What’s the secret of a successful family get-together? According to Caribtours it’s down to expert planning, a great location and the magic mix of something for everyone, all in one place.
If that sounds like a tall order, or close to impossible, you’ll be pleased to know that Caribtours has been achieving the seemingly impossible for four decades. In fact this year is their 40th birthday, but instead of popping corks and having a party, they’re celebrating by creating even more heavenly holidays for families of all shapes and sizes in most of the world’s loveliest places.
As always, their luxury resorts are handpicked and personally tried and tested by award-winning travel experts. Practical details like UK airport lounge passes and private transfers are included in every holiday. The support of a personal travel adviser along with Caribtours’ complete concierge service also comes as standard. And anything else you need (or want) from hiring private nannies to chartering a private yacht, Caribtours can do, you only have to ask.
So if this is the year to plan a big (or bigger than usual) family holiday, here’s where Caribtours highly recommend for all-round excellence whether you’re travelling with active kids, tricky teens, golfers, escapists, adventurers, toddlers, babies, grandparents or all of the above.
1/5 Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
Few all-inclusive resorts get rave food reviews, but Grand Velas is the exception and actually described as, ‘perfect for foodies’, by Caribtours. If gourmet greatness is nudged down your list of priorities by other practicalities, you’ll be pleased to know Grand Velas also has a thoughtful ‘baby concierge’ service to provide essentials for littler guests. Its kids clubs are superb and open late, every night. And the resort’s designed across three separate areas, two of which are devoted to giving families heaps of space as close as possible to activities, Caribbean beaches, relaxed family pools and all those raved about restaurants.
A luxury resort for kids of all ages
- Spacious family suites with terraces or balconies, views and private plunge pools.
- Range of two bedroom and interconnecting suites for larger or multi-gen family groups.
- The Ambassador Experience is the family-friendly resort zone close to kids clubs and perfect for younger kids.
- The Zen Experience is super-chilled and sits on the edge of the resort’s lush, jungle-y grounds: great for older kids and teens.
- Three all-day restaurants, six bars and five fine dining restaurants give Grand Velas its foodie heaven reputation.
- Fully supervised Grand Velas Kids Club for four to 12 year olds is open from 9am until 11pm.
- Supervised Teen Club will satisfy independent 13 to 18 year olds and it’s open from 11am until 11pm.
- Parents with time-off can try holistic soothing at award winning Se Spa by Grand Velas.
Grand Velas’ family activities
- Pioneering and fabulous Xcaret theme park is 20 minutes from Grand Velas.
- The amazing beachfront Mayan ruins at Tulum are only an hour’s drive west.
- Spend a day exploring the legendary Chichén-Itzà pyramids a couple of hours’ drive inland.
- Try anything from snorkelling and SUP to scuba on nearby Playa del Carmen.
- Older kids will adore swimming the Rio Secreto caves – another Grand Velas’ neighbour.
- Families can join a guided ecological tour around the property to discover the cenotes, as well as mini golf, cookery classes and cinema on the beach
Save up to 44%, enjoy free kids places and receive spa credit worth US$50, when you book a family holiday at Grand Velas Riviera Maya with Caribtours.
2/5 Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve, Portugal
Pine Cliffs Hotel has always been loved for its mix of laid-back Algarve charm, effortless lux and huge range of family activities. But this year it’s better than ever after a multi-million pound refurb programme. There’s more choice of everything from family apartments to remarkable restaurants, not to mention water sports and sensational spa experiences. Although some things like golden Praia da Falésia beach, brilliant golf courses, fun water sports and one of the most amazing kids clubs in the region were just too good to improve.
A great resort for active family holidays
- Brand new Ocean Suites offer a choice of 148 family apartments, with up to two bedrooms and the option to interconnect for larger groups.
- Pine Cliffs Village & Golf Suites includes two-bedroom townhouses and four bedroom deluxe villas: perfect for big families or multi-gen holidays.
- Choose Pine Cliffs Residence for a range of two and three bedroom family suites.
- 7000m² Porto Pirata Kids Club now has two clamber-able pirate ships as well as bouncy castles, mini-golf and cute playgrounds designed for kids from six months to eight years.
- Junior Club is the resort’s sporty kids club for eight to 13 year olds, while older kids and teens have access to everything from water sports to the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy.
- Pine Cliffs overlooks Praia da Falésia, one of the Algarve’s loveliest beaches – there’s even an elevator from the resort down to the sands.
- The resort has 12 bars, cafés and restaurants including poolside Corda Café and healthy-chic Zest.
- After the recent refurb, Pine Cliffs’ Serenity Spa is now the largest in the Algarve
- Some restaurants and resort facilities are seasonal at the Pine Cliffs Hotel
Pine Cliffs’ family activities
- Head down to Praia da Falésia for jet skiing, water skiing, SUP or wakeboarding.
- The resort’s home to the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy and has five floodlit courts.
- Pine Cliffs has its own 9-hole golf course as well as seven outdoor swimming pools.
- Lively Albufeira is 20 minutes away for waterparks, big town beaches and surf schools.
- Spend a day hiking in the Sudoeste Alantejo Natural Park with older kids and teens.
Save up to 25% when you book a family holiday at Pine Cliffs Hotel with Caribtours.
3/5 Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, St Vincent & The Grenadines
Prepare to fall head over heels for Canouan. For a start its name means ‘Island of The Turtles’: so far, so enchanting. Then of course it’s part of idyllic St Vincent & The Grenadines in the southern Caribbean. And if that’s not quite captivating enough, try dazzling lagoons, white sand beaches, mysterious cays and majestic mountains. Happily this little piece of paradise is relatively unknown, which only makes Mandarin Oriental, Canouan even more irresistible.
A perfect resort for family escapes
- This exclusive oceanfront resort on Godahl Beach has only 26 suites and 13 villas.
- All suites have private terraces or balconies and ocean views, plus one and two bedroom beachfront suites interconnect for larger families.
- The resort’s Pirates of Canouan Kids Club for ages three and over mixes up outdoor activities like beach cricket and yoga with fun creative play.
- Baby equipment can be arranged in advance, and the resort also has excellent babysitting services.
- The resort has five individually designed restaurants set around the lush 1800 acre Grenadine Estate.
- The resort’s complimentary golf buggies are a low-impact way to get about Canouan. Kids love them – just watch out for the island’s resident turtles, which kids also love.
- As well as a large infinity pool, the resort also has tennis courts and a peaceful, private beach where families can enjoy a range of non-motorised water sports.
- The resort’s hillside spa overlooks the ocean and specialises in individually adapted treatments.
Mandarin Oriental family activities
- Fascinating Canouan is a fun island to explore by bike or golf buggy.
- The only 18-hole championship golf course in The Grenadines is on Canouan.
- The Grenadines archipelago has over 32 islands and cays you can visit by catamaran.
- Take kids snorkelling in the Tobago Cays, spot sea turtles and check out where the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.
- Don’t miss a hike up imperious Mount Royal with older kids and teens, the views from the top are amazing.
Stay for five nights and only pay for four, enjoy complimentary suite upgrade and receive US$500 resort credit when you book a family holiday at Mandarin Oriental Canouan with Caribtours.
4/5 Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is the Caribbean island with the twin Pitons, a fact you really can’t miss at exquisite Sugar Beach because it’s tucked between the two famously pointed peaks which are UNESCO World Heritage-listed. The resort’s name is derived from its past life as part of an 18th century sugar plantation, although it could just as easily refer to the sugary soft white sands it overlooks. But for all the privileged location and undeniable opulence, Sugar Beach is unpretentious, warm, friendly and wonderful with kids.
A paradise resort for family adventurers
- Most rooms, cottages and villas are nestled into the resort’s lush, green hills, and all come with their own pool and butler service.
- Sugar Beach Residences are beautifully designed for larger family groups with up to four bedrooms, their own infinity pools and a sense of complete privacy.
- Sugar Club is unbridled adventure for kids from four to 12 years. Think fish feeding, coconut bowling, treasure hunts, archery tournaments and sandcastle competitions, just for starters.
- Teen programme is a combo of outdoor activities, water sports, a hint of video games, heaps of fun and lots of like-minded (and like-aged) kids to hang out with.
- There are six resort restaurants and bars each with a unique character, though Bayside Restaurant is particularly appealing thanks to its enchanting sea views.
- The elegant and soothing Rainforest Spa at Sugar Beach even has children’s treatments.
- Sporty families will enjoy the outdoor activities here which range from yoga to non-motorised water sports, tennis and diving.
Sugar Beach family activities
- Take a guided hike up Gros Piton with older kids and teens.
- Visit 18th century Morne Coubaril Estate and explore the island’s fascinating history.
- Go dolphin spotting to see Saint Lucia’s resident cetacean as well as visiting whales.
- Experience rainforests and giant banyan from the air on ziplining adventures.
- Let the resort organise thrilling jungle biking tours or try horse riding: rainforest or beach, your choice.
Save up to 30%, and enjoy complimentary breakfast, when you book a family holiday at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort with Caribtours.
5/5 Carlisle Bay, Antigua
Carlisle Bay believes kids should be kids, which is why half of its 500 metre long, white sand beach is dedicated to families, and the Cool Kids Club has a chilled space all of its own too. Of course everyone gets to enjoy the same gloriously lush mountain scenery, big sea views and laid-back luxury, as well as the resort’s easy Caribbean charm and fabulous food. Although only families can really take advantage of the exceptionally large Carlisle Suites or Beach Balcony and Beach Terrace Suites with complimentary all-inclusive child places.
A paradise resort for beach babies
- Beach Balcony and Beach Terrace Suites on the resort’s ‘family side’ feature studio-style master bedrooms, separate kids rooms and ocean views.
- Beach Balcony or Beach Terrace Suites include complimentary all-inclusive for up to two children for stays between now and 30 November 2019.
- The Carlisle Suites have three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a spacious living/dining area, fully equipped kitchen and large beachfront terrace or balcony – heaven for multi-gen family holidays.
- Half of Carlisle Bay’s 500m long beach is reserved for families – the resort also has dedicated family accommodation and relaxed family-friendly restaurants.
- Cool Kids Club for six months to six years and Crew Blue for seven to 12 year olds are fully supervised by qualified childcare professionals and make the most of the resort’s gorgeous beach, sports facilities, fun cinema and incredible outdoor space. Crew Blue runs during school holidays.
- The resort has four superb restaurants and families especially like kid-friendly Indigo on the Beach or Ottimo for authentic Italian pizza and pasta.
- Carlisle Bay’s Blue Spa and elegant Yoga Pavilion are both set in the naturally soothing surroundings of the resort’s lush, tropical grounds.
Carlisle Bay family activities
- Tranquil Carlisle Bay is the place for family kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding (SUP), windsurfing, raft building or snorkelling.
- Motorised water sports, including wakeboarding, are available next door on Carlisle’s neighbouring beach.
- Morning nature walks with the resort’s landscapers are great fun for kids.
- Older kids and teens love the resort’s guided hikes up Mount Obama, Antigua’s tallest peak.
- Private sailing lessons are available, and scuba first timers from age eight can try out with the PADI Bubblemaker at the resort dive centre.
Save up to 30%, enjoy complimentary suite upgrade and receive US$200 resort credit when you book a family holiday at Carlisle Bay with Caribtours.