Book clients with kids into these and they’ll never want to come home, writes Jo Cooke
Sun, sea and sand holidays are certs as family pleasers, but add the Caribbean’s laid-back charm, exciting facilities, colourful activities and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the mix, and your clients are guaranteed to take home extraordinary memories with their sun tans. The magic begins at their hotel resort, so picking the perfect base for your clients is essential. Here is our pick of 10 of the best.
1. The Westin Resort and Spa, Grand Cayman
If relaxation and rejuvenation are the key ingredients for their family holiday, then suggest the Westin in Grand Cayman. Slap bang in the middle of the island’s most popular and sizeable stretch of sand, Seven Mile Beach, the resort’s palm-shaded pool sits footsteps from the ocean.
A kids’ club offers day-time and night-time sessions, so parents can balance family time with me-time in the spa or enjoy a candle-lit dinner for two in the Beach House waterfront restaurant.
Grand Cayman offers one-of-a-kind attractions including the Cayman Turtle Farm, where kids can hold baby turtles in the palm of their hand and learn about the reptiles’ habits and habitats.
Then there is Stingray City. Take a boat trip out to this sand bank, and while standing in the crystal-clear shallows, children can enjoy the spectacle of dozens of stingrays checking them out and swimming around their feet.
Book it: Caribtours offers seven nights’ room-only from £1,559 per adult and £859 per child, based on two adults and two children sharing an Island View Room. The price includes flights, private transfers and access to an airport lounge in the UK. caribtours.co.uk
2. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
If clients love theme parks and white-sand beaches, this property has their name written all over it.
“Atlantis is home to the Caribbean’s largest water park, complete with slides, nine family pools and an extra three fun pools for children,” says Travel 2’s senior product manager Americas and Caribbean, Ross Sinclair, who rates the property highly.
“Families can swim with dolphins, while Travel 2 recommends the marine animal trainer experience. There’s also a teenagers’ nightclub, where older children can enjoy non-alcoholic cocktails, play video games and remote-controlled car racing”.
Atlantis boasts a giant aquarium where kids can learn about marine life, and if clients wish to further combine education with entertainment, sign them up for the Nassau Native Sightseeing Culture Tour, which gives an insight into the country’s wildlife and customs.
Book it: Travel 2 offers seven nights’ room-only at the Atlantis Beach Tower from £4,199 for a family of four (two adults and two children) including flights from London and transfers. travel2.com
3. Butterfly Beach Hotel, Barbados
Barbados may be best known for its luxury properties, but it also caters to those on a budget. Additionally, it’s one of the best choices in the Caribbean archipelago for a family trip, thanks to the island’s countless beaches and first-class attractions.
These include Harrison’s Cave, an underground wonderland, and the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, with its resident monkeys and iguanas. Butterfly Beach Hotel offers particularly excellent value for money in a great location.
It’s on the bustling south coast, close to Oistins Bay, famous for its Friday Fish Fry, and is just a 20-minute transfer ride from the airport, making it ideal for little ones.
“It’s a friendly and relaxed hotel, and some rooms offer kitchenettes, which are popular with families after a self-catering option to keep costs down,” says Laura Smith, sales and marketing executive at Funway Holidays.
“The cheap and frequent local bus service stops directly outside the hotel, making it easy to get out and about.”
Book it: Funway offers seven nights with continental breakfast from £699 a person, based on two adults and a child sharing a Mixed View room. The price includes British Airways flights from Glasgow and transfers, and is based on a June 27 departure. funway4agents.co.uk
4. Blue Waters, Antigua
For families seeking a five-star property with an informal vibe, there’s Blue Waters. Here, they’ll find warm and welcoming staff, excellent food and seamless service, plus a pair of secluded beaches that have that quintessentially Caribbean combination of white sand, turquoise waters and a sprinkling of palm trees.
Set in seven hectares of tropical gardens, even in high season this resort never feels crowded. It’s one of Hayes & Jarvis Caribbean destination manager Samantha Fowler’s top tips.
“Blue Waters is a popular pick with our customers, due to the fantastic facilities for children,” she says.
“Little ones can enjoy arts and crafts sessions, jewellery making and treasure hunts, while older kids can join in organised sports matches and beach games. For quality family time together, the resort has seven freshwater swimming pools and evening entertainment.”
Book it: Hayes & Jarvis offers seven nights’ B&B from £4,199 for a family of four sharing a room – a saving of up to £736. The offer includes a free child’s space, resort transfers, and return flights from Gatwick with British Airways, based on a May 24 departure. hayesandjarvis.co.uk
5. Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, Saint Lucia
For beachfront chic in a stunning location, it’s near impossible to beat Sugar Beach. The accommodation is built into a lush hillside and there’s a striking view of the Piton peaks.
The gently shelving beach is safe for swimming, and offers fabulous snorkelling. But it’s the kids’ activities and family accommodations that impress Jonathan Bellamy, Elegant Resorts’ sales and overseas representation manager.
“Sugar Club caters for four to 12-year-olds with archery, fish feeding and coconut bowling, while Spice Club is for the teens and tweens, who can learn to sail,” he says.
“Luxury villas with private plunge pools can accommodate a family of four comfortably, while the five-bedroom residences are perfect for large groups.”
Book it: Elegant Resorts offers seven nights’ B&B in a Superior Luxury Villa from £8,955 for a family of four – a saving of £1,440.
The price, which includes one free night, encompasses flights, transfers and UK lounge passes. It is valid for travel between April 16 and October 14, for bookings before December 18. elegantresorts.co.uk
6. Windjammer Landing, Saint Lucia
Those who want the freedom a villa offers, but with all the facilities you’d associate with a hotel, should be delighted by the accommodation concept at this establishmen
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