The first time my family stayed at an all-inclusive resort, our kids were one, five and seven. We had so much fun trying new activities together that we’ve vacationed at all-inclusive resorts ever since. They’re where my kids learned to waterski, sail and swing on a trapeze.
The activities are the main reason we love all-inclusives. But there are additional advantages to these resorts. Some travelers appreciate having all their food paid for in advance and never having to calculate a tip. Others like doing everything in one place. And in some cases, all-inclusives can actually save you money.
With hundreds of all-inclusive resorts around the world, it can be hard to choose the best one for your family. A few things to consider are the destination, activities, restaurants, children’s programs, and adult amenities. Make sure it’s all a good fit for your family before you splurge.
Ready to play? Here’s our list of 7 Thrilling All-Inclusive Resorts for Families
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
Turks and Caicos
Does your family love the water? You could spend all day at the 45,000 square-foot Pirates Island waterpark at this Beaches resort. It features waterslides, a lazy river, surf simulator and pools. There’s also a kids’ swim-up bar (with slushies) and food trucks so you can grab a quick bite between water activities. The resort, which has five themed villages and 21 restaurants, is situated on a 12-mile beach ideal for kayaking, windsurfing and other water sports. For those who prefer land activities, there’s a complimentary Junior Golf Club, Sesame Street Caribbean Adventure and Port Royal Arcade. beaches.com
Hotel Xcaret Mexico
Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya
If you’re looking for adventure, Xcaret resorts don’t just include meals, in-room bars and many other amenities. The All-Fun Inclusive experience covers admission to all Grupo Xcarat parks. The eight eco-friendly parks integrate nature, local culture and thrilling adventures. For example, Xel-Há, near Tulum, is a natural water park where you can snorkel, jump into the water from a cliff (the Stone of Courage), pedal a bike on a jungle path, and ride inner tubes through a mangrove. An all-you-can eat traditional Mexican buffet that includes drinks rounds out an exhilarating day in the park. hotelxcaret.com
Atlantis Paradise Island
Families who are into marine attractions will enjoy this sprawling oceanfront resort on Nassau. It’s technically not a “true” all-inclusive, but you can add dining plans to your room rate to customize your vacation. Here’s what’s included in the resort fee: the 154-acre Aquaventure waterpark, the Dig aquarium, and an open-air Marine Habitat home to lagoons containing more than 250 marine species. You and your kids can slip down Aquaventure water slides, which afford views of sharks and other marine life. In Dolphins Cay, a rescue and rehabilitation facility, you can learn about dolphins and sea lions. There are several interactive marine programs available for an additional fee. atlantisbahamas.com
Club Med Quebec
It’s a rare North American resort that offers an all-inclusive ski experience. Club Med Quebec, just over a year old, is a ski-in/ski-out village that offers skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and dog sledding in winter. In summer, there’s hiking, mountain biking and water sports. And, of course, Club Med is known for its signature trapeze program, where kids and adults can learn or hone aerial skills. The resort is located about an hour from Quebec City in the Le Massif de Charlevoix region. The Mini Club Med programs for tots to teens, dining and entertainment are included in the package. clubmed.us
Rocking Z Guest Ranch
Rock your inner cowgirl or cowboy at this guest ranch owned by fifth-generation Montana ranchers. The resort specializes in all levels of riding and teaching, so everyone advances or expands their knowledge of horses and riding. (Kids ages four and under can be led on a horse with a side walker.) In addition to trail rides, guests can learn horsemanship and ranching skills –like cow working, which teaches riders how to watch a cow and influence where she goes. Barrel racing workshops teach riders how to get their horse away from the group and to move from one barrel to another. It’s a friendly, competitive game that’s about focus, transitions, and preparing for the next step. rockingz.com
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
For those who enjoy luxury and gastronomic experiences (including live cooking shows), Grand Palladium delivers in style. Situated on Bavaro Beach, the 5-star Grand Palladium shares services with neighboring hotels—Grand Palladium Bávaro Suites Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa—to serve up an extensive resort experience. Altogether, the complex has eight a la carte restaurants and five cooking show restaurants. Whether you dine and watch a live demonstration at the family-friendly Japanese restaurant Sumptuori or savor the flavors of India at Bhogali, there’s something for every palate. Plus, Play at Palladium with Raggs includes meet-and-greet dining with the five colorful characters. Between meals, enjoy the property’s lush vegetation and amenities. There’s a children’s program with themed activities, six pools, a water park, sports center, theater, and spa facility. palladiumhotelgroup.com
Mangrove Beach Corendon Curaçao, Curio by Hilton
Escape to an enchanting family getaway in the Dutch Caribbean. The 5-star resort is located on a white sand beach with great diving areas and water sports, and is surrounded by a protected mangrove forest. The main attraction for families is the Aqua Park, which has six waterslides, a submarine-themed playground, and four pools. Definitely venture out to visit Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, to see the pastel-colored buildings and street art. And be sure to sample classic Dutch snacks along with local cuisine at the onsite restaurants. corendonhotels.com