The tropical climes of the Caribbean call to mind family resorts with ice-cold air conditioning more than a glamping getaway. So, you’ll be surprised to hear there are some very atmospheric canvas and wood tents and hut-style accommodations everywhere from the British Virgin Islands and Belize to Jamaica and the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. And the good news is that many a glamping tent and rustic cabin among these options comes with that ice-cold A/C.
1. Anegada Beach Club, British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are back open for business after the 2017 hurricane season. And if you’re not sailing aboard a catamaran with The Moorings with your family (one of the most popular ways to see the beautiful BVI), the best land-based glamping experience awaits you and your little pirates at the Anegada Beach Club on the island of Anegada. Among the different accommodation types are elevated luxury tents right on the white sand beach, outfitted with hot showers, king-sized beds and daybeds for “stowaways.” All of the tents have hammocks and some have decks with bathtubs overlooking the beach. Spend your days beachcombing for conch shells, spotting flamingos at the island’s wetlands preserve or visiting popular beaches like Loblolly Bay and Cow Wreck Beach.
2. Serenity Eco Luxury Tented Camp by Xperience Hotels, Riviera Maya
Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, this environmentally-friendly tented camp on the Riviera Maya is a family favorite with adventurous glamping appeal. But you’ll hardly be roughing it at the Serenity Eco Luxury Tented Camp. The spacious Asian safari-style tents have air-conditioning and indoor plumbing and some have a king and double bed, perfect for families. Spend your time at the resort’s onsite beach club and swimming pool during your stay, and set off on day trips to take in all the attractions of the Riviera Maya, too.
3. Gaia River Lodge, Belize
For unforgettable family glamping away from the beach in the Caribbean nation of Belize, you can’t beat a vacation at this luxury property in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Gaia Riverlodge is open to families with kids ages 10 and older. The rustic mountain view cabanas aren’t quite tents, but the fact that they have thatched roofs and are surrounded by the chirps of birdsong and other jungle noises certainly delivers the glamping experience. Spend your days swimming in the cataracts of the river close to the property, visiting the Five Sisters Waterfalls or heading out on canoeing and ziplining adventures.
4. Red Palm Village, Bonaire
In the Dutch Antilles, the island of Bonaire is wildly popular with scuba divers and the wind and kite-surfing crowds. But families find a lot to love on this pretty, desert-like island, too, home to great snorkeling reefs and the cozy glamping resort, Red Palm Village. The indoor/outdoor feel of the property’s chalet-like cabins and its location at the edge of a mangrove forest bring the glamping lifestyle to life. Among the amenities are hammocks, a swimming pool and separate kids’ pool, and a great little onsite restaurant.
5. Great Huts, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Far away from the crowds of Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, in Jamaica’s eastern reaches of Port Antonio, Great Huts Resort welcomes families for an eco-tourism experience in some of the island’s most pristine environments. The African-themed treehouses and huts here have a rustic-chic appeal that brings the sounds of the jungle inside and makes you feel one with nature — don’t be surprised if you find a lizard or hermit crab crawling around your room, in other words. TV is available in the lobby only, making Great Huts a good place for families to truly disconnect. Fun for the gang in the area includes surfing at Boston Beach, onsite cultural shows at the resort and swimming in Blue Lagoon.
6. Virgin Islands Campground, St. John, USVI
An eco-minded resort on Water Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Campground is much more than its name would imply, and a perfect place to go glamping with the family. Stay in one of the wood and canvas tent cottages, with electricity and comfortable beds, and spend your days snorkeling and playing in the sand at Honeymoon Beach and Limestone Bay. Water Island is connected by regular ferry service to both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Islands, so excursions farther afield in this beautiful part of the Caribbean are easy to coordinate, too.
7. Tendacayou Ecolodge & Spa, Guadeloupe
A special place to stay on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, Tendacayou Ecolodge & Spa is surrounded by rainforest on a hillside high above the sea. You can stay in a three-bedroom treehouse with an open-air shower where hummingbirds are frequent visitors, or bed down in one of the wooden creole cottages painted with tropical colors. If the kids are old enough to forgo adult supervision for a spell, sneak away to the onsite spa, one of the most creative in the Caribbean, with beautiful outdoor pools filled with fish and fountains creating a truly Zen vibe.
8. Extreme Hotel, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
On the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Cabarete is famous among windsurfers and kitesurfers for its consistent wind conditions for learning and perfecting the art of the sports. It’s also a surprisingly family-friendly town, with a walkable central area full of restaurants and shops. Stay at Extreme Hotel on the beach for a few days. Glamping-style accommodations include a Penthouse Suite for five guests, and the hotel also offers various Family Adventure Specials.
Parents – the property also owns an organic farm, Taino Farm, in the nearby countryside, where you can glamp in a rustic cabana and take your morning baths in the beautiful Yasica River at the farm’s doorstep.
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