Planning a vacation that makes everyone in your family happy can be a challenge. Every family member has different hobbies and interests, and what constitutes "fun" can be entirely different from one person to the next.
This is especially true when it comes to kids. Depending on a child's age, his or her idea of a good time could be anything from playing on a beach to sitting in the hotel room watching TV. That's why it's important to choose a hotel or resort that caters to a wide variety of age groups. When it comes to booking your accommodations, you want to seek out resorts that have children's needs in mind as a rule — not as an afterthought.
Fortunately, many resorts go out of their way to cater to families traveling with kids in tow. This is especially true in the Caribbean, where affordable, family-focused all-inclusives abound. With perks that include everything from kids clubs to secluded adult zones, these five Caribbean resorts have something to offer everyone.
In a location brimming with Sandals resorts, it can be difficult to find accommodations that aren't created exclusively with couples in mind. Luckily, the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort has something to offer both adults and children. When it comes to kids, the resort boasts a KidSpree Vacation Club that offers everything from unlimited, supervised activities like basketball and pool games, to an on-site kids pool and playground. Grown-ups in need of seclusion can relax in the adults-only pool and swim-up bar, or in the oceanfront Jacuzzi. Even better, the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay is all-inclusive, meaning that all meals and drinks are included in your room rate. Translation: No cooking. Plus, kids ages 12 and under stay for free. Pricing: Nightly rates start at $187 for a family of four.
Though the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino boasts the largest casino on the island (spanning 21,000 square feet), it also offers plenty of kid-friendly amenities like the Maho Bungalow Kids Club Program for children ages 4 to 12. While kids are participating in supervised activities at the resort, pool or beach, adults can sign up for a treatment in the Maho Serenity Spa. Plus, because the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino is all-inclusive, all meals, drinks and snacks from the resort's five on-site restaurants are in included in your room rate. Another bonus? Children 4 years and younger stay for free. Pricing: Nightly rates for a family of four start at $463.
You and your family will be in good company at Beaches Turks & Caicos: The plethora of kid-friendly amenities and activities usually steers couples in a different direction. With carefully crafted itineraries and events just for little ones, this Beaches outpost offers a balanced vacation for both parents and kids. In addition to a 45,000-square-foot, waterpark, there's also a 12-mile white-sand beach and a dance club just for teens. And since Beaches Turks & Caicos is all-inclusive, families can dine freely at any one of the resort's 20 on-site restaurants (enough variety for even the pickiest of eaters). Pricing: Nightly rates start at $776 for a family of four.
Club Med Punta Cana takes family-friendly up a notch by offering several amenities for parents with babies. Mom and dad can leave bottle warmers, baby bath tubs and even strollers at home — the resort provides all of these necessities upon request. Club Med also offers several areas just for parent and baby, including the Baby Feeding Room (includes a blender, sterilizer, microwave and refrigerator, among other amenities), and the Baby Corner, a secluded area of the Main Restaurant equipped with baby food and utensils. Meanwhile, kids as young as 4 can attend Circus School and learn to swing from a flying trapeze. Supervised kids activities, such as golf, tennis and sailing, are also included within the cost of the trip. All-inclusive room rates provide unlimited meals, drinks and snacks. Pricing: Nightly rates fluctuate seasonally. Consult the Club Med website for more information.
A member of AMReorts, Sunscape Curacao not only welcomes children, but it also caters to them as well thanks to its Unlimited-Fun package. Included in the perks are an Explorer's Club for kids ages 3 to 12, which offers activities like sand castle building, arts and crafts, movie nights and educational games. Meanwhile, teens ages 13 to 17 can retreat to the Core Zone Teen's Club, where karaoke, movies and a variety of games are provided for free. While the kids are busy, adults can soak up the sun on the beach, relax by the resort's designated quiet pool or try their luck at the on-site casino, one of the largest on the island. Pricing: Nightly rates start at $700 for a family of four.
Going on vacation with children can be easy if you choose a resort that has something to offer every member of your family. Next time you book, search for hotels and resorts that offer specific perks for all age groups.
About the author: Holly Johnson is the founder of travel website, Travel Blue Book, which covers travel experiences ranging from cruising to fine dining. Holly also writes about frugal living, travel and budgeting on her other website, Club Thrifty, and at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, Personal Capital and many other online publications.
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