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The Caribbean serves up the kind of idyll we parents dream about at the end of a long day of nappies, meal times, pick-ups and drop-offs, and bedtime battles. But what if we told you dreamy days spent swimming in crystalline waters were within your reach?
Offering every family-friendly activity and amenity under the sun, the Caribbean is awash with hotels to suit everyone’s tastes and budget. From water sports and beachy adventures for tots and teens to tropical relaxation - there’s something for everyone, as the Caribbean islands offer it all in one, easy package.
With all-inclusive resorts, breath-taking views, a vibrant culture and unlimited entertainment for all ages, the Caribbean reigns supreme as a destination for families. It’s unsurprising, then, that Brits return to this holiday destination every year in search of dependable blue skies and white, sandy beaches.
To help you find accommodation, we’ve handpicked the best family hotels in the Caribbean, as recommended by Mumsnetters.
Quick look at family-friendly resorts in the Caribbean
Best overall: The Royal at Atlantis, Bahamas
Best all-inclusive: Royalton Splash Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Best budget: Tamarind by Elegant Hotels, Barbados
Best for babies: Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa, Turks and Caicos
Best for teenagers: St. James’s Club Resort, Antigua & Barbuda
1. Best overall: The Royal at Atlantis, Bahamas
The Royal at Atlantis, Bahamas | Check availability
Appropriately located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, this iconic hotel is an extraordinary place to stay and serves up some impressive activities for families, starting with its well-known water park, Aquaventure.
The park is an aquatic playground of fun, and is home to high-speed waterslides, rapids, wave surges, a lazy river and much more water play for all ages to enjoy. Visitors here can enjoy one-on-one encounters with a collection of marine life and explore lagoons, corals, caves, and underwater ruins all within the parameters of the resort.
The hotel itself offers over 20 restaurants to choose from, a pristine, private beach overlooking crystal clear waters, and comfortable accommodation options to suit every family’s needs. Other activities at The Royal Atlantis include themed dinner nights, movie nights, stand-up comedy, evening entertainment, kids’ club, nightclub, and if you’re feeling a little lucky, you may also want to check out their famous casino.
It’s worth mentioning, also, that the hotel is home to the Caribbean’s first animal rehabilitation hospital. Housing dolphins and sea lions who were rescued after Hurricane Katrina, the centre is one of the main attractions at the resort.
What Mumsnet users say
“Atlantis however, is a lot of fun and spectacular to visit. We did 6 days here.” Oopsticle
2. Best all-inclusive: Royalton Splash Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Royalton Splash Punta Cana, Dominican Republic | Check availability
In need of a holiday that will entertain the kids for hours and allow you to relax overlooking blue waters, with a cocktail in hand? Look no further.
Featuring one of the largest water parks in the Caribbean, the all-inclusive family resort the Royalton Splash Punta Cana also serves up an expansive pool, an indoor and outdoor play area, kids’ and teens club, games room and water sport facilities onsite.
The resort is home to a number of restaurants, boasting cuisines from around the world, including Italian, Mexican, Asian, and America. And if the kids are picky eaters, there are child-friendly menu options and they’ll have access to their own in-house ice cream parlour. Not forgetting the eleven bars available, to ensure there’s a drink in your hand at all times.
There’s babysitting services, too, so if you want to enjoy some adult-only time one night, you can enjoy evening entertainment, head over to the local nightclub or enjoy the resort’s own casino.
The Royalton Splash also has sailboats, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, volleyball, water polo, tennis courts and so much more. Your holidays are about to be filled with activity, adventure, relaxation and entertainment all under one roof.
What Mumsnet users say
“Grand memories Splash in Punta Cana Dominican Republic it was paradise! The Royalton is literally next door. I dined for free a few times as they closed the main hotel I was staying in.. I also used their pools too. Bliss took ds he loved the waterpark! It's shared for both!” Roastonsun8
3. Best for babies: Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa, Turks and Caicos
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa, Turks and Caicos | Check availability
Known for its hospitality and relaxed island atmosphere, Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive resort that is sure to tick all the boxes. Accommodating to families with young children, the hotel provides strollers, baby safety gates, outdoor and indoor play equipment, board games and babysitting services.
The resort also offers 20 onsite restaurants, boasting different styles of cuisines from around the world with kid-friendly buffets and meals for young diners.
With an outdoor fireplace, picnic area and sun terrace, the lush hotel gives copious opportunities for quiet family time but also offers an array of adventures for everyone to enjoy.
Tours and cultural classes, water parks, water sport facilities, and exciting excursions that include diving and fishing are just some of the leisurely activities to consider at this wonderful resort. The little ones will also enjoy the kids’ club, karaoke, games room and of course the beautiful blue beach.
While the kids enjoy a taste of the good life, parents will also enjoy happy hour, tanning by the pool and heading to the spa for some much needed R&R.
What Mumsnet users say
“Beaches Turks and Caicos. Has all of what you want. There is a reef off the beach 5 min walk from the resort.” Serenschintte
"I would also recommend Beaches Turks & Caicos for young children. Finest Playa Mujeres in Mexico is another good option and probably quite a bit cheaper too.” BackToWhereItAllBegan
4. Best sustainable resort: Barcelo Bavaro Palace, Dominican Republic
Barcelo Bavaro Palace, Dominican Republic | Check availability
The Barcelo Bavaro Palace is truly one of a kind. Featuring a beautiful, white, sandy beach which spans 2 kilometres, the hotel is home to a stunning tropical coral reef, which makes the water sports activities including diving and snorkelling a must.
Equipped with activities for kids and adults to enjoy, including a water park, evening entertainment, a casino, indoor and outdoor play areas and more, the Barcelo Bavaro Palace also has 11 unique restaurants and a child-friendly buffet.
If you’re worried about how to get around the huge resort, no need to worry! The resort features a charming little train that can transport guests around the property all day long.
There’s also two swimming pools and a number of bars - including swim up bars - and an 18-hole golf course for those who are feeling competitive.
If being on the beach and catching some rays isn’t relaxing enough, Barcelo Bavaro Palace offers spa services at their world-renowned spa to guarantee complete relaxation.
Unlike any resort of its kind, the hotel is so unique that it has been awarded the Green Glove Certification for its sustainable tourism practices for two years. So, if you’re looking to holiday in style, while still keeping up with the environmental causes, Barcelo Bavaro Palace has it all.
What Mumsnet users say
“Years ago, 15 years ago we went to the Barcelo Bavaro in the Dominican Republic. At that time it was a 5 hotel complex with around 10 different restaurants including a 24 hours one (which only served rubbish pizza and so on) , several pools which we never used as the sea was so nice. There was a small train going around the complex so we never had to walk a lot.
I am not sure the complex still exist in its form but it was a very nice holiday.” KingIrving
5. Best for younger children: Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels, Barbados
Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels, Barbados | Check availability
With bright, colourful rooms and modern suites, this hotel in Barbados is beautiful. Lounge in complete peace on the beach, enjoy non-motorised water sports including snorkelling, kayaking and sailing, and partake in beach cricket, windsurfing, fishing and Calypso dance lessons.
Younger guests also have access to the Flying Fish Kids’ Club, and can enjoy their own dedicated swimming pool and jungle gym.
There’s three restaurants to choose from that offer both local and international cuisines, as well as the hotel’s famous ‘BBQ on the beach’. As a guest at Turtle Beach, you can also take advantage of the facilities offered by the hotel’s select sister properties, which are all just a short distance away. These hotels include the all-inclusive West Coast hotels, Waves Hotel & Spa and Crystal Cove.
What Mumsnet users say
“Yes - posted on another thread about Turtle Beach just the other day! Lovely hotel, very family friendly (no young/single folk). On the South coast, which does mean that the sea is a little rougher than on the West Coast. Great kids club. It is AI, and the food is usually pretty good. We've been 5 or 6 times, since our boys were around 7+.” BecauseImWorthIt
6. Best for teenagers: St. James’s Club Resort, Antigua & Barbuda
St. James’s Club Resort, Antigua & Barbuda | Check availability
Located at the beautiful Antigua and Barbuda, the 4-star, all inclusive St. James’s Club Resort is nothing short of blissful. With two private beaches, the hotel has spacious accommodations with private balconies overlooking the breathtaking views of the water, lush gardens and the dreamy Mamora Bay Beach.
While the adults may enjoy happy hour, there are many activities for the little ones to do including joining the kids’ club or heading over to the games room for a little friendly competition.
For some good old fashion fun in the sun, the resort allows for rentals of any of the water equipment. So get ready and head to the open water to enjoy some snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking lessons and more.
And when you’re feeling a little peckish, you can walk over to one of the seven onsite restaurants including local and international cuisines that serve a la carte, buffet and high tea.
With beautiful green foliage, crystal blue waters, a sandy beach and endless fun for both adults and children alike, St. James’s Club Resort has all the services you could ask for.
What Mumsnet users say
“Antigua - Carlisle Bay if you want to spank some serious cash, or St James Club if you want somewhere still nice but not as eyewateringly expensive. We did Antigua as direct BA flights from London, easy to hire a car and go out exploring.” Toomuchcoffeetoomuchwine
"It's been our best holiday ever. Last year the boys were running feral on the beach for the whole fortnight. We went with Virgin for the first time. The room was a bit on the small side so it's probably worth upgrading. The beachfront villas are fantastic but obviously much more expensive. With our TShare we have to fly BA unfortunately as Virgin don't fly there on Sundays which is what our dates are but I would seriously choose Virgin every time because of the "check in and chill out" facility.
I can give advice but I am hugely biased.” SoupDragon
7. Best for water sports: Carlisle Bay, Antigua & Barbuda
Carlisle Bay, Antigua & Barbuda | Check availability
If the sound of clear, blue, tranquil waters and gorgeous, white sandy beaches sounds intriguing, then a holiday to the enchanting Carlisle Bay is just what you need. As one of the less crowded beaches on the island, the seashore at Carlisle Bay is truly a diver and snorkelling enthusiast's paradise.
With a kids’ club full of activities, along with the many recreational water sport activities such as snorkelling, diving, windsurfing and canoeing, there is never a dull moment for the little ones at this exotic resort. Home to a breath-taking tropical garden, Carlisle Bay is located just a minute away from the water.
Live music, evening entertainment, and movie nights aren’t the only things available at this incredible resort. In fact, just a short distance away, you can also experience many wonderful excursions including a visit to Stingray City, where you can swim with unfenced stingrays or horse riding on the beach.
You will also find several local shops and the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Zipline Tours for the thrill seekers.
What Mumsnet users say
“Carlisle bay was amazing, we went from 15-22nd jan with a 4.5 yrs and 2 yrs and they had a ball. Our suite was directly on the beach, sep room for the children. Kids club excellent, treasure hunts, football, tennis coaching, separate kids pool area, playground. Spa fab. Service was almost perfect with the exception of a couple of lazy guys at the pool bar. Food in main restaurant excellent and free dinner for the children. Very expensive - but worth it. We'll return for our 10th anniversary!” Karoleann
8. Best for swimming pools: Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua & Barbuda
Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua & Barbuda | Check availability
The natural beauty of Antigua can be yours to discover at the beautiful Verandah Resort and Spa. The hotel comes equipped with four impressive freshwater swimming pools and a children’s splash pool. If you’re looking for some swimming pool privacy, the hotel also offers private plunge pools and panoramic views from the balcony of your very own two bedroom plunge pool villas.
You may also enjoy the adult only waterfall pool and lounge area and the rasta beach.
Make new memories with your family as you pedal boat and glide around the tropical beach. You can also float on your very own water hammock, discover the tropical fish and coral reefs as you snorkel, or even challenge your friends and family on your very own 18-hole miniature golf tournament.
If you’re looking for some relaxation, enjoy a stroll at the Verandah’s very own eco-friendly garden.
What Mumsnet users say
“We've been to the Verandah twice with dd who is now 10. We've never used the kids club though as the beach is so lovely and safe that we just lazed around on sun loungers while dd played in the water with friends that she'd made there.” Littlefish
“Haved stayed at the Verandah. It is great, especially for children. The grounds are lovely and ds had great holiday.” Marbeth
9. Best budget: Tamarind by Elegant Hotels, Barbados
Tamarind by Elegant Hotels, Barbados | Check availability
The all-inclusive Tamarind Hotel is located on the beautiful Platinum West Coast of Barbados and is a breathtaking experience for everyone, whether solo travellers, couples, families, friends, or seniors. With views of the tropical gardens or the majestic beach itself, the Tamarind is a little island of paradise.
With two outdoor pools this resort has a number of different amenities for all ages. Themed dinner nights, evening entertainment, a kids’ club, and specialised kid’s menu are just some of the child-friendly perks that young guests will enjoy at the hotel.
For activities, both adults and children will enjoy the water sport facilities on-site, along with snorkelling, windsurfing, billiards and the game room.
There is also a mini-market onsite, beauty services, spa facilities and babysitting services. With three onsite restaurants and a beach bar overlooking the crystal clear waters, this gorgeous accommodation is not to be missed.
What Mumsnet users say
“Hi, the Tamarind is fabulous, on a beautiful stretch of beach -just down the beach from the Sandy Lane but without the $$$ price tag. It has great facilities for children and lovely calm waters. Barbados is a low hurricane risk.” Bonhomme
10. Best for activities: Blue Waters Resort and Spa, Antigua & Barbuda
Blue Waters Resort and Spa, Antigua & Barbuda | Check availability
Create fun, family memories thanks to the endless activities this dreamy resort has to offer. Alongside white sands and clear waters, this tropical resort has plenty of family-friendly activities on offer during the day and night, for all ages.
Cooking classes, local culture tours, karaoke, hiking, cycling, walking tours, and three swimming pools are all available here. Plus, there’s a picnic area and an enchanting beach you can enjoy together. There’s also a kids’ club and teens club, specifically designed with them in mind.
As for your nourishment, the impressive eight restaurants at the resort offer a variety of food options including cuisines from around the world and a child-friendly buffet. If you’re feeling a little extra peckish, you will also find a pool bar and a snack bar readily available.
What Mumsnet users say
“Blue Waters in Antigua is great. We took DS when he was 21m.” Twilightstarbright
Is the Caribbean good for families?
The Caribbean is extremely family-friendly, largely thanks to the array of family activities, water sports, evening entertainment and much more - any trip here is one the whole family will appreciate. While some resorts do cater to specific age groups, finding a family-friendly hotel to suit your family's needs in the Caribbean is easy.
Which part of the Caribbean is best for families?
This is a highly debatable question as all of the Caribbean experiences are top notch. However, when it comes to the absolute best part of the Caribbean for families, Mumsnetters have made their verdict: Barbados.
This picturesque island is said to be extremely safe, offers tons of entertainment and activities for all family members to enjoy, excellent food options, and most importantly, outstanding healthcare.
Do I need to hire a car in the Caribbean?
Hiring a car is handy if you are renting a villa or staying outside of the main city or town.
However, if you plan on staying at an all-inclusive resort, you don’t necessarily need to hire a car in the Caribbean.
As the resorts are all-inclusive, you will likely find all that you need within the resort complex. Excursions are also available onsite at the resorts and taxi accommodations as well as trips to the city can be made available through the resort tours.
When is the best time to go to the Caribbean?
The best time to travel to any island on the Caribbean should be between December to May as you will be less likely to experience rainfall, hurricanes and thunderstorms. The temperatures are a little cooler and the weather is less humid.
But be warned, with peak season comes the crowds. So if you're seeking some time exploring the region's beaches all by yourself, travel in May, June or November. During these months hotels are quieter, crowds sparser, and cheap flights are easier to find.
How to find affordable flights to the Caribbean
Prices from the UK to the Caribbean start around the £300 mark, per person. To help you find the right price for you, when searching for flights to any destination, the first place to check is Skyscanner. With some digging, you can find some great flight deals and offers through Skyscanner for Caribbean Airlines. It's worth checking out Expedia, too.
How we chose our recommendations
Recommendations by real parents
Before choosing any destination for our roundups, we first consult the Mumsnet forums. With over 10 million users per month, there’s a lot of suggestions by real parents who have been there, done that when travelling to the Caribbean with the family.
Expert guidance and traveller reviews
Here we’ll also check what travellers are saying about the Caribbean on these sites, taking into consideration both the positive and negative points of their trip to bring you a well-rounded and honest guide.
Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best Caribbean hotels for families that had won the most awards and recommendations across the board. We feel there’s something here for everyone, to suit every budget.
Why should you trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.