The Question: Can you recommend an all-inclusive family resort in the Caribbean that would make everyone happy? We’re looking for something suitable for kids that also has a good beach and pool, tasty food and isn’t too expensive.
Everyone happy – that’s the challenge of family and multigeneration trips isn’t it? But as you intimate, when you’ve got a toddler screaming in a fancy restaurant, no one can relax. Edmundo Roa, a travel agent with Ottawa-based Let’s Take the Kids Travel ( letstakethekidstravel.com), suggests these all-inclusive resorts, because among the other amenities on your list, they also have clubs that kids actually like.
Club Med Punta Cana ( clubmed.ca): Punta Cana, on a long white-sand beach on the Dominican Republic’s Atlantic coast, offers Club Med’s well-known child-centric programming from playrooms for babies up to DJ lessons for teens. “It has a lot for everybody,” Roa says. “Big, huge pool. Fantastic beach. Good food. Good service. Great kids club.” Accommodation ranges from family rooms up to oceanview family suites. Programs, taught by pros, include tennis and circus school, chefs man the buffet stations, and the resort is kitted out with high chairs and the like. There’s a children’s bar serving non-alcoholic drinks and snacks within the Cielo bar (one of two bars at Punta Cana) and, yes, free cocktails for the grown-ups too.
Hotel Playa Pesquero ( hotelplayapesquero.info): This large resort in Holguin, Cuba, is a bit easier on the wallet, but still boasts a beautiful beach with easy access to snorkelling, multiple swimming pools and a decent kids club. One of the best features of the children’s club is its location near the main pool, Roa says, so you can relax nearby. Accommodation ranges from standard rooms to two-bedroom suites. Roa also points out that, unlike many resorts in Cuba, the food here is good. Plus there’s an ice cream shack for the kids and a cappuccino bar for adults.
Beaches Boscobel ( beaches.com): Located on the shores of Jamaica’s north coast, this is one of the less expensive Beaches resorts, Roa says, but it has the company standards: “They have the water park, the waterslides. It’s in a really nice area of Jamaica.” However, the beach, while good for snorkelling, is on the small side, he notes. Accommodation ranges from deluxe family rooms to luxury family suites. Kids programming includes a 27,000-square-foot water park called Pirates Island, baking lessons with Cookie Monster and a golf clinic. And for adults? Greens, scuba diving and, of course, a swim-up bar. The only catch? You may face competition at the pool bar if the kids discover the non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris.
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Follow Karan Smith on Twitter: @karan_smith. Special to The Globe and Mail