What’s the secret to a great family vacation? Finding a location that allows everyone to explore and have fun – at their own pace. A spot where the kids (most likely bursting with energy) can have a blast while you enjoy a relaxing massage and a margarita…or several margaritas. (Go ahead – it’s vacation.) And generally a beach destination can deliver on all these fronts. So we’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly, tropical vacation spots that feature safe and fun places to play, kid-friendly restaurants, and all sorts of activities, even if the sun goes into hiding for a day or two. And Mom and Dad will be just as happy at these spots as well.
With ten pools, a sprawling (45,000-square-foot) water park, a shopping center, a spa complex, and more restaurants than you can shake a breadstick at, the family-friendly Beaches is one of the most features-heavy resorts in Turks and Caicos. With a pirate-themed Sesame Street Treasure Caravan; 12 miles of white sand beach; pools staffed by lifeguards; Pirate’s Island Waterpark featuring two waterslides; AND Crayola Art Camps (whew!), your little ones can be entertained while you head for a rum punch. For the tweens and teens, there’s a Martha Stewart Crafts Studio, a (teen-appropriate) nightclub and lounge, an Xbox games garage, and even a DJ academy.
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Spring break is right around the corner and, those on a budget shouldn’t rule out a trip to the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean. Budget-friendly all-inclusives dot the shores of some of our favorite destinations, including the Dominican Republic, Cancun, and Jamaica, among others. It’s time to pack your bags and hitch a flight to warmer weather.
With competitive pricing, lovely rooms, and great on-site amenities, this 70-room boutique hotel will attract people who never thought they’d choose an all-inclusive package. With three restaurants and cabanas on the terrace, Waves has a contemporary appeal especially for couples. The quiet beach along Prospect Bay feels private, and the calm waves are perfect for swimming and kayaking. A spa and adults-only pool, located across the street, are extra perks.
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If an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink beach getaway with your honey sounds like your idea of a vacation, then we’ve got some great resort picks for you. These all-inclusive resorts are not only among the best in the Caribbean and Mexico, they’re also adults-only — so you can enjoy some R&R without getting interrupted by squealing tots. (And families, not to fear — we’ve got recommendations for you, too!)
Arguably Jamaica’s most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves’ 12 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there’s no beach). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica’s best all-inclusive. Read More »
Sometimes the honeymoon isn’t about the locale (OK, well maybe a little bit), but rather about the hotel itself. Some of the finest properties around the globe are offering up unique, sexy services to ignite their burning desires (and/or fires). And rather then spend every last minute planning your honeymoon when you have SO MUCH ELSE to do, we figured we’d finagle the deets for you in advance. So brides, sit back, relax and enjoy these ideas brought to you by hotels across the globe. You can thank them later when you’re just positively glowing.
1. Book your stay at an adults-only resort.
Try: Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados
The beach's umbrellas seat two. Coincidence? We think not.
Sprawling across 11 acres on the west coast of Barbados, the property is situated closer to the waterfront than others in the area, due to it being built before legislation forced future resorts to build further inland. The pink Colonial-style Fairmont Royal Pavilion feels quite romantic thanks to its design and offers two restaurants and bars, as well as free afternoon tea on the terrace. Because there are only 72 rooms, the beach never feels crowded. Excellent amenities include an outdoor pool , tennis courts , and free non-motorized water sports. Plus, NO ONE under the age of 18 is permitted at the resort. Did someone say bliss?
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Credit: iStock Photo
Welcome to our new series, Ask Oyster! Have a burning travel question you’d like answered? Contact us and put “Ask Oyster” in the subject line.
My husband and I have always wondered what it would be like to try the nude lifestyle on vacation, but I have no idea what kind of resorts might offer this. (And I would be a bit embarrassed to call up a hotel and ask!) What are my options?
–Uses Lots of Sunscreen
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Summer’s in full swing — can’t you just hear the beach calling your name? But while some of us are happy with just a patch of sand and a salty sea breeze, others hit the beach with a little something specific in mind. Maybe you want to go surfing, indulge in some late-night partying, or take full advantage of a clothing-optional zone. So no matter the kind of beach scene you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Check out our list to find the beach that suites your style this summer. Get ready to hit the sand!
If You’re Looking For: A Crazy Party
Hit This Beach: Medano Beach; Cabo San Lucas
Medano Beach at the Cabo Villas Beach Resort and Spa
Why Partiers Love It: It’s Cabo, baby! The infamous line associated with the town of Cabo San Lucas reflects its hard-partying atmosphere which makes it a popular choice among college-aged spring breakers. But Medano Beach has something for revelers of all ages — as long as you’re down to get in on the fun, of course. The soft, sandy beach is lined by bars — everything from inexpensive dives to upscale cocktail lounges. And no shirt, no problem!
Where to Stay: Almost all 142 units of the Cabo Villas are romantic, airy and bright — with modern décor, stylish fixtures, and spacious balconies with stunning views. The ocean-side location is convenient for party people — Medano Beach’s shores may be teeming with vendors and tourists, yet guests can find a bit of a reprieve (if they choose) at the hotel’s beach bar and sushi joint, Baja Cantina.
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