Taking our DD to Barbados in Nov, when she will be 15 months. It will be fab!!
I know Barbados pretty well and would say your 4 yo will have a great time there. Also as babypringle says Dominican Republic has a malaria risk.
Barbados is a small flatish island, so transfer time from airport to just about any hotel will just be half an hour or so, max (less if you're on the South coast). We went to St Lucia a couple of years ago and although it was stunning, I would not take DD as the transfer from airport was horrendous and took about 2 hours.
we have taken dd to both, i didnt like Barbados had a couple of incidents and the people were very cheeky. dominican, you are resort bound, all inclusive and entertainment, didnt give dd anything for malaria, its only certain places at certain times. the only thing with the dr is the quality of hotels isnt great, they say they are 5* but more like thompson 3.
we love thailand, bit longer flight but lovely hotels and you can get around feeling safe.
Depends on which part of the island you want to be, budget and whether you want self catering, all inclusive, etc. We have booked Mistle Cove which is in St Lawrence Gap on the South Coast. Haven't stayed there before, but wanted a nice 2 bed apartment on the South coast (my parents are going to be there at the same time so wanted to be fairly close to them) and this seems to fit the bill. I personally prefer the South coast to the West - it tends to be far more relaxed, less expensive, and, dare I say it, less snobby. There are still plenty of nice beaches and restaurants, although the West coast is not exactly a million miles away anyway. The sea on the West coast are calmer though and probably more suited to small children.
Ooh, can't wait to go If you see anything you like, send a link and I will see if I know it.
we went to aruba (dutch caribbean) two years ago and it was amazing. it's a really small island, so transfers were quick. stayed room only at the holiday inn at palm beach. beaches and sea were gorgeous, everyone was really helpful and friendly and great with DS. until recently it was a dutch colony so it had good infrastructure and medical facilties, which we found reassuring travelling with a child. no malaria. geared up for US travellers so really easy to get food etc that DS would eat and stuff like formula and baby jars were easy to find. still dream about it
Babypringle I am off to Aruba for the fifth time next week with my DS who is 2!! I can't recommend it enough. But if that is not an option then I would def say Barbados over Dominican. Cleaner and not as restricting.
out of the two I'd say Barbados although I've not been to Dominican Republic. This is just based on things a friend who used to be cabin crew told me. she said whenever she went to DR she always packed food and water for her entire stay in her suitcase as she wouldn't risk the local food/drink. she said that there had been a number of cases of food poisoning in DR and in fact one flight home she was on there were only around 5 people on board who didn't have food poisoning! It may have improved in the last few years but I wouldn't risk it with my DC.