Exploring the Best Family-Friendly Beach Resorts in the Caribbean

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The most comfortable and welcoming of the best family-friendly beach resorts range from St. Thomas’s Bolongo Bay, with its casual spa and well-shaded play area, to the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, in Mexico, where families receive a royal welcome, sprawling accommodations, and personal concierges. These beach resorts all have a “family-friendly” reputation. What this means is that, while they do welcome children, they also offer a stylish setting that resonates with parents. Some offer activity agendas requiring substantial adult participation. Others have extensive facilities for children, and even a kids club the kids can’t wait to get back to.

If you’re planning a family beach vacation in the Caribbean, you’re going to want to pick a resort that not only has a beautiful beach, but also one that offers family-friendly amenities and accommodations. The following family-friendly beach resorts in the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic not only provide the space families need, but they’re also teeming with activities for the kids to partake in, as well as options for parents to enjoy a little relaxation. The best family-friendly beach resorts stand out for the extra comfort and personalized attention they extend to post ankle-biters and the nonagenarians themselves.

Defining Family-Friendly Resorts

Discover the best solution for your family by exploring the meaning of family-friendly resorts, see what species are included under the umbrella of family-friendly resorts, determine how they differ from kids camps, identify what age ranges (infant, toddler, school-age) family-friendly resorts accommodate, and view additional options for finding these properties. Once you have identified the types of family-friendly resorts, consider other ways to find and rate these resorts that provide kid fun for all. Your Caribbean family-friendly vacation is just around the corner and you can feel more secure that you have found the perfect place to stay.

One of the hottest trends in family travel is the all-inclusive resort. There are many of these properties throughout the Caribbean; however, one prevailing question is whether all-inclusives actually cater to children or if they have joined the family travel bandwagon simply as a result of changing market trends. How can you tell the kid-welcoming, kid-toting, kid-loving places ready for the kids to play?

Importance of Family-Friendly Amenities

There are many possibilities for family vacation resorts that offer activities for all family members, regardless of what kind of vacation experience you are searching for. Most significant providers have unique clubs dedicated to making your children ecstatic while you enjoy some quality vacation time. From toddlers and small children to tweens and kids, fun activities and programs are available for numerous age groups. While mom and dad bask in cherished alone time, children can participate in a range of activities and programs. In addition, the resorts have several services and features geared toward making families extremely relaxed and pleased rather than only developing a wellbeing facility. There are many possibilities for family vacation resorts, which offer activities for all family members, regardless of the type of vacation experience you are looking for. Food and entertainment tailored to children can energize your kids, toddlers, as well as teens, as well as offer babysitting and nannies. Large family rooms and suites are available for families who need extra space, but adjoining rooms are also available. Enjoying family-friendly amenities on your family vacation is no longer a myth; it is now an easy task with the options that are available to all types of families.

Finding family-friendly hotels and resorts has never been easier. These resorts offer special pricing, enrichment activities, excursions, and recreational amenities to make sure you and your family enjoy your vacation. Most family-friendly resorts have kids’ club activities. These activities are centered around toys, books, games, and PS3, with special amenities like swimming pools and games to ensure that mom and dad have fun too. The staff then escorts children on fun adventures barely inside the hotel, so everyone can enjoy time alone. In addition to babysitting services or kids’ clubs, the following are some typical resort amenities: non-motorized water sports, such as kayaking, jet skiing, sailing, and paddle surfing, are also available. The children’s pool and water park is a safe and entertaining environment for kids to splash. Tween and teen clubs encourage older children to make new acquaintances. Spa treatments for children. Night bases eliminate the need to bring your kids with you, allowing you to have a private meal. Activity areas for families. Hotel room and package offerings. Digital games and Wi-Fi are entertainment options if nothing else catches their attention. Personalized services provide enjoyment and enrichment for children. Lodging options with adjoining rooms. High Soars nightclub, cinema, video game paradise, barbecues, tropical beverages, and more can all be found. With new fishing trips, the whole group can bring home fresh catches. In addition to age-specific offerings, there are day-long or nighttime entertainment options. Room service and mealtime daycare are not limited to children. Infants are given special treatment with different crib sizes. In-room baby amenities such as diapers, blankets, baby-friendly toiletries, baby monitors, strollers, bottle warmers, and bottle sterilizers. High-quality dining options go beyond the standard children’s menu to provide a global dining experience. High chairs and boosters are available on request. With 24-hour access to these amenities whenever you need them, parents can rest easy.

Choosing the Perfect Family-Friendly Beach Resort

It’s important to decide what’s most important to your family before you start planning. One ideal location most family vacationers are always interested in is the beach. All of these great family resorts provide families with the most important thing you need in the Caribbean – incredible beaches. You’ll have choices of active beaches with fun water sports or beaches where kids can wade right into the calm, warm Caribbean waters. If tennis and non-motorized water sports are important to you, look for a resort that offers them as included amenities. If you’d prefer a mellow, romantic atmosphere, avoid large resorts that encourage loud music and activities to keep guests entertained. High-quality children’s programs and private nannies are key elements that families look for when picking the best family resorts.

The Caribbean is an incredible destination for families with kids in tow, as it offers all-inclusive resort options, gentle soft-sand beaches, delicious dining options, and activities perfect for multiple ages. Finding the perfect place for your brood can be tricky, especially in the sea of all-inclusive mega-resorts in popular destinations such as Jamaica and Punta Cana. However, since there are also a number of smaller, quieter resorts that cater to families. Many are on spectacular, deserted beaches, which are often far more scenic than their crowded counterparts on the larger islands.

Factors to Consider

• Family-friendly accommodations – Holiday lodgings should be cozy and comfortable yet durable. A living room or separate area for children to enjoy gives parents and other adults privacy. Consider semi-private or long-term villa lodging to accommodate multi-generational families.

• Direct beach access – Right out your door, you should be able to walk; does the beach’s soft sand and calm waves form an enjoyable open stretch?

• Dining options – Both large and small kids become hungry with little notice, so family beach rentals should have several restaurant choices that are open at various hours. Does the resort have a full-service supermarket for securing your family’s favorite things to eat and drink?

• On-site kids’ activities – Oftentimes, resort-based childcare services will take care of your children while you take a break. Little children ages 4 and over are best served if their programs take place indoors under trained, professional care.

Choosing a family-friendly beach resort is not as simple as picking a hotel with a pool and other high-energy children gathered around. To help you find the best beach vacation rental for your family, look for these key features:

Top Features to Look For

So, first things first – contrast. As kids would say, evolving away from the monitor with glazed pupils, that transparency makes all the difference. The water should be turquoise and white sand beaches cannot be disputed. If the images captured do not have the two ‘must-have’ Caribbean beach attributes – rich turquoise water and white sand, skip over the selection. There are too many other clues to reference to spend time on these hidden beach paradises. The next observation to hone in on is what directly surrounds the beach and the resort. Resorts are not the only bountiful treasures in the Caribbean. What makes the perfect beach resort is whether the beach and/or borders of the resort are pristine. Unique and protected wildlife, beyond an ordinary palm tree flora and fauna, should be evident. What this does is provide, when lying underneath the beach umbrella’s shade, another dimension to investigating the amazing beauty that is provided by the shade of the Prince of Denmark (in no particular order). The other must-have in the corner of one’s eye is to ensure that it’s a private beach. Reservations need to be verified to ensure exclusivity as well as the privilege of the little ones making sand castles. It’s not child’s play – politely elbow the resort general manager to ensure one can specify, such as immediately what the Waldorf Astoria in Puerto Rico lists as the “Deluxe Beach Front” room twenty feet from the water’s edge’.

With so many beach resorts to choose from in the Caribbean, it can be overwhelming to start the decision-making process. The best way to virtually explore which beaches are perfect for your family? Pictures. If we still lived in a world without the internet, the pictures would be the only point of reference and fortunately, finding high-quality, professional images of beach resort accommodations in the Caribbean is not too difficult. Using the same requirements that I use as a parent to seek and discover the best of the best, one can benefit when their decision has been narrowed down to final selections and reservations need to be made; the existing reservations verified.

Top Family-Friendly Beach Resorts in the Caribbean

There isn’t really anything you won’t find at this beachfront place, from free snorkeling to free childcare for tots, and the relaxed, family-friendly vibe is unbeatable. Hands down, this is the best choice for families on St. Thomas. Condo suites — one and two bedrooms — have full-size kitchens, private terraces, and either beachfront or ocean views. And there’s always something happening at the resort: nightly steel-pan performances, a blast of a Welcome Home Party, a well-loved sea turtle education program, snorkeling among schools of fish, and a range of activities from cooking classes to mini-golf. Dine right on the sand, in the library, or under the stars — wherever the family’s whims take them. Oh, and Wee Escape Baby equipment service helps keep the luggage light.

All-inclusive and supremely family-friendly, the 355-room Franklyn D. Resort is a laid-back beach hotel with the must-have perks for families who want to spend time together: a kiddie pool, activities like snorkeling, sailing, and horseback riding; a playground; and an entire Kidz vacation plan. Each family is assigned their own nanny who focuses on children and what they need. Babysitting is also available in the evenings. Guests (who are mostly returnees) also love the service and how well the staff remembers them. The 214-room Beaches Negril Resort & Spa crams in more amenities than its sister property to the east, from three pools, water slides, and beach-side hot tubs to great restaurants, bars, and cocktail lounges. And because the hotel targets families, adult behavior is left to the adults-only sister property next door.

Resort 1: Name and Overview

The Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is the first among a few Hyatt properties in Montego Bay. The Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is geared towards families with kids and provides a true all-ages-friendly environment. Both kids and adults will find adequate pools and beach space, extensive kids programs with family activities, and kids clubs offering a wealth of free babysitting and a rare kids spa, and the brand’s signature wellness packages for guests. The good accessibility of the property is another benefit, with three outdoor bars, nine in situ diners, a fitness space, a complete spa, and a coffee shop in a wide area. There are also daily events in this special place. Still, given the large size of beach areas and number of rooms, the search for the beaches and loungers can be lengthy if you do not look early in the morning. The different housing and the inconsistent quality are also worth noting.

Resort 2: Name and Overview

Its remote location ensures that no other buildings can be seen in the area, which is an important part of Caneel Bay’s charm. The resort has seven white-sand beaches all within walking distance of each other, where guests are certain to find a quiet, peaceful spot for basking in the sun or enjoying the various watersports and activities the resort provides. There are 166 luxurious accommodations divided into 7 prestigious settings. These historic sugar mill rooms are perfect for honeymooners or those seeking the rustic charm of the Caribbean. At the heart of the resort, the reception, lounge, and dining complexes are airy and spacious and feature shimmering outside pools. Staff quickly learns the names of all guests and prides itself on being friendly, polite, and enchanting. The club activities for the little kids are a godsend for parents seeking a little private relaxation. The Turtle Town and Scott Beach are what childhood memories are made of – calm, private, and sparkling with delights. A trip to Caneel Bay Resort is all about total relaxation and catching up with loved ones. The lack of electronic stimulants means that families are forced to communicate with each other, exchange their thoughts, and generally renew their bond. The only thing in danger of being over-stimulated here is your appetite. Caneel covers that base with casual and refined cuisine all served in locations that are a meal unto themselves. It all adds up to creating the most perfect of family retreats. The Caneel Bay Resort is enriched with natural discoveries that are exciting and fulfilling. In a quiet and unobtrusive place overlooking the sea, this is nature at its best ready to enfold the best family times with a spirit of Caribbean fun.

Resort 2: Sprawled over 30 acres of a secluded, 1,500-foot-long white-sand beach, the Caneel Bay Resort is a haven of natural tranquility in the hustle and bustle of the modern world. The resort’s founder, Laurance Rockefeller, first visited this unspoiled beauty in 1952. He spent three years determining how the resort would best fit into this unspoiled natural location. Since its opening day on February 16, 1956, Caneel Bay Resort has been meticulously maintained and preserved against interference from the stresses and strains of the 20th century. The rooms are air-conditioned, but without television or telephones. Everything is natural here. Due to national park restrictions and the resort’s desire to conserve the natural surroundings, no new buildings are permitted, so Caneel Bay has been dodging the effects of commercialization.

Activities and Entertainment for Families

There should also be some grown-up activities available if you need a little bit of alone time. From spas, golf, and tennis to a casino, evening entertainments, and shows, there should be the possibility of a little bit of time together or just alone to recharge those batteries. A trip to the spa could also provide the perfect treat for busy grandparents, giving the whole family the chance to return home relaxed and rejuvenated.

The Caribbean beach holiday isn’t just for lying on the beach. When choosing a family-friendly resort, parents want to know that they’re going to get the relaxation that they deserve, but they also want to know that there is plenty of fun on offer for the kids. The best family-friendly Caribbean resorts offer crèches, kids’ clubs, and child-appropriate activities, making it as fun a holiday for the kids as it is for the grown-ups. You can choose to let them enjoy themselves with the friendly and dedicated staff, leaving you free to relax, or spend some quality time with them, enjoying the special moments that make a family holiday so special.

Water Sports and Adventure Activities

You’ll enjoy some much-needed “me-time”. You know your kids are having a blast in a safe, supervised environment. Many resorts have teen programs that include adventure trips. It also means you can have that romantic dinner or go to a spa. Or perhaps you’ll join an excursion geared towards your personal interests while your kids are safely and happily entertained by professionally trained resort staff. Travel with boys and you are interested in getting them away from the Xbox? Ask about the availability of activities focusing on life and survival skills like tying fishing knots, making fire without matches, or camping. Is fishing important to your family? Resorts can arrange a number of fishing options including deep-sea, shallow water casting, or fly fishing. Do your research – don’t suppose that all those water sports activities will be included in your room rate. Fees for some activities can add up quickly. Remember to explore alternating activities with the needs of your very young travelers.

Consider the water sports and other activities that are important to you. No one can be in the pool or on the beach all day. Look for resorts that offer water sports, snorkeling, and diving in areas renowned for their healthy, abundant marine life. Imagine the thrill of seeing turtles, rays, nurse sharks, and colorful fish in their natural habitat. Our whole family completed the included PADI Open Water Scuba Diving course at a resort on the Riviera Maya. It was an amazing, physically demanding, and rewarding experience. We plan to get certified this year and are looking for resorts where we can complete our PADI Advanced Open Water course. The benefits of many family-friendly resorts are their kids’ programs. Many organize kids’ day camps with activities like nature walks through the rainforest, children’s snorkeling safaris, or needlefish tracking expeditions. Programs can include arts and crafts, themed parties, and a wide range of children’s activities.

Kids’ Clubs and Programs

Caribbean resorts take the kids club concept to another level. The kids’ clubs in the Caribbean are amazing, and some, such as Beaches and Dreams Resorts, provide the best facilities for kids of all ages. Holiday’s kids club is divided into three, which is smart. Teens are too cool to hang out with the little kids but still appreciate a kids club of their own. Since we are talking about the Caribbean, all kinds of water sports and other water-related activities are available for both youngsters and teenagers. These include snorkeling, beach parties, beach Olympics, swimming pool, water volleyball, and a myriad of other less obvious fun in the sun experiences. Preteen activities include T-shirt tying and candle crafts, while the younger kids enjoy kite making, shell painting, and beach games. The children will stay entertained, and with lifeguards carefully supervising the beach, it is a win-win situation for everyone.

With many possible Caribbean islands to consider and knowing that the right family-friendly resort can make a great vacation, after a thorough review, we are concluding that these five are among the best and are well worth the attention of families weighing the pros and cons of their choices. In these four islands and others, the family-friendly resorts at the Westin, Beaches, St. Kitts Marriott, and the Ritz-Carlton or Rosewood Curaçao can offer families an outstanding vacation experience packed with memories of the idyllic Caribbean along with some much-needed rest and relaxation. Some additional advice and tips for a perfect family vacation in the Caribbean: The timing of booking is one of the strongest factors that can hurt the budget of a vacationer planning a stay at most of the best family-friendly resorts in the Caribbean. If possible, travel in the shoulder season to avoid the high prices and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, but before the higher summer and holiday season rates prevail. All-inclusive and food-inclusive properties are common options for families seeking a Caribbean break. At a resort where the only dining option is expensive, it becomes essential to effectively eliminate this major budget concern. It is never a waste of funds to spend money for children and family to experience a delightful island adventure!