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For one flat rate, families can find accommodations, activities, food and entertainment at all-inclusive resorts in stunning locations. Kids’ clubs are typically outstanding, making all-inclusive resorts an ideal choice for a family vacation. Accommodations vary from basic to posh depending on the resort. But one thing is for sure. All-inclusive resorts accommodate all generations. And, there’s no shortage of family all-inclusive resorts. You can find lots of tropical resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean and Bahamas. In addition, dude ranches throughout the U.S. offer more great options for your all-inclusive family vacations.
While at Club Med Sandpiper with my mom and three kids, my then 10-year-old daughter Christina was the featured star in a circus show. We had no idea she had been practicing an aerial performance in the kids’ club. I’ll always remember my shy girl beaming in the spotlight as the audience shouted “bravo!” Opportunities to experience new skills and activities is why Club Med is among the best all-inclusive resorts for families.
However, one of the best features of an all-inclusive family vacation is that they’re easy to plan. One flat price typically includes accommodations, food, activities and entertainment. In addition, off-site excursions (for a fee) provide ways to safely explore the surrounding region with a guide. From casual to luxury, here are the best all-inclusive resorts for families in locations from beaches to rivers and mountains. Are you ready to book your next all-inclusive family vacation?
TravelingMom Tip: Always check the website or call ahead to find out about Covid-19 policies at the resort, including cancellation policies. And buy travel insurance that will cover you in the event you or someone in your family gets sick.
What are the Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts in the Caribbean?
An intimate all-inclusive island getaway, the Tamarind is a 101-suite family beach resort on the platinum west coast of Barbados. Part of the Elegant Hotels collection, the Tamarind includes motorized and non-motorized water sports, themed dining, and beach and pool ambassador service. Plus, free WiFi.
For kids, the Flying Fish Kids Club features arts and crafts, baking and an introduction to Bajan culture. At Tamarind’s Teen Den, teenagers can try their hand at water-sport activities and stand-up paddleboarding at the Aqua School.
Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
From intimate to mega-sized, the Dominican Republic has numerous family-friendly all-inclusive resorts.
The family-friendly Club Med Punta Cana has a great beach location with lots of activities for all ages. Since my family’s first visit here, the resort has expanded with new accommodations and family activities. In addition to classic guest rooms, The Tiara luxury family suites feature a separate bedroom and bathroom for kids. The new Zen Oasis is a sophisticated adults-exclusive hideaway.
Club Med’s kids programs for babies through teens offer an array of land and water activities. In addition, families can experience CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, a creative playground inspired by the world-renowned acrobatic shows.
The resort’s complimentary Baby Welcome service for kids (ages 2 and younger) includes a stroller, diaper-changing mat, baby bath and a pack ‘n’ play. You must request this service in advance.
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Located on the pristine Bávaro Beach in the Dominican Republic, the five-star Grand Palladium Resort and Spa is a massive complex. The jam-packed resort has many family-friendly amenities. For example, there’s an aquatic park, several pools, a swim-up bar, and kid-friendly shows.
With numerous amenities, activities and sports, the laid-back luxury resort feels like a sprawling family camp. So sprawling, you can hitch a ride on roving golf carts and a train if you don’t feel like walking.
Dining is a treat! Options include five buffet and eight a la carte specialty restaurants that serve a variety of cuisine, including Brazilian, Spanish, Japanese and Mediterranean. A beach hut whips up tasty burgers, chicken and pizza. Plus, guests with dietary restrictions carry a Palladium Dietary Card to each restaurant so chefs can accommodate their needs.
Spacious suites pamper families of all sizes. Some suites have private Jacuzzis and lofts, others a private pool entrance. Room amenities include free WiFi, and room service.
Children’s programs for tots to teens offer age-appropriate activities. For adults, the Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness is a welcoming getaway.
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana
If your kids kids go gaga over Spongebob Squarepants and other Nickelodeon characters, then this resort is for you. Just be ready to get slimed! Daily slime events take place at the Aqua Nick water park, which has water slides, splash pads, spray grounds and a lazy river. Throughout the resort, kids will meet Spongebob Squarepants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Paw Patrol.
The Just Kidding play area for ages 4 – 12 has mega ball pit, two-story slide, and slime-making classes. In addition, there are daily, supervised activities.
On the other side of the resort are guest rooms, the beach, an infinity pool and Spongebob’s Pineapple Villa. Consider booking a swim-up suite with a shared pool right off your patio. Dining options include several themed restaurants and a family-friendly buffet, stocked with baby food pouches.
What are the Best All Inclusive Resorts for Families in St. Lucia?
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa
One of the closest resorts to the airport, the 85-acre resort has two sections that cater separately to families and adults only. Splash is a tropical playground for families. CocoLand, St. Lucia’s largest water park, features three water slides, a lazy river, and a playground with spilling buckets, water canons and fountains. In addition, there’s a supervised Kidz Club with a mini zip line, mini rock-climbing wall and petting zoo.
On the adults-only Harmony side, there are pools and the Kai Mer Spa (treatments cost extra).
Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa
If large resorts aren’t for you, consider the Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa. With just 76 rooms and suites, the hotel has an intimate feel and the beach is literally at your doorstep. The resort’s all-inclusive package includes access to Splash Island Water Park, a floating inflatable obstacle course with trampoline challenges, climbing walls, slides, swings, and more for kids ages 6 and older.
While kids ages 4-12 play in the Coral Kidz Club, parents can relax by the pool or enjoy a free daily spa treatment as part of the all-inclusive package. Dining options are simple but delicious with two Caribbean-themed restaurants and three bars. However, you can also dine at nearby restaurants as part of the Dine Around program.
Visit the hotel concierge for organized tours, such as horseback riding, and sightseeing.
What are the Best Tropical All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica?
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
Boasting the largest water park in Jamaica, the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa sits on a private beach in Montego Bay. While the resort has many family-friendly features, the main attraction for kids is the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park. Cascading waterfalls, water slides, lagoons, a lazy river, and a suspension bridge make this an island paradise for kids. In addition, there’s a year-round Kids Club, Radiant Spa, and seven upscale restaurants.
Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa
Expect attention to detail at the upscale Jewel Grande Bay Resort and Spa, located 15 minutes from the Sangster International Airport. Families staying in the two and three-bedroom suites and multi-bedroom villas enjoy complimentary butler service. Resort amenities include two pools, and unlimited access to restaurants and bars. The kids club offers a full itinerary of activities, which include crafts, treasure hunts, games and kite flying. For teens, there’s bowling, foosball and ping pong. In addition, families can enjoy the beaches and non-motorized water sports.
Best All-Inclusive for Families in Costa Rica
Known for rainforests, volcanoes and tropical beaches, Costa Rica has several kid friendly all-inclusive resorts that serve as a great home base to explore the region.
Dreams Las Mareas Resort
Families can enjoy beautiful beaches surrounded by lush mountains and jungles in the Guanacaste region.
Active families will find plenty to do. Water sports include scuba lessons, kite-surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling. The Explorer’s Club is a fully supervised kids’ club. Meanwhile, teens can hang out with peers in the Core Zone. In addition, the resort offers tours (for a fee) to Costa Rica’s famous volcanoes, and rainforests.
More tours include zip lining and white water rafting.
Fiesta Resort All-Inclusive
Located on a dark sand beach with many amenities, the resort is about an hour from the capital city of San Jose. Yet, it feels worlds away with tropical gardens, airy guest rooms, four pools, and unlimited snacks and drinks.
In addition to a daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, two a-la-carte restaurants are open for dinner. Daily family activities include games, pool aerobics, tennis and volleyball. Also, supervised activities for ages 4-12, and a teens club for ages 13-17.
Best Kid Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico
Mexico is practically synonymous with all-inclusive family resorts. Depending on the location, some resorts are in the Caribbean and others on the Pacific Coast.
Club Med Cancun Yucatan
Located at the tip of the Riviera Maya, the oceanfront Club Med Cancun Yucatan is the springboard for beach fun and cultural experiences. The location can’t be beat.
The casual family resort is situated on three white sand beaches adjacent to the world’s second largest coral reef. Snorkel with your kids, swim in turquoise water and enjoy unlimited dining (featuring local cuisine) and entertainment.
In addition to top notch kids clubs for ages 2-17, babysitting is available for little ones. The Club Med Spa by L’Occitane features a traditional Mexican steambath.
While soaking up the sun, learn about the Maya culture on and off-site. Take an excursion to historic Chichen Itza, a city built by the Maya people.
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
One of our favorite all inclusive resorts in Mexico, the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta offers just the right mix of all inclusive luxury, family friendly service and gorgeous beachfront sunsets. The resort caters to English speakers, accepts US and Canadian dollars and is just a short cab ride from the charming Old Town of Puerto Vallarta.
The Hyatt Ziva Kidz Club, which is included in the price, is housed in a happy space, secluded at one end of the beach. The space overlooks the turtle rescue area, has its own self-contained splash pool, a craft corner and a separate area for older kids with the tools they covet: a TV and video games.
TravelingMom Tip: This gorgeous resort has been closed during the coronavirus but will begin taking reservations again on Oct. 1, 2020.
Grand Velas, Riviera Maya
Laid-back luxury and long established eco-friendly practices distinguish this family-friendly all-inclusive resort hugging the Caribbean coast. Surrounded by 206 acres of jungle, mangroves and freshwater cenotes, the resort has reforested the surrounding areas with hundreds of thousands of trees. In fact, during my family’s visit, we got to help plant trees, too,which help to protect native flora and fauna.
We were equally impressed with the resort’s luxury suites and amenities in three elegant buildings. Families can choose between the beachfront Ambassador Ambiance, or the Zen Grand Ambiance in the lush Maya jungle. The oceanfront Grand Class Ambiance is for adults only. The family suites are near the kids program for ages 4 – 12, and teen club for ages 13 – 17. The resort also features several pools, gourmet restaurants, a spa and fitness center.
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
With a reputation for cool entertainment, the Hard Rock Hotel offers parents and kids diverse activities. After all, it’s not every resort that has a skate park with activities for all ages or loans Fender guitars to guests. Trampolines, launch ramps, an obstacle course, and foam pits are just a sampling of what the facility has to offer. At Hard Rock’s Music Lab program, kids can film all the action on high-resolution cameras, or get some DJ experience.
For outdoor fun for the whole family, there’s snorkeling, and kayaking in a private cove. Kids programs include boogie boards for kids, and a teen lounge. Meanwhile, adults can get a massage at the spa. Rendezvous with the family for dinner at one of the international restaurants. Afterwards, take in a family-friendly show.
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
Panama Jack All-Inclusive Resorts
At both Panama Jack resorts in Mexico, kids under 5 stay free, while kids over 5 have a reduced rate depending on the month.
Panama Jack Cancun
With an on-site turtle farm, families can learn about sea turtle conservation at the Panama Jack Playa resort. If you’re interested in participating in a turtle release program, plan your trip for August through November when more than 10,000 eggs are hatched.
Ongoing resort activities include land and water activities in addition to culinary classes, and wine and tequila tastings with on-site sommelier. For kids, there’s the pirate splash park with seven water slides and two splash zones, mini golf at Camp Jack and beachfront movie nights.
Panama Jack Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Both the beach and renowned Fifth Avenue are at your fingertips at this contemporary family resort.
Daily organized activities including foam parties, kayaking, snorkeling, dance lessons and water polo. Dedicated kids’ activities include mini golf, air hockey, table soccer, ping pong, and arcade games. Plus, there’s no shortage of dining options with 12 restaurants and bars ranging from an outdoor sushi bar to a Mexican Hacienda.
What Are the Best All-Inclusive Resorts for kids in the Bahamas?
While the Bahamas have several all-inclusive resorts, some offer limited or modified amenities such as add-on dining plans.
For an intimate, totally all-inclusive island getaway with a laid-back vibe, there’s Small Hope Bay Lodge. Located on Andros Island, the resort features 17 oceanfront cabins and down-home hospitality. Think of it as your personal resort with a fresh hot breakfast, and homemade lunch and dinner buffets.
Activities are low-key. For example, grab a kayak or bike at your leisure to explore the area on your own. And with a nearby reef, there’s great snorkeling and diving. Or request a picnic lunch and go on a nature hike. Maybe just unwind in a hammock or the beachfront hot tub.
Amenities include a children’s club and complimentary babysitting services in the evenings. In addition to the full bar for adults, there’s a daily cocktail hour.
The Not-Exactly All-Inclusive Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
The most famous Bahamas resort, the mega Atlantis resort on Nassau, is not really an all-inclusive. We’ve included it here because it is such a popular family destination. A room at this luxury resort includes access to the 11 swimming areas, 11 water slides, two Lazy River Rides, Paradise Lagoon, The Dig, the Predator’s Lagoon, marine life habitats, and the ocean beach area. Beach towels are provided daily at no charge once within the water park.
We are a water-loving family. So, while this resort can make for a pricey family vacation, we love the beautiful beaches, marine habitat, and the 141-acre Aquaventure water park. It has fast slides, numerous pools, and a thrilling river ride with rapids and waves. For young daredevils, there’s the Mayan Temple’s Leap of Faith slide. The open-air Dolphin Cay marine habitat is among the largest in the world. You can learn about the rehabilitation facility, swim with dolphins and play with sea lions. Other activities include an oceanfront golf course.
Well-appointed guestrooms and suites have many family-friendly amenities and offer garden or ocean views. In addition, age-appropriate activities for tots through teens are both educational and entertaining. Also, there are many restaurants throughout the resort from quick bites to casual and fine dining. Choose the dining plan that covers the restaurants where your family will want to eat.
Beaches Turks & Caicos
Situated on a 12-mile pristine white sand beach, Beaches Turks & Caicos is a perennial family vacation favorite. Themed villages include Caribbean & Seaside, Italian, French and Key West.
The lush grounds feature 10 pools, swim-up bars and whirlpools, 21 specialty restaurants, and a 45,000 square-foot water park. Themed activities featuring Sesame Street characters include character meals and story time. In addition, there’s an Xbox Play Lounge and Club Liquid, a teens-only disco. The all-inclusive package covers pickup and drop-off to and from the airport.
Are There All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA?
Club Med Sandpiper, Florida
Ideal for active families, Club Med Sandpiper is located along the St. Lucie River – the site for many of the resort’s sports programs.
In the sports academy you can learn or hone your skills in water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. Fly through the air on a trapeze in Club Med’s famous circus school.
Superb children’s programs cater to kids ages 4-17, with tons of activities. The resort offers all day gourmet dining, open bar, nightly entertainment and much more.
Dude Ranches – The All American All Inclusive Resorts
For mountain-loving families, all-inclusive dude ranches offer fun western-themed lodging and horseback riding among other activities.
Typically, dude ranches are all-inclusive. That covers horseback riding, accommodations, and most or all meals. In addition, a bunch of western-themed activities, and children’s programs round out family fun.
While horseback riding is the central activity, a family dude ranch vacation offers many activities. Even non-riders will appreciate fresh mountain air, outdoor activities, and delicious western food.
Tanque Verde, Arizona
Open year-round, the old time cattle and guest ranch is located in the desert near two national parks. The old west ranch features plush accommodations, a spa, and kids program for ages 3-17. Babysitting is available.
Among the best dude ranches in Arizona, Tanque offers hiking, biking and fishing. Amenities include an airport shuttle, WiFi, and swimming pool.
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, California
Located in wine country, the Alisal is a working cattle ranch and full-service resort with luxury cottages. Ages 7 and older go on guided trail rides in wide open spaces with Sycamore trees. Ages 4-6 gather eggs, feed chickens, and play with baby goats in Alisal’s Barnyard. Breakfast rides lead to an adobe camp and cowboy buffet. The modified American Plan includes breakfast and dinner.
Alisal also knows how to ring in the holidays making it one of the best Christmas hotels for families in the US.
Rocking Z Guest Ranch, Montana
Open year-round, Rocking Z Guest Ranch offers an immersive horseback riding experience that’s especially conducive to teenagers. Since kids ride to their ability, teens can spend six or seven hours in the saddle if they want. Those looking to advance their skills can learn western-style moves and ride bareback.
In addition, they can also groom and care for horses, learn to train horses, and help herd cattle. Horse games include soccer, and barrel racing. Meals are served family-style and accommodate all dietary needs.
Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Families
Remember, amenities and prices vary from one resort to the next. Is an all-inclusive vacation a good deal for your family vacation?