Soaking up the sunshine on a sandy beachfront may sound relaxing, but the actual planning behind a family vacation leaves most people stressed out before they ever hit the beach. According to a survey by Mastercard, 89% of Americans are stressed out over planning family vacations. However, avoiding taking a well-earned vacation altogether isn't necessarily the answer.
Instead, consider looking towards all-inclusive resorts that take care of everything, from food to activities and fun for the kids. Not sure where to start? Here's my rundown of the best all-inclusive resorts for families.
Beaches Turks & Caicos
The family-friendly Beaches Turks & Caicos offers a unique experience for a one-of-a-kind experience with a 45,000 square-foot waterpark and several villages to choose from. Pick your room based on your favorite architecture and ambiance including Italy, France, the Caribbean, or Key West along a 12-mile beach. There are ten on-site pools, including adult-only options when you want to take a quiet dip alone while the kids are having fun at the teen disco, Xbox Play Lounge, Sesame Street themed kids club for the little ones, and more.
As one of the best all-inclusive resorts for families, Beaches Turks & Caicos also features everything from traditional hotel-style rooms to two-story butler suites with oceanside rooms. Snorkeling, catamaran rides, and beachfront parties keep families busy with the activities they love most. Choose from up to 22 restaurants and 22 different worldwide cuisines, along with waterpark food trucks to grab an ice cream or dish of mac and cheese in between races down the waterslides. Beaches is also the first resort company in the world to complete IBCCES training and Autism Certification. Families with kids on the spectrum receive specialized service, engaging activities, and custom dining options.
Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana
As the first five-star resort of its kind in the Caribbean, the Nickelodeon Punta Cana helps families rekindle their sense of play. Families can see their favorite SpongeBob characters, hit the Nickelodeon themed water park, and have a blast at the clubhouse doubling as an art studio complete with ball pits, slides, and slime-making classes. And yes, adventurous families can even get slimed at the resort if that's on your ultimate bucket list.
Despite all the fun, Nickelodeon Punta Cana also caters to luxury travelers looking for an award-winning culinary experience. After an incredible meal at one of the adult-only restaurants like Kitchen 23, get a world-class spa treatment at the 14,000-square-ft Vassa Spa while the kids are at the Just Kiddin' Kids Club. Your family can also splurge on a wraparound swim-up suite or a poolside swim-up suite so you can roll out your door and into the warm water against a tropical backdrop.
Hard Rock Hotels - Riviera Maya & Punta Cana
Take your pick from the warm, tropical waters along Punta Cana or the Riviera Maya and stay at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels. The all-inclusive Hard Rock Riviera Maya features a waterfront paradise with spectacular views, expansive pools with swim-up bars, and a sea cove ideal for kayaking, and snorkeling. You can also spend hours playing at the expansive Rockaway Bay Water Park catering to tots to teenagers.
Little ones enjoy a zero-entry kids pool for splashing and playing, along with a Kidz Bop experience for 6 to 12-year-olds for singing and dancing. There’s also a Roxity Kids Club with games, waterside fun, crafts, and a unique music experience. Their “Sound of Your Stay” program connects guests with expert curated music playlists with all your favorite songs and up and coming artists, the chance to rock out among a collection of 20 Fender guitars with the help of a Fender Mustang floor amplifier and in-room video lessons.
With grown-ups in mind, the Hotel & Casino at Punta Cana features a casino and on-site gaming to try your luck. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and world-class entertainment while the kids indulge in Kidz Bop and other fun. Although families of all ages can have a blast at Hard Rock Hotels, they’re ideally suited for tweens, teens, and grown-ups.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Head to St. Lucia for an upscale, all-inclusive getaway with the family. The Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa features one of the best all-inclusive resorts for families with nine restaurants, seven bars, five pools, and activities like kitesurfing and playing on the island's largest waterpark. There's even a Zone Paintball area to compete with your family before a dip in the warm, tropical waters.
While the kids are enjoying Cocoland Kidz Klub with a pirate ship, mini rock wall, costumed characters, crafts, and more grown-ups can head over to the Harmony wing. This adults-only section of the resort features pools, bars, loungers, and hammocks on the oceanfront Kai Mer Spa. Gather back together as a family at nightfall to see jazz musicians, live performances, and family-friendly fun for some of the best entertainment on St. Lucia.
Situated in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Grand Velas features oceanfront luxury suites with coastal living rooms and private terraces for a gorgeous backdrop to your vacation. There's also a Kids Club with kite flying, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, crafts, and more for age-appropriate fun with late-night hours available.
While kids make new friends and indulge in the included kids club, parents can dine at one of the restaurants helmed by award-winning executive chef Guillaume Morancé. Choose from French, Asian, Italian, or authentic Mexican fare along with a more relaxed outdoor patio dining at Selva Del Mar with views of Banderas Bay.
Although the Atlantic Bahamas isn't technically an all-inclusive resort, it does offer similar amenities and regular specials with flight and hotel deals, plus dining plans. Families explore a 141-acre water park with slides sand river rides, 11 pools, sandy beaches, and the world's largest open-air marine habitat with over 50,000 marine animals in 15 exhibit lagoons.
Atlantis' impressive family programs also cater to kids with age-appropriate entertainment, kids pools, entertainment, crafts, and more. And there's even a program for kids hoping to work alongside the Aquarists to feed fish resident fish and sea turtles for the day. While kids are playing, parents can try a round of oceanfront golf, indulge in the spa, or soak up some live entertainment.
Ready to book your next vacation?
Having fun and relaxing at one of the best all-inclusive resorts for families is an easy choice, but deciding on where to go can feel daunting. Need some expert insights and guidance? Narrow down the best choice for your family based on your children's ages, activities, food, and fun by scheduling a complimentary all-inclusive resort planning session here.