The philosophy behind the all-inclusive holiday resort is that there are no surprises, no hidden costs, no bills run up for daily activities, kids’ clubs and the endless snacks that seem part of any family trip. Gratifyingly convenient, this one-stop approach means you pay up front and don’t have to think about it again.
Best for kicking back:
For laid-back time together – as well as time apart – Beaches Negril could be just what your family needs. Perched on Negril’s famed Seven Mile Beach there’s something for every age range: a waterpark filled with gigantic waterslides, a lazy river, kid-friendly pools and swim-up soda bars, an XBOX Game Center, mini golf, plus your kids get to share time with their favorite Sesame Street characters. The Beaches exclusive Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street includes character parades, live shows, story time with Elmo, baking with Cookie Monster and nature walks and scavenger hunts with Grover. Kids Kamp staff are specially selected for their knowledge of differing age groups and offer a huge range of ‘à la carte activities’ year round.
Best for more facilities than you can shake a stick at
Almond Beach Village (Barbados)
Finally tut-tuts are a thing of the past. Here you are welcomed (rather than punished) for bringing the kids along. Free of ‘stop’, ‘be quiet’ and ‘don’t touch that’, families have their own separate village stretching over one mile of powdery white sand beach complete with a safe, purpose-designed, kid-centric centre. Spring the kids loose at nursery (from newborn-2 years), Kids’ Club (from 3-12 years) and Teen sessions each run by trained reps. There are even separate kid’s and infant’s pools. Meanwhile make the most of your pre-paid holiday at your own pace and indulge yourselves at the child-free (no under 16s) section of the resort, including spa and watersports, 3 interconnecting pools and gourmet Italian adults-only restaurant.
Best for exotic adventure
Coconut Bay Resort & Spa (St Lucia)
Coconut Bay resides in a secluded beachfront position on St Lucia’s lush, southeast Atlantic coast, yet its just 5 minutes ride from the airport. Weary parents get to offload their offspring at CocoLand Kids’ Club for daily supervised activities (for 3-14 year olds), ranging from arts & crafts to nature hikes, boat trips to pyjama parties. Home to the island’s only water park, there are two bodyslides and a lazy river, plus huge play areas including a water-play zone. Three beautiful swimming pools complete the picture, one of them adults only, so you get to sunbathe in peace while the kids are kept busy. Catamaran cruises, zip-line rainforest adventures, “drive-in volcano” tours, and day-trips to the nearby island of Martinique are a drive away.
Best for children of all ages
Beaches (Turks & Caicos)
Beaches Resorts strive to understand what families need – then provides it. While mum and dad are hooked by the white-sand beach and turquoise sea with coral reef, top draw for the kids is an extensive range of on-land and water sports, plus fantastic Kids Kamp run by a specialised team of qualified staff. Activities and programmes are adapted to each age group. Fun is centred around the Pirates Island kid centre with a giant pirate ship, surrounded by waterfalls and water slides, Sesame Street character meet ‘n’ greets, shows and activities plus XBOX Game Oasis Interactive Zone. Two adults-only restaurants and an adults-only whirlpool mean you get space to relax while the kids are off creating havoc.
Best for escaping the crowds
The Beach Club (Antigua)
Far from the madding crowd, The Beach Club has an understated elegance reserved for pure pleasure seekers. Exclusive to Virgin Holidays’ guests, with just 72 rooms, the resort is tucked away at the laid-back southeast tip of the island. A separate wing of the popular St James’s Club Hotel, this resort provides a chance for you all to do the things you enjoy without getting under each other’s feet. Family facilities include a relaxed children’s activity programme (from 4-12 years), rooms on the beach, plus non-motorised water sports including windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling, kayaks and pedal boats. The freedom to pick and choose your own fun at one all-inclusive price keeps family life here simple but sublime.