Tuesday, March 17, 2015

7 Best Family Friendly All-Inclusives

Paired with the bluest of blue waters, powder-soft sand, ample sunshine and warm temperatures of the Caribbean, all-inclusives create the ultimate family vacation. With so many options, however, how can a family choose which all-inclusive resort to visit? And more importantly, how can a family find one that realistically meets their budget needs? We've chosen our favorite accommodations in the Caribbean, with popular destinations, family ratings, various budget ranges and consistent deals in mind. Plus, our editors and writers have personally visited these resorts with their kids and loved them as much as you will.

Some of the greatest values for families can be found at all-inclusive resorts, which offer plenty of diversions and schedule flexibility.
The kids want to go ziplining—for the third time in two days. But you don’t need to think twice. When you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, nearly everything is included, so the pressure is off to constantly tally the cost of your vacation.
The all-inclusive concept has gotten a recent makeover—better food, spruced-up d├ęcor, more varied activities—and many are perfect for families. Activities are on-site, so there’s no need to wake up early and usher the troops out the door only to wait in traffic or long lines. 
Family vacations are meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, but sometimes finding the right hotel, making restaurant reservations, and booking endless activities for the kids can seem more like a chore than a restful getaway. At the all-inclusive properties that make our list, you'll have a stress-free vacation where all meals and activities are included and easily accessible. All you'll have to worry about is which on-site feature you'll want to try out next!

The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana

Looking for a kid-friendly resort that’s still upscale and quiet enough for couples? Appealing to both adults and kids, The Reserve features 132 one-bedroom units with separate living/dining areas, pull-out sofas, and spacious bathrooms with jetted tubs. There are several pools (including one for children) and a multitude of dining and entertainment options, both on-site and at the larger (and more crowded) sister property next door. Families will love the gorgeous beach, free bike rentals, Asian-style spa, and personal service the hotel prides itself on.  

Iberostar Rose Hall Suites All-Inclusive

 A mid-range option for families looking to stay on Montego Bay’s northern shore. Rooms are large enough to share with the kids, and the affordable all-inclusive rates cover all meals and drinks (including top-shelf liquor) at the property’s 12 restaurants and bars. Kids will love the lazy river, water park, kids' club, and video game center, while their parents will most certainly enjoy the ocean-view infinity pool and free activities such as tennis, non-motorized water sports, and PADI dive center. However, the restaurant reservation process is a pain and rooms are just "meh" for the price.

Occidental Grand Aruba

Just 10 minutes from Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital and bustling tourist center, the Occidental Grand Aruba is located on a lively beach with lots of activities. Service is speedy, if somewhat impersonal, but rooms are large with comfortable beds. There’s a large lagoon shaped pool, but the gym is tiny and the on-site restaurants are mediocre at best. There are great bars and restaurants nearby, but unfortunately they’re not part of the all-inclusive plan.

Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club

You’ll never be bored at Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club, a beachfront property loaded with fun activities and awesome freebies. If the gorgeous, private beach, five swimming pools, and swim up bar aren’t exciting enough, there’s lots of fun to be had at the Pirates Island Waterpark, Sesame Street Kids Club, and XBOX Garage. But kids aren’t the only ones who have all the fun at Beaches. Parents will love free water sports like kayaking, scuba diving, and paddle boarding, and free golf on a private course. There are a variety of dining options ranging from seafood to barbecue, and contemporary rooms are some of the brand’s largest in Jamaica. The downside? You and your family won’t be the only ones enjoying this incredible resort. Public areas tend to get crowded and sometimes a little noisy. 

Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana

The massive, all-inclusive Hard Rock is a sleek option in Punta Cana, located on a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach. Getting from one place to the other on the sprawling property can take some time, but the hotel provides a shuttle. In addition, the size allows the resort to have broad appeal -- it attracts families, couples, and partiers. The signature Hard Rock rocker vibe can be seen throughout the hotel, whether it be in the music-themed decor or the free guitar rentals. On-site amenities such as tennis, golf, and horseback riding help keep guests busy. There are plenty of dining options as well.

Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, Punta Cana

Kept in pristine condition, Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe sits on a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach and features cool, modern rooms with bright colors schemes and large balconies. The hotel has numerous pools that rarely feel over-crowded, which means you’ll never have to rise before dawn to grab those coveted pool chairs. There are tons of dining options here, and the nightlife includes a 24-hour casino and a disco. However, the place is massive, so getting around can take some time.

Dreams Puerto Vallarta

Whichever your room, you’ll wake up to views of the ocean at Dreams Puerto Vallarta, located in a secluded cove near the namesake Old Town. The Explorer’s Club for kids (three to 12) runs sandcastle-making contests, treasure hunts, optional overnight campouts, and movies on the beach; it’s also got a trampoline set in the water. For parents, activities range from snorkeling and kayaking to beachside aromatherapy massages and dining at the adults-only Portofino restaurant.

There are endless options when choosing a family friendly resort. Let us help you plan and strech your money. Email us LetThereBeTravel@gmail.com.

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