Kid-friendly Caribbean resorts
By Maribeth Pjosek-Durkin
Bay Gardens Beach Resort (Courtesy Bay Gardens Beach Resort)
The Caribbean is a great family destination. But for families that frequent these islands, staying in the same resort over and again can get boring. Instead of searching for a new destination, why not give a different resort a try. They may not be uber popular (at least not yet) but these family-friendly resorts offer astounding accommodations and amazing amenities that cater to the entire family. Pampering spa services, floating water parks, suites and villas, all-inclusive dining, exciting excursions, these are just a sampling of what families can expect at these under-the-radar resorts.
Bay Gardens Beach Resort – St. Lucia
Nestled on St. Lucia’s popular Reduit Beach is Bay Gardens Beach Resort. This hidden gem boasts a lagoon-style pool, luxurious spa, beach-front suites with full kitchens and more. Larger families will be in paradise with the spacious suites that can expand further by adjoining with adjacent suites and rooms. Dining plans are flexible, ranging from breakfast only to an all-inclusive, dine-around option at the resort’s two other properties. Kids will rave about Splash Island, the onsite floating waterpark. There is a fee, but resort guests get a discount. A variety of watersports, including snorkeling, water skiing and paddle boarding are available. Back on land, kids can play poolside games at the lagoon-style pool, swing and climb at the kid’s playground, or unwind in the kid’s game room. TIP: Free shuttle service transfers guests between the three properties.
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort – St. Lucia
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort (Courtesy Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort)
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St. Lucia may not pop to the top of online searches, but active families will cheer its many energetic pursuits. Windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling and kids scuba diving are just a sampling of this all-inclusive family resort’s activities. After a fun-filled day in the sea and sun, retire to a spacious ocean-view villa complete with private plunge pool and full kitchen. Some villas even have a private chef on staff. Kids will find endless fun at the Jacquot Fun Club. Field trips, nature walks and planned theme nights entertain young guests 12 and under. Teens can take escorted tours of the island, kick back at bonfire nights and enjoy movie events. Arranging family fun time is a breeze, just ask the concierge to arrange family friendly day-trips around the island. All-inclusive dining plans are available. TIP: There are five onsite restaurants, ask about dress codes.
Mount Cinnamon Resort – Grenada, West Indies
Mount Cinnamon Resort (Courtesy Mount Cinnamon Resort)
Grenada is a mecca for scuba diving and Mount Cinnamon Resort is close to some of the world’s most fascinating dive locations, including an underwater sculpture park. But you do not need to be a dive master to appreciate this undiscovered island resort. This quaint, family-owned, all-suite resort makes non-scuba families feel right at home. Families will have plenty of space to enjoy their vacation in either a suite or villa, both complete with kitchenettes. Soak up the sun on the private beach, or enjoy a variety of water sports in the azure ocean. Back on land, a multitude of family friendly amenities awaits, including a pool, kids club and bike rentals. Babysitting services are also available for a fee. Breakfast is included. TIP: Ask the concierge to arrange a family friendly scuba diving excursion to many underwater sites.
Rosalie Bay Resort – Dominica, Lesser Antilles
Rosalie Bay Resort (Courtesy Rosalie Bay Resort)
For the been-there-done-that set, Rosalie Bay is a unique, nature inspired boutique resort in Dominica. Not to be confused with Dominican Republic, Dominica is a small island near Martinique. Families seeking peace and quiet, will find this uncrowded 28-room resort charming. Adjoining rooms and suites offer extra space for traveling families. Eco-conscious families can dine on organic cuisine, (most grown on the grounds) chill out in the salt-water pool or hike to hidden waterfalls in the rainforest. The family-friendly resort’s secluded black sand beach is also a nesting place for sea turtles. Breakfast is included. Babysitting services are also available for a fee. TIP: During nesting season (March to October), guided educational walks, sea-turtle-watching wake-up calls, and other non-intrusive experiences educate guests about these remarkable sea creatures.
Half Moon Resort – Montego Bay, Jamaica
Half Moon Resort (Courtesy Half Moon Resort)
Resorts don’t need to be well-known to be well-appointed. Half Moon in Jamaica specializes in pampering kid travelers. The V.I.L.P.S. Check-In (Very Important Little Person Service) makes kids feel like celebrities from the moment they enter the resort. Cookies and milk at bedtime, a yummy welcome treat and other special treatments await children. Accommodations range from standard rooms, to stylish suites, spacious cottages and upscale villas. Families looking for the ultimate retreat can book a multi-bedroom villa, staffed with a butler, cook and housekeeper. The family friendly resort has three pools, and a variety of water sports such as, snorkeling and banana boat rides. Teens can sign up for organized sports or book a special teen spa service Younger kids will find fun at the outdoor playground, activity rooms and wading pool. All-inclusive dining plans are available. TIP: Contact the hotel in advance to add V.I.L.P.S. to your itinerary.