No more do families have to choose between adult-chic and children-themed resorts.
Once upon a time, family travel meant Disneyland or a washing-machine inclusive Holiday Inn. Today, there’s no need to compromise for the kids; these stylish Caribbean resorts are luxurious and family-friendly.
Gordon Campbell Gray, who opened London’s absolutely fabulous One Aldwych, has scored another knock-out with this minimalist-chic resort. The two-bedroom Beach Suites are perfect for families; those on the first floor open right onto the beach. The resort has a Cool Kids’ Club offering a range of activities. Kids 3 and over are free; there’s a charge of $15/hour (plus service and tax) for babies and toddlers.
The little ones (up to age 3) can enjoy crafts; young kids (ages 3 to 7) can take swimming or tennis lessons. Eight- to 12-year-olds can enjoy two different excursions offered by the resort each week; horseback riding and swimming with stingrays are popular. (There’s a charge for off-site activities.) During the day, children’s movies are shown in a private screening room so parents can drop the kids off and head to the spa for a decadent treatment, such as a Tropical Fruit Scrub, Olive Scrub or Blue Spa Well-Being service. Rates start at $750 (though special offers are sometimes available). www.carlisle-bay.com
This sexy French island offers gourmet dining, duty-free Paris couture and palm-fringed beaches. The beachfront Guanahani is dotted with Creole villas that are brilliantly colored inside and out; the color palette includes chartreuse, rose, indigo and lavender. Many come with their own plunge pool.
The resort’s two and three-bedroom suites are perfect for families. La Villa has three bedrooms, but the gorgeous master suite, with its perfect-for-two “love tub” and open-view shower is easily closed off from the other two bedrooms (which have their own entrance—ideal for those that travel with a nanny, au pair or in-laws). The villa’s private swimming pool has a sensor that can be turned on—it has a loud alarm that will notify parents if children or pets jump into the pool unattended.
There are two complimentary kids’ clubs: Kindergarten, for children up to age 6, and Junior’s, for those 6 to 12. There’s a chaperoned kid’s lunch everyday at Indigo (so parents can stay in town and shop, sneak in a spa treatment or take advantage of that “love tub”). Rates start at $340. www.leguanahani.com
Laurance Rockefeller opened this eco-friendly resort on a half-mile crescent beach surrounded by lush vegetation in 1964. The quietly stylish resort has recently undergone a major renovation; the rooms’ natural stone walls and indigenous wood beams are complimented with a white and blue palette that perfectly frames the ocean views. There are also three new hilltop villas with private pools and breathtaking views that are perfect for families. (Guests can thank Robert DeNiro, who threatened not to return until there was a private three-bedroom suite.)
The complimentary Children’s Grove program offers Caribbean arts and crafts, nature walks and Calypso music lessons. During the Monday Manager’s Cocktail Reception for adults, the Grove hosts a Pirate Party for kids. Parents should take this opportunity to get his and her Four Hands Massages in the Cliff Spa Suite followed by champagne by candlelight in the suite’s outdoor whirlpool. The suite can be booked for up to eight hours; fortunately, the resort staff will find you a nanny for about $12/hour for up to two related children. Note that although rooms don’t have televisions, they are available on request. Rates start at $395. www.littledixbay.com
Wide Appeal I don't have kids, but a much younger sister. I like the variety these options offer for different age groups and will definitely pass this on to my parents!