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It seems like no Mexico beach resort is complete without a children’s program. But while keeping the little ones happy on vacation is certainly important, any parent with an adolescent child knows that an unhappy teenager can result in an unpleasant trip.
Luckily, an increasing number of all-inclusive Mexico beach hotels have made it a goal to satisfy the sometimes-difficult demands and constantly evolving interests of teenagers. Private spaces, in the form of teen clubs and lounges, allow growing kids to feel independent from their families and enjoy activities designed just for them — and it’s no surprise that technology, video games, music and sports are key components of these programs.
Among the teen-friendly options on Mexico’s Caribbean coast is Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, home to a teen lounge called Wired that’s well stocked with arcade and video games, Internet access and large television screens. Both Iberostar Playa Mita and Iberostar Paraiso Maya have a teen club with organized day activities as well as a teen disco for supervised after-dark fun. At Azul Sensatori Hotel, teens can stay active at Extreme Breeze Teens Club or de-stress at the on-site Vassa Spa, which offers treatments for kids age 5 to 17, including facials designed for adolescent complexions.
The new Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, which opened in June, has a teen arcade with a movie theater and also offers experiences designed to connect generations, such as the Mom and Daughter Milkshakes and Manis treatment. And the Barcelo Maya Beach resort, which recently wrapped up an $80 million renovation, has unveiled a new teen disco where night owls can dance the night away — at least, part of it.
On the Pacific coast, teen-friendly properties include Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, which offers Black & White Junior Club, a venue that’s big on video games and computers, as well as water sports including diving lessons; the property also has a teen disco. At Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, teens can test their video game skills at Nunutzi Games Room, which is named after the Huichol word for youth.
Grand Velas Resorts, which operates properties in the Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit, offer high-tech teen lounges. Teen hangouts feature classic games, such as billiards and air hockey, as well as individual cubicles for playing video games. Nighttime options include a dance club, which has disco-worthy lighting and a karaoke system with some 45,000 songs in multiple languages. Young adults also have access to a bar that serves a variety of soft drinks and snacks (all included in the daily room rate).
Additionally, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit offers mother-daughter spa treatments. During the warmer months, a summer camp provides even more activity options for teen vacationers at Grand Velas Resorts, including Maya arts and crafts and “Summer Olympics” competitions.
The all-inclusive Now Resorts & Spas — which has three resorts in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta — are home to the Core Zone. The club is open to kids between 13 and 17 years of age, with activities including air hockey, ping pong, water activities, video games, basketball, after-dark weekly bonfires and dance parties.
Of course, amenities designed for grown-ups can sometimes appeal to teenage travelers as well. At Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta for example, teens can explore their fascination with a feature called Sound Of Your Stay, a free music amenities program that provides guests with a code to download one of three playlists, each of which represents a different aspect of the Hard Rock brand.