Jamaica has long been an escape for beach-loving couples and those looking to party. But it also happens to be a great place for families with kids. We’ve criss-crossed this island countless times and have found the best hotels for families traveling with kids of any age. These beautiful properties are specifically designed for families with kids and teens, and feature everything from water parks and kids’ camps to daily sing-alongs, parades, beach bonfires, talent shows, and alcohol-free nightclubs. Read on for the best hotels and resorts in Jamaica for families with kids.
Before you leave for your Jamaican vacation, don’t forget to double check our Caribbean packing list.
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 cheeses, pizza, waffles, and French fries at all three meals. Even the a la carte restaurants have kids' menus -- a rarity among Jamaica all-inclusives.
The all-inclusive Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club is one of the most kid-friendly hotels in Jamaica, offering an XBOX garage for teens and tweens, as well as Camp Sesame (where Sesame Street characters can be found), a water park, and babysitting services. There are activities for adults too, with golf and scuba lessons, the Red Lane Spa, and an adults-only piano bar. Since the majority of guests are families, the resort can be noisy. The 223 rooms have upscale Caribbean style.
Kids under 16 eat and sleep for free at this classic luxury resort — quite literally the original Jamaican resort. The grounds are expansive, leafy, and quiet, and the resort caters to travelers of all stripes. It's especially great for families, though, and includes an extensive children's area with 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 and plenty of space for outdoor activities, Half Moon's 400-acre property offers ample resources for families, including full-time nannies. Rooms are large, and multi-room villas are also available.
The four-pearl Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is situated on Jamaica’s resort-heavy north shore, a 15-minute drive from Montego Bay's Hip Strip. This all-inclusive hotel offers an excellent list of amenities, including an immaculate private beach, a spa, and plenty of adult- and kid-friendly features. However, the on-site Sugar Mill Falls Water Park -- Jamaica’s largest -- distinguishes the Hilton from other area resorts. The 488 rooms are sharp and contemporary, with large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and private balconies. The hotel’s only drawback may be the lack of attractions within walking distance. However, a shuttle provides free transportation to Rose Hall Plantation House and other destinations.
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, and all-inclusive meals featuring kids' menus. Best of all, though, the resort has an excellent kids' club with a video game center, playground, pool, and arts and crafts. The kids' club is free for kids ages 4 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.
Situated in the Jamaican resort town of Runaway Bay, this gargantuan resort hotel offers plenty for children, with two kids' pools, a colorful water park, and a kids' club that's free for children aged 4 to 12. Rooms here are all of the Junior Suite variety and feature lovely dark-wood canopy beds, while ocean view rooms add jetted bath tubs. Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica all-inclusive packages cover all meals and snacks, including three meals at a la carte restaurants per week. Restaurant menus feature dishes from around the world, with steak, seafood, Italian, Japanese, and Jamaican food on offer, and there's a main buffet restaurant offering excellent variety.
While the mid-range Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort provides plenty of opportunity for guests to laze about by its three freeform pools or on the beach, its real strength is in the sheer number of activities on offer, most of which are included in the rate. Kayaking, golfing, and weekly bonfires are all part of the entertainment. And families are attracted to the numerous kids diversions like the on-site water park or laser tag. While the 266 rooms are simple, they do have furnished balconies, and suites have private plunge pools and butler service. The resort isn't really walking distance to any attractions, but with all the features included, most guests are content to stay put.
The 352-room Royalton White Sands Resort is an stylish all-inclusive in Trelawny, just 30 minutes from Montego Bay. The kids' club scores rave reviews from previous guests, plus a lazy river, splash park, and water park with slides for younger kids. Rooms come with comfy pillow-top beds, mini-fridges, private patios, and large rainfall shower heads. For adults, the resort has multiple bars and restaurants (including a delicious jerk hut), large hydrotherapy spa, and two pools (one with swim-up bar). The beachfront is a little small here, though that doesn't seem to bother the hundreds of families that flock here year after year.
ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios is among Ocho Rios’ largest all-inclusive resorts, with a huge amount of services and entertainment. The massive, upper-middle-range property feels like a city unto itself. Seven restaurants, an enormous private beach, two large pools (including a kiddy pool), a kids' club, and a theater with rotating theme nights all top the list of features. The 846 rooms are typical of the Riu brand, with dark, traditional decor that's pleasant, but dated. In-room amenities are excellent. While downtown Ocho Rios is less than 10 minutes away by car, there's little of interest within walking distance.
Located 45-minutes west of Montego Bay, Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa feels a world away from anywhere. Even compared to the island’s typical large hotel complexes, the three-and-a-half-pearl mega-resort is massive. With an 86,000-square-foot pool complex, 10 restaurants, late-night entertainment, and eight bars with nearly 24-hour drinking opportunities, it’s easy to imagine that most guests will never leave the property. Kid-friendly features are pretty numerous, and include character breakfasts and shows, daytime activities, and an extensive kids' club with a splash pool. The latter is supervised and free for children aged 4 to 12.
Spread along a stretch of white-sand beach in Montego Bay, the all-inclusive Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa offers a huge range of amenities for guests of all ages. Family-friendly features include a kids' club with a wide range of activities ranging from bracelet making to scavenger hunts plus a teen club with a Wii console, ping-pong, and electronic basketball hoops. For grown-ups, the resort offers all sorts of wellness facilities, from a mineral pool to a Himalayan salt lounge. There’s also a swim-up bar specializing in rum-based cocktails, and unlimited meals, drinks, and non-motorized water sports are included in most package offerings.
Located 15 minutes from the airport, the beachfront Sunscape Cove is an upper-middle-range, all-inclusive resort. It's the more upscale, calmer sister to next-door Sunscape Splash, which shares its many amenities with Sunscape Cove guests. Boutique atmosphere, a colonial villa-inspired aesthetic, and plantation-like grounds are a refreshing departure from more chaotic Splash. Across both properties, there are four pools, five restaurants, and multiple bars for the grown-ups. For kids, children age 3 to 12 have access to the extensive and well-liked kids' club, which is one of the largest in the Montego Bay area. The club is supervised during the day, and free in-room kids amenities include milk and cookies. What's more? Weekly beach campouts are offered as well, which is a cool way for your kids to experience the outdoors.
The mid-range Franklyn D is geared towards families on vacation. Supervised arts and crafts projects, a teen center with activity coordinators, and even free nanny services for all guests are just some of the kid-friendly perks offered. Pools (including a mini-pool for toddlers), a waterslide, dock space for easy access to water sports, tours to off-site attractions, and many other amenities are also available. Accommodations are tech-savvy for the location; guests will find iPod docking, satellite TV, and an Internet cafe with free Wi-Fi. However, while suites are spacious, decor is a bit dated as are most facilities in general.