The Great Parnassus Resort and Spa has several unique features which make this family-friendly resort appealing to visitors:
- since it is located only 15 min. north of the airport, it is a blessedly short trip after a potentially long flight with children in tow
- it is one of the few resorts that can sleep five to a room (with children under the age of 12)
- it has a Baby Club for toddlers as young as 18 months so that mom and dad can have some grown-up time
- it has a children’s water park (geared more towards ages 4-8)
In addition to the Baby Club, there is a Kid’s Club (ages 4-12) and scheduled teen activities and disco along with an 18-hole mini-golf course, various sports courts (soccer, tennis, basketball, and volleyball), a beachfront terraced infinity pool with non-stop daily activities, nightly shows in the theater, a lively karaoke bar which is open for children during the day and early on in the evening (it opens at 6 p.m.), and sports bar which is also open to kids and teens during the day since it has pool and foosball tables. It also doesn’t hurt that the resort is beachfront, so kids can play all day in the surf as long as the beach isn’t red-flagged and they are supervised (Hotel Zone beaches facing the Caribbean Sea are notorious for rough waters and strong currents).
Great Parnassus isn’t all about kids, though; there are several adults-only areas including the adults-only pool with two Jacuzzis and its own bar, the adults-only bar inside the hotel (Atlantis), and the adults-only restaurant, Le Maison de Michelle. NOTE: Despite what the resort website says, the separate swim-up bar area is not adults-only–at times children will overrun this area and make it difficult for adults to get a drink at the swim-up bar.
Also, adults staying at the Great Parnassus have an extra perk in that they can take a complimentary shuttle to its sister resort, Golden Parnassus (an adults-only property), to enjoy its amenities including all bars, restaurants, the pool, beach, and entertainment. The last shuttle leaves at 10 p.m.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Adults can enjoy two resorts for one price, adults-only areas, lots of child-oriented amenities including a water park, budget-friendly.
Con: Guest rooms need some renovations, WiFi $.
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 18 mos. to 17 yrs., couples who don’t mind being around children and want vacation value for their money.
No. of Rooms: 505
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, balcony/terrace, A/C, in-room safe (many are non-digital), TV, loveseat or two chairs, ceiling fan, telephone, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, bottled water, and 24-hr. room service. WiFi is an extra cost. Here is a brief rundown of room categories:
- Deluxe: King or two dbl beds. Partial ocean view.
- Family Room: King or two dbl beds and separate area with bunk beds and pull-out trundle bed. Bunk bed area has its own wall-mounted TV. Partial ocean view.
- Club Room: King or two dbl beds, in-room Jacuzzi, mini-bar, coffee maker, robe and slippers, welcome bottle of sparkling wine and fruit basket, private in-room dinner, complimentary Cancun Queen Lagoon Cruise, and access to private 10th floor club (Sanctorum) for continental breakfast. Partial ocean view.
- Sunset Suite: King bed, balcony Jacuzzi, mini-bar, walk-in closet, steam shower, coffee maker, robe and slippers, dbl sinks, welcome bottle of sparkling wine and fruit basket, private in-room dinner, complimentary Cancun Queen Lagoon Cruise, and access to private 10th floor club (Sanctorum) for continental breakfast. Lagoon view.
- Ocean Suite: King bed, same amenities as the Sunset Suite except the view is a full-on oceanfront view.
- NOTE: South-side rooms on floors 1-5 may have excessive noise due to the A/C system over at the neighboring resort, Iberostar Cancun. If you believe you may be bothered by this, ask for a room above the 5th floor or on the other side of the resort. Also, guests who do not have mini-bars in their rooms (Deluxe and Family Rooms) are given daily bottles of water; if more are desired, they must be ordered by room service (not gotten downstairs at the bars) in order to avoid an extra charge.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Four pools (main terraced infinity pool, swim-up bar pool, adults-only pool, and children’s pool in the water park), three Jacuzzi’s (two are next to the adults-only pool), mini-golf course, tennis courts, multi-sports court, children’s water park, fitness center, spa, sauna, and steam room, movie-style theater, sports bar, pool wait service, Baby Club (ages 18 mos. to 3 yrs.), Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), teen disco and scheduled activities, complimentary shuttle to the Golden Parnassus with full exchange privileges, gift shop, clothing shop, concierge, tour desk, car rental, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There is one buffet (Magnus), five a la cartes including a steakhouse (Big Ben), teppanyaki grill and sushi bar (Samurai), Italian (Porto Fino), Mexican (El Maguey), and a French restaurant which is adults-only (Le Maison de Michelle–reservations required). Other food options include a lunch buffet with kid-sized portions (Carrousel), a deli (Deli Manhattan–serves snacks overnight as well), poolside snack shack, sweet shop/crepes, and the Sanctorum–a private lounge on the 10th floor reserved for Club and Suite guests which serves a continental breakfast. There are 11 bars including a swim-up bar, poolside bar, two adults-only bars (Atlantis and the bar adjacent to the adults-only pool), lobby bar, sports bar, wine and cheese bar, karaoke bar, and beach bar.
Entertainment: Children’s water park, 18-hole mini-golf course, evening shows at the theater, karaoke, live music.