20 All-Inclusive Resorts We Can't Wait to Visit Again
Whether you've hit the pandemic wall (again), or the frozen winter one, booking travel is a sure way to give everyone in the family a little jolt of energy. Even just peeking at some of these all-inclusive resorts and dreaming about the day my brood will travel again put me in a sunnier mood.
These all-inclusive resorts, or any of those with extra levels of service and amenities, are almost always a boon to parents traveling with their kids. All-inclusive hotels relieve some of the pressure to entertain little ones, feed them, and even make it easier to decide what to do next during a family vacation.
We've rounded up some of our favorite all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, as well as here in the US. Of course, they don't always come cheap, so we've included a couple of more budget options, too. These soup-to-nuts getaways will please the most discerning pint-sized guests (and their paying adults).
Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts
Get away from it all with a retreat to Mohonk Mountain House in New York's Catskills.
All-Inclusive Resorts USA
1. Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz, New York
This pretty Hudson Valley resort beckons families year-round with outdoor adventures, such as hikes and swimming, and old-timey indoor pursuits, from board games to dancing. A stay here includes three meals a day, a kids club, evening entertainment, a number of sports and fitness programs, and innumerable perks, such as nightly turndown service. Enjoy the view from the room's balcony or family time around the en suite fireplace.
At Woodloch Pines in the Poconos there are endless activities for kids from a petting zoo to boating and swimming.
2. Woodloch Pines — Hawley, Pennsylvania
Plentiful meals, activities galore, and bedtime-friendly evening entertainment are all included in the price at this top-notch rustic resort on a scenic lake in the Poconos. There’s a petting zoo, playground, paintball and much more, so no one will ever get bored. An indoor "splash zone" with slide keep tots happy year-round. If you’re searching for a multi-generational getaway with the grandparents or a family reunion spot, hospitable Woodloch is a fine choice. This family-run resort is kid-friendly in every way, but adults can have fun on their own when they head to the serene spa at the stunning sister property, The Lodge at Woodloch, located just 2 miles away.
Slather on the sunblock and enjoy a ride through Boothbay Harbor while staying at Maine's Spruce Point Inn.
3. Spruce Point Inn — Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Few towns spell summer as quintessentially as Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Its throwback quality is tailor-made for families, with its iconic harbor brimming with lobster boats and schooners. Spruce Point Inn is a seasonal resort set on 56 bucolic acres, and while it's not entirely all-inclusive, it does come with some nice perks, such as a complimentary day camp program for guests ages 5-12 and spacious lodging for families. Seaworthy vessels of every kind, a variety of room and cottage configurations, and locally sourced food make this place special.
Families can suit up for water sports at The Tyler Place where personal nannies are on hand for babies.
4. The Tyler Place — Highgate Springs, Vermont
This seasonal resort is excellent for families with babies and toddlers. The children’s program is comprehensive and includes a personal nanny for newborns to 1-year-olds. They have plenty of baby gear, so no problem if you forget the stroller. Parents will have plenty of time to unwind in strategically placed hammocks. Nearly everything is included in the price (all meals, bike rentals), but there is an additional fee for the personal nanny.
Families get unlimited horseback riding at Rocking Horse Ranch.
5. Rocking Horse Ranch — Highland, New York
With supervised programs for babies-to-teens, parents have the option to choose whatever blend of kid-free time they desire. Ponies and horses abound, three daily meals and all activities are included in the relatively modest price, including an indoor water park, playgrounds, hikes, and nightly entertainment. Rocking Horse Ranch is two hours from Manhattan.
6. Pine Ridge Dude Ranch — Kerhonkson, New York
Editor's note: Pine Ridge Dude Ranch will shutter following Memorial Day weekend 2022.
This affordable dude ranch in New York's pretty Catskills region frequently runs specials where kids stay free or for 50 percent off, putting this all-inclusive in reach for more vacationing families. Kids can really learn to ride here, but families also love the seasonal fun, such as harvest festivals, campfires, magicians, and other entertainment, as well as the indoor and outdoor pools. Accommodations are made for traveling families with bunk beds and cots available in most of the rooms.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida is perfect for a quick family getaway.
7. Club Med Sandpiper Bay — Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Kids will make themselves at home hitting the splash park at this Florida Club Med that dishes up all of the resort's typical all-inclusive amenities without the need to pack a passport. Located along the St. Lucie River, water sports, such as sailing, are the top activities here, but so is lounging by the pools. There's also tennis, soccer, beach volleyball, and golf, and kids clubs, too. Explore nearby Florida cities and attractions, including West Palm Beach or Miami. As always at Club Med, kids under 4 stay for FREE, and families can choose from among a number of kid-friendly accommodations, including connecting rooms.
8. Blackberry Farm — Walland, Tennessee
This gorgeous, sprawling resort set in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains gets high marks for its delicious food, an abundance of outdoor activities, and friendly staff. Kids will adore meeting the animals at the mountainous estate, hitting the hiking trail, and trying out archery and other old-timey pursuits while parents duck into the spa, drool over the extensive wine cellar, or relax at the pool. Everyone will enjoy horseback riding, carriage rides, and various watersports available on the rivers that run through the area. Choose from among luxurious rooms at the hotel, cottages, and even 5-bedroom houses with bunk bed and game rooms for the kids at this favorite American all-inclusive resort. Kids under 4 stay for FREE, and a kids camp gives children and parents a chance to explore. Private babysitting is also available.
Enjoy the desert and mountain views at Tanque Verde Ranch.
9. Tanque Verde Ranch — Tucson, Arizona
This stunning ranch nestled in the Tucson desert with the Saguaro National State Park as the backdrop is on every little cowgirl and cowboy's wishlist. A full slate of complimentary children's programming is available for those who opt for an all-inclusive package, with plenty of horseback riding options, but also hiking, crafts, nature programs, tennis, and swimming. Parents can unwind at the indoor or outdoor pools, with yoga or trail rides, and at the top-notch spa, while the whole family will enjoy cowboy cookouts and scrumptious southwestern fare daily. There are a number of Santa Fe-style adobe-walled cottages and rooms from which to choose and even a glamping option for the adventurous.
Caribbean All-Inclusive Hotels & Resorts
The water park at Beaches Turks and Caicos draws in kids to its lazy river, water slides, and pirate ship.
A trip to the famed Beaches resort in Turks & Caicos isn't soon forgotten. We're still reminiscing about our 2014 trip to Beaches when the luxury, all-inclusive Caribbean resort opened another "village" within its grounds. Visitors can choose from myriad themed-villages, all with varying accommodations, and dine at 21 restaurants, all of which are included in your stay. Kids, no doubt, will be busy manning the cannons and surfing the lazy river at the Pirates Island Waterpark. Miles of white sand beach, all-inclusive water sports, and a complimentary kids camp for babies and up, plus 10 swimming pools make for a scrumptious getaway. Of course, it all comes with a hefty price tag.
Spacious rooms, kid-friendly pools, and a 'vacation nanny' makes FDR a top resort for families.
11. Franklyn D Resort — Jamaica
Families love the low-key, practical approach to the Jamaica all-inclusive resort model Franklyn D Resort delivers. The beachfront resort comes with all the typical trappings, including pools, water slides, a spa, offsite excursions, sports courts, and more, but the piece that really attracts parents is the "vacation nanny." The resort assigns a nanny to each family to help watch and entertain the kids for the duration of your vacation! The kitchenettes and spacious rooms make this resort a win for many families even if some reviewers have started to describe the property as a bit "dated." It is smaller than some of the other big Jamaica all-inclusive resorts, but that is part of the appeal for those with young kids.
A dip in the beachfront pool at Sunscape is enjoyed by all ages.
12. Sunscape Curaçao Resort — Curaçao
This family-friendly all-inclusive resort on the charming Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao flies under the radar of many. Adjoining rooms, an all-day, supervised kids club, teen zone, sports, and nightly entertainment endear this luxurious resort to families. Explore the resort's attractions, including pools, the beach, six on-site restaurants, and more, or catch a ride into town to see the shops and brightly colored homes that dot the seashore of the nearby capital city of Willemstad. The spa offers both kid and adult services and the restaurants love to whip up mocktails for the kiddies.
13. Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa — St. Lucia
A water park, kids club, multiple pools, and all sorts of watersports, including snorkeling and paddleboarding, makes this St. Lucia south coast resort a hit with kids of all ages. Friendly staff, solid food, and the beach win over parents, too. Don't miss the lazy river and the spa, too! Families can pick an adjoining room for the kids or twin trundle beds if they have a larger family.
A low-key but high-end retreat awaits at the Spice Island Beach Resort.
14. Spice Island Beach Resort — Grenada, West Indies
Reopening October 2021
Located on stunning Grand Anse Beach, this casually elegant, intimate resort tops the list for families seeking an exclusive retreat. Family-owned and operated, your every whim is accommodated. Children age 3 and older can hang out at The Nutmeg Pod, a full-service kids' club. They will arrange childcare for younger kids and make sure cribs and any baby gear you need is available. The food is outstanding and the rate includes all meals, even British-style afternoon tea. All beaches in Grenada are public, so you'll be able to mix with friendly locals.
The water park at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana comes with slides and a side of slime if you like!
Punta Cana All-Inclusive Resorts
15. Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana by Karisma — Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The friendly staff at Nickelodeon Punta Cana go out of their way to make guests comfortable, providing everything you need from cribs and bottle warmers to more juice boxes and Frosted Flakes for the kids' minibar. Butlers help book dinner reservations, offsite excursions, and everything else. Modern, luxurious rooms with family-friendly perks, such as sliding doors that create a private bedroom, mean rest and relaxation are immediate. Splurge on a swim-up suite for a room with a pool. The grounds are manageable enough that you can hop from the beach to the pools, to the Aqua Nick water park, and still have time to throw on your flip-flops for dinner at one of the dozen all-included eateries. Parents appreciate the low-key vibe and 24-hour room service, while the kids thrill to meet big-time characters like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Paw Patrol. Relax with a special hydrotherapy session at the spa while the kids enjoy the ball pit and slide at Just Kidding, the complimentary kids club.
16. Paradisus Palma Real — Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Access to at least five pools and the beach meant kids were never without activities at this all-inclusive Punta Cana resort. Bilingual lifeguards patrolled the pools attentively and an enthusiastic band of poolside entertainers kept little ones mesmerized. Our writer's kids, none of whom are close to legal drinking age, were regular patrons at the swim-up bars, where staff served them virgin daiquiris and pina coladas, soda, and juice. The resort features a host of top-tier restaurants, which tend to fill up at peak vacation periods. However, there is a well-portioned buffet nightly for those who neglected to make restaurant reservations. Excursions are available to nearby zip lines, amusement parks, and water sports.
High-end luxury with a boutique feel, as well as an all-ages kids club and endless all-inclusive activities, make this Club Med a fan favorite. Kids can try the trapeze and acrobatics with the Creactive program from Cirque du Soleil while the parents lounge at the pool, play golf, or just slough off stress at the spa. Enjoy breakfast at a beachside terrace and ponder how much, or how little, you'd like to do today! The separate kids' room within a Family Superior suite makes bedtime a breeze.
All-Inclusive Resorts Mexico
18. The Reef Playacar — Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Family-friendly rooms, a range of all-inclusive packages, kids club, spa, and the option to hit the beach, pool, or the city of Playa del Carmen, make this all-inclusive Mexican resort a dream for those traveling with kids. Nightly entertainment, kayaks and paddleboards, bicycles, three meals, and afternoon tea and ice cream are included in the most basic package.
Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya delivers a full all-inclusive package, including baby amenities, kids' club, and meals.
19. Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya — Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Another fantastic all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico. It's delivered by the same folks behind the Nickelodeon Punta Cana, so you can expect the same delicious Karisma Gourmet All-Inclusive meals and activities, along with the baby amenities (diaper pails, bottle warmers, strollers, and more). When we first visited in 2013, our reviewer called it a "Caribbean dream vacation for grown-ups that is equally attentive to their needs as parents." There's also a My Gym for kids, a playhouse, kids club, cooking classes, and of course, the pools! Meanwhile, find me at the spa or indulging in the 24-hour room service.
20. Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa — Puerto Morelos, Mexico
Endless beachside activities for the kids, adjoining rooms, multiple pools, and attentive staff help this all-inclusive resort on Mexico's Caribbean coast rack up the glowing reviews from families. A kids club with an indoor romper room, plunge pools, and delicious food help, too. It's a short drive from the Cancun airport to checking in here for some tropical R&R.
A version of this article first ran in 2016 by Allison Tibaldi, but it has since been revised and updated.
All photos courtesy of the hotels and resorts.