Adults only or family friendly: How to choose the all-inclusive resort that’s right for your stay
From the ambience to the entertainment, adults-only and family-friendly all-inclusive resorts cater to guests’ different wants and needs ensuring everyone has a memorable stay. | By Tanvi Chheda | September 14, 2023
Choosing an all-inclusive resort for your next vacation is a great way to ensure all your needs are catered to, all the time. But how do you know which one is right for you? Before you book, consider the different offerings from adults-only and family-friendly resorts to fine tune your getaway. Do you want swim-up bars or water parks with twisty slides? Sprawling spas with hydrotherapy treatments or kids’ clubs with arcades and crafts? Here are some crucial differences between adults-only and family-friendly all-inclusive resorts to consider for your next vacation.
Adults-only all-inclusive resorts are often designed with wellness, tranquility and entertainment in mind. At Hilton Playa Del Carmen, for example, expect plenty of space for relaxing (jetted tubs, anyone?) and thoughtfully designed spa facilities. Elevated dining experiences, including candlelit tables and intimate cocktail bars are all par for the course.
Busy families appreciate the opportunity to unwind, connect and spend time together while on vacation, so all-inclusive resorts catering to your family will focus on anticipating your group’s needs so you can relax. Think multiple pools featuring water slides and a variety of on-site dining outlets serving everything from pizza to quesadillas and lots of sweet treats.
Though the offerings at each all-inclusive vary by location, you’ll find different activities and facilities to discover every day at adults-only properties. Consider taking a dance class or play a round of golf during the day before settling in for a relaxing hydrotherapy spa treatment or wine and spirits tasting at night.
At family-friendly all-inclusive resorts on or near the beach, your kids will love trying non-motorized water sports like snorkeling, kayaking and boogie boarding. If you need a break from the heat, there’s likely a kids’ club with an arcade, arts and crafts and other supervised activities. At Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort, there’s also a teens’ club for 13- to 17-year-olds, complete with a baseball cage, video game stations and foam parties.
Adults-only all-inclusive resorts are a great fit for foodies looking for ample opportunities for sit-down, multi-course meals, paired with wines or spirits. At Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort, you can choose from five restaurants and five bars and lounges, including Soleil, a swim-up bar in the resort’s infinity pool. Try something new every day or return to your favorite again and again.
Dining at a family-friendly all-inclusive resort often includes more casual options with a wide range of dishes to appeal to all palates and tastes, including picky eaters. At Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort, there’s even an all-you-can-eat ice cream and churro shop for little travelers with a sweet tooth.
Adults-only all-inclusives cater to social groups and couples and offer daily entertainment options for every taste. From culinary classes to water aerobics and local excursions, your days can be filled with adventure before dancing the night away at a pool party or disco, catching a show or trying your luck at a blackjack table.
Knowing the kids will be entertained so you can have some downtime is one of the many perks of a family-friendly all-inclusive resort. From splash pads and supervised kids’ and teens’ clubs with crafts, games and sports to magic shows and movie nights, the whole family will have fun making memories all day long.
Whether you’re a solo traveler looking to mingle or enjoying your vacation with friends or your significant other, shared interests among the all-adult crowd make for an easy-going, social and relaxing getaway.
At a family-friendly all-inclusive, kids will find other children their age to play and connect with, while the parents can relax or bond with new-found grown-up friends.
Tanvi Chheda is a travel writer and family travel expert based in Los Angeles. From taking her daughter to Peru at the age of 2 to visiting several U.S. National Parks with her family, she loves seeing new places through her kids' eyes and encourages other families to do the same. A former Travel + Leisure editor, Tanvi has written for The New York Times, AFAR.com, Robb Report, Virtuoso Life and Ciao Bambino, among others.