Caribbean

10 Great Family Resort Stays

written by | Posted on September 1st, 2010

That’s an even bigger bargain when you consider Half Moon’s wealth of family-friendly amenities. At the Anancy Children’s Village, kids ages 3 to 12 can put on live puppet shows, make their own souvenirs in the arts and crafts area, and listen to traditional Jamaican storytelling. Older kids have a place all their own in the Teen Hype Zone, stocked with games like foosball, air hockey and table tennis, as well as video games and a cyber lounge where they can keep in touch with their friends back home. Movie nights and karaoke parties give teens even more entertainment options at night. And the whole family can come together for horseback tours at the resort’s equestrian center, or to get up close and personal with the friendly marine mammals at Dolphin Lagoon. Even Half Moon’s location in Rose Hall is ideal: close to Montego Bay, and not too far from popular attractions near Ocho Rios like Mystic Mountain and Dunn’s River Falls. Rates start at $250 pp dbl.

grand case beach club So your clients are on a budget—that doesn’t mean they can’t experience the best of what the Caribbean has to offer. Case in point (no pun intended): Grand Case Beach Club in French St. Martin. On the one hand, its condo-style apartments come equipped with plenty of space—from standard studios to spacious studio lofts to 1- and 2-bedroom suites—as well as money-saving features like full kitchens, ensuring your clients won’t have to pay for an expensive meal every night of the week.

On the other hand, families staying here are surrounded by some of the Caribbean’s most majestic scenery, dining and attractions. The resort itself is set on a quiet cove, with two pristine beaches to choose from. Its restaurant, set on a bluff overlooking the blue horizon, fits in perfectly with the foodie scene that’s been evolving in Grand Case, earning the town the nickname, “The Dining Capital of the Caribbean.” Families can eat on site in its casual setting, or spend a fun night out exploring Grand Case’s other acclaimed restaurants. (Kids and parents alike are sure to love the “lo-los,” serving up local bbq pork, chicken and fish.) And with the money they’re saving with the resort’s low rates and optional dining out, the whole family can indulge in an excursion to deserted Tintamarre Beach for snorkeling, or head to Pinel Island for a day of sun, fine food and watersports. Rates start at $155 dbl; children under 12 stay free.

club med punta cana What separates the Dominican Republic’s Club Med Punta Cana’s kids club from others we’ve seen? The fact that we witnessed several kids stubbornly refusing to leave at the end of the day. And no wonder. This resort’s kids’ program is all about catering to kids’ specific needs. Kids from 4 months to 2 years old get afternoon snacks and naptime between outdoor play at Baby Club Med; 2- to 4-year-olds enjoy lunch designed specially for young children and activities like arts and crafts to match at Petit Club Med; and older kids, up to 11, have an amazing playground at their disposal thanks to the Mini Club. Whether they’re playing in the shallow wading pool with slides, or on its jungle gym in the grass, we’re betting they’ve never experienced such diverse, modern facilities on vacation before. They can even play tennis or basketball on scaled-down, kid-size courts. Hey, we’d probably be begging Mom for five more minutes, too.

Thankfully, a stay at Club Med comes with family togetherness built in. Kids enrolled in its children’s programs have a scheduled family dinner at the end of the day at a buffet restaurant with plenty of grownup and kiddie dining options. At the other end of the property, parents look on as daredevils ages 4 and older take part in circus school at no extra charge, learning the basics of juggling, tightrope walking and even a stint on the flying trapeze! Rates are $185 pp.

paradisus palma real The Punta Cana and Bavaro areas along the Dominican Republic’s southern coast are practically lined with all-inclusive resorts that target family travelers. So what sets the Paradisus Palma Real apart? The services and amenities that this Leading Hotel of the World dedicates specifically to families. Clients who book here can take advantage of the resort’s Family Concierge program, designed to make the frustrations of travel a breeze, and the fun parts of travel even better. Upon arrival at the resort, parents enjoy their own private check-in while kids hang out in a TV lounge. They’ll come away from that check-in not just with keys to their room, but a Paradisus Kids Kit with hats, T-shirts and sunscreen just for the little ones. The Family Concierge program also offers special connecting suites, giving each generation of the family as much space as they need, as well as amenities like kid-sized slippers, robes and even PlayStation game consoles.