You can configure the rooms any which way you want as long as you don't exceed max occupancy. I have had families travel together and one family of 3 or less will pick up the 3rd child from a family of 5 - "on paper only" - and then once they check in they are free to handle the sleeping arrangements any way they want. The biggest drawback of this IS space - one bathroom for 5 people is a tough one, especially when it comes to showering. But people do it and an agent can make bookings like this if asked.
Regarding this comment:
I have 3 children and one is over 13 and we have to book seperate rooms using 2 adults in each and can't get the 2nd child at the "stays free rate"
There is no guarantee that ANY child will stay free no matter how many rooms one books or how many children there are. Occasionally a certain resort will have a kids free promo but those are few and far between and typically only good during certain times of the year. Kids rates for those 12 and under are the norm but please don't think that you'll automatically be getting A
kid or kids free because it really does depend on the actual resort and if they have this promotion going.
BTW KC - IF only one
of your kids is over age 12, you should probably be booking your two rooms with 4 people in one room (2 adults/2 kids) and a single (1 adult) in the other room. Even though you'll pay a single supplement in the one room, you'll get 2 kid rates in the other and in most (but not all) cases, when you add the two rooms together, a 4+1 booking total ends up to be less than the 3+2 booking total where you'll pay 4 adult rates and only one kid rate.
As far as the villa/house/condo route...certainly up to you as long as you're willing or want to do non AI. There are plenty of condos, etc. available IN Playa but most
are not on the beach, you'd have to walk a bit depending on the actual location. Some are on the beach however (Xaman Ha is one complex) and if this is the way you want to go, you should fill out a request form on "Trip Planning" tab above and send it off to Heather letting her know what it is that you are looking for and she'll get back to you with the proper choices available to you.