By Kaitlin Madden
Luxe Caribbean getaways don’t have to be a thing of the past once kids come along. Top tier resorts know well that one of the most indulgent services they can offer is a menu of enticing activities for the pint size set so mom & dad can sneak away to the spa. Ranging from hourly excursions to full-day camps, we’ve rounded up family-friendly offerings at top resorts around the Caribbean (plus options to keep you busy, too).
Why you’ll love it: LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc, located on the breathtaking Flamands Bay, is a St. Barth’s institution for good reason. The Guerlain spa is among the top on the island, villas are equipped with private pools, the wine list at the outdoor La Case de L’Isle boasts 200 options, and the staff, known as alchemists, are skilled at creating one-of-a-kind experiences for guests.
Why the kids will, too: They’ll be welcomed with open arms at Cheval Blanc. Think: kid-size bathrobes and flip flops, house-made baby food purees, and Baudou Paris cribs. Babysitting services can be booked in advance, and alchemists design programs tailored to your children, or custom excursions for the whole family (like the Mermaid Experience, which offers kids a one-on-one chance to swim with the resort’s resident mermaid, or the Little Pirates treasure hunt).
Why you’ll love it: For starters: white-sand beaches, a renowned spa, and four restaurants on site. For adventurous types, the resort can arrange a host of activities including sailing lessons, snorkeling, kayaking, and wind-surfing.
Why the kids will, too: Besides babysitting services & kids’ menus at its restaurants, kids aged 4-12 can join in on Cap Juluca’s Explorers’ Club, which offers activities like sustainable arts & crafts, hikes, beach games, water sports, and more.
Why you’ll love it: Located on the stunning Long Bay Beach, and named the Best Caribbean Resort by USA Today in 2019, The Shore Club offers amenities in spades. Highlights include the Dune Spa, on-site tennis courts, and access to luxury yachts for daily or overnight charter. Water sports like kitesurfing, jet-skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking and parasailing are available on site, and to maintain a feeling of serenity and privacy, the resort even features a network of underground passageways used by staff to minimize activity on the property.
Why the kids will, too: The Shore Club’s Kids Club offers complimentary full- and half-day programs, where kids ages 4-10 can partake in beach adventures, nature walks, and science experiments at the Jungle Jam treehouse.
Why you’ll love it: Three Bees is a private vacation rental, and the resort offers villas that are designed for up to 26 guests -- perfect for multi-family getaways. The guest rooms are beautifully appointed, the tented outdoor dining room offers lunches and snacks with a view, and you can borrow an ATV or golf-cart for a jaunt into nearby Dunmore town.
Why the kids will, too: Three Bees staff can arrange art classes, soccer games, sailing instruction and more. Water trampolines, jet skis, and a stand-alone cinema with a theater-size screen are just a few of the amenities guaranteed to captivate kids for hours.
Why you’ll love it: Enjoy the rugged beauty of the mountains, the serenity of the beach, recreation and relaxation all in one (and in high style). This resort on the DR’s Gold Coast features a posh modernist design, on-site spa, and myriad chances for adventure including private kitesurfing lessons and horseback rides. The adjacent championship golf course also boasts 10 holes overlooking the ocean.
Why the kids will, too: The Amanera Children and Youth Program, for kids ages five-12, features naturalist-led wilderness adventures around the property. Or, book private lessons for kitesurfing, snorkeling, kayaking, tennis, golf, and more.
Why you’ll love it: It’s the closest thing you’ll get to your own private island without, you know, owning a private island. Jumby Bay is a 300-acre island off the coast of Antigua, available only to guests of the resort. On site you’ll find a spa, tennis courts, and three sit-down restaurants, and 40 guest rooms & villas which offer private courtyards, wraparound terraces and outdoor showers. Food & beverage for the entire family is included in the room rate.
Why the kids will, too: In addition to nanny & babysitting services, the resort offers The Jumby Explorers program, designed for kids ages three to 11, offers cooking, music, wildlife adventures, and beach days, to name a few. Older kids can partake in activities among their peers. Think beach volleyball and mocktail mixology classes. Also awesome: Kids can enjoy a variety of spa services thanks to the hotel’s Never Too Young To Spa program.
Why you’ll love it: The cuisine is by Michelin-starred French chef Guy Martin, the interiors are by renowned Sybille de Margerie, the toiletries are by Hermes, and the spa features product by Le Mer. Couple that with a beach-front locale on Grand Cul de Sac, and Le Barthelemy is hard to beat.
Why the kids will, too: Just a few of the activities Le Barthelemy offers littles? Snorkeling with sea turtles, fish-spotting in a glass-bottom kayak, and family cooking classes.
Why you’ll love it: The secluded island, located 35 minutes by boat from Providenciales, is a true escape. The resort’s rooms and suites offer serene views of the beach or gardens, while villas and estates feature private pools and butler service.
Why the kids will, too: The resort’s complimentary Play by COMO program features a dedicated play space with active, quiet and creative play zones, plus scheduled activities like plantation walks, wind chime making, and meditation and yoga sessions.
Why you’ll love it: You won’t find a cruise ship or chain retailer on the island of Nevis, but you will find the Four Seasons’ renowned amenities in a pristine, unspoiled locale. The resort features an on-site spa (with unique treatments like the Caribbean Vibe Ceremony), world-class dining experiences (book a Chef’s Table at EsQuilina) and one-of-a-kind excursions, like a helicopter ride to check out southern half of Montserrat & the Soufrière Hills volcano.
Why the kids will, too: The Four Seasons’ famed family offerings include babysitting and a complimentary on-site kids camp for littles age three to nine, plus resort exclusives like cooking classes, sandcastle building, and a sea-turtle education program in partnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancyand the Nevis Turtle Group.
Why you’ll love it: Stroll a half-mile of white sand beaches, enjoy rock climbing or bocce, or take a painting class while sipping a rum punch. Or, simply sit under an umbrella and enjoy the view of the ocean. Accommodations are luxe no matter where on the property you stay: a guest room or suite with an ocean view, a three-bedroom penthouse with a private plunge pool, or a five-bedroom beachfront villa with a gourmet kitchen and private pool.
Why the kids will, too: There’s a family pool on-site, plus pint-size bathrobes and free kids toiletries, too. Complementary day-long programs for kids and teens include activities like nature walks, jewelry-making, stand-up paddleboarding, and ping pong. Yoga classes, tennis lessons, and teen spa treatments can also be arranged.