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Terry Ward, Contributor
For families who want to dive into a place in an authentic way and get to know a Caribbean destination together while on vacation, an all-inclusive resort might not seem like the obvious choice. But the best Caribbean all-inclusive resorts for families can deliver both a true sense of place and all of the comforts, amenities and activities families crave for convenience when they travel–turning an average trip into a truly relaxing vacation. If you’re longing for white sand beaches, fresh seafood and azure Caribbean waters for an all-inclusive family vacation, the options are vast and varied when it comes to where to stay.
We scoured the Caribbean for the best all-inclusive resorts that know how to cater to families and young kids while bringing all the adult-centric fun you crave to the table, too. For an all-inclusive with incredible pools, we recommend Beaches Negril, which features an 18,000-acre poolscape, and for families looking a property directly on the beach, we recommend Curtain Bluff, on one of the best beaches in Antigua. For the ultimate bucket list vacation, it’s hard to top the luxe Golden Rock Resort on the beautiful and secluded island of St. Eustatius in the Dutch Caribbean. Below, we’ve narrowed down the best Caribbean all-inclusive resorts where making family memories comes naturally.
Best Bucket List Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families: Golden Rock Resort
Golden Rock Resort
Who Will Love It: Families who want to get off the beaten path in the Caribbean
All-Star Amenities: Electric train running through the 40-acre property
What Not To Miss: Earning your PADI Mermaid Certification, offered several times a year
Location: St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
For a truly exceptional and unexpected all-inclusive vacation with your family in the Caribbean, venture to St. Eustatius (aka Statia) in the Dutch Caribbean. Just five miles northwest of St. Kitts, this is truly an island apart. Check into the 32-room Golden Rock Resort, an eco-retreat surrounded by gardens home to thousands of species of flowering trees and plants and aflutter with hummingbirds and butterflies. Explore the property by electric train or head out on a hike to the Quill, a dormant volcano. Spend family time off the beach playing pickleball or tennis, learning to paint with the in-house instructor or even taking a PADI scuba diving course to discover more than 30 world-class diving sites around the island. Among the resort’s many other amenities are two pools, a playground for kids, tennis, basketball, a 17-hole oceanfront mini golf course for fun family rivalry and the largest manmade ocean-fed lagoon in the Caribbean for some seriously delightful (and sheltered) swimming.
Best Beachfront Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families: Curtain Bluff
Who Will Love It: Kids and parents who want to beach it in style, from sunrise to sunset
All-Star Amenities: Kayaking, tubing, waterskiing and more all included in your rate
What Not To Miss: Browsing the wine cellar, with 4,000 bottles from 12 of the best wine-producing countries
Location: Saint Mary, Antigua
Set your sights on Antigua’s South Side, where this spectacular bluff-top resort fronting a half-moon of powder sand perfection has all the makings for an all-inclusive Caribbean family vacation where you’ll want to spend as much time beaching it as possible. Curtain Bluff makes that easy and inviting, too, with Hobie Cats, kayaks, windsurfers and paddle-boats all at the ready and included in rates so that you can set off exploring the clear waters. Water skiing and snorkeling trips to the reef are also included. The resort’s ground floor suites, with floor-to-ceiling beach views, are a favorite among families. All meals, included in the rates, are served a la carte, either at The Sea Grape, right on the sand, or The Tamarind Restaurant, where locally caught seafood stars. It all adds up to a boutique-feel in an all-inclusive package with stroll-out access to one of the best beaches on an island with one for every day of the year.
Best 5-Star Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families: Kamalame Cay
Who Will Love It: Families who want to feel like they’re somewhere as transporting as Polynesia, closer to home
All-Star Amenities: Seaside tiki bar
What Not To Miss: Taking in a film under rustling palms at the alfresco cinema
Location: Andros, Bahamas
Set on a 97-acre private island in the Bahamas’ mind-blowingly beautiful archipelago of Andros, Kamalame Cay is a hammock-fringed fantasy. No request is too over-the-top at this all-inclusive Caribbean family resort where Balinese-style beach houses and cottages dripping with Barbie-pink bougainvillea are among your options for sleeping soundly beneath swaying coconut palms. The property has the only over-the-water spa in all of the Bahamas, where treatments using marine-based ingredients play out in a bungalow accessed via a private pier. Family fun comes in the form of lazy beach days, snorkeling and diving excursions, cycling the island’s sandy roads or heading out on a kayaking adventure in the mangroves. Come for the most blissful mix of a decadent resort with Andros’ pristine nature all around.
Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families With The Best Pools: Beaches Negril
Who Will Love It: Kids who hate getting sandy but want to stay wet all day
All-Star Amenities: Beachfront water park with a lazy river, slides and splash park
What Not To Miss: Heading off property to Negril’s West End to see the cliff jumping at the famous Rick’s Cafe
Location: Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica
If your family’s the kind that likes to enjoy beach views—just from the freshwater setting of swimming pools instead of down on the sand—prepare to be spoiled for options at this all-encompassing, all-inclusive resort on Jamaica’s most famous beach. Beaches Negril fronts Seven Mile Beach, one of the prettiest in all of Jamaica for long strolls and calm, clear seas. But for families who prefer pools, the resort’s 18,000-square-foot pirate-themed waterpark—with two long slides, a 650-foot lazy river for tubing and three swimming pools—is where it’s really at. Among the newest accommodations here are 12 butler suites, including the lavish Firesky Reserve Villas, each with four bedrooms spread across three-stories. There are too many amenities included in the rates to name but for a start: scuba diving trips, snorkeling trips, kayaking, Hobie Cats, a supervised kids camp (yes, you can leave them there all day and head to Red Lane Spa), a Sesame Street show, XBox play lounge, 10 restaurants and so much more.
Best Private Island Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families: Manta Island Resort
Manta Island Resort
Who Will Love It: Families who want to play castaway in a private island paradise
All-Star Amenities: Guided boat trips to Glover’s Reef when you stay for seven nights
What Not To Miss: Hermit crab races and beach bonfires with other kids and their families
Location: South Glover’s Reef Atoll, Belize
For an all-inclusive Caribbean family vacation on a private island full of adventure and all the creature comforts where you and your kids will feel free and safe to roam, few places rise to the occasion quite like Manta Island Resort. Located within a protected marine reserve surrounded by the coral ecosystems of Glover’s Reef Atoll in Belize, the 12-acre property is yours to discover, with just nine private oceanfront bungalows and three two-bedroom family villas delivering a true barefoot luxury experience. Family activities include karaoke, hermit crab races and bonfires on the resort’s totally private beach.
You can pick up new skills on vacation here, too, with beginning and bubble-maker scuba diving lessons on offer, as well as fishing and snorkeling excursions. Hobie Cats, kayaks, and standup paddle boards, all included, make it easy to spend your family vacation out on the beautiful waters of the second largest barrier reef system in the world. For a truly stunning arrival and to see the bird’s eye view of the resort’s incredible setting, the concierge can book a helicopter transfer to the island straight from Belize’s international airport.
Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families With The Best Amenities: Windjammer Landing
Who Will Love It: Families who live to be active and kick back in equal measure
All-Star Amenities: Private in-villa cooking classes
What Not To Miss: Movie nights on the beach
Location: St. Lucia
Whitewashed buildings terraced into the emerald-green hillside might conjure the Mediterranean at Windjammer Landing on St. Lucia’s north shore. But those who arrive here will be welcomed by a very Caribbean sense of place and an all-inclusive family vacation at a gorgeous resort where private plunge pools await at private villa-style accommodations. The all-inclusive amenities wrap in unlimited a la carte selections at seven restaurants and bars, top-shelf premium liquor and complimentary watersports, including windsurfing, snorkeling and kayaking.
The hotel has an incredible spa, Serene Spa and Wellness, where the signature hot stone and bamboo massage is a must. And the resort’s tour desk can make sure you make the most of your time in St. Lucia, whether on a sailing trip to see the storied Pitons and visit waterfalls, a scuba diving trip to colorful reefs or an aerial tram tour or ziplining adventure through the rainforest. There’s also a supervised kids club included in the rates, and you can count on the resort’s VIP Kids Program for fun activities like bonfire storytelling sessions, movie nights on the beach and meet and greets for the kids with the hotel’s resident parrot.
Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families With The Best Views: Spice Island Beach Resort
Spice Island Beach Resort
Who Will Love It: Toes-in-the-sand relaxed families who come for the views
All-Star Amenities: Double hammocks for kicking back in the Seagrape Beach Suites
What Not To Miss: A couples yoga class while the kids are at the included kids club
Location: Grand Anse Beach, Grenada
Lush with thickets of sea grape trees and swaying palms, this eight-acre resort on Grenada’s most stunning stretch of white sand beach will have your head on constant swivel to take in the sheer beauty of the place. Right on Grand Anse Beach, the family-owned Spice Island Beach Resort feels more like a boutique hotel than an all-inclusive resort, with 64 suites—some with their own private pools and outdoor dining areas—outfitted with Frette linens and Nespresso coffee machines. The all-inclusive rates include all meals, with ample fresh seafood options and local fruits, as well as premium drinks. Down on the sand, help yourself to kayaks, Hobie Cats and paddleboards to head out on the calm waters. The Nutmeg Pod kids club is included for ages three to 12, making it easy for parents to skip off to the spa for a Grenadian chocolate-inspired treatment—or perhaps just to breathe deep down on the sand, taking in those glittering Caribbean Sea views that stretch all around.
Best Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Adventurous Families: Small Hope Bay Lodge
Small Hope Bay Lodge
Who Will Love It: Families who crave adventure and love a boho-chic vibe
All-Star Amenities: Complimentary babysitting for kids ages 2 to 7 during dinner
What Not To Miss: Pedaling the island’s sandy roads with complimentary bikes
Location: Small Hope, Andros, Bahamas
Come with big expectations for an adventurous and inspiring family vacation at Small Hope Bay Lodge and you won’t be let down. The eco-friendly property, just a short hop from Nassau on Andros’ east coast, has 22 rustic-chic beachfront cabins built from coral stone and Andros pine that tap solar-power for hot water and have both indoor and outdoor showers for rinsing off after a day in the surrounding seas. Visitors come for the world-class bonefishing just offshore and you can get your kids hooked on the laid-back island life while kayaking and biking the island’s sublime coastline, too. The resort’s certified dive instructors can get your family trained up for scuba diving, even offering bubble-maker courses for younger kids to get an introduction. You can see plenty with just a mask, snorkel and fins, too, in the pristine waters home to lush coral gardens and swarms of tropical fish.
Best Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families For Foodies: Carlisle Bay
Who Will Love It: Families who let their stomachs lead the way
All-Star Amenities: Rum punch and live Caribbean music around the firepit on Fridays
What Not To Miss: Taking a Hobie Cat out for a sunset sail
Location: Saint Mary Parish, Antigua
For families seeking a laid-back tropical vacation in the Caribbean, the island of Antigua offers up 365 beaches—one for every day of the year, as the tourism board likes to tout. But when just one truly stellar beach is all you need here—crowned by a world-class all-inclusive resort that knows the way to your heart is through your stomach—Carlisle Bay simply can’t be topped. Surrounded by rainforest and fronting one of Antigua’s most pristine bays, the 87-suite hotel offers elegant Italian, Asian and beachfront seafood restaurants where whole Caribbean lobster tail, herb-crusted scallops, nasi goreng and adobo pork belly are just a sampling of the diverse dishes.
During a day poolside or sailing Hobie Cats with the family from the beach’s immaculate crescent of sand, a break for burrata and pizza from the wood-fired oven at Ottimo! is the perfect seabreezes-in-your-hair lunch. There’s more to do at this 17-acre property than eat, of course. Come for one of Antigua’s finest spas, non-stop entertainment at the kids club and active pursuits at the hotel’s 7 tennis courts, pickleball courts, gorgeous outdoor yoga pavilion and gym, sunset cruises and more.
Best Spa And Wellness Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort For Families: Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Bech Cancun
Who Will Love It: The family that stays together and spas together
All-Star Amenities: The sleek Gem Spa, one of the best spas in the Yucatan
What Not To Miss: Tequila tasting, margaritas and music at La Joya restaurant
Location: Cancun, Mexico
On Cancun’s northeast tip, a short stroll from where the ferries leave for Isla Mujeres (a family day trip that’s well worth taking for even better snorkeling just offshore), Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun manages to offer all the things you’ve likely come looking for in a Caribbean all-inclusive family resort. Add to that what’s arguably the finest spa in all of the Yucatan, and this property is a wellness traveler’s dream. Treatments at the 40,000-square-foot Gem Spa give you access to a 10-step hydrotherapy ritual (give yourself 90 minutes to enjoy it to the max) and the 26 treatment rooms include several with extra amenities like hydro-massage tubs, color therapy and even a private steam room.
There’s sleek black granite absolutely everywhere and the spa’s therapies—including kids facials and massages—take their inspiration from the healing properties of gemstones. The sprawling beachfront resort also has a 40,000 square foot included kids club (with zones for different age groups), three swim-up bars at the huge oceanfront swimming pools, 10 included restaurants (including a new Argentinean steakhouse), a Sports Club for teens and nightly entertainment. No chance of anyone muttering “I’m bored” here.
About Terry Ward, Your Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts For Families Guide
I’ve dedicated my career to covering travel as a freelance writer since 2000 when I quit my first (and only) desk job to travel the world. I visited Indonesia, Fiji and Australia as a budget backpacker, and I have lived in Sydney, Southern France, coastal New Zealand and my current home, Florida. These days, I travel the world with my Cuban husband and my young daughter and son (5 and 6). I love to switch up our travels with intrepid road trips (through places like Arctic Norway, the Balkans and Morocco) as well as check into all-inclusive resorts someplace spectacular that make true relaxation and fun easy for everyone. Aside from Forbes Vetted, you can find my writing in publications like CNN, National Geographic, The Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, AARP and many others.