With their beautiful beach stretches, the clear blue-green waters, and the warm sunny weather, the Caribbean islands are pretty much at the top of the list for every family looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway. And while a family vacation in paradise doesn't come cheap, these five affordable but wonderful kid-friendly hotels are guaranteed to get you more bang for your buck.
British Colonial Hilton Nassau Hotel, Nassau, Bahamas
Right in the heart of Downtown Nassau's shopping district, the Hilton is perfectly located to explore the island and Prince George Wharf. Families in search of R&R will love the freshwater swimming pool, private beach and Caribbean décor. A quick stroll to Bay Street for shopping or to the historic landmarks such as Rawson Square, the 291-room hotel is also close to Cable Beach. Kick back at the patio grill and pool bar for al fresco dining overlooking Nassau Harbor and Paradise Island or choose one of the 3 bars and lounges for a cheeky sun-downer. Babysitting services can be organised, as can cribs. The kid's menu and high chairs make family dining a treat, especially since kids eat free!
Dreams Palm Beach Hotel Punta Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Close to Higuey, this beachside hotel is just the place to enjoy the feel of Caribbean sand on your toes. While adults can explore Punta Cana, go golfing, hit the casino, dive, swim, snorkel or just recline at the beach, kids will love the kids club (3-12), kid's pool and on-site playground. The 500 rooms have all the trimmings you'd expect including balconies, climate control, turndown service, minibars, in-room coffee makers, lovely bathrooms, flat screen cable TV and a range of international cuisine from Mexican to Asian and French. Need more good news? There's a spa to really get you in the vacation mood, and kids stay for free.
Sugar Bay Resort and Spa Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, US
A unique resort that's all about the beautiful, tropical island views, Sugar Bay is the perfect, laid back solution for a family holiday. Plump for an all-inclusive plan or just opt for Bed and Breakfast, pick your view and feel right at home on your private terrace in this lush 31-acre colonial-style property. With three interconnected fresh-water pools, a secluded beach and a spa, it's quite dreamy. Those who prefer a little action can catch a game of tennis, basketball or even try jet skiing, parasailing or bumper boating! Not convinced? No passport is required to visit this US Virgin Islands. Rolllaway beds, cribs and babysitting are also available, as well as a kids' club, on-site playground and in-room video games for those who prefer to stay indoors.
Club Med La Caravelle, Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe
An all-inclusive Club Med resort on the Caribbean island of Grand Terre in Guadeloupe, this hotel is the ideal solution for sporty families. You'll find a pool, tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, a gym and wellness center, a playground and a kids club where the activities schedule is brilliantly packed to keep your little ones busy all day. Whether you have a club-room or a suite, the entire resort is geared towards families - with air conditioning, espresso machines, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges and babysitting services at your disposal. Paradise amidst the coconut and palm trees!
Club Med Buccaneer's Creek, Sainte-Anne, Martinique
The all-inclusive resort on the island of Martinique in the French West Indies oozes Creole spirit. With 289 bungalows dotted amongst the tropical flora, its beautiful coconut groves overlook the Caribbean Sea. It's just the place for a tropical escape! The usual Club Med pool, tennis and basketball courts, fitness gym and restaurants come with a distinct colorful Caribbean décor. In the rooms you can expect a lovely welcome, with air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs and totally tropical views. If you like family-friendly simplicity and sticking to your budget, this is the place where the all-inclusive deal takes any possible headache out of your holiday!
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime.