When it comes to travelling with kids, the resort you choose can mean the difference between a fun family vacation and a disaster. I asked family travel writers for their recommendations for the best family-friendly resorts in Mexico and in the Caribbean and came up with this list of 13 fun resorts in Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica and Guadeloupe. You’re sure to find one on the list that would be perfect for your family’s next warm weather getaway!
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1. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
If you are looking for a large resort with an endless list of activities then you can’t go wrong with the Atlantis Resort located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas just a few minutes from Nassau. There’s no chance of boredom at this full-service oceanside resort whether your family has toddlers or teens!
Water babies will be in their element with the turquoise ocean waters and five miles of magnificent white sand beach, eleven pools, Splashers Water Playground for younger kids, and the 141 acre Aquaventure Water Park which includes thrilling high speed water slides with ominous names such as Leap of Faith, the Abyss and the Drop.
The resort features a number of marine habitats including The Dig and Predator Lagoon where guests can observe sharks, stingrays and other marine life. At Dolphin Cay, one of the world’s largest open-air, man-made marine mammal habitats, visitors can schedule activities that allow them to interact with dolphins, sea lions and sting rays.
There are also indoor attractions at the resort including Climber’s Rush, Atlantis Theatre, and Gamer’s Reef as well as activities for kids and separate clubs for tweens and teens to hang out in the evening without their parents.
Atlantis has more than 3,000 rooms with a variety of accommodation options, 21 on-property restaurants and a casino if mom and dad are in need of some kid-free entertainment.
Lisa Goodmurphy, Gone with the Family
2. Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
Grand Velas Riviera Maya all-inclusive resort is one of the most kid-friendly resorts I have encountered in Mexico. This resort offers two kid’s clubs and a teen club. Plus, they have mini golf and a rock climbing wall on site.
Families traveling with babies are well taken care of by the baby concierge who makes sure they have everything they could possibly need including a crib, stroller, baby bathtub, baby food, toys, bottle warmers, and more!
For parents needing an escape there’s an adults only section with a pool and beach. While parents are catered to in the adults only area, kids are having a blast over in one of the clubs!
Meagan Wristen, Mommy Travels
3. Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, Jamaica
If a family-friendly all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean is your idea of the perfect getaway then Beaches Negril might be just what you are looking for! Beaches Negril Resort & Spa is a low-rise resort located on a stretch of Negril’s Seven Mile Beach which is considered to be one of the world’s best beaches.
The white sand beach and turquoise waters are gorgeous and Negril Bay is sheltered by a reef so the waters are calm and perfect for playing with children. The 20 acre property is lush and tropical and the buildings blend in seamlessly with the surroundings.
Beaches Negril has a long list of water activities available which are all included in vacation packages such as reef snorkeling, hydro bikes, banana boat rides, waterskiing, paddleboarding and windsurfing.
Beaches also features three pools, Caribbean Adventures with Sesame Street characters, programming for kids, tweens and teens, the Scratch DJ Academy, an X-Box Play Lounge, Pirate’s Island Waterpark, and nightly entertainment.
The resort has spacious rooms and suites that are comfortable for families and nine specialty restaurants featuring a variety of cuisine plus the Café de Paris.
Beaches Resorts has gone to considerable lengths to ensure that guests of all ages have an amazing 5-star experience and since it’s an all-inclusive property, parents are free to relax and enjoy the resort with their kids without having to worry about exceeding the budget when food, drinks and activities are already included.
Lisa Goodmurphy, Gone with the Family
4. Villa del Palmar, Islands of Loreto, Mexico
The Baja peninsula offers warm Mexican hospitality and more breathtaking beauty than you can imagine. An all-inclusive family stay at the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto serves up beautiful blue waters, excellent cuisine, activities for all ages, and spacious accommodation for a fun and relaxing stay.
Loreto is a small fishing village on the east coast of the Baja California peninsula between the Sea of Cortez and the La Giganta Mountain range to the west. Established as a pueblo magico, Loreto retains authentic Mexican charm without being overrun by development.
The Villa del Palmar is well situated on its own secluded bay, about 30 minutes south of Loreto. The resort is spectacular, and includes luxury rooms of one or two bedrooms, as well as a 39,000 square foot spa. There are several restaurants serving all manner of tasty Mexican fusion food – don’t miss the amazing breakfast chilaquiles.
The hotel pools form the the shape of a giant sea turtle, and there’s a Kids Club and daily planned activities. The food and service are impeccable and the staff is very friendly. If you love stargazing, the clear evening showcases a night sky of one million stars (no light pollution here).
Loreto – “where the mountains meet the sea” – and Baja California showcase many of the best and most authentic attractions that Mexico has to offer. For the discerning traveller who has ‘been there and done that’ in Mexico before, Loreto and Villa del Palmar will be the very best of surprises.
Claudia LaRoye, The Travelling Mom
5. Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
Families looking for a relaxing, hassle free vacation with plenty to do will love Beaches in Turks and Caicos. This all-inclusive resort offers 22 different dining concepts and 758 rooms and suites across 75 acres. Kids can enjoy kids camps (for kids aged 0-17), an on-site water park, several pools, water sports, a gorgeous beach, and fabulous entertainment.
You definitely won’t have to leave the resort during your vacation, and almost everything – from transportation to and from the airport and tips – is included. It’s a great place to reconnect as a family, because you’ll be able to do so many fun activities together.
Jodi Grundig, Family Travel Magazine
6. Memories Holguin Beach Resort, Cuba
Our most recent vacation in Cuba was at Memories Holguin Beach Resort, and my kids have been begging to return ever since. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. At 11 days, it was the longest vacation we’ve taken where we stayed in just one place and, after tying up a crazy busy year of school and work and hockey and dance, we were all in dire need of a break.
The resort offers a perfect mix of lots to do or nothing to do, and that suited us all just fine. The location is great to do a bit of exploring without spending an entire day in transit. But even more than the property and the facilities, Memories’ staff are all so wonderful, we truly felt well taken care of.
Corinne McDermott, Have Baby Will Travel
7. Finest Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Finest Playa Mujeres is a family friendly luxury resort, an easy thirty minute drive from the Cancun airport. This all-inclusive property has twelve swimming pools, a two mile stretch of soft sand, twelve restaurants, an amazing kids club, and many activities to enjoy.
Children and adults of all ages will enjoy the property and the level of service and attention to detail is second to none. Families would enjoy the family suite which can accommodate up to six people or a junior suite with a private walk out to your own pool.
In addition to the kids club, there’s a kids spa, and “Imagine Rooms” next to restaurants where young children can play while parents have quiet time while they eat. Finest Playa Mujeres is a true escape for families and one everyone can enjoy.
Kirsten Maxwell, Kids are a Trip
8. Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Cancun, Mexico
This boutique all-inclusive resort is unlike any we’ve seen. It has a small, intimate feel and elevated dining options (no buffet lines to stand in here). Reserve a beach bed by the sea every day, or rent a car and explore the Mayan coastline’s ruins and eco-parks.
Amy Whitley, Pit Stops for Kids
9. Velas Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
With all-suite room configurations that include kitchenettes, plus all-inclusive dining at a mid-range price point, we found Velas Vallarta to have everything we were looking for without having to splurge. We loved dining on the sand every breakfast at the casual restaurant on the deck overlooking the beach, and the quaint town of Puerto Vallarta is close by (without putting you in the thick of the action).
Amy Whitley, Pit Stops for Kids
10. Emerald Beach Resort, St. Thomas, USVI
In a region known for the most beautiful beaches in the world, Emerald Beach on St. Thomas, USVI stands out. It has earned the coveted Blue Flag Beach certification honoring an outstanding commitment to cleanliness and conservation.
But what families will most appreciate about Emerald Beach Resort is that they can walk straight from balcony to beach. The beach offers a good mix of activities, including decent snorkeling and kayak rentals, while still being quietly relaxed.
After the beach, convenience is one of the resort’s most attractive features. It’s easy to get to from the airport, being literally down the street. And yet, once you’re on the property, it’s as if the airport were miles away. Closed to air traffic at night, you never hear the airplanes over the gentle lull of waves.
Adding to convenience is an onsite restaurant, with poolside or beach access, and comfortably unfussy rooms. There’s even an onsite boutique so you don’t even have to leave the premises for souvenirs. You may just want to stay onsite until it’s time to go home.
Sandra Foyt, Getaway Mavens
11. La Creole Beach Hotel & Spa, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is a lesser-known Caribbean destination outside of Europe but Americans and Canadians are starting to discover this group of French islands.
We spent a week at La Creole Beach Club, a boutique resort in Gossier, about 20 minutes from the airport. The pool is best for kids who can swim or stand in three feet of water. The enclosed, semi-circular beach has calm water for swimming and for non-swimming little ones to splash around.
The Ti-Moun kids club did great activities including a cooking class and was a good cultural experience. But the staff knew only a little English so non-French-speaking kids will have to be a bit intrepid.
A buffet breakfast is included and had plenty of variety (full board is an option). We ate at the property’s upscale restaurant one night and had great steak and seafood. On other nights we found good inexpensive, kid-friendly restaurants right nearby.
There is a shack with extra sand toys and non-motorized water equipment to rent. We hired jet skis there one day to take us to nearby Gossier Island, which has secluded beaches, an open-air restaurant and snorkeling.
Guadeloupe has been compared to Hawaii for its lush green landscape and its mix of beaches, volcanoes and rain forest. La Creole’s central location is handy for exploring both the beaches and towns on Grosse Terre and the amazing natural features, including the Jacques Cousteau Marine Reserve on connected Basse Terre.
Eileen Gunn, FamiliesGo
12. Ocean Club Resorts, Turks & Caicos
Splurge on relaxation, beauty and elegant simplicity with a stay on Turks & Caicos at the Ocean Club Resorts. With plenty of room for your crowd to spread out and get comfortable, Ocean Club Resorts delivers on everything you need during your stay.
Enjoy delicious, chef-made food that’s not just heated up, stay in an airy, comfortable setting close to everything that makes Turks and Caicos wonderful.
The beach at Grace Bay is everything you’ve dreamed about and will have your stress and cares sent away in no time.
Activities you’ll enjoy, food you’ll revel in, scenery you’ll remember even after you’ve gone back home, and the opportunity to make memories with those you’ve traveled with makes this resort a wonderful choice for those times when you want to get away somewhere special.
Sharon Rigney, Trekaroo
13. Royalton Splash, Punta Cana, Dominican Rebublic
When you’ve got kids coming along on vacation with you, oftentimes an all-inclusive can’t be beat for value and simplicity. Yet no one wants to sacrifice quality to save a few bucks. Fortunately at Royalton Splash, you get the best of both worlds.
This all-inclusive offers families the simplicity of having everything already built into the price so you don’t spend your vacation telling your kids to watch what they spend, yet you also get a location that’s beautiful, scenery that’s second-to-none, and amenities that will certainly satisfy. Your kids will remember the fun they had at the on-site water park, which is the largest in all of the Caribbean. Happy kids mean happy parents, so this resort is a sure winner.
Sharon Rigney, Trekaroo
Does your family have a favourite resort in the Caribbean or Mexico? Let us know in the comments below.
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