It doesn't feel like Spring yet, but warmer weather is right around the corner (we hope). If you're eager to get out of the cold and into the sun and sand, here are five Caribbean resorts perfect for parents and kids:
Where: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Why: The range of supervised activities for children ages 4-12: glass-bottom boat excursions, arts and crafts, and guided hikes up the Gros Piton, the mountain at the center of the island, with a chance to splash in a thermally heated waterfall.
Best family accommodation: The plantation-style Two Bedroom Grand Luxury Villas, which have indoor and outdoor living rooms, a private deck and plunge pool, and butler service. Butlers can arrange anything, from a babysitter to a private beach BBQ.
Where: Sibarth Villa Rentals, St. Barth, French West Indies
Why: The Family Collection, 79 villas chosen from the company’s rental pool because they’re safe for children (no dangerous decks, no steep slopes) and have plenty of room for activities.
What else: Sibarth’s concierge can arrange all kinds of activities: paint-your-own pottery and swimming lessons for younger kids; in-villa spa treatments and yoga classes for grownups; and catered beach picnics for the whole family.
Best family accommodation: Villa Beach House, exclusive to Sibarth, is a two-bedroom, two-bath villa on Flamands Beach, one of the island’s best. Just down the beach is La Langouste, a terrific lunch spot (kids welcome), and farther is Isle de France’s new beachfront restaurant, La Cabane de L’Isle. A ten minute walk up the road is the trail head for the 20-minute hike out to Columbier Beach, one of the island’s most secluded.
Where: Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France, St. Barth, French West Indies
Why: The hotel’s suites, bungalows, and villas are family-size, and both the main restaurant and the new feet-in-the-sand La Cabane de L’Isle have a laid-back atmosphere perfect for dining en famille.
What else: The concierge can arrange family activities such as deep sea fishing, kayaking, and surfing lessons and trips.
Best family accommodation: The two-bedroom Garden Villa because it is in effect a family compound, a 1,586 square foot suite with a large pool, spacious deck, and plenty of privacy, courtesy of a thick screen of vegetation; yet it’s only a two-minute walk from the beach.
Where: One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Why: The KidsOnly club is all about enrichment, from cooking lessons taught by One&Only chefs to golf and tennis lessons from the resident pros. Families have access to the sister hotel, Atlantis, and its dolphin experiences and water slides.
Best family accommodation: The residential-style three- and four-bedroom villas perched above the beach. One&Only’s villa concierge helps with every step of vacation planning and remains at the family’s disposal during its stay to arrange tee times, reservations, and excursions such as a private catamaran cruise, a horse-drawn carriage tour of historic Nassau, or a fishing trip for blue marlin.
Where: Parrot Cay by COMO, Turks & Caicos
Why: The secluded 1,000-acre private island feels all your own, with large villas and beach houses and miles of white sand beach to roam. Kids activities include shell-painting, kite-making, tie-dying, sailing, and kayaking, and butlers can arrange castaway gourmet picnics on a small nearby island – stocked mini-bar, and snorkeling gear included.
What else: Parents can take advantage of the Asian-inspired holistic therapies at the COMO Shambhala Retreat including reflexology, Ayurveda, and complimentary daily yoga or Pilates (or book private yoga sessions).
Best family accommodation: The three-bedroom COMO Villa, which has a private heated pool and is the resort’s largest accommodation. Close runners-up are the two-bedroom Villas (spacious living area with an attached balcony) and two-bedroom Beach Houses, which are right behind the beach.
Where: GoldenEye, Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica
Why: Local artist Mama Orah teaches children jewelry and doll-making. Snorkels, paddle boards, and kayaks are available for use on the protected lagoon. Adults can sneak away for an evening cocktail aboard GlassEye, the hotel’s glass-bottom boat.
Best family accommodation: The Fleming Villa, the former home of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels. This private compound sleeps 10-12 and has its own staff, swimming pool, private gardens, and beach. Families can dine al fresco in the villa’s sunken garden.
Credit: Thanks to the team at Alice Marshall Public Relations in New York for the tips!
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