When you’re choosing between all-inclusive resorts for kids, what should you look for? In my view, the best all-inclusive child-friendly holidays should be about easy relaxation, served up on a bed of luxury. With a side order of adventure. After reading about Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, a five-star resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, I think a holiday there would have all those ingredients. Accompanied by a mango-flavoured cocktail, to make the flavours even more delicious.
This is an advertorial feature in collaboration with Iberostar.
A dreamy trip to Jamaica – staying right by the sea
Iberostar run over 120 hotels and resorts, in Europe, the Americas and Africa. 80% of them are next to the sea, like Rose Hall Suites. The Jamaica luxury resort is just footsteps away from Rose Hall Beach, where pale caramel-coloured sand lines the shore, and holidaymakers sip cocktails under coconut parasols.
Of course, the warm Caribbean Sea isn’t just for relaxation. It’s for playing, too. The PADI Certified scuba centre at Rose Hall Suites takes ocean-lovers diving in the deep waves, to seek out tropical fish, or the occasional turtle. Snorkelling and parasailing are also popular with marine adventurers.
It’s not only beach-bums who can kick back next to their favourite patch of clear blue water. There are plenty of pools to choose from at Rose Hall Suites. With an infinity pool, lazy river, activity pool, kids-only swim zone and Aqua Fun Water Park, families could splash around for hours.
Things to do in Montego Bay and nearby
The lively area around Montego Bay, Jamaica, is crammed with places that are ideal for shopping, dining, and family excursions. An hour’s drive takes you to Ocho Ríos, where a chairlift whisks you up 700 feet, over tropical forest to the top of the Mystic Mountain. The bold and the brave can come back down via bobsled, like the characters in the film Cool Runnings. Or push adrenalin levels to the max, with a secure zip line ride over the treetops. Nature-lovers can take in the stunning Dunn’s River Falls, also at Ochos Ríos.
There’s so much to do in and around the Montego Bay area. Just check out the Visit Jamaica website for inspiration. You can also read on their site that the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, Rose Hall Suites’ adult-only sister resort, recently won the Apple Vacations’ Golden Apple Award for best all-inclusive hotel. The resort’s success was credited to their focus on exceptional standard of quality, service and value.
Entertainment for kids: Star Camp at Iberostar Rose Hall Suites
While it’s good to go out and soak up the local flavour, the best all-inclusive holidays for kids also give mini explorers the chance to have their own adventures right in the resort itself. And Iberostar’s new Star Camp programme does just that. It’s built on the theory of multiple intelligences: the idea that youngsters learn and grow by cooperating with each other. At Star Camp, children can play at being mini journalists, chefs, artists or film directors. It’s a fun experience, that gives parents some kid-free time, to relax in the spa, or to just sit quietly, enjoying the sea view.
Star Camp kids are divided up into age groups. The Monkeys group targets children aged between 4 and 7 years. Dolphins is for those between 8 and 12 years. 13 to 17 year olds are catered for in the Eagles. Star Camp will be rolled out to all Iberostar hotels from summer 2019, but some resorts, like Rose Hall Suites, already offer the full activity programme.
Star Camp’s not the only children’s entertainment on offer at Iberostar Rose Hall Suites. Every night, talented actors, dancers, and singers put on two shows, one specially for the kids, the other for the whole family to enjoy together. And a babysitting service is available for parents who want an evening to enjoy the resort’s kid-free entertainment.
At Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, the all-inclusive package includes meals at a selection of restaurants and snack bars. These cater for everyone, from the pickiest eater to the gourmet who savours everything.
Aunty Ruby’s steakhouse cooks up tender cuts, while Sole Mio serves delicious, popular Italian dishes. A daily buffet at Miranda Hill offers international cuisine. For those who want to experience the jesty, fiery flavours of the Caribbean island, Calabash is a gourmet restaurant, where diners dress to impress. People looking for a more casual dining experience can snack on burgers or hot dogs at the poolside Aunty Ruby Buffet. And it wouldn’t be an Iberostar seaside holiday without the chance to savour the freshest seafood, which is available at Mare Nostrum mediterranean restaurant.
Kid friendly accommodation
Even the best all-inclusive child friendly holidays can fall down if the accommodation isn’t right. But with 11 types of suite to choose from, Rose Hall caters for families of different shapes and sizes. Every room has free Wi-fi, and its own terrace overlooking the beautiful tropical scenery. The Presidential Suite even gives the grown-ups access to the adult-only Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall.
Caring for the seas: Wave of Change
Iberostar is a holiday company that cares for its environment. So to help protect the oceans that lie next to 80% of its hotels and resorts, it launched Wave of Change. This initiative aims to drive sustainable tourism, by reducing plastic consumption, and encouraging local partners to maintain healthy marine ecosystems. Iberostar has become the first hotel chain to replace single-use plastic products with more environmentally-friendly materials in all the rooms of its 36 hotels in Spain. Over the course of 2019, it will roll this out to the rest of its 120 hotels and resorts. Its hotel restaurants aim to only cook seafood that has been fished responsibly, without harming endangered species. And Iberostar works with local research units to make sure the footprint left on the coast around its hotels and resorts, is as small as possible.
Bravo, we say. It sounds as though Iberostar are top of the tree when it comes to resorts for kids (and adults, too).
What do you look for when considering all-inclusive child friendly holidays?
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