Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Jamaica

Most resorts in Jamaica call themselves "family friendly," and many are. But here are the few hotels that offer an incredible pool, calm waves at the beach, supervised kids' activities, cribs, and large rooms. Plus, these hotels go above and beyond with everything from Sesame Street sing-alongs to private nannies to pirate-ship water parks.

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa

1.

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Location: Negril, Jamaica

Partnered with Sesame Street, the Beaches brand of resorts offers Muppet-led activities for kids. Beaches Negril comes with a great water park, a pristine, calm beachfront, an extensive, supervised kids' club, and enough entertainment to keep kids totally occupied. The buffet's Kids' Corner comes with quartered grilled cheese, pizza, waffles, and french fries at all three meals. Even the a la carte restaurants have kids' menus -- a rarity among Jamaica all-inclusives.

Half Moon, a RockResort

2.

Half Moon, a RockResort Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Kids under 16 eat and sleep for free at this classic luxury resort. Anancy Children's Village has a series of colorful cabins that house supervised activities like video games, arts and crafts, and stories with nap time. From a great playground to a mini-golf course to horseback riding stables to a private dolphin cove, Half Moon's 400-acre property offers ample resources for families, including full-time nannies. Rooms are large, and multiroom villas are also available.

Iberostar Rose Hall Suites All-Inclusive

3.

Iberostar Rose Hall Suites All-Inclusive Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Iberostar Rose Hall Suites is the family-friendliest pick of the Iberostar resorts trio, with affordable rates, pull-out sofas in every room, on-site babysitting services, all-inclusive meals featuring kids' menus, and, best of a all, a rockin’ kids' club with a water park, video game center, playground, pool, and arts and crafts. Lucy’s Kids Club is free for kids ages four to 12, and has a (literally) cool water park, with a playground pool showered by fountains and a giant bucket that spills over the children as they play on slides and bridges.

Rose Hall Resort and Spa, a Hilton Resort

4.

Rose Hall Resort and Spa, a Hilton Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Sugar Mill Falls -- a complex of waterslides, waterfalls, and swinging bridges in a massive lagoon-shaped pool -- is an instant family favorite. Private perches outside the falls help parents keep an eye on their kids. The Kids' Klub, a fenced-off and supervised playground with slides and swings, offers daily activities.

Beaches Sandy Bay

5.

Beaches Sandy Bay Rating: 3.0 Pearls

Location: Negril, Jamaica

Muppet-themed playgrounds, nurseries, kids' camps, and live shows where staff don furry costumes to entertain mesmerized munchkins make the Beaches Sandy Bay an excellent family pick -- especially with its incredible soft-sand beach -- but it lacks a water park like its sisters. For slightly older guests, the Xbox Oasis above the kids' camp features 18 arcade-style Xbox consoles. For larger families, suites feature master bedrooms for parents in addition to kids' rooms with two twin beds.

Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club

6.

Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Also steeped in Muppet-led sing-alongs, with signposts marking every corner "Sesame Street," the resort has two major advantages over the Beaches Sandy Bay: its huge water park and a nearby golf course for parents. There's also a Fun Club where kids can get their hair braided and learn to tie-dye shirts.

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

7.

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica Rating: 3.5 Pearls

The enormous pool and the smaller kids' pool at the Gran Bahia all-inclusive mega-resort are overflowing with happy tots. Kids can snorkel out on the beach or dance at the mini-disco, and the large, well-organized kids' club helps parents get some alone time. Rooms are large and equipped with couches big enough for kids to crash on.

Sunset Beach Resort & Spa

8.

Sunset Beach Resort & Spa Rating: 3.0 Pearls

All three pools are only four feet deep, and kids love the Sunset's elaborate, castle-like water park, with its huge waterslides and its shin-deep play pool for younger swimmers. The kids' club features afternoon relay races that take over the lobby, and Club Mongoose serves as a drop-off center with video games and supervised flop space. Basketball hoops, miniature golf, swing sets, face painting, and various other attractions abound.

Round Hill Hotel & Villas

9.

Round Hill Hotel & Villas Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Private nannies are available 24 hours a day ($12 per hour before midnight, then $15 per hour), and kids can play at the supervised activities center or take lessons at the free kids' tennis clinic. Younger children can play in the one-foot-deep baby pool, and lifeguards are on the beach. Kids' menus are available for every meal -- picky eaters can live on chicken fingers with ketchup and chocolate milk shakes (should you allow it) -- and in addition to the large standard rooms, private villas are available with various room configurations.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica

10.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica Rating: 4.5 Pearls

The playground is old and rusty, but families love the lagoon-shaped pool, supervised kids' clubs, and the various sports -- from basketball to Ping-Pong to boccie -- that can be played in the large interior courtyard. Kids' menus are available at every restaurant (including in-room dining), and the large rooms come in several family-friendly combinations.

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