Best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean for family vacations
Plan your next family vacation at one of these all-inclusive Caribbean resorts.
Given the hustle and bustle of family life, the best family vacations are those that entice you to stay put, with entertainment, activities and amenities to please everyone. All-inclusive resorts offer all of this and more, including the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won't be dipping into your wallet every five minutes. With countless all-inclusives throughout the Caribbean, it's challenging to narrow your options, but these family-friendly hotels are sure to please. With everything from spacious guestrooms, to upscale amenities, luxurious spas, innovative cuisine, and a bounty of adventures to be had on both land and sea, these resorts should top your list of picks for your next family getaway.
Beaches Negril Resort & Spa – Jamaica
The epitome of family vacation bliss, the Beaches brand seems to find its way onto every list of best all-inclusive resorts. Especially sublime is Beaches Negril, located on a splendid 1,400-foot swath of the famed Jamaica beach, Seven Mile Beach. Big perks include the resort's spacious, multi-room suites that make it easy to accommodate larger families, an onsite nursery that welcomes newborns, and an elaborate kids' club featuring fun activities like face painting and treasure hunts for the littles, and reggae jam sessions, snorkeling and pool Olympics for bigger kids. Days can be spent enjoying the pools and beach, splashing in the extravagant Pirates Island waterpark, and joining a variety of things to do including tennis, volleyball, snorkeling, paddle boarding and catamaran tours. Meals, snacks, and drinks are served throughout 11 restaurants and seven bars, while themed evening entertainment offers something for everyone in the family.
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana |Courtesy Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana – Dominican Republic
Far more elegant than Sponge Bob's flamboyant color palate might suggest, families at the Nickelodeon Punta Cana can choose from seven different styles of chic suites, all with balconies or patios, or from four elaborate villas — a pineapple under the sea anyone? Designed so families can immerse themselves in as much or as little Nick as they want, one side of the property features a mellow, palm fringed infinity pool overlooking the beach while the other side is home to Nickelodeon Place, where you'll find the Just Kiddin' kids' club and Aqua Nick, a lavish water park. Karisma Resort's signature Gourmet Inclusive means a slew of dining options are included as well as activities like fitness classes, beach volleyball and Spanish lessons, to name a few.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya | Courtesy Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Mexico
Perched on the edge of one of the widest beaches on the Mayan Riviera, the 85-acre Grand Velas Resort offers all-inclusive luxury for families. Enormous, plush guestrooms — all at least 1,100 square feet — are spread between two family-friendly areas and feature private terraces. The well-thought kids' clubs play host to both young ones and the teen set alike, offering daily activities like piñata making, storytelling and karaoke, while an award-winning spa, built around one of the resorts eight natural cenotes, offers blissful relaxation for adults. Nannies can be arranged to care for little ones and the onsite baby concierge allows parents to pack lightly. Gourmet dining, an array of activities and 24-hour butler service round out the resort's upscale amenities.
Spice Island Beach Resort |Courtesy Spice Island Beach Resort
Spice Island Beach Resort – Grenada
Cloistered among 8 acres of lush gardens, Grenada's Spice Island Beach Resort exudes an intimate, relaxed elegance combined with a welcoming, family-friendly ambience. The boutique, family-run property is a member of the esteemed Small Luxury Hotels of the World and offers 64 airy, Caribbean-style suites just steps from the sea along a spectacular stretch of Grand Anse beach. A slew of activities are offered daily including kayaking, snorkeling the offshore coral gardens, tennis, or simply whiling away the hours by the pool or sea. The resort is best for families with school-aged kids, as ages 3 through 12 can join the Nutmeg Pod during the day, or the concierge can arrange for babysitting services as needed. The Friday night Caribbean buffet with live steel drum band is a favorite weekly tradition.
Fowl Cay Resort |Courtesy Fowl Cay Resort
Fowl Cay Resort – Bahamas
Ever dream of owning a private island? Fowl Cay, in the Bahamian out islands of the Exumas, is the perfect spot to indulge in castaway fantasies, though with a luxurious spin. Families can choose from one of six ocean-view villas dotting the eastern edge of the 50-acre island, each with its own personal motorboat — gas included — to explore countless nearby islets and cays. Prior to your arrival, your villa will be stocked with everything you need to prepare meals or mix a cocktail, though lunch and dinner at the island's Hill House Restaurant are also included — the chef will even prepare a gourmet picnic for your daily outings. On the island, Fowl Cay's three sublime beaches await, along with a large selection of kayaks, paddle boards and Hobie Cats, snorkeling gear, tennis courts, beach cruiser bicycles, and a freshwater pool with bar. There's no onsite kids' club, but you definitely won't miss it.
Bitter End Yacht Club |Courtesy Bitter End Yacht Club
Bitter End Yacht Club – British Virgin Islands
Family owned since the 1970s, the Bitter End on Virgin Gorda's spectacular North Sound prevails as the British Virgin Islands' most iconic yacht club. Relax by the pool or beneath a thatched palapa on one of the club's beaches, take an excursion to the nearby natural wonder of the Baths, or head out for a snorkeling adventure. An absolute dream for the younger bunch, the resort's kids' club offers a plethora of activities daily for an additional fee — imagine the ultimate summer camp in the midst of laid-back island bliss. The Club's elegant bungalows feature wraparound verandahs sporting panoramic views, while a variety of dining options — three meals per day are included — offer everything from Caribbean buffets to brick oven pizzas and sea-to-table fare.
Caneel Bay |Courtesy Caneel Bay
Caneel Bay – U.S. Virgin Islands
Laurence Rockefeller had the right idea back in 1956 when he opened blissful Caneel Bay, an idyllic resort with seven perfect beaches set along a 170-acre peninsula on pristine St. John. 166 understated, electronics-free guestrooms are spread throughout an assortment of single-story mid-century modern bungalows — 23 new beachfront cottages were added to the property in 2016. Though not a traditional all-inclusive, the resort offers the option to add-on a variety of meal plans, which can be used at three of Caneel Bay's four restaurants. Turtle Town and Club Calabash, the resort's complimentary kids' clubs for children ages 3 through 11 and tweens and teens respectivley, offer engaging nature activities — St. John is sixty-percent national park — as well as crafts, treasure hunts, and baking lessons. Non-motorized water sports and snorkeling gear are also included free of charge.
Grace Bay Club |Courtesy Grace Bay Club
Grace Bay Club – Turks and Caicos
Grace Bay, on the island of Providenciales, has been voted time and time again as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The luxurious Grace Bay Club offers 38 family suites, most with full kitchens, that overlook the ocean and offer spacious accommodations. A full breakfast is included with your room and a variety of dining plans can be added at an additional cost. Onsite, the Resort's Kid's Town programming is truly top-notch. Run in partnership with the fabulous folks at SURFSide Ocean Academy, Kid's Town offers a mix of complimentary and for-fee excursions on land and sea including kayaking, snorkeling, island field trips and evening programs for families.
Curtain Bluff |Courtesy Curtain Bluff
Curtain Bluff – Antigua
Time spent at Curtain Bluff immerses you in understated luxury fused with a warm, old-fashioned family vibe. Children 3 through 12 will find plenty to do at the creative Cee Bee kids' club, from identifying island flowers to crafting mobiles from collected beach treasures and concocting their own mocktails. Kids of all ages, as well as their parents, will love the easygoing ambience, unlimited watersports (including tubing and waterskiing), luxe spa and gorgeous beaches. Families can settle into a variety of guest rooms decorated in Caribbean pastels that compliment the endless aquamarine sea right outside your door.
La Paloma Lodge |Courtesy La Paloma Lodge
La Paloma Lodge – Costa Rica
Families looking to unplug and immerse themselves in nature will delight in the sustainable luxury of the La Paloma Lodge. Set amidst lush, tropical rainforest on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, this stunning eco-resort treats visitors to sweeping views of the Pacific, a black-sand beach and onsite naturalists to guide you through a cornucopia of remarkable biodiversity. Stay in one of 11 private bungalows, most with spectacular ocean views and hammocks overlooking the jungle, where capuchin monkeys and colorful toucans are your only neighbors. Meals are served family style in the open-air dining room.
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Canada's largest city spreads out along the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and it's a dynamic, multicultural and inclusive experience like almost no other place on earth. Not only is Toronto a thriving living city,it's also become one of the world's truly must-visit destinations. Regularly ranked as one of the greatest places to live, Toronto is the cultural center of the country and home to the biggest events, the most pro sports and the greatest concentration of theaters and restaurants.
Recent decades have seen regular multi-million-dollar upgrades to the city's public spaces, with a slew of great museums, iconic architecture and the redevelopment of the now glittering lakefront adding to the city's appeal.
Add in an ever-growing number of world-class hotels, upbeat nightlife that runs from dusk until dawn and a vibrant and diverse culinary scene influenced by the eclectic makeup of the city's people. Bright and bustling, cosmopolitan and cultured, unpredictable and energetic, Toronto has become one of the greatest cities on earth.
What you see and where you go will depend on the length of your stay. A week is good, longer is better. But even a long weekend will give you a taste of 'The Six' — one of the city's many nicknames, reworked recently as 'The 6ix' by one of its most famous sons, Drake.
However long you stay, you can't hope to see it all. So, consider what follows a starting point for your first visit…
City Hall, Toronto
The checklist sites
No visit to The Six can be considered complete without ticking off several of Toronto's true heavyweight sights. All of the following are in or within easy reach of the city's compact, walk-able and very vibrant center.
The CN Tower is unmissable in every sense, a vast freestanding spire that looks down upon the city and takes its place as one of the 'Seven Wonders of the Modern World'. Head up for the city's best 360-degree views, or get your heart racing on the EdgeWalk — a journey around the circumference of the tower's main pod, 116 stories high and tethered by a harness.
Back on solid ground, Ripley's Aquarium is almost right next door to the CN Tower and is home to 16,000 aquatic animals and the Dangerous Lagoon. A moving sidewalk that whisks you through a long tunnel surrounded by sharks and stingrays is guaranteed to make your heart race all over again.
Also close to the CN Tower is the Rogers Center, home to Canada's only baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Visit on game day for the full experience, or take the stadium tour to go behind the scenes and through closed doors.
In a city of so many museums and galleries, the Royal Ontario Museum stands out. Not just because it's home to a world-class collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, but as much because it hosts exciting Friday night events that include dance, drink and top DJs.
Two other must ticks include the Art Gallery of Ontario, which houses 95,000 works of art and is free for visitors under 25, and the Hockey Hall of Fame, which taps into Canada's national obsession in stunning depth.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Casa Loma is a must-visit Gothic castle in the heart of the city. North America's only castle is filled with artworks and treasures from Canada and beyond, but its big pull is the network of hidden tunnels to explore as they stretch out beneath the city.
Toronto's multi-cultural makeup is visible all across the city but reflected best in its remarkable culinary scene (see Where to eat and drink). The city's 'fresh and local' mantra is perfectly showcased at St. Lawrence Market, one of the world's greatest food experiences. Pay it a visit and grab a peameal bacon sandwich — a Canadian staple invented in Toronto and now considered the city's signature dish.
St. Lawrence Market
Afterwards, walk off the calories by wandering the historic cobblestone and car-free Distillery District. Once a vast whiskey distillery and an important spot during prohibition, historians mention that even Al Capone would visit the Distillery to load alcohol destined for the States . This iconic landmark now distils creativity within the 19th century buildings now home to hip restaurants, bars, independent boutique stores, galleries and theaters. Visit in December for the Toronto Christmas Market.
Finally, don't even think about returning home without having had a picture taken with your head poking through an 'O' of the multicolored, 3D Toronto sign at City Hall — the most Insta-worthy location in a city of so many. You'll need to head there early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
If you stay long enough, take a ferry and hop across to Toronto Islands, a chain of 15 small islands in Lake Ontario just south of the mainland. They're home to beaches, a theme park and a breathtaking view of the city's skyline and will very happily fill a full day of your stay.
The bucket list
You absolutely cannot leave Toronto without having witnessed the power of the Niagara Falls and its hypnotic mist up close. Trying to visit the Falls from the States is a trip on its own, but it's almost non-optional when you're less than two hours away in Toronto. Take the trip, buy the T-shirt and tick off one of the world's must-see sights.
Explore like a local
Away from the sleek, gleaming towers of downtown lie many of Toronto's less obvious but no less essential attractions. West Queen West is Toronto's hippest neighborhood and artistic heart, a one-mile strip of very chic galleries, stores, restaurants and boutique hotels. Kensington Market is a fantastically chaotic neighborhood and perhaps the best example of the city's famous multiculturalism. It's not a market as the name implies, but a collection of independent shops, vintage boutiques, art spaces, cafés, bars and restaurants from every corner of the globe.
The Bata Shoe Museum is one of the city's quirkiest collections, an unexpectedly fascinating exhibit that retraces the 4,500-year history of footwear. And as you wander the city, you can't fail to notice that Toronto's walls are alive with graffiti. Take a free 90-minute walking tour through the back alleys of Queen Street West and down Graffiti Alley to gain a better understanding of the city's street art scene. If you visit during the sunnier months, escape the hustle by heading just east of the center to High Park, the green heart of the city where forests, walking trails, picnic spots and even a zoo await you. Ideal to unwind after a long day of urban adventures.
When to go With the sun shining, May through October is a great time to visit, but the city is alive through all four seasons. The Spring and Autumn months are ideal as the humidity and visitor numbers are lighter, while Toronto comes alive through the colder months through a wide array of winter celebrations. One of the most spectacular is the Aurora Winter Festival, a six-week celebration that sees the Ontario Place, West Island transformed into four mystical worlds. Whichever season you choose, plan to stay for at least five nights to get a true flavor of the city.
Toronto skyline view
Where to stay To be at the heart of most of the attractions you'll want to see, aim for downtown. One of the best options is the Marriott City Center, not only because it's located right next to the CN Tower but also because it's attached to the iconic Rogers Center where the Toronto Blue Jays play and countless concerts and popular events are held.
Toronto Blue Jay stadium
Opt for a Stadium room and you'll look out onto the field. If you want to experience Toronto's non-stop nightlife, the Entertainment District is the place to be. If you're looking for a luxury experience, discover Canada's first St. Regis hotel in the heart of downtown.
Where to eat and drink Nowhere is Toronto's incredible diversity more evident than in its food scene — taste Toronto and you're tasting the world. The city is brimming with restaurants and cafés serving everything from high-end fine dining to comfort food from an informal neighborhood joint — plus every option imaginable in between.
For fine dining, consider Alo, Canis and Edulis. Book a table at Canoe, Lavelle, The One Eighty or 360 at the CN Tower and you're guaranteeing a view as spectacular as the food. Or experience the city's remarkable fusion food at DaiLo (French-Cantonese), El Catrin (Mexican-French) and the unexpected mashup of Rasta Pasta (Jamaican-Italian).
The above suggestions don't even scratch the surface of a food scene to rival any city on earth, with options to suit every taste and any budget.
How to get around Toronto is perfect to explore on foot or via a growing network of cycle routes. For a quicker journey, buy a Presto card to use the TTC, Toronto's subway, streetcar and bus system.
How to get there Fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) with United and you're around 15 miles west of the city center. The most comfortable route in is via the Union Pearson Express, which runs every 15 minutes and gets you downtown in 25 minutes ($13).The TTC is a cheaper option at under $5, but it can take an hour and a half and involves a number of transfers, while a taxi will take around 30 minutes and cost $45.
United flies to Toronto from numerous U.S. cities including our Hub city locations. Book your trip via united.com or by downloading the United app.
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Following the devastating wildfires in Australia and powerful earthquakes that shook Puerto Rico last week, we're taking action to make a global impact through our international partnerships as well as nonprofit organizations Afya Foundation and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency).
Helping Puerto Rico recover from earthquakes
Last week, Puerto Rico was hit with a 5.2 magnitude earthquake, following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake it experienced just days before. The island has been experiencing hundreds of smaller quakes during the past few weeks.
These earthquakes destroyed crucial infrastructure and left 4,000 people sleeping outside or in shelters after losing their homes. We've donated $50,000 to our partner charity organization Airlink and through them, we've helped transport disaster relief experts and medical supplies for residents, as well as tents and blankets for those who have lost their homes. Funding will go towards organizations within Airlink's partner network, which includes Habitat for Humanity, Mercy Corps and Americares, to help with relief efforts and long-term recovery.
Australian wildfire relief efforts
Our efforts to help Australia have inspired others to make their own positive impact. In addition to teaming up with Ellen DeGeneres to donate $250,000 and launching a fundraising campaign with GlobalGiving to benefit those impacted by the devastating wildfires in the country known for its open spaces and wildlife, our cargo team is helping to send more than 600 pounds of medical supplies to treat injured animals in the region.
Helping us send these supplies is the Afya Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit that seeks to improve global health by collecting surplus medical supplies and delivering them to parts of the world where they are most needed. Through Airlink, the Afya Foundation will send more than $18,000 worth of materials that will be used to treat animals injured in the Australian fires.
These medical supplies will fly to Melbourne (MEL) and delivered to The Rescue Collective. This Australian organization is currently focused on treating the massive population of wildlife, such as koalas, kangaroos, and birds, that have had their habitats destroyed by the recent wildfires. The supplies being sent include wound dressings, gloves, catheters, syringes and other items that are unused but would otherwise be disposed of.
By working together, we can continue to make a global impact and help those affected by natural disasters to rebuild and restore their lives
Australia needs our help as wildfires continue to devastate the continent that's beloved by locals and travelers alike. In times like these, the world gets a little smaller and we all have a responsibility to do what we can.
On Monday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show announced a campaign to raise $5 million to aid in relief efforts. When we heard about Ellen's effort, we immediately reached out to see how we could help.
Today, we're committing $250,000 toward Ellen's campaign so we can offer support now and help with rebuilding. For more on The Ellen DeGeneres Show efforts and to donate yourself, you can visit www.gofundme.com/f/ellenaustraliafund
We're also matching donations made to the Australian Wildfire Relief Fund, created by GlobalGiving's Disaster Recovery Network. This fund will support immediate relief efforts for people impacted by the fires in the form of emergency supplies like food, water and medicine. Funds will also go toward long-term recovery assistance, helping residents recover and rebuild. United will match up to $50,000 USD in donations, and MileagePlus® members who donate $50 or more will receive up to 1,000 award miles from United. Donate to GlobalGiving.
Please note: Donations made toward GlobalGiving's fund are only eligible for the MileagePlus miles match.
In addition to helping with fundraising, we're staying in touch with our employees and customers in Australia. Together, we'll help keep Australia a beautiful place to live and visit in the years to come.