It wasn’t too long ago that all-inclusive resorts had a reputation for poor food and kitschy nightlife. But in recent years all that has changed, and these days even the most kid-friendly all-inclusive family resorts are synonymous with quality dining, service, entertainment, kids’ programming, and even shopping.
In fact, many of the world’s most famous hotel brands are getting in on the action with new properties and brand-wide overhauls. This only sweetens the deal for families, who value all-inclusive resorts for their one-size-fits-all packages that help eliminate surprise charges and worries.
- 1 The Best All-Inclusive Resorts You Can Book with Points
- 2 1. Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All Inclusive Resort – Tulum, Mexico
- 3 2. Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels – Christ Church, Barbados
- 4 3. Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall – Montego Bay, Jamaica
- 5 4. Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort – Puntarenas, Costa Rica
- 6 5. Wyndham Alltra Cancun – Cancun, Mexico
- 7 6. Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa All-Inclusive – Ixtapa, Mexico
- 8 7. Radisson Blu Punta Cana, an All-Inclusive Resort – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- 9 8. El Cid Marina Beach Resort – Mazatlan, Mexico
- 10 9. Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort – Cancun, Mexico
- 11 10. The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort and Spa – Guanacaste, Costa Rica
- 12 11. Dreams Karibana Cartagena Golf and Spa Resort – Cartagena, Colombia
- 13 More from FamilyVacationist:
The Best All-Inclusive Resorts You Can Book with Points
There are a lot of good options for hotel brand-loyal families looking to redeem rewards points for a tropical getaway. Here are the best family-friendly all-inclusive resorts you can book with rewards points in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
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1. Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All Inclusive Resort – Tulum, Mexico
Rewards Program: Hilton Honors
Step foot inside Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya‘s lobby and you’re immediately transported to a paradise that feels worlds away. The all-inclusive hotel’s seamless indoor-outdoor design frames water and nature views around every corner, but what truly makes this resort stand out for families is two-fold: its dedicated spaces for kids and the food quality throughout its restaurants, both of which are among the best in the world of all-inclusive resorts.
The kids’ spaces at Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya comprise an oceanfront pool and large aquatic playground, sweeping outdoor jungle gym, and whimsical two-story indoor club with a rundown of activities that thoughtfully integrate Mayan culture. Steps from the pool, a counter serving grab-and-go meals as well as treats like cupcakes and soft-serve ice cream makes it easy to break for a bite without having to dry off from the pool and leave your sun loungers.
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These amenities are all conveniently situated on one end of the resort that feels exclusive to families. This is also where you’ll find the family-friendly digs. Graciously laid out and roomy, these accommodations come in two-queen-bed rooms or one-king-bed suites (the latter has two full bathrooms, one with a bathtub). Although none have pull-out sofas, rollaway beds are available upon request. Numerous connecting rooms can also be combined for more space if you’re vacationing with a large family.
One thing worth noting is that the resort’s family section is a bit of a walk from the hotel’s main lobby area where you’ll find the restaurants and shops. Like other all-inclusive resorts, though, complimentary shuttle service is offered throughout the day, allowing for quicker transports. This shuttle service can also be used to reach the adjacent Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, one of Hilton’s top-tier hotel brands. Both properties are located on a private slice of coastline within a short drive to Mayan ruins, cenotes, and other natural attractions, as well as popular Mexico family vacation spots like of Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
2. Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels – Christ Church, Barbados
Rewards Program: Marriott Bonvoy
Nestled along Barbados‘ southern shoreline, Turtle Beach is a shining example of Marriott’s unique approach to covering the map. The brand’s all-inclusive family resorts don’t all commingle in the same few mega-popular destinations. Instead, its resorts—which afford a more intimate atmosphere by all-inclusive standards—are found on slightly slower paced islands that make it easier to live like the locals. Families who want to connect with the Bajan culture can explore the nearby St. Lawrence Gap, Oistins Fish Fry, and historical sites that are all easily accessible from the resort.
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Back at your home away from home, the kids will love the Flying Fish Kids Club, which hosts authentic experiences like language classes and learning how to cook local delicacies. A separate children’s pool, jungle gym, and family-friendly activities such as dance lessons, competitive challenges, locally inspired arts and crafts, and a Pastry School demo up the fun factor. On the beach, non-motorized water sports like snorkeling, kayaking, catamaran sailing, and boogie boarding are offered at no extra charge.
For accommodations, two different room categories stand out for families: junior suites that sleep up to four and one-bedroom suites that can fit up to five with pull-out sofa beds.
3. Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall – Montego Bay, Jamaica
Rewards Program: World of Hyatt
Part of the fun of traveling is trying new things, and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Jamaica makes it easy to stretch your comfort zone with many different water sports included in the cost of your stay, as well as several optional adrenaline-pumping excursions. From snorkeling and setting sail on a catamaran to kayaking, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, and aquatic activities like water spinning and pool basketball, families can quench their thirst for a thrill without counting additional dollar signs. Those willing to push themselves a little further can dole out for once-in-a-lifetime adventures like whitewater tubing, ziplining, biking in the jungle, and swimming with dolphins.
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But Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall isn’t just an action-packed Caribbean vacation destination. The resort’s prime location on Montego Bay beckons families to dig their toes into the sugar white-sand beaches, cool off in the relaxation pool or exclusive kids’ pool, and savor the views from one of the resort’s postcard-perfect gazebos. Younger travelers also have access to a kids’ club with a separate area for teens, as well as a candy shop for on-the-go treats.
While there could be more variety in accommodation layouts, many of the king rooms and a few suites include pull-out sofa beds that work well for families.
4. Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort – Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Rewards Program: Best Western Rewards
Known for its many affordable hotels, the Best Western brand makes a dream-worthy vacation more possible for families on tighter budgets with its Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort in Costa Rica. In addition to the unlimited meals, drinks, and other perks that come standard with all-inclusive resorts, this resort has a beachfront pool with a nearby splash pad, on-site playground, and inventory of beach toys for kids to use at their leisure, making it an especially attractive all-inclusive resort for families with toddlers.
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The Jaco Beach Resort retains a quiet, peaceful atmosphere throughout the day. The real action takes place in the surrounding area. Downtown Jaco and its vibrant Pastor Diaz Avenue is only a 10-minute walk from the property, while natural attractions such as Playa Hermosa and Carara National Park are also easily accessible.
The Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort is a fairly small property, so there isn’t too much variety when it comes to accommodations. It does take an interesting approach with all rooms having either two double beds or one double bed and one twin bed. While this is not an attractive setup for couples, the layouts (combined with the ability to connect multiple rooms) allow families to get creative with their spaces. Complimentary rollaway beds and cribs are available as well.
5. Wyndham Alltra Cancun – Cancun, Mexico
Rewards Program: Wyndham Rewards
Put aside any preconceived “timeshare” notions you have of Wyndham. This chic and family-friendly all-inclusive resort is far from “your grandparents’ vacation destination,” with a plethora of kids’ programming for all ages.
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Seven water slides, a pirate-themed splash park, a dedicated family pool, and two splash zones keep families cool under the sun. Youngsters and teens also get their own separate spaces indoors, with activities scheduled around the clock—including magic shows and outdoor movie nights the whole family can enjoy. Young daredevils of age can take up scuba diving lessons for an additional fee, while the on-site spa has treatments curated just for teens.
One of the resort’s best features is the sheer variety of room configurations that cater to different family needs. Among them are a Family Junior Suite with a king-sized bed, bunk bed, and trundle bed that sleeps up to five and is only a few steps from the kids’ club; as well as the Presidential Suite, which sleeps five with a king bed and sleeper sofa, and has a soaker tub for kiddos who prefer baths over showers.
6. Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa All-Inclusive – Ixtapa, Mexico
Rewards Program: IHG One Rewards
Mexico’s western coast has a different vibe compared to the vibrant Yucatan Peninsula. And with its golden-sand beaches, dreamy Pacific sunsets, and more relaxed beach towns, Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa makes for a blissful setting for an all-inclusive family vacation.
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Family-friendly features run the gamut from a youth club with scheduled programming and activities to a dedicated pool for youngsters, a mini-golf course, and locally infused entertainment that welcomes a new show every night. During Mexico’s offseason for sea turtle nesting, from October through April, families can also accompany staff members at the property’s on-site nursery for turtle releases.
Rooms and suites can sleep up to two to four, respectively, and cribs are available for those traveling with babies and little tots. A handful of rooms are connecting for families who need more space. The resort is also located in the heart of the beach resort town of Ixtapa, a less-than-15-minute drive to the charming, traditional Mexican fishing village of Zihuatanejo.
7. Radisson Blu Punta Cana, an All-Inclusive Resort – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Rewards Program: Radisson Rewards
A tropical lagoon-style, zero-edge pool meandering through the entire resort and right up to the beach might be Raddison Blu Punta Cana’s most iconic feature, but beyond this photo-worthy attraction is an intimate oasis for families—smaller than most all-inclusive resorts but still packed with amenities and conveniences the whole gang will love.
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During the day, a well-equipped indoor kids club is open to little ones, with scheduled activities spanning from arts and crafts and video gaming to supervised swimming, pool games, and organized sports. What Raddison Blu Punta Cana lacks in a dedicated children’s pool or water park area, it makes up for with close proximity to local attractions the whole family will love.
Many of the area’s must-sees are free to explore or cost only a small fee—such as Cabeza de Toro Beach and the Laguna Bavaro Ecological Reserve, replete with walking trails and small freshwater swimming lagoons. For those with room in their budget, look to attractions like Manati Park, the Dolphin Explorer marine park, Bavaro Adventure Park, and Scape Park in nearby Cap Cana.
One of the best features of Raddison Blu Punta Cana, however, is its convenience. Two- to three-bedroom condos offer ample space for families to spread out (the largest sleeping up to six), with separate living spaces, fully equipped kitchenettes, and even some with private outdoor whirlpools. Standard rooms keep it simple, with space for two to four, though connecting rooms are offered and cribs are always available for those with tiny travelers.
8. El Cid Marina Beach Resort – Mazatlan, Mexico
Rewards Program: Choice Privileges
Want the benefits and value of an all-inclusive without feeling like you’re staying on a big resort? With a secluded location directly on the sea, access to a private beach, and views of a marina, El Cid Marina Beach Resort delivers that boutique property atmosphere.
Different pricing tiers cater to families’ varying wants and needs. The standard all-inclusive plan covers the basics in terms of dining, drinks, entertainment, and activities; the elite plan expands your options, with more inclusions and VIP perks.
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Regardless of which level you choose, kids get free rein of the youth and teen clubs and their respective activities included, while families can enjoy the resort’s two pools with waterfalls and rock formations, access to facilities at neighboring El Cid hotels, and optional activities such as sport fishing and horseback riding. Throw in close proximity to the eclectic and historic town of Mazatlan and your family has just about everything they need for an idyllic seaside retreat.
Given the relatively small size of the resort, room options come in only two varieties: a one-bedroom suite that sleeps two and a junior suite that sleeps up to four.
9. Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort – Cancun, Mexico
Rewards Program: Hilton Honors
Like its sister property in Tulum, Hilton Cancun is adjacent to one of the brand’s five-star options, the Waldorf Astoria Cancun, which broadens options for families willing to pay a little extra for a more upscale dining experience or spa treatment. Of course if you just want to stick with what’s included, five star-quality meals, impressive children’s amenities, and evening performances at the on-site amphitheater are all part of the package.
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For kids specifically, morning through night welcomes opportunities for fun in the beautifully designed youth and teen club, with crafts centered around the local culture, Spanish classes, dance parties, face-painting, and games; an outdoor jungle gym; splash pool with a playground; and a Willy Wonka-like parlor serving up popcorn, churros, cupcakes, doughnuts, and ice cream. Two large pools make for more space to cool off, while classes like ceramic painting or Mayan art and jewelry making add to the list of family-friendly fun.
While this resort doesn’t have its own family section, it does have accommodations designed just for those with kids. The massive Family Two-Bedroom Suite offers capacity for up to six and has two full bathrooms, including one with a tub. (For safety, the room has safety-proof windows in lieu of a balcony.)
10. The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort and Spa – Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Rewards Program: Marriott Bonvoy
Guanacaste is revered for being home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches, and the The Westin Reserva Conchal has prime real estate. Its beach overlooks the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific with views of lush mountains in the distance—a reminder that you’re staying in the midst of tropical rainforests and unspoiled beaches.
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Though the resort encompasses 2,400 acres, much of which is natural green space, your family is only steps away from the beach and all the other amenities designed with both parents and children in mind. Highlights include a freshwater lagoon-style pool plus a separate kiddie pool; an outdoor play area with swings and a slide; and an expansive youth club that not only comes with a variety of indoor activities such as arts and crafts and Spanish lessons but also offers on-site excursions such as a scavenger hunt-style eco hike around the property.
Of course, no trip to Costa Rica is complete without hiking to a volcano, experiencing the hot springs, or zip lining (or all of the above). The Westin Reserva Conchal offers tours to Palo Verde National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, the Arenal Volcano and hot springs, among other options.
Rooms on the property come in a variety of categories, though none are configured to sleep more than four. Each has space for one crib, and only some also allow for one rollaway bed. Book a Family Junior Suite (available with either one king bed and a sofa bed or two double beds and a sofa bed) for access to the exclusive Family Club Lounge, with private check-in and a personal concierge.
11. Dreams Karibana Cartagena Golf and Spa Resort – Cartagena, Colombia
Rewards Program: World of Hyatt
You don’t have to travel far for a taste of South America. Hugging the Caribbean Sea, Hyatt’s Dreams Karibana Cartagena provides families with a worry-free respite only 30 minutes from the colorful city of Cartagena, accessible thanks to complimentary shuttle service (a rarity in the all-inclusive world) or various tours available for purchase.
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Kids and teens each have their own access to youth clubs with special programming and activities. Meanwhile, five pools including one just for littles—as well as complimentary non-motorized water sports—afford plenty of opportunities to stay refreshed. Beyond exploring the “Walled City” of Cartagena, families can visit the famed Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano) or take a day trip to one of the region’s many small islands.
Larger families will rejoice in the accommodation options available at the Dreams Karibana Cartagena, with the highest room capacities of any resort on this list. The extra space does come at a pretty penny, however. With an upgrade to the property’s Preferred Club, families have more variety in room choices—including layouts that can comfortably sleep eight (a maximum of six adults and two kids) or six (a maximum of five adults and one child).
Standard accommodations are fit for only three to four, but be forewarned: Rollaway beds are not available.
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