Family resorts in the Caribbean
By Rowena Carr-Allinson
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort (Courtesy Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort)
When setting off on vacation with teens, getting the right resort is key. The Caribbean offers the perfect mix of blissful weather, tropical setting and a host of teen-friendly resorts that offer your kids the best vacation experience possible. With attractions ranging from watersports to teen clubs and superb spas, you’re guaranteed a great family vacation in the Caribbean. Here are our top picks for the most teen-friendly resorts in the Caribbean.
Windjammer, St Lucia
St. Lucia’s family-friendly Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort is all about barefoot luxury. An all-inclusive (and a la carte) resort, families will love the 1,500 feet of white sand beach, five swimming pools (including two for kids), the watersports and gym, as well as tennis courts. Outdoor resort activities range from island cruises to rainforest excursions. Make your home from home in the cozy hillside villas, all with amazing ocean views, while your teens make the most of the Teen Club and special themed nights organized just for them. They can participate in Bonfire Nights, Karaoke Nights, Movie Nights with trips to the local cinema, or even escorted shopping trips & tours specifically designed to suit them.
Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Aruba
Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino (Courtesy Marriott)
Another top teen-friendly resort for your family vacation in the Caribbean is the Aruba Marriott. Although you’ll find an adult exclusive pool, you’ll also find plenty to keep the family happy, including watersports, pools, a Lazy River and water slides that will keep the kids busy for hours! The beach’s Surf Club has its Teens Den (for ages 12 to 17), home to Wii and PS3 gaming consoles and a lounge. A separate game room just for teens is also available, with a foosball table, pool and air hockey tables, and a host of arcade games too. They can also use the outdoor basketball courts. The entire family will love the rooms with their contemporary bathrooms, 37-inch LCD flat-panel TVs, and large, private balconies, as well as excellent restaurants like Ruth’s Chris Steak House and the very relaxing Mandara Spa.
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Jamaica
Lazy River at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall (Courtesy Hyatt)
Set between the pristine white sands and turquoise Caribbean Sea in Montego Bay, the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is a family-friendly, all-inclusive resort with all the trimmings of a luxury hotel, from beach butlers to rum sommeliers and 24-hour room service. With 7 restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice, while the KIdZ Club runs a range of activities, from yoga classes to interactive entertainment, and has a special T-Zone for teens where older kids will love the Pajama parties, video games room and movie nights.
Beaches, Turks & Caicos
Trench Town at Beaches, Turks & Caicos (Courtesy Beaches)
The all-inclusive teen-friendly Beaches Resort is the ultimate Caribbean family hideaway. With a 45,000 square foot waterpark, four villages with Italian, French, Caribbean and Floridian architecture, and a 12-mile beach, you’ll find endless activities for the whole family. Tiny kids will love the Sesame Street® characters, while teens can hole up in the Xbox Play Lounge with its exclusive games, advanced multiplayer games and entertainment apps. Trench Town is another teen hangout with fun arcade games, including shooting electronic hoops and lightning-fast laser hockey, as well as enormous flat-screen TVs. At night, teens will relish heading to Liquid, the teen disco that bans little siblings and over 21s! Budding DJs will also love the Scratch DJ Academy to learn how to mix, blend and scratch on vinyl, CD’s or even iPods!
Atlantis Resort, Nassau
Since 1998, this sprawling resort has become famous worldwide as a family-friendly destination in itself, with its casino, beaches, vast array of restaurants, shopping and teen-friendly activities. Families will love the amazing Aquaventure Waterpark, with its incredible Atlantean-themed towers, thrilling high-speed slides and river rides, as well as 20 swimming areas and the chance to interact with marine animals. Teens will also love the nightlife, thanks to Crush, the nightclub reserved to 13-17 year olds with its own Internet Lounge, multi-touch computers and photo editing wired into Facebook. And let’s not forget the Gaming Room with its Xboxes, PlayStations and Wii gaming consoles – as well as iPads aplenty!
Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Club Med Punta Cana (Courtesy Club Med)
Check into the Club Med Punta Cana for exquisite beaches, great scuba diving sites and a true family-friendly resort experience. Magnificent coconut groves alongside a turquoise lagoon, a private beach and luxurious family suites are only the beginning. You’ll find extra perks such as the CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil experience. Teens will love the range of sports activities on offer at the Club Med Passworld® (from 11 to 17), which includes access to exclusive teen spaces with activities ranging from flying trapeze to tennis, archery, sailing, windsurfing, graffiti art, dance, shows, hiking, picnics, camping, and evenings “on the beach” with movie nights and beach parties! There’s also a Teen Spa for 11 to 17 year olds.
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime. Since the arrival of her son in 2011, she has taken him everywhere from Bangkok to NYC, writing family friendly articles en route.