The Good Family Hotel Guide 5. The Reef Club, Cozumel, Mexico
Saturday 17 July 1999
Low-rise thatched bungalows surround two freshwater pools, one of which has a kids' section. Hammocks on the beach set the scene which is simple, laid-back and friendly.
It's on the white-sand, San Francisco beach, which is one of the largest on the Isla de Cozumel just east of the Yucatan Peninsular - where beaches usually come second to scuba-diving.
Children's indoor playground (there can be heavy showers on summer afternoons) and free Kids' Club for 4-12s. Gym, table-tennis and free tennis tuition, and non-motorised watersports. There's a free scuba-diving lesson in the pool for older children and for horse-mad kids, free riding every day is a big bonus. Less macho pursuits include painting your own ceramics, hair plaiting and chilli-making.
A choice of buffet, Mexican, Italian or a la carte snacks around the pool - on an all-inclusive basis.
Out and about
San Miguel, the colourful, trendy little local capital - a 20 minute drive away - offers good shopping and more genuine local fare. Chankanaab National Park (10 minutes) is a natural aquarium where you can snorkel among gaudy fish. Premier-league excursions - by boat or air - from the hotel include Tulum, a beautiful Mayan city which is next to a beach where the kids can cool off. Chichen Itz, the most important site, is a gruelling day's excursion - leave the children behind until they're teenagers.
One week's all-inclusive from pounds 745-pounds 965 per person; two weeks from pounds 1,079- pounds 1,319. From Thomson Holidays (0990 502399).
The Reef Club, Carretera Costera Sur, Km12.9 Azona Hotelera Sur, Cozumel. Tel: 00 52 98 74 36 24
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