The Caribbean is a playground for all ages, with long stretches of powder-soft sand, calm, clear lagoons, and plenty of flora and fauna to fill any aspiring naturalist’s journal. When it comes to choosing a hotel in the archipelago for family travel, it can seem hard to go wrong. But there are hotels and resorts that cater especially well to travelers of varying age groups by offering an array of services, amenities, and activities that make everyone feel welcome.
For this carefully curated guide to family-friendly resorts in the Caribbean, part of AFAR’s Hotels We Love series, we looked for places that have both adults and children in mind. In addition to the water slides and mega-pools, the kids clubs and preteen cooking classes, these resorts make it easy for parents to book suites or adjoining rooms. There are simpler food choices for picky eaters that don’t cost a fortune, and they coexist with menus that are enticing enough to intrigue gourmands. We also opted for places where service is attuned to the needs of the youngest and oldest among us, so everyone feels included.
In no particular order, here are 15 family-friendly luxury Caribbean resorts we love this year. We hope you do, too.
1. Half Moon Resort
- Where: Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Why we love it: Blue waters, sandy beaches, and a dedicated children’s village
- Loyalty program: I Prefer (Preferred Hotels & Resorts)
- Book now
At Half Moon Resort on Jamaica’s north shore, “Kids are VIPs,” they say. It starts on arrival: The ride from the airport to the front door is only 10 to 15 minutes, putting tiny travelers in great moods for what awaits. Perhaps it’s a bike ride or family pickleball match, or time spent along the two miles of private beach, where guests can swim with horses in the Caribbean Sea. Guests have their pick of water sports, can roast ‘mallows by a campfire, and even help with turtle releases. And then there’s the Anancy Children’s Village, a series of colorful low-slung buildings where kids age 3 to 12 can explore the playground, try arts and crafts, and make friends (while giving parents a chance to check out the golf course or infinity pool).
Half Moon has been a standard bearer in Montego Bay since it opened in 1954, when it hosted British and American nobility, everyone from Queen Elizabeth to JFK Jr. The original Founders Cove set of suites and cottages catered to guests with white-glove service; it’s all a bit more laid-back these days. In 2020 a hotel-within-a-hotel, Eclipse, opened on Half Moon’s 400 acres, with 57 rooms—more modern and minimalist—decked out in local art and archival photography and several new dining options. Make a reservation at the smart-casual seafood spot Delmare or head to Sunrise Beach for a barbecue. From $825
2. Rosewood Baha Mar
- Where: Nassau, The Bahamas
- Why we love it: Sophisticated design and world-class service—with easy access to water parks
- Book now
It’s hard to miss Baha Mar, the 1,000-acre resort complex that now dominates Nassau’s Cable Beach with its three hotels, 2,200 rooms, and $200 million water park. It even has its own convention center. Among the three hotel choices, Rosewood Baha Mar is our go-to for a more sedate, secluded stay (and some pampering). The 225 rooms, suites, and villas are done in muted shades of coral, aquamarine, and sand.
Even the kids’ club, Rosewood Explorers, looks like a Pottery Barn Kids ad (open for ages 4–12 next to the Lagoon Pool). The club has robust daily programming that intends to thrill and tire out the kiddos (“9 a.m. Make Bahamian flag art. 11 a.m. Learn how to create a Junkanoo band. 1:30 p.m. Tie-dye. 3:30 Ice cream picnic”). Meals are elevated but not fussy—breakfast is by Cafe Boulud, and afternoon tea is in the library lounge.
Rosewood’s commitment to sustainability shines through in many of the resort’s offerings. As senior deputy editor Jennifer Flowers reported, “In the Bahamas, where 95 percent of the nation’s territory is underwater, Rosewood Baha Mar has teamed up with the Bahamas Reef and Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) to help regenerate the area’s reefs and educate both Bahamians and visitors on coral reef protection. Guests can book a coral reef dive and adopt and plant a coral fragment, with all the proceeds going to BREEF.” From $920
3. The Ritz-Carlton Aruba
- Where: Palm Beach, Aruba
- Why we love it: A classic seafront resort with a science-minded kids club
- Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
- Book now
Backed by the aquamarine waters of Palm Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Aruba’s 320 rooms are generously sized, with cheery turquoise-and-yellow color schemes and balconies overlooking the sea. Aruba’s north shore has famously white sand that squeaks under foot, swimmable water for all ages, and unobstructed trade winds from the eastern Caribbean that make windsurfing one of the must-do local activities.
Leisure pursuits can be as easy as a daytime doze in a poolside cabana or as strenuous as a catamaran sailing trip complete with diving lesson. Need a break from all that sun? Indoor facilities include a spa that specializes in island-inspired treatments (think full-body massages with local aloe and divi-divi tree oil) and a state-of-the-art gym that’s open 24 hours so guests can sneak in early-morning workouts between indulgent meals at one of the four on-site restaurants (BLT Steak, from noted chef Laurent Tourondel, among them).
Meanwhile, the hallmark Ritz Kids program (ages 4–12) goes a step beyond a typical kids club with nature- and culture-based activities based on the program’s four pillars: water, land, environmental responsibility, and culture. Treating tiny travelers like budding scientists, instructors teach the difference between various lizards and iguanas, how fast birds fly, and lessons on all things under the sea: fish, sharks, coral reefs, you name it. Makes you want to be 10 again. From $680
4. Four Seasons Resort Nevis
- Where: Nevis, West Indies
- Why we love it: Superlative service, postcard-worthy surroundings, and fairy godmother–like service
- Book now
AFAR contributor Chris Colin painted a vivid picture of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis when he visited with his wife and young daughter in 2012. His words still ring true: “When you’re motoring through the open seas and suddenly a lush, perfect mountain materializes in the mist—a volcano, actually, rising majestically, its summit vanishing in clouds—what you’re seeing is an honest-to-goodness tropical paradise. No offense, but your life is inferior to whatever it would be at the Four Seasons Resort on the island of Nevis.”
Settle into your Pool Studio (or Estate Home, or Beach/Palm Grove/Sunset Hill Villa) of choice and let the Four Seasons anticipate your whims. Need a rollaway bed or a crib? Got you covered—and here’s a child-size bathrobe while we’re at it. Want adjoining rooms to keep an eye on the teens? The Kalinago suite can be configured as a two- or three-bedroom stay via connecting rooms. Need someone to help you claim loungers by the one of the three infinity pools? “We can arrange virtually anything,” they say. Test them out.
Four restaurants and three lounges offer all the food options and the famed Kids For All Seasons team (ages 3–9) teaches cooking and kite making, takes the family crab hunting, and educates travelers about the endangered sea turtles on island. From $1,177
5. Grace Bay Club
- Where: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
- Why we love it: Its impressive Kids Town kids club and spacious sea-view suites
- Loyalty program: Leaders Club (Leading Hotels of the World)
- Book now
Housed on a 1,100-foot stretch of prime beachfront, Grace Bay Club is as stylish as it was in 1993, when it became the first luxury hotel to open on the then nearly empty sands of Grace Bay. From its original 21 rooms, the upscale property has grown to 88 suites, each with water views, a private veranda or patio, and interiors by renowned designer Thom Felicia. An adults-only Hotel Building now caters to guests ages 16 and up, while junior, one- , and two-bedroom villa suites come with loads of space (the penthouse sleeps 10, with two sets of twin bunk beds). Guests can also look forward to superior service, including a personal concierge available day or night via a provided cell phone.
When hunger strikes, there’s the seafront Infiniti Restaurant and Raw Bar with sea-to-table fare and the Caribbean’s longest bar (stretching 90 feet); among the family-friendly options are the Grill, which does a full breakfast (included in room price), and a literal Just Tacos pop-up option on the beach. Best of all? Three on property pools, plus a Kids Town clubhouse. Here, the four-and-under crowd will love the tire swing and tree house, while older kids may want to kayak, snorkel, paddleboard, and seek out glow worms at night on instructor-led tours. Stick with the kids or take advantage of babysitting and nanny services; the Anani Spa is calling. From $1,600
6. Cheval Blanc St-Barth
- Where: St. Bart’s
- Why we love it: The Cheval Blanc “alchemists” and oh-so-French amenities for adults and kids
- Book now
The famous Hotel St-Barth Isle de France officially became a Cheval Blanc property in 2014, reopening as the Cheval Blanc St-Barth. In 2018, after a renovation in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the property also debuted a design concept by architect Jacques Grange, complete with 19 new guest rooms, freshly landscaped gardens, and one-of-a-kind artwork by Jean-Michel Othoniel. In addition to two gourmet restaurants overlooking the sea, the resort has a Guerlain spa staffed by Cheval Blanc’s trademarked “alchemists”—employees whose sole purpose is to tailor-make memorable experiences for guests.
While Cheval Blanc is always popular with couples, its clientele shifts depending on the time of year. Around the holidays and spring break, families come for offerings like the “Pour les Bébés” menu of homemade baby food, or the French accessories and toys for kids in the guest room. Perhaps les bébés will want to go on treasure hunts or play paddle tennis (and perhaps the adults will, too). A laid-back beachy vibe with a compelling overlay of French style is the hotel’s hallmark. Comfy rattan furniture is offset by a palette of blues and light shades, and rooms are stocked with custom Leanor Greyl products to protect from salt and sun. From $800; beach suites from $3,600.
7. Jumby Bay Island Resort
- Where: Antigua
- Why we love it: A secluded private island with intimate wildlife encounters
- Book now
Only reachable by boat, Oetker Collection’s Jumby Bay sits on a private island off Antigua. It offers a true dose of seclusion on 300 acres of flowering Joewood trees, pearly white sand, and sparkling blue shores. The 40-room resort recently debuted refurbished suites in shades of sand and white, with palm wall coverings and tropical-themed paintings by local artist Jan Farara. Throughout the property, meandering paths for walkers and cyclists lead to beaches and nearby coral reefs with marine life.
Camp Jumby Pavilion will take guests age 3–11 out to explore the great outdoors, leading classes like “Wildlife and Ocean Adventures,” “Discover Science,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and the crowd-pleasing “Dance and Sing.” At Jumby Bay’s own farm—accessible only by foot, bike, or golf cart—guests can dine under the stars, sharing a seasonally changing menu with dishes like poached Antiguan conch and lobster tartare. The hotel is also home to egrets and hummingbirds that live in a five-acre sanctuary and a flock of protected sheep (originally brought over from Spain 400 years ago). Guests can adopt a turtle as part of the Hawksbill program and experience a turtle nesting on Pasture Bay Beach. From $2,865
8. Secret Bay
- Where: Dominica
- Why we love it: A secluded, sustainable paradise
- Loyalty program: Always Be Expected (Relais & Châteaux)
- Book now
Despite the name, the secret’s out on Secret Bay, an all-villa Relais & Châteaux resort committed to sustainability and preserving the surrounding rain forest on Dominica, an under-the-radar island that’s making big strides in environmental stewardship.
Hidden on the northwestern coast, Secret Bay is a 10-minute drive from Portsmouth, the second largest town on the island. (Large is relative here—it has fewer than 4,000 residents.) The 19 villas were responsibly built to not disturb the surrounding rain forest, but luxuries were not spared—think private pools and well-equipped kitchens. There are also multi-villa options for larger groups and families, many with access to secluded beaches.
Guests can get in touch with nature at Secret Bay, from the tree house–style spa to the riverside yoga pavilion. A Kids Concierge will give swimming and snorkeling lessons, teach Creole, local history, and painting (for a fee)—a real renaissance itinerary in the tropics. The resort recently created the Botanica Organic Garden & Chef’s Table, an open-air garden-to-fork culinary experience with plant-based dishes featuring ingredients from the chef’s organic garden. A just-launched energy-efficient funicular—the longest in the Caribbean—allows guests to take in the rain forest from new heights. From $1,355
9. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- Location: Puerto Rico
- Why we love it: A resort that combines glamour with a commitment to the environment
- Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
- Book now
Set on Puerto Rico’s pristine northern coast, Dorado Beach has quite a history. Once a pineapple, grapefruit, and coconut plantation, the land was bought by visionary tycoon Laurance Rockefeller in the 1950s; he reimagined it as a world-class hotel and nature preserve. In 2012, Ritz-Carlton transformed it into its first ultra-luxury Reserve property in the Americas.
Each of the 96 guest rooms and suites immerses guests in the natural surroundings via generous terraces and expansive picture windows with cinematic water views. They’re beyond spacious, even at the entry-level—the East Beach Ocean King starts at nearly 900 square feet, including sprawling exterior spaces. Every guest is assigned an embajador, a personal butler who can make anything happen, from touring the island by helicopter to staging a family photo shoot on the beach. For the utmost pampering, book one of the 14 residences, which come equipped with a golf cart.
The resort takes its commitment to the environment seriously with programs like Ambassadors of the Environment, which teaches kids about biodiversity, sustainability, environmental conservation, and Puerto Rico’s rich history. Classes range by age, from four and up, with older kids learning about underwater photography and going on guided forest hikes. From $1,828
- Where: Anguilla
- Why we love it: Location, location, location
- Book now
Set on a craggy cliff jutting between Meads Bay and Turtle Cove Beach, Malliouhana has knock-out views from all angles. The bright, cerulean open-air lobby with mirrored mosaic-tile flooring tumbles out to a deck. There, tiered infinity pools are punctuated by ruffled yellow umbrellas, and a cliffside restaurant serves fresh seafood. (Anguilla is known for having some of the best food in the Caribbean.)
Built in 1984, this is Anguilla’s original luxury resort, which reopened in December 2018 after a complete restoration following Hurricane Irma. While guests may find it hard to take their eyes off the Caribbean Sea, the 63-room boutique hotel’s interior design offers its own portal to the sublime. Guest rooms are painted sorbet yellow or robin’s-egg blue and feature white four-poster beds, mural panels by Haitian artist Jasmin Joseph, and sea-green marble bathroom vanities.
Beyond the rooms, guests of all ages will want to get in the water—a Mini Explorers’ program (ages 5–12) will teach “junior oceanographers” about Anguilla’s fishing and boat racing traditions. (Tinier travelers can join in poolside with magnetic fishing poles and foam sea creatures.) Depending on how active a visiting family is, they may challenge each other to pickleball, basketball, soccer, tennis, even four square, or camp out by the infinity pool at the newly redone spa. From $859
11. The Shore Club
- Where: Long Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
- Why we love it: Handsome design, top-notch service, and one of our favorite kids clubs
- Book now
Admittedly, travelers are spoiled for choice in Turks and Caicos. On Long Bay Beach, known for its white sand and prime kiteboarding conditions (shallow water, plenty of wind), the oceanfront Shore Club has a bit of everything: 38 suites, 110 rooms, and 8,800-square-foot private villas with their own saunas and dedicated butlers. Housed within a stand-alone cottage with a colorful interior on the southern end of the property and surrounded by bougainvillea is the Shore Club’s Jungle Jam kids club (included in the hotel rate and open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The programming offers the 4-to-10-year-old set a deep sense of place (kids under 4 are welcome, too, but must be accompanied).
The resort fronts a secluded stretch of Long Bay Beach where kids can head out on guided wildlife walks with the kids club counselors to hunt for local reptiles, birds, butterflies, hermit crabs, and snakes along the shore line and scout for parrot fish in the shallows. (The water is as clear as a swimming pool in these parts.)
“Critter safaris” play out along an eco-trail winding from just outside Jungle Jam’s door through a scrub brush environment along which children might see colorful birds, native orchids, or curly tailed lizards while learning about bush medicine and the historic island uses of tropical plants. Other club activities include “oven-to-tummy” cooking classes where kids learn the basics of kitchen tools while making “jungle pies” and pizzas, as well as sand-sculpting lessons on the beach incorporating seashells into their designs. From $650
12. La Samanna, a Belmond Hotel
- Where: St. Martin
- Why we love it: Top-notch restaurants and activities for the whole family, on and off the property
- Book now
La Samanna had us hooked at breakfast: Terrace restaurant Corail doesn’t try to cater to everyone with a giant buffet. Rather, it has a very St. Martin menu of omelettes your way and shakshuka poached eggs, pińa colada French toast and johnny cakes, croissants and acai bowls and fresh juice. Le sigh. Next, take on the day with a guided hike through the jungle and up St. Martin’s Pic Paradis (its highest peak) or a snorkel with giant turtles. There’s complimentary snorkel gear, kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards at the beach, and yoga, Pilates, and tennis rackets and clinics for all guests. There is no traditional kids club; rather, the resort’s outings accommodate multiple generations (and babysitting is available when parents need a break).
When the family is worn out, they can settle into a guest room or suite in Mediterranean white and blue, with a patio or balcony. Keeping with the “plenty of options,” theme, La Samanna also has three- or four-bedroom private pool villas, three-bedroom cottages, and specialty suites for up to six adults. For a special occasion, reserve at bistro L’Oursin, now with noted chef Marcel Ravin as culinary director. From $1,326
13. Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth
- Where: St. Bart’s
- Why we love it: A secluded stay away from St. Bart’s buzz
- Book now
After renovations following 2017’s Hurricane Irma, the iconic Le Guanahani returned with a new name—Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth—and new levels of luxury. Some things have stayed the same (or have been rebuilt to look the same), like the 66 accommodations, including rooms, suites, and signature suites painted in pastels and along winding pathways. The redone interiors, courtesy of designer Luis Pons, have white-beam ceilings and billowing white curtains with pops of color in the headboards, artwork, and rugs.
With its prime location on an 18-acre private peninsula on the quiet northeastern side of St. Bart’s, Le Guanahani is the rare property on this buzzing island that gives travelers a serene escape from the sometimes relentless glitz, plus room to spread out. The hotel is framed by a pretty lagoon and two beaches: Maréchal Bay (a sandy stretch) and Grand Cul de Sac (known for snorkeling and spotting sea turtles).
The Beach House will be the family’s center, serving up a breakfast buffet and opening its infinity pool at the kid-friendly hour of 8 a.m. (Note: The dress code is resort casual, and kids under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.) The Rosewood Explorers’ Club caters to the 4-11 set, with bilingual guides and babysitters (French and English).
One of Rosewood’s most exciting additions is the Sense Spa, a Zen-inspired sanctuary with a wide range of treatments and activities designed to enhance your overall well-being. Don’t miss the immersive “Le Morne” Sense Spa Journey, which starts with a walk through a nature reserve, followed by a body wrap, a toning leg massage, and a soothing head-and-scalp massage. From $1,144
14. Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
- Where: Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Island
- Why we love it: Casual luxury, accessibility, and a spa for the ages
- Loyalty program: IHG One Rewards
- Book now
Kimpton Seafire, the first of the Kimpton brand to come to the Caribbean (in 2016), is set on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island, a coveted coastline—and most of the resort’s 264 rooms and suites have ocean views and private balconies. The resort delivers “luxury without the attitude,” a nod to the waning days of white-glove service once found at five-star resorts in the Caribbean. Parents with sand-covered kiddos in tow won’t have to fuss over what they’re wearing for lunch or dinner at the casual beach bar Coccoloba, which also has live mariachi music on Saturday nights. (Taco Tuesdays get an upgrade here to “Taco y Tequila” every Tuesday, 5–9 p.m.)
Guests can opt for more space by booking a one- or two-bedroom ocean-view family suite with bunk beds and sleeper sofas, or a Beach Bungalow with oversize living and dining areas and kitchenettes. Send the kids off to Camp Seafire Kid Zone, which has its own splash pad and waterpark and plenty of arts, crafts, and games to keep kids (age 5–12) occupied for a half- or full-day session. Meanwhile, adults can duck into the 8,500-square-foot Spa at Seafire for a Cayman coconut ritual, sleep therapy, or sound healing. At night, sleep in peace—the guest rooms have multiple accessibility features (telephone ring signaler, visual alarm clock and fire alarm, bed shaker) for travelers with visual or hearing impairments. From $645
15. Atlantis Paradise Island
- Where: Paradise Island, The Bahamas
- Why we love it: A long-running history of stellar service and water slides that will blow your kids’ minds
- Book now
Ever since it opened in 1998, the Atlantis has lived up to its name, like Plato’s city under the sea arisen. The flamingo-pink palace is now practically synonymous with the Bahamas; many of the country’s estimated 7 million visitors check into one of the resort’s 3,805 rooms.
You can easily spend an entire day as a tourist at this vast ocean-themed casino resort, which sits just over Nassau’s harbor bridge on Paradise Island. Purchasing a day pass to the property lets you access, for instance, its gigantic aquarium and marine habitat; shallow-water swims with sea creatures at Dolphin Cay; and a 141-acre water park. The latter includes wave pools, swimming areas, and—most famously—a six-story waterslide that plunges you into a lagoon seemingly filled with sharks (actually a glass-bottomed pool where sharks swim underneath).
Guests can stay at any of five types of accommodations within the resort: the newest addition, the Cove, is a more secluded and elegant stay, while the 25-year-old Royal’s East and West Towers recently underwent a renovation. Kids six and under eat for free on an adult’s meal plan—there are 21 restaurants to choose from—and the Atlantis Kids Adventure club caters to age 3–12 with dedicated programming from morning until night. The staff is among the best in the business, catering to needs, whims, and desires of all ages. From $431
Note that prices are subject to change. The starting price accounts for two adults and one child in late April.
Edited by Laura Dannen Redman, with reporting by Patrick Bennett, Laura Begley Bloom, and Terry Ward.