive and ferry is the best way to get from Cancun to Cozumel. (Particularly if you’re traveling with a group to Cozumel.)
Trying to Decide on Visiting Cancun vs Cozumel?
Cancun and Cozumel offer very different scenery and experiences. If you’re someone who gets easily bored staying in one resort for a week, you may also want to consider visiting both Cancun and Cozumel like we did. It was a great way to get a feel for two different areas of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula. If I did it over again, I would also spend time in Playa del Carmen before boarding the ferry to Cozumel. You can find more ideas on what to do in Playa del Carmen here.
Related Post: Park Royal Cancun: A Family Friendly Resort in Cancun
Review of the Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort in Cozumel
If you’re not familiar with the Grand Park Royal, it’s the luxury version of the Park Royal Resorts. We had a great experience with this Mexican based hotel chain in both Cancun and Cozumel. We loved the Caribbean vibes of the Grand Park Royal Cozumel and had a hard time keeping our son out of the amazing pools.
We’ve included in our review a detailed overview of everything offered at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel. From the rooms and dining, to the pools and activities, we have you covered!
Check-in and Check-out at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel
Upon arriving to the Grand Park Royal, we entered a huge open air lobby with a thatched roof. There were several associates available to check guests in, which made the process a breeze. We were also greeted with a mixed drink while our son was given juice to cool off from the Cozumel heat. Customary to the practice Mexico, we were required to provide our passports at check-in. Once we got the resort overview, we were shown to our room and our bags were delivered to us. The entire check in and check out process for seamless. Similar to the other Park Royal Resorts we experienced, it was much more efficient than other all-inclusives in Mexico that we had been to in the past.
All guests over 6 years old are required to have bracelets during their stay. The bracelets are then removed upon check out.
The Rooms at Grand Park Royal Cozumel
Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort in Cozumel offers a few different standard room options with king sized or double beds. The rooms all face the pool area, with the rooms on the higher floor having a view of the ocean. We were on the 9th floor at the top of the towers and had gorgeous sunset views. (Plus my son loved watching the cruise ships coming in!) All of the rooms at the Grand Park Royal in Cozumel come with a balcony. This feature is definitely something we’ve started to look for when traveling with a toddler, so we can enjoy being outside after he goes to sleep.
We stayed in a deluxe oceanview room with 2 double beds. The room was spacious enough to comfortably fit our family of three. The rooms were fairly updated, clean and well kept. One thing to note is that the bathrooms at Grand Park Royal Resort in Cozumel primarily have showers. If you’re traveling to Mexico with a baby, this inflatable tub is one of the best products for travel with a baby. It’s also compact, which makes it a great travel tub.
While the rooms at Grand Park Royal Cozumel are somewhat basic, they’re clean and comfortable. Each room has a mini fridge stocked with sodas, beer and water. The mini fridge in your room is also refilled every 24 hours. (This is consistent across the Park Royal resorts.) Each guest can also order room service once every 24 hours with no charge. This was a great feature when we first arrived and wanted to spend time at the pool.
The Awesome Pools at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel
The pools at the Grand Park Royal are really the highlight of this Cozumel all inclusive resort. The main pool area is huge and serves as the central focal point of the resort. It’s covered in lush greenery that really reinforces the fact that you’re on a tropical island. There’s ample seating, which includes lounge chairs and cabanas throughout. Our 2 year old loved the waterfall feature on one side of the pool. It was located in an area of the pool that was only 2 feet high and perfect for toddlers.
There are two infinity pools at the resort, which overlook the Caribbean Sea. One of the pools is in an adults only area (which we only realized after about an hour of our toddler having the time of his life.) In front of the infinity pool there’s also a jacuzzi, and they were in the process of adding a second jacuzzi on the adults side as well.
All of the pools at the Grand Park Royal include both bars and dining options adjacent to the pools. There are also two whirlpools by the ocean that are adjacent to each of the infinity pools. (One of which is adults only.) You certainly can’t find a more relaxing setting!
Looking for a resort in Cozumel with water slides?
In addition to the three main pools, there’s also a kids’ water park area that was just finished in October of 2019. The water park is ideal for younger children up to age 12. Our 2 year old loved the sprinklers, splash features and water slides throughout. It’s also conveniently located in a fenced in area as part of the kids’ club.
The Beach at Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort in Cozumel
A resort in Cozumel with beach access can be hard to find. Although the beach at Grand Park Royal Cozumel is small, it has private access only for guests of the resort. While the resort is not directly on the beach, you can access it by going through a short tunnel under the main road.
The beach offers beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea, which often includes a few cruise ships as well. (Despite being right by a major Caribbean port, it’s very quiet.) The beach has towels, ample sitting and a variety of games available right on the beach. It also includes a wading area with a natural rock boundary to separate it from the ocean.
The water is super calm and my son loved floating using this toddler swimming vest. Not having to worry about your kids getting knocked over by strong waves (or floating away) is always a plus!
Activities at the Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort in Cozumel
Every hour, there’s a number of activities hosted by staff at the Grand Park Royal in Cozumel. The variety of activities for adults and kids is another reason why Grand Park Royal is so great for a family vacation in Cozumel. When we were there, some examples of the included actives were:
- Morning yoga on the private beach
- Poker Games
- Dance Lessons
- Water Aerobics
Another highlight at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel is the open air amphitheater. It’s situated right in the middle of the resort and includes a variety of performances. With the central location, you can also enjoy the nightly concerts from your balcony with a drink in hand. (Despite the amitheater’s location, I didn’t hear anything when our door was closed.)
Excursions from the Grand Park Royal in Cozumel are also available directly through the resort. In fact, you can even catch some of the boat excursions directly from a dock located on the resort. You can also find more ideas for excursions in Cozumel here.
Additionally, Cozumel is widely known as a both a world-class diving and cycling location. When we visited Cozumel in November, the GFNY Cozumel was taking place and it was bustling with cyclists.
Kids’ Club at the Grand Park Royal in Cozumel
One of the things I loved about the Grand Park Royal Resorts is that they’re also extremely kid- friendly. If you’re looking for a resort in Cozumel with a kids’ club, Grand Park Royal has got you covered. In addition to the water park, the kids’ club was also recently rebuilt and expanded.
Just like the other kids’ clubs at Park Royal and Grand Park Royal resorts, the Kids’ Club in Cozumel has a variety of games and play areas. The highlight is the signature play structure and ball pit. There’s also an area with a teepee and other places for kids to play and lounge. Additionally, the kids’ club at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel has a variety of games. And you can’t beat the Disney movies on repeat!
Kids must be between the ages of 5 and 12 to be dropped off at the kids’ club. If your children are younger than 5, they’re still able to play. A parent just needs to be present the entire time. We played in the kids’ club with our son a few times and it’s the perfect break from the sun. Claudia, who runs the kids’ club, was also amazing with kids of all ages while we were there.
Babysitting at Grand Park Royal
If you’re looking for babysitting in Cozumel during your trip, Grand Park Royal also offers in room babysitting for guests. The babysitters are staff members of the kids’ club. (They also have the necessary pediatric first aid certifications to give you peace of mind!) Onsite babysitting is a great feature if your kids aren’t old enough to be dropped off but you still want some alone time. Babysitting at the Grand Park Royal in Cozumel is available for an additional fee. Note: Babysitting must be arranged 24 hours in advance.
The Food at Grand Park Royal Luxury Resort in Cozumel
The food at Grand Park Royal is very similar to other Mexican all-inclusive resorts I’ve been to in the past. Between the buffet, sit down restaurants and quick service options, there are several places to choose from throughout the day. Below is the rundown of breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Grand Park Royal.
Breakfast at Grand Park Royal Cozumel
Just like the other resorts in the Park Royal family, the buffet at Grand Park Royal included a variety of Mexican influenced dishes. In addition to Mexican fare, breakfast includes a variety of fruits, cheeses and baked goods throughout.
If you’re not in the mood for a full buffet breakfast, you can also grab an espresso along with pastries and donuts at Cafe Sole. We also loved Cafe Sole for the gelato ice cream available all day long!
Lunch Options at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel
Lunch is available at the buffet or one of two snack stands. One of the snack stands is located right in the center of the main pool, and the other is at the infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean Ocean. The snack bars include foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, quesadillas and fries. Our toddler loved being able to eat lunch without having to leave the pool area. El Caribeno also offers an awesome lunch menu for guests over 12 years of age. I had a chance to have a toddler-free meal there one day. The seafood tostadas and fish tacos were amazing.
One of my only complaints about the resort is that lunch at the buffet only opens at 1pm. That makes it somewhat challenging if you’re visiting with children who are on an earlier eating schedule. Thankfully, the snack bars made up for that!
Dinner at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel
Unlike some all-inclusive resorts where you need to “fight” for the best dinner options, you do not need to make reservations for dinner at Grand Park Royal. Dining is available on a first come, first serve basis. The restaurants are all well sized for the resort, so long waits are uncommon. The buffet serves a variety of meals with a nightly theme. We did not have a chance to try the buffet for dinner. We ate dinner at the Mexican restaurant, however, and it served a number of yummy local dishes. If you’re dining with kids, the Mexican restaurant also offers a kids’ meal with a variety of options.
Adults and children 12 and older also have the option of eating at additional restaurants for dinner. Both El Italiano and El Caribeno are available for adults and older children for dinner. El Caribeno is a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Caribbean ocean, and it definitely has a more fine dining feel.
Note: Similar to most all-inclusive resorts, men must wear long pants, shirts with sleeves and closed toed shoes to dinner.
Quick Service Meal Options
There are several snack bars available at Grand Park Royal Cozumel throughout the day. These are great additions that make Grand Park Royal so family-friendly.
- Bikini Snack Bar in the main pool from 11:30pm- 6pm
- Snack Bar El Marlín Azul by the oceanside pool from 11am- 6pm
- Cafe Sole for espresso, gelato and pastries from 7am- 11pm
Additionally, there are a handful of bars at the Grand Park Royal Cozumel, including a sports bar.
Additional Features of the Grand Park Royal Cozumel
- There’s a market on the resort with souvenirs and other items you may need.
- Grand Park Royal has a fitness center available at no charge. Plus there’s also a spa available for an additional fee.
- Local vendors from Cozumel are set up by the main pool on a daily basis.
- Guests of the Grand Park Royal have access to the Royal Shopping Village directly from the resort. With your bracelets, you can even get a discount at certain shops.
- Looking for the best resort day pass in Cozumel? Grand Park Royal offers day passes available for cruisers, and it’s a great place to relax in a tropical oasis. For more information on day passes at Grand Park Royal Cozumel, contact the resort toll free at 1-800-215-8800.
Ready to book the Grand Park Royal in Cozumel? Head here for more information on rooms and availability. We’re happy to answer any questions you have in the comments as well!
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