When it comes to keeping the peace among the entire clan, hunkering down at an all-inclusive resort or a family-friendly villa is a smart move. Here are a few of our favorites.
- All-inclusives typically have free kids’ clubs, so parents (and grandparents, for that matter) can sneak in some alone time on the beach.
- Restaurants, buffets, and 24-hour room service mean no stressing about shopping or cooking.
- The kids can make new friends. Staying in a villa has its perks, but it can be a little more isolating.
NICKELODEON PUNTA CANA – Dominican Republic
Grade-schoolers can hang with Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during character breakfasts. And with a water park and a clubhouse, the child-centric activities are nonstop. If you really want to blow their minds, book the two-bedroom, 2,292-square-foot Pineapple Villa: the foyer looks just like SpongeBob’s home under the sea.
HYATT ZIVA CANCUN – MEXICO
The free kids’ club at this year-old resort has a game room, a pool, and waterslides, which means grown-ups can spend the afternoon at the resort’s tequileria, brew-pub, or three infinity pools guilt-free — especially if you take the family for gelato and pastries at the on-site Pasteles dessert parlor right after you pick them up from the club.
JUMBY BAY – ANTIGUA
At this luxe Rosewood resort, parents can give older kids freedom to roam. There’s only so much trouble they can get into on a 300-acre private island, where activities include volleyball, mocktail mixology classes, and turtle walks. At night, everyone comes together for dinner at the Estate House, an 1830s mansion that just underwent a $6 million restoration.
DREAMS PLAYA MUJERES – MEXICO
Along with a water park that includes a lazy river, the brand-new Dreams property has a teens’ club, so kids ages 13 to 17 can try their hand at archery, golf, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and rifle shooting by day and get together for foam parties and bonfires at night. (The club stays open until 1 a.m.)
- You’ll have a lot of space to spread out, and having a kitchen where you can stash juice boxes, formula, or breast milk will be a lifesaver. Many villas come fully staffed, so you won’t have to make the bed, tidy up, or even cook.
- If you have a baby, you won’t be waking your neighbors up in the middle of the night.
- You can maximize your privacy by putting your kids in a separate bedroom-and still have peace of mind.
FOUR SEASONS RESORT & RESIDENCES – ANGUILLA
The 24 villas at this rebranded property, formerly the Viceroy, all have infinity pools and are just steps from the beach. If that’s not enough to entertain your brood, the Kids for All Seasons program changes its activities constantly: one day they’re decorating cupcakes, the next doing a scavenger huntor a three-legged race on Meads Bay Beach.
FOWL CAY RESORT – BAHAMAS
Get the best of both worlds at this all-inclusive private island with one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas. Not only does your fridge come fully stocked but you’ll also find a restaurant on site, plus plenty of diversions (snorkels, wake boards) to keep busy. Bonus: each villa comes with its own powerboat, so you can take a quick trip to feed the pigs on nearby Pigs Beach. Again. And again.
GEEJAM COLLECTION – JAMAICA
Considering that Katy Perry, Drake, and Rihanna have all recorded song sat this Port Antonio resort, a stay at one of the three villas won’t be a hard sell. (Ask to take a tour of the studio.) For the ultimate bragging rights, book the four-bedroom Panorama Villa, once a favorite spot of Audrey Hepburn, and take the gang for a spin in a restored Alfa Romeo.
PIET BOON BONAIRE – BONAIRE
Masterminded by famed Dutch designer Piet Boon, these 10 minimalist villas, each of which has a private pool, were built to take maximum advantage of the island’s cooling sea breezes. Which means that this is the trip where your kids can finally learn how to windsurf and kite board – both are popular activities here.