The Caribbean is one of the world’s best destinations for a holiday with children of all ages, from toddlers splashing round in the calm and shallow sea to teens sailing, surfing, rainforest exploring and much more.
The West Indian culture is very much focussed on the family and children are welcome everywhere. No restaurant – not even the legendary Cliff in Barbados – would discourage children from dining: when my eldest child was born, my wife and I worked out that she came out to eat with us for 25 of the first 30 nights of her life.
One of the area’s greatest attractions for families with young children is the excellent and inexpensive childcare available. Lots of the big resorts have kids’ clubs, for example, while anyone renting a Savills-operated villa will find that not only do they come fully staffed, but our on-island management teams can easily organise childcare as needed.
Most of the beaches on the Caribbean Sea are suitable for babies and early swimmers and lots of them, including Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands, have additional attractions such as ice cream vans. For more active children, the majority of the islands have sailing clubs where those aged around four years and upwards can learn everything from mini windsurfing to sailing dinghies, lasers and everything above.
The Bitter End Yacht Club & Resort on Virgin Gorda teaches water sports of all kinds and, due to its reputation as a sailing centre, Antigua is also particularly well organised. There’s a fantastic kids’ club at the Pink Sands Club in Canouan, too, which operates from a separate clubhouse and pool and where staff take children on expeditions to do turtle watching and set up barbecues on the beach in the evening.
Additionally, Royal Westmoreland in Barbados has a full list of events and activities every day during the winter season as well as golf and tennis lessons for children of all ages. Sugar Beach in St Lucia is known for its active kids’ club and Albany in the Bahamas probably has some of the finest children’s facilities of any residential resort.