5 Hot hotels for families
Want to take the kids away? Consider these super spots in the Caribbean that offer fun and adventures for the whole tribe
1 Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, St Lucia
BEST FOR Waterpark fun
WHERE Vieux Fort
RATES From US$370
INFO 758 459 6000; cbayresort.com
Located amid 85 lush acres with a mile-long beach, the award-winning Coconut Bay is a water-lover’s dream: this all-inclusive resort is home to CocoLand, St Lucia’s biggest waterpark. Here, kids (big and small!) can float down the Lazy River, splash about cascades and fountains, and shoot down the high-speed twists and turns of Coconut Cannon, the island’s best slide.
There’s also the CocoLand Kidz Klub, an exciting all-day activity hub for children. There are programmes appropriate for all ages, up to 12; this is the only resort in St Lucia that offers childcare services for infants aged from just three months. Capers include crafts, games, exploring the pirate ship and whizzing on the zipline.
Come night-time the resort offers family-friendly buffet dining, talent shows and family fun nights. Movie night on the Splash Lawn even includes a swim-up bar, where a bartender serves drinks from the Kiddy Kocktails menu. Connecting rooms are available and there’s excellent wheelchair access throughout.
2 Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada
BEST FOR Beachfront action
WHERE Grand Anse Beach
RATES From US$1,145
INFO 473 444 4258; www.spiceislandbeachresort.com
This elegant 64-suite boutique resort, owned by local legend Sir Royston Hopkin, is surrounded by eight acres of tropical gardens and set on beautiful Grand Anse Beach – and will put a smile on the face of the whole family.
Certainly everyone will love the world-class food – especially the Sunday barbecue lunch buffet, where families can tuck into a variety of Grenadian favourites served right off the grill by the beach.
Spend days by the pool or head to the beach for sun and sports. The on-site watersports centre offers family snorkelling trips and excursions to Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park and the popular Flamingo Bay to get up close with the coral reef. Junior PADI-approved scuba-diving courses are available for children aged 10 years and over.
On dry land, the colourful Nutmeg Pod kids club is open from 9am to 5pm daily for children aged three to 12, and includes a range of activities, from arts and crafts to karaoke and movie nights.
3 Almond Beach Village, Barbados
BEST FOR Superb supervision
WHERE St Peter
RATES From US$469
INFO 246 422 4900; www.almondbarbados.com
The motto of all-inclusive Almond Beach Village is: ‘Arrive… and leave the rest to us.’ Just what stressed-out parents need to hear! The resort has a vast array of child-friendly activities on offer, provided by a fully qualified childcare team, so that mum and dad can enjoy some chill time of their own.
Watersports such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding promise fun for the whole family. Then there’s the three-stage kids’ programme. Coral Cove, for infants up to the age of four, includes educational play and story times. Sandy’s Surf Lodge caters for children aged five to 11, offering activities such as jewellery and puppet making, T-shirt painting, movie matinees and after-6pm screenings, computer games, badminton, beach cricket and volleyball. Studio 246 is where teens aged 12 to 16 can socialise over air hockey, table tennis and other sports, gaming and more. New activities are added daily.
The clubs are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9am or 10am to 5pm. There’s an after-hours babysitting service too, for an additional charge – great news for parents’ night off.
4 Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, Puerto Rico
BEST FOR Eco-adventurers
WHERE Rio Mar Boulevard, Rio Grande
RATES From US$171
INFO 787 888 6000; www.wyndhamgrandriomar.com
This resort on the unspoilt north-east coast of Puerto Rico has more than 400 bright, modern spacious rooms and suites, each with private balcony. It also boasts an enticing array of child-friendly eco-activities.
This is your family’s gateway to the 28,000-acre El Yunque Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System and a Puerto Rican treasure. There’s a park entrance just seconds away, with access straight into this tropical wonderland of waterfalls, lush greenery, winding rivers and vibrant wildlife. Visit the El Portal Rainforest Centre, which has a treetop walkway, restaurant and educational displays, and hit some of El Yunque’s miles of hiking and biking trails.
The hotel runs iguana-feeding trips, guided nature walks and seasonal eco-friendly turtle nesting excursions. There are also three ocean-side pools, plenty of watersports and kids club activities ranging from hair-braiding to cookery classes. Phew!
5 Fort Young Hotel, Dominica
BEST FOR Pirate adventures
WHERE Victoria Street, Roseau
RATES From US$204
INFO 767 448 5000; www.fortyounghotel.com
First built in 1699, the historic Fort Young Hotel has witnessed many battles over the centuries. It’s a bit quieter now, but it is still the perfect base for adventures on the high seas.
There are 73 elegant guest rooms, including ocean-front accommodation overlooking the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Under-12s can stay in their parents’ room for free, or there are adjoining rooms, and children’s meals are served in all of the hotel’s restaurants.
The Cannonball Kids club (for children aged 3-12) is a supervised environment equipped with TV, Wii console, movies and games. Better, head outside. A private jetty provides a gateway to an underwater world of snorkelling and diving (suitable for all skill levels), and whale-watching adventures. There are gentle waterfall and nature hikes. It’s also possible to take a boat trip through the jungle, on the trail of Captain Jack Sparrow – pivotal scenes from the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Man’s Chest, were filmed in Dominica.
Check ‘Family Fun Sale’ offers for August and September to snap up a good deal.