The best all-inclusive family holidays in the Caribbean
This year may have given us plenty of precious family time, but not so many adventures. If you are ready to plan a fun-filled holiday for next year, we know the best spots in the Caribbean where you can go wild with your family ‘bubble’.
Finding a holiday to excite everyone is no small task. From a pyjama party and spa treatments for kids to a skydiving simulator and swimming with wild turtles, we’ll create a family holiday you’ll always remember.
NB: Some facilities and activities may currently be unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Take on the Tarzan swing
This award-winning all-inclusive hotel in Jamaica feels like a small hotel but packs a punch when it comes to keeping your family entertained. Melia Braco Village Hotel has private beaches, amazing dining in six restaurants and its own adventure park. There’s a kids’ club for 5-12 year-olds, a football pitch, basketball courts and a babysitting service. Those over six years old (including adults) can take on the obstacle course’s Tarzan swing and 320-foot zip line over the wildlife pond; climb up the 35-foot rock wall; and bounce on the trampoline court. Top this with a beach buggy cart serving fresh pineapple and coconut; and evening entertainment that includes live music, fire eaters and a Friday-night Jamaican street party.
Anyone for mini golf?
The shallow bay at The Verandah Resort & Spa is perfect for little ones looking to cool off and splash around in the sunshine. Challenge the kids to a round on the 18-hole mini golf course, enjoy a barbecue on the beach and encourage your children to make the most of kids’ club activities such as nature trails, art classes, an indoor play area and an adventure playground. Slides, a splash pool and climbing frames will see them through to dinner time, where you can relax as a family listening to live music. The kids’ club is open to potty-trained children over two years old and teens can have their own space, with dedicated discos and karaoke nights.
Swim with turtles
Can you imagine swimming in the ocean with your family and seeing turtles? It’s a real possibility at Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels, an award-winning hotel on Barbados’ famous Turtle Beach, where these adorable creatures can often be found in the clear water. Wake up in your suite and spend the day paddleboarding or having a kayaking lesson with the Aqua School. The Flying Fish Kids’ Club can tempt your children with Bajan cooking classes, Calypso dancing and steel pan lessons, followed by themed parties and film nights with popcorn. You can choose from four à la carte restaurants but our eyes are drawn towards the ice-cream parlour, offering tempting cones and sundaes. If you want to explore, lively St Lawrence Gap is within walking distance.
Free tennis lessons
St James's Club Morgan Bay Saint Lucia is perfect for a family holiday. You can spend time in the children’s pools and let the little ones burn off steam in the playgrounds. Activities here include nature walks, tie-dying, sandcastle building, kids’ pilates, cookery classes, movie-star makeovers and beach games. Budding Andy Murrays can even take a daily complimentary tennis lesson. As night falls, four to 12-year-olds can also enjoy a mini disco, karaoke and movies until late. There are six restaurants to choose from and the Sunset Bar and Lounge hosts the weekly beach party night, where you can listen to a steel band under the moonlight while stilt walkers, fire eaters and acrobats show off their skills.
A huge waterpark and surf simulator
Mealtimes are always fun at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. This beachfront wonderland has a whopping 21 restaurants, with family favourites including Dino’s Courtyard Bistro, serving burgers, hot-dogs and ice-cream; and Bobby Dee’s, an American-style diner set on a swashbuckling pirate's island. Spend time with the kids in the resort’s huge waterpark, which features a surf simulator, thrilling waterslides and swim-up soda bars. Child-only diversions include a kids’ camp, Xbox® Play Lounge, teen disco and the chance to meet their favourite Sesame Street® characters.
Dance lessons with Z Crew
Set within the grounds of the historic Rose Hall plantation, the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall hotel is ready to help your children burn off energy. There’s a kids’ club with a games room, playground and educational activities designed for children aged 3-12 years old; and they can join in with the beach sports, arts and crafts and evening pyjama parties. The beach and pools have waiter service; and the lively activities pool is where the kids can join the Z Crew for a dance lesson or games.
We’ll help you choose the right room for your family, with swim-up rooms and suites with butler service are available. The seven restaurants, six bars and room service are all included, from sweet treats and fresh coffee at Grindz to a Brazilian steakhouse and English classics at Union Jack’z (perfect for fussy eaters). The evenings are also bursting with entertainment, from a Michael Jackson theme night, talent show or circus show to a party on the beach.
Our top picks in Mexico
Fine dining with the kids
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen is one of our most popular family hotels – and for a good reason. Set in a pretty bay not far from Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue, this all-inclusive hotel is a luxurious retreat for families with an many restaurants included in the price of your holiday. The restaurants’ design is ultra-modern and it’s an amazing chance to experience fine dining while still feeling welcomed as a family.
There are four pools, including a dedicated children’s one with a pirate ship, water jets and slides. There’s a supervised kids’ zone offering craft and cooking sessions, piñata parties, pool parties and talent nights, plus evening shows such as a production of The Lion King or a Disney Princesses Show. Your little ones can enjoy a treasure hunt with a group of pirates or a mini Olympics session; and there is also an adventure area with a climbing wall and bungee trampolines.
Teenagers can enjoy kayaking, DJ lessons and a games room stocked with PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Upgrade to a Family Concierge Room and you can order a games console to your room, plus the minibar is stacked with kids’ drinks and snacks. You’ll also have use of an exclusive pool and a family butler to help with anything you need.
Discover Mayan ruins
Inject a little culture into your family holiday at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa. This beachfront retreat is close to the famous Tulum ruins, where your children can enjoy the ultimate history lesson: discovering the fascinating world of the ancient Mayan civilisation. The learning continues at the Mayan-themed Explorer’s Club for Kids, while there’s also a brand new state-of-the-art waterpark and activities including dance lessons, beach volleyball and big-screen movies on the beach. The hotel is also close to Xel-Ha ecological park, where you can snorkel among coves and cenotes; and try the aquatic zip-lines. When you crave a slower pace, book a soothing treatment in the spa, which offers special kids’ and teens’ treatments.
Free entry to Xcaret Eco Park
One of the best things about choosing to stay at Hotel Xcaret in Mexico’s Riviera Maya is that your family get free unlimited access and transport to the region's best theme parks – such as Xcaret Eco-archaeological Park, where kids can explore the jungle on water slides and hanging bridges. You can also enjoy complimentary tours of historical sites such as Tulum and Chichen Itza.
This luxurious all-inclusive hotel has a beautiful setting between the lush jungle and the Caribbean Sea, and you’ll find plenty to keep little ones entertained, including dedicated family areas, a jungle training circuit and a water playground. Dine in family-friendly restaurants and later relax in your beautiful suite.
This feature was published on 29 June 2018. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print.