Jamaican resorts for families
By Michelle Rae Uy
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa (Courtesy Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa`)
Go on an adventure in the great outdoors, interact with sea creatures, cool off in a water park, or simply relax at the beach with the kids or your entire extended family. However you want to spend your vacation, Jamaica is one of the best in the Caribbean for it, with its plethora of family-friendly activities and attractions. And with the best season for Jamaica travel coming up – October to mid-December – now’s the time to start planning.
Start with these fabulous, kid-friendly accommodation picks based on your needs.
For fans of the all-inclusive
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa. Located in the small coastal town of Lucea, about half an hour from Montego Bay, this 4-star all-inclusive resort exudes family-friendly elegance. It boasts a mix of modern and Roman architecture, complete with pediments, columns and arches. Features include 450 suites, all-inclusive amenities (some of which are available 24/7), 10 restaurants (7 a la carte and 3 buffet), and the largest pool in the island. Little kids will love the splash pool and the bigger kids will enjoy hanging out at the Mini Club.
Beaches Negril (Courtesy Beaches)
Beaches Negril. The popular resort brand offers families a wonderful, all-inclusive option on Negril, Jamaica’s legendary 7-Mile Beach, complete with a water park and options to accommodate families large and small. The colorful, beachfront property boasts family-focused features, including a stretch of pristine beach, lush grounds, character dining and activities, beach house-style rooms and suites, the Pirates Island Waterpark, and unlimited access to water activities like scuba diving and kayaking. It’s truly one of the most attractive and exciting resort options for families on the island.
Royalton White Sands. This modern, beachfront property in Montego Bay prides itself on its luxury all-inclusive concept, offering guests lavish rooms (352 total), first-class dining, and first-rate amenities. Families will have access to non-motorized watersports and other activities, five specialty restaurants, two pools and a splash pool for the kids, and free WiFi use throughout the resort, to name a few. There’s never a dull moment for kids, thanks to the resort’s kids’ club (2-12 years), Kids’ Adventure Program, and teens’ lounge (13-17 years).
For multi-generational travel
Half Moon Resort (Courtesy Half Moon Resort)
Half Moon Resort. While many resorts on the island are multi-generation travel friendly, the plantation-style resort in Montego Bay is perhaps the best with its private four- to seven-bedroom villas that allow large families to stretch out while on vacation. Deluxe rooms and suites are also available for smaller ones. Eight dining options, including room service, as well as an 18-hole golf course, the Dolphin Lagoon for dolphin interactions, a children’s village, and several land and water activities are also on the vacation menu.
Jamaica Inn. This adorably blue, beachfront property in Ocho Rios is another highly rated option for families of all sizes. Plantation-inspired suites, villas and cottages offer luxurious amenities – depending on your accommodation choice, you can enjoy a large, fully furnished balcony or verandah, your own infinity pool, direct sea access, or a private pool. Does it get better than this? Yes, actually. Enjoy beach dining, lush grounds, an oceanfront spa, and many more. The kids will especially love the access to water activities like kayaking, sunfish sailing, paddle boarding and snorkeling.
For those who crave privacy
Sea Island Villa. Look no further than this Villas by Linda Smith plantation-style property in Montego Bay, if you’re looking for the ultimate private getaway. The 6,000 square foot property boasts six bedrooms, so it’s perfect for large and multi-generational families, as well as grand yet colorful aesthetics (the kids will love the Peach, Green and Pink Rooms). It features its own pool so you won’t have to share with other families, and you’ll have your own gourmet cook, butler, housekeepers and night watchman. It’s the ultimate luxury vacation!
GoldenEye (Courtesy The Fleming Villa)
GoldenEye. James Bond fans will love this former residence of Ian Fleming, the English author responsible for gifting the world with the famous spy series. The property features several luxury villas and cottages on site, but each still provide accommodations away from prying eyes. Each of the lagoon cottages, for example, has a private balcony and dock that give families direct access to the lagoon, while one- and two-bedroom villas feature large porches and your own patch of beach. Better yet, stay in the five-bedroom Fleming Villa, which comes with a butler, a housekeeper and a chef.
For water park lovers
Sunset Beach Resort (Courtesy Sunset Beach Resort)
Sunset Beach Resort. A vibrant castle and pirate-themed water park, aptly named Pirates Paradise, awaits kids of all ages at the budget-friendly Sunset Beach Resort Spa & Waterpark. Families on the budget will definitely get the bang for their buck at this resort in Montego Bay that also offers access to non-motorized water sports, three beaches, land activities, and comfortable guest rooms and suites with private balconies. It’s also large family friendly, thanks to its connecting standard rooms.
Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort. Also a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort, this 4-star Runaway Bay property features butler-service suites (as well as standard rooms), land and water activities, weekly dive-in movies, three pools with a concierge service, and six dining options. The best part? It is home to the Jewel Lagoon Water Park, which boasts a 5,000 square foot oceanfront sundeck, a zero-entry beach lagoon with geysers, a gang slide, a lazy river, a speed slide and family raft ride, kids’ slides and splash zone, and a full-service dining area.
Hilton Rose Hall. One of Jamaica most historic properties, the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is another all-inclusive resort located oceanfront on the legendary Rose Hall Plantation in Montego Bay. The modern resort feature rooms and suites with lovely views and contemporary furnishings, and give guests access to non-motorized water sports, many land activities, complimentary transportation to and from the plantation house, and an array of dining options. It’s also home to the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park that boasts cascading waterfalls, lagoons, a lazy river, a wooden suspension bridge, and replicas of the plantation aqueducts.
Michelle Rae Uy contributed this to MiniTime. She is a travel writer based in Los Angeles and MiniTime’s Head of Content, who spends her free time on adventures and film photography.