Planning the best Caribbean family vacations can be a difficult task since you’ll need a resort that offers something for everyone. From your video-game-obsessed son to your spa-loving sister to your golf-obsessed father-in-law, it is tough to make everyone happy. Fortunately, there are plenty of Caribbean hotels up to the task of making everyone happy and ensuring that family Caribbean vacations are memorable for guests of all ages.
Character breakfasts and kids’ clubs. Water slides and swim-up soda bars. Summer camps under the sun and movie nights under the stars. Read on to find the best Caribbean resorts for families, from Cancun to St. Kitts, and all of the other islands where the fun never stops.
Beaches — Turks and Caicos
Sesame Street characters host themed activities. Teens have their own disco. And family suites come with multiple rooms, Xbox consoles and bunk beds. Best of all, Beaches Turks and Caicos’ 45,000-square-foot water park features slides, kiddie pools, a lazy river, swim-up soda bars, water cannons and the only surf simulator in the Caribbean.
Plus, this expansive all-inclusive is located on Grace Bay Beach, one of the best beaches in the world.
Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa — Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Family needs factor into every aspect of a stay at the all-inclusive Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa, from rooms pre-supplied with diapers to the biggest kids’ club in the Caribbean and Mexico.
But the “Play at Palladium with Raggs” children’s entertainment program really makes little ones go nuts. Catch these furry characters — based on the Raggs TV series — at weekly performances and parties, as well as at an impressive character breakfast.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort — St. Lucia
Families make a beeline for Splash, the kid-friendly section of Coconut Bay Beach Resort, an all-inclusive resort near the town of Vieux Fort.
Splash is home to CocoLand, St. Lucia’s largest water park; Zone, the Caribbean’s first paintball facility; and the Kidz Klub, boasting a play room, pirate ship, mini zip line, mini climbing wall and petting zoo. The fun continues after dark with themed nights (parades, campouts, hayrides), hosted by mascots Coco and Loco.
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa — Jamaica
When it comes to youth entertainment, the all-inclusive Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa looks to its home island of Jamaica for inspiration: Kids can participate in bobsled speed-slide races and play at Sugar Mill Falls Water Park, themed after the property’s circa-1837 sugar-cane aqueduct. Take advantage of babysitting services, the Kidz Klub and the Teen Zone, kitted out with beanbag chairs and video games.
Fairmont Southampton — Bermuda
Summer is the time to visit Fairmont Southampton, both for the optimal weather and for its seasonal Explorers Camp program, which organizes arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, beach games, bird watching and fishing, plus EnviroKids activities like beachcombing and planting a Bermuda cedar tree.
Other kid-centric amenities include a children’s pool, water slide, toddler room and arcade. Bonus: Kids 5 and under eat free when ordering off the children’s menu.
Four Seasons Resort — Nevis
At Four Seasons Resort, Nevis, enroll kids ages 3 to 9 in Camp Nevis for a cornucopia of fun, including games, local folk songs, talent shows, water sports, beach s’mores and shell hunts. The week concludes with a Family Olympics and Closing Ceremony complete with Caribbean stilt walkers and fire eaters.
For something eco-minded, children can participate in the hands-on sea-turtle education program; contact the resort for 2018 dates.
The Ritz-Carlton — Grand Cayman
Find Grand Cayman’s only water park at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, where children have a ball with gentle water slides, water nozzles, a dump bucket and hosted activities. Visit the resort during the summer to take advantage of bonus offerings like kids’ tennis, soccer, yoga and fitness classes.
Year-round, families can book eco-tours with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program, including an encounter with endangered blue iguanas, found only on Grand Cayman.
Azul Beach Resort Sensatori — Mexican Caribbean
Kids can play from dawn (breakfast with Nickelodeon characters) to dusk (movie night with popcorn under the stars) at the all-inclusive Azul Beach Resort Sensatori.
In between, children’s activities range from cooking classes, crafts and a spray-ground to gymnastics in the Azulitos Playhouse, outfitted with My Gym equipment. Tip: Save suitcase space by taking advantage of the hotel’s toy-lending library.
Panama Jack Resort Cancun, Mexico
Panama Jack Resort — Cancun, Mexico
Kids stay free through December 20 at Panama Jack Resort Cancun, a new all-inclusive resort (formerly the Gran Caribe Real), smack in the center of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The beachfront high-rise, which opened in December 2017, offers 458 suites, including 40 that sleep two adults and three kids, and offer direct access to the kids’ club, Camp Jack, from the terrace.
A whopping 13 restaurants and bars serve up something for everyone (try the Mexican at Casa De Rosa) and you can work off the calories during a Zumba class on the beach or in the fitness center. Teens are taken care of with the #Hashtag program of activities (think video game competitions and hangouts) while Camp Jack’s pirate-themed water park, mini golf and science and fashion rooms keep the younger set occupied.
Riu Dunamar, Costa Mujeres, Mexico
Riu Dunamar — Costa Mujeres, Mexico
Riu’s latest Caribbean all-inclusive opened December 2017 just north of Cancun on Costa Mujeres, an area that’s poised to become the city’s next hotel hub. The beachfront resort offers 740 rooms, including several family suites with two bedrooms, a living room and two bathrooms, accessed through a single entrance.
Beyond the resort’s slice of the 6-mile-long beach, guests of all ages will enjoy Splash Water World’s massive waterslides, while little ones can wade at Riuland’s splash park, complete with a pool, fountains and mini slides. Access to the waterpark and Riuland is included; children under three stay free; and kids ages 4 to 12 are half price.
Park Hyatt St. Kitts, St. Kitts
Park Hyatt — St. Kitts
Park Hyatt’s first resort in the region debuted November 2017 on the Southeast Peninsula with views of sister island, Nevis (just 3 miles away) that are as compelling as the resort’s features. Chic suites are decorated in a refreshingly contemporary style, and some of the 126 rooms have their own oceanview plunge pools.
The cuisine is top-notch, leaning heavily on local ingredients and cooking techniques, particularly at Fisherman’s Village, an open-air ocean-edge spot that serves lobsters fresh-caught from Kittitian waters. Wellness warriors will appreciate the Miraval Life In Balance spa, where you can take meditation classes in a replica of a colonial-era sugar mill.
And children will be fully occupied at the Island Fort kids’ club, which boasts a rock-climbing wall; basketball court; and, for when they’re tuckered out, a nap room with soundproof walls and sleeping bags.
Rosewood Baha Mar, Bahamas
The Sanctuary at Baha Mar — Nassau, Bahamas
Located at Nassau’s Baha Mar resort complex, the plush 237-room Rosewood Baha Mar opened in June 2018 on Cable Beach. Some highlights: a six-bedroom/six-bathroom villa with a private infinity pool; farm-to-table cuisine inspired by six world regions at Commonwealth; and access to Baha Mar’s casino (the Caribbean’s largest) and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
The children’s program here is particularly impressive, centered around the complimentary Chickcharnie Explorer’s Club, also shared with two other Baha Mar resorts. Here kids between 3 and 12 can take tennis and snorkeling lessons; go bird watching in the onsite aviary; and encounter stingrays, starfish and turtles in the adjacent marine observatory.
Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic
Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa — Dominican Republic
A prime location on the palm-fringed sands of Bavaro beach is just one of the perks of Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa, a family-friendly all-inclusive opened in January 2018, where 24-hour room service and high-speed Wi-Fi are included. Other amenities include some that are a first for the Canada-based hotel chain (a FlowRider wave machine and 1,200-foot-long lazy river will be big hits with the kids), as well as four-bedroom family suites that sleep up to 12 and swim-up rooms that open directly onto the pool.
Craving some adults-only time? Leave the big kids at Hangout teens’ club (where they can play video games and take kayaking lessons) and the under-12s at The Clubhouse while you sample the fare at eight no-reservation-required restaurants and nine bars.