The kids’ smiles widened as they looked over the map. “We get to do all this today?!” they asked in disbelief. This was the wonderful start to our amazing day at Playa Mia Grand Beach Resort and Water Park.
Cozumel has its fair share of beach clubs and beach resorts along the western coast, and we spent a good amount of time upon arriving here figuring out which ones would be best for our family. As we had been planning to visit a water park before our abrupt departure from Merida, Playa Mia caught our attention due to its kids’ water park, water slides, paddle boat and kayak rentals, along with its prime beach access. We liked that all these activities were included in the admission price, compared to other beach properties that have free admission but expect you to keep buying round after rounds of drinks and food, and make you pay for all the extras.
We decided to arrive right at the beach club’s opening to try to make the most of all the recreation options, and that ended up being a wise decision. We had a lot to keep us busy, starting with the Buccaneer’s Bay Kids Pool. The Younger Fives had a great time splashing in the shallow water, climbing and sliding down the pirate-themed elements, and running through the water spraying at them from every angle. While more geared to kids 5 and under, Five of Hearts didn’t mind being a few years older than the rest and really enjoyed herself as well.
Before long, Five Ball and Five of Hearts spotted the towering water slide behind the kids’ pool and were determined to give it a try. After checking in with the lifeguards, and explaining that both kids were good swimmers, they got the green light to climb the stairs and zoom down the water slide. They didn’t have much competition for the slide, a fact they took advantage of by sliding down again, and again, and again.
It took a lot of coaxing, but we eventually got High Five out of Buccaneer’s Bay and the other Fives away from the water slide to relax in the Oasis Pool. The crystal clear water was very inviting, and Five Ball put his recently acquired swimming skills to good use by following his siblings as they crisscrossed the pool trying to make their way all the way around and back to where they started.
Soon the beach and Caribbean called to us, and we headed to the watercraft area to take a paddle boat and kayak out for a spin. The staff was very friendly and safety-conscious as they ensured we all had a properly fitting life jacket and helped us get the vessels into the water. The gentle waves made getting around an adventure, but even with the Younger Fives at the helm we had no problems staying in the enclosed area or making it back to shore.
We (at least the Older Fives) needed a little break next, so we walked down the beach to the enclosed swimming area and let the waves lap at our feet as the kids played in the surf. The swimming area is also just inshore from the Floating Park, and we watched as others bounced on the floating trampoline and ascended the Giant Aquatic Iceberg. We had read some reviews that getting out there was a bit of a chore, so when the kids asked about giving it a try we were a bit hesitant. However, we had to admit it did look like a blast, and we found out from the staff that kids were welcomed out on the Floating Park as long as their parents accompanied them. Nothing stopping us now, we were all fitted with life jackets and headed out for the short swim ahead of us.
Photo from Playa Mia (alas, our camera is not waterproof)
Having the life jackets on was great, as we could more or less drift and not have to worry about treading in the water. The kids were not content to drift, however, and they soon zoomed ahead and were pulled up onto the Floating Park by an awaiting staff member. We had the entire floating playground to ourselves and lost all track of time as we bounced on the trampolines, climbed the inflatable iceberg, zoomed down the slide into the water, and raced on the obstacle course. For something we were not even planning on doing, this turned out to be our favorite part of the day. When we eventually and reluctantly swam back to shore we were certainly tired, but the smiles stayed on our faces even after we were back on firm ground.
We quickly noticed everyone gathering in the dining tent, and finally became aware that some dark clouds were making an appearance, albeit briefly. Taking it as a sign, we moved our backpacks into the tent as well and had lunch. As our admission included the buffet, we scanned the buffet line and were pleased to find quite a few vegan options. We soon were ravenously enjoying chips and salsa, fruit salad, and french fries as the staff conducted several games inside the tent and gave away prizes to keep people’s minds off the rain.
By the time we finished lunch the clouds passed, and we decided to wrap up our day back at the Oasis Pool / Buccaneer’s Bay / water slide area. The kids still had plenty of energy for pirate ship water canons and Twin Twister water slides, but the Older Fives were content to lounge in the pool and unwind. We had the good fortune to get the kids eventually back into the main pool for some more family swimming and relaxing in the submerged lounge chairs. As the time of our departure crept up there were some minor meltdowns, but we took that as a sign of a day well spent. We managed to keep our eyes open for the cab ride home, but it was certainly an early night to bed after all of our adventures that day.
Fives’ Facts about Playa Mia Grand Beach Resort
* Getting There: We caught a cab from San Miguel, and the official rate for the trip is 170 pesos for 4 people. Checking out the Official Cozumel Taxi Rate document in advance helped up keep track of what we should be paying.
* Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday.
* Admission Cost: Day passes start at $30 for adults, $25 for kids 4-11, and kids under 4 are free. This includes access to the beach, all the pools, non-motorized equipment rentals, and the Float Park. Other passes include buffet and open bar options.
* Not To Miss: The Floating Park and non-motorized water toys (paddle boats, kayaks, water bikes)
* Social Responsibility: We were impressed to see several areas around the resort that were being restored to their natural state, including a mangrove area. We also learned Playa Mia has partnerships with local charities and uses a state-of-the-art sewage treatment system to reuse water and keep the surrounding Caribbean clean.