If there’s a better balm for the winter doldrums than Caribbean vacations, I’ve yet to find it. The trifecta of warm water, soft sand, and sunshine are an instant mood booster. Over the years, my family and I have visited much of the Caribbean. My kids and I agree that Caribbean beach resorts have everything you need for a perfect family vacation. But if you’re considering a warm-weather getaway to a Caribbean family resort, it may seem like there are almost too many to choose from.
Family-Friendly Beach Resorts in the Caribbean
How do you decide between Caribbean beach resorts when they all seem so great? To help you decide, I’ve put together a list of top picks here, highlighting each beach resort’s top features. From a resort with a giant waterpark on Punta Cana’s stunning sand to a Sponge Bob suite on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, these are some of the Caribbean’s most family-friendly beach resorts.
How we chose these Caribbean beach resorts: Read our methodology for selecting hotels and all-inclusive resorts.
1. Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The all-inclusive Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa, and Casino sits along Bávaro Beach in Punta Cana where the aquamarine-colored water is fringed with sugary sand and shaded by towering coconut palms. With 1,042 guest rooms in family-friendly and adults-only sections, this Caribbean beach resort proves that sometimes bigger really is better. If a swim in the sea doesn’t do it for you, there are seven freshwater swimming pools plus the Splash Island water park (best suited to younger kids rather than tweens or teens).
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More reasons to love Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort: A kid’s club, teen club, bowling alley, arcade, ice cream parlor, candy shop, and an escape room guarantee youngsters will never be bored. A spa and casino present adult pleasures. An array of internationally inspired dining concepts and buffets loaded with kid-favorites should tempt even the pickiest eaters.
2. Beaches Negril, Jamaica
Beaches Negril is located on idyllic Seven Mile Beach, where calm water and a gradual slope makes it easy for even the tiniest toddler to splash safely. It’s one of two Beaches Resorts in Jamaica (the other is Beaches Ocho Rios) and among the most beloved all-inclusive Caribbean resorts for families anywhere in the islands, with meals, drinks, water sports, and age-specific clubs staffed by trained nannies. The resort has undergone recent renovations and now offers multi-bedroom villas and penthouses perfect for multigenerational family vacations and family reunions. If you want to go swanky, there’s butler service.
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More reasons to love Beaches Negril: Swimming pools, a water park with a lazy river, and evening entertainment are all part of the fun. As a bonus, Beaches partners with Sesame Street, offering the chance for little ones to mingle with Elmo and company.
3. Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
Palm Beach, Aruba
The Caribbean Islands may be known for their lush vegetation and terrain, but Aruba surprises with a desert landscape. A windfall of cacti and colorful orchids add eye-catching details to the arid panorama. The Aruba Marriott Resort is situated on Palm Beach, one of the prettiest beaches on the island where the sand is powdery and the water’s prime for swimming. This 414-room Caribbean beach resort also has numerous dining venues, but it’s not all-inclusive, offering you the freedom to explore the island’s unique landscape and luscious culinary scene.
More reasons to love Aruba Marriott Resort: A variety of water and land sports, from windsurfing to pickleball, boost the fun factor. Family cooking classes are an experiential way to experience Aruba’s fusion of Caribbean and Dutch traditions.
4. Curtain Bluff Resort, Antigua
Even in a sun-and-sand powerhouse like the Caribbean, Antigua stands out for its variety of beaches. Locals say there are 365 beaches, allowing you to swim at a different beach each day for an entire year without repetition. Antigua’s Curtain Bluff Resort is an elegant all-inclusive resort on the island’s south coast, surrounded by two beaches. Relaxation is the theme here, as your biggest choice may come down to lounging by the beach or the pool.
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More reasons to love Curtain Bluff Resort: Family-friendly conveniences include guaranteed interconnecting rooms and complimentary outdoor activities such as sailing and tennis. The CeeBee Kids Club for toddlers and kids ages three to 10 is open five days a week, offering crafting, crab races, and snorkeling, among other activities.
5. Ocean Club Resorts
Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
In the Turks and Caicos, Grace Bay is protected by an offshore reef and home to a wealth of aquatic life among the coral. The water is pleasingly warm and a vivid turquoise color. Ocean Club Resorts has two sister hotels on Grace Bay Beach, one called Ocean Club and the other Ocean Club West. A shuttle runs between them, allowing you to enjoy the facilities at both. Rooms are spacious, with a full kitchen or kitchenette for preparing snacks and light meals. It’s not an all-inclusive Caribbean beach resort, but excellent onsite dining options feature fresh seafood and special menus for kids.
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More reasons to love Ocean Club Resorts: These laidback resorts are all about family togetherness. There’s no drop-off kids club, but multiple swimming pools and a range of non-motorized water sports, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and SUP, are available to keep everyone content and enjoying family time together.
6. Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Labrelotte Bay, Castries, St. Lucia
With its twin Pitons, rainforest, drive-in volcano, and stunning beaches, St. Lucia is big on natural beauty. Windjammer Landing is a beachfront resort sprinkled with gardens and sparkling swimming pools. Rooms and spacious villas have comfortable furnishings, with paintings by local artists adding sense of place.
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More reasons to love Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort: The kids club at this Caribbean family beach resort is for guests ages four to 12 and it goes all-in with dance classes, yoga, puppet-making, and a range of crafts that help connect children to St. Lucia’s heritage. The resort has seven dining options plus cooking classes that teach families the secrets of the St. Lucian kitchen. You can choose from either an all-inclusive or a la carte option.
7. Dreams Curaçao Resort Spa and Casino
Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a melting pot of languages and cultures. Locals speak Papiamentu, a blend of Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English. Willemstad is its charming capital, with candy-colored buildings and vibrant street art. All-inclusive Dreams Curaçao Resort Spa and Casino is situated on the white sand beaches of Piscadera Bay.
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More reasons to love Dreams Curaçao Resort: Food is an eclectic mix of flavors reflecting the many influences that have contributed to the country’s identity. Clubs for children and teens are staffed by friendly locals. Play beach volleyball or enjoy unique travel experiences like taking a Papiamentu lesson.
8. Club Med Michés Playa Esmeralda
Michés, Dominican Republic
Club Med Michés Playa Esmeralda is located on the Dominican Republic’s northeast coast, with 335 rooms and suites spread over four villages. Everything’s included in the rate. Families can spend quality time engaging in dozens of shared activities, from gardening to learning the art of trapeze, with drop-off clubs for infants to teens when parents crave adult-only time.
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More reasons to love Club Med Michés Playa Esmeralda: Chocolate lovers shouldn’t miss the Secret Chocolate Room, an edible oasis of candy fountains and sugar-spun confections that makes every day feel like Halloween at this Caribbean beach resort.
9. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
George Town, Grand Cayman
The Cayman Islands are an archipelago of three islands, and Grand Cayman is the largest and in my opinion the most stunning. Enjoying a prime position on crescent-shaped Seven Mile Beach, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is an oasis for families who crave kid-friendly elegance with upscale accommodations and stellar service.
More reasons to love The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman: Robust water sport offerings range from sailing to snorkeling. Starfish Cay is the water play space, with a zero-entry splash pool that’s just right for little ones. It’s not an all-inclusive beach resort, so you’re free to dine off-property. However, epicureans will be delighted with the resort hotel’s culinary options, including a restaurant helmed by superstar Chef Eric Ripert.
10. Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive Caribbean beach resort that sets the standard for family fun, meet Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya. From the moment you arrive and are treated to a slime smoothie, the stage is set for playful surprises, including Nickelodeon character meet-and-greets, dance parties, and live interactive Nickelodeon game shows. Each of the 280 suites overlook the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, while special themed suites (such as the Pineapple Suite inspired by SpongeBob and the Lair Suite that pays homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) intersect luxury and whimsy.
More reasons to love Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Riviera Maya: A sprawling water park complex called Aqua Nick, supervised programming for children ages four to 12, non-motorized water sports, dining options, and the opportunity to get slimed, the ultimate Nickelodeon honor, will keep everyone smiling.
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- 12 Best Beach Resorts in the U.S. for Families
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