There’s something special about teaching your little ones to snorkel and then sharing the underwater wonders of rainbow-colored fish and delicate coral with them. In the Caribbean, depending on the resort you choose, you and your children can snorkel and dive, search for monkeys in the rainforest, zoom down waterslides, swim with dolphins, and get wicked good at tennis and golf. You can also enjoy such pleasures as sunning, swimming and sandcastle building. Here are 10 properties to consider for a family adventure in the Caribbean.
Written by Lissa Poirot
The Caribbean Club, Cayman Islands
This small, boutique property in the Cayman Islands is actually a rental-style hotel with 37 independently owned units available with fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers and all of the conveniences of home. The resort is situated on 300 feet of white sand beach, and is just 15 minutes from the popular Cayman Turtle Farm Island Wildlife Encounter. While the pool is small and the property doesn"t provide kids" clubs or programming, the Caribbean Club is the kind of luxurious setting that allows your family to relax and be pampered while also feeling at home.
Playa Linda Beach Resort, Aruba
Located in the heart of Aruba"s Palm Beach, where the sandy beach seems to stretch for miles in either direction, Playa Linda Beach Resort is another Caribbean property with condo offerings perfect for families. Offering six room types, from studios to three-bedroom units, families will enjoy a full kitchen and space to spread out. The resort"s large pool features coves and waterfalls, and kids both young and old can enjoy the children"s programming and Teen Lounge, as well as a variety of activities and entertainment.
Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, Jamaica
There is a reason Franklyn D. Resort & Spa continuously makes our lists of best resorts, as it truly offers families the best of everything. The resort is located near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, and is the island"s first all-suite, all-inclusive resort specifically for families. How do we know? Nanny services are available and included in the price of your stay, as is a waterpark on the ocean. One- to three-bedroom suites are available with separate living and dining areas and full kitchenettes. Kids find plenty to do in the resort"s kids" club and teen center, as well.
Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos
Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos is lined with fabulous resorts, each offering an upscale setting and stay for families enjoying the powder-soft sand of the beach. Still, one of our favorites is the Grace Bay Club. Nestled along 11 acres of beach, the resort has received numerous accolades as one of the world"s best resorts. Thankfully, Turks and Caicos luxury doesn"t mean adult-only. Instead, families are welcome and children may enjoy the Kids Town supervised program, as well as complimentary bicycles, board games and DVDs.
Round Hill Hotel & Villas Resort, Jamaica
Established in the 1950"s as a series of cottages where celebrities could get away with all privacy, Round Hill Hotel & Villas Resort remains a private resort where ordinary families might just rub shoulders with the likes of Sir Paul. A combination of 27 villas and 36 hotel rooms in the former pineapple plantation"s main house, the boutique resort is spread out across 40 acres. Kids" clubs, swimming pools, family-friendly entertainment and activities? Round Hill has it all, as well as a convenient location to Jamaica"s Montego Bay.
Atlantis is on every family's travel bucket list for a reason -- namely because of its 141-acre water park, Aquaventure. The fun includes waterslides -- such as the famous Leap of Faith, which zooms riders through an underwater tunnel, past sharks -- lazy rivers, wading pools and more... and don't forget there's a wide stretch of beach just steps from the resort! Families also have the option to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cay, where several experiences are offered with not just dolphins, but also stingrays and sea lions. When it's time for a break from the water, there's a casino, spa, shops, and restaurants galore. Stay at The Reef for the nicest accommodations onsite.
Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, Curacao
The tiny island of Curacao makes for an intimate vacation for families, and one of the island"s best resorts is the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, housed in the island"s bustling port of Willemstad. The resort is actually built into the stone walls of an 1800"s fort that once protected the island, and with its vibrant location, families can walk out the door to enjoy Curacao and its shopping and dining. However, for those wanting to relax in the 237-room hotel, it features a pool and splash playground.
Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa, Aruba
The second Aruban property to make the list also resides on Palm Beach, and remains the area"s first high-rise hotel. Serving as a place for the King and Queen of the Netherlands to stay in the late 1950"s, the 354-room Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa is fit for families after massive renovations. Being first has its privileges and the resort is larger than its neighbors with 14 acres of land and 1,500 feet of Aruban beachfront for its guests to enjoy. Kids will also enjoy the large swimming pools and kids" club and programs.
The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
The Ritz-Carlton is legendary for its service and stylish accommodations in some of the best destinations in the world, and The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman does not disappoint. The AAA, five-diamond property spans 144 acres with oversized accommodations, including one- to three-bedroom residential suites (owned by separate management). These suites feature full kitchens, separate living and dining areas, and washers and dryers. But it"s the Ritz Carlton"s Ambassadors of the Environment Program (AOTE) that makes this resort unique. Each three-hour AOTE module turns childcare (ages 4 and up) into environmental "edutainment."
Half Moon Rose Hall, Jamaica
For another intimate, boutique property in Jamaica, Half Moon Rose Hall is renowned for its high-profile clientele. Built in the 1950"s with cottage accommodations, the resort has welcomed everyone from celebrities to families. We love the â€œVery Important Little Peopleâ€ services, meant to welcome kids to the resort from day one. Don"t worry; they do the same for teens. Half Moon Rose Hall features nearly 400 different accommodations, including villas in the former cottages, and families can enjoy the resort"s namesake half moon-shaped cove and beach, as well as the multiple pools located on the property.
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