Cancun lodging recommendations

We're heading to the Yucatan in July for a friend's wedding, and are looking to spend a couple days before and after in or near Cancun.  This will be our first time in the area, and the number of lodging options is overwhelming!  We'd love suggestions for good baby friendly places to stay (it'll be me, my husband, and our 10 month old).  We're especially not sure if it's worth it to go all in and stay at one of the big name all-inclusive places, or if somewhere midrange would have a good beach and pools.  We're open to staying in Cancun, or anywhere within 30-45 min drive.

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RE: Cancun lodging recommendations ()

In the past we've stayed in Playa del Carmen with small children, it's about 30 minutes south of Cancun. We've never stayed at an all-inclusive because we like to get out and explore and try different restaurants, also we don't want to be stranded in one place. The all-inclusives are usually more remote and you need a car to get anywhere. Playa del Carmen is very walkable and there are plenty of nice mid range hotels near the beach with great pools and dozens of good places to eat nearby. The ocean isn't too rough and we have never had a bad or scary experience in Playa. FYI apparently there is an unusually large amount of sargassum ( seaweed) this year in the Yucatan - likely due to climate change. It isn't dangerous but it does stink as it decomposes on the beach.

RE: Cancun lodging recommendations ()

We stayed at Playa Akumal, rented an air b and b there, Villas Flamingo.   We had a pool, and were right on the beach.  We were able to see the baby turtles, and the folks that protect them.  This area has little shopping, and just a couple restaurants.  We ate out a couple times.    We bought our groceries, cooked for ourselves, and just enjoyed the beach.