Best all-inclusive family resorts

By Amanda Statham, Editor

An all-inclusive holiday can be a great option for busy families. Pick a resort, pay once, pack your bags and go – relaxed in the knowledge that everything is included, from flights and accommodation, to meals, drinks and activities. Job done.

Of course, to some people, the very concept of an all-inclusive holiday is like an assault on their human rights, depriving them of the freedom and flexibility to plan, peruse and piece together an independent holiday.

Whichever camp you’re in, there’s no denying the peace of mind that comes with all-inclusive family holidays. They not only allow you tighter control over your holiday budget, but also release you from the shackles of a ‘spending money kitty’ while you’re away.

Read on for my recommendations for top all-inclusive operators, plus suggestions for other types of all-inclusive family holiday, such as safaris, cruises and activity breaks.

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All-inclusive family resorts

Club Med can claim to have invented the all-inclusive holiday and it now has 46 resorts worldwide that cater specifically to families. Where it excels it is in the gourmet food, children’s clubs and sports and activities, from horse-riding and golf to the flying trapeze and roller-blading. See the latest offers.

It’s not easy to recommend upmarket family-friendly all-inclusive hotels in the Med that work well with children of all ages, but I’m impressed by IKOS Olivia in the beautiful Halkidiki region of Greece. There’s a choice of rooms, suites and bungalows, some with private pools, and there are beach parties along with live music, a Football Academy, tennis club and mountain biking.

Antigua is popular with families, partly because of the direct flights and short transfers, along with excellent hotels. I recommend the all-inclusive Blue Waters which has a free kids club.

An all-inclusive offering from Mark Warner, the Phokaia Beach Resort in Turkey is set on a superb sandy beach, with a choice of interconnecting rooms, family rooms, villas and suites. Included in your holiday are flights, resort transfers, kids’ clubs, evening childcare and watersports (including tuition in sailing and windsurfing).

Also check out Beachcomber Tours, which offers all-inclusive options in Mauritius.

Family activity holidays

Resorts are the obvious choice for all-inclusive family holidays, but they are not the only option. Well known for their residential holiday camps in the UK for 7-17 year-olds, PGL also runs multi-activity family holidays in France. You can combine canoeing down the Ardeche River with watersports on the Med, or a day at Disneyland Paris with archery, abseiling and zip-wiring in the grounds of a nearby chateau. Everything is included, from coach travel and full board accommodation to professional tuition and a packed daily programme of activities.

Family safaris

If you’re heading into the wilds of Africa, there’s little alternative to going all-inclusive. Family safaris usually include transfers, full board accommodation in a lodge or tented camp and guided activities such as game drives, walking safaris and a special programme for kids (bug collecting, bark rubbing, making casts of animal tracks etc).

Mahlatini has a selection of tailor-made family safaris in Kenya, including 13-day Kenya and Mauritius wildlife and beach combination. Or take a malaria free safari in South Africa.

Rainbow Tours has a one-week Cape Town and Eastern Cape holiday that works well for half-term and a self-drive adventure in Kwa-Zulu Natal visiting the immense Drakensberg and a Big-Five safari in Hluhluwe.

Family cruises

Like safaris, cruises by their very nature, veer towards the all-inclusive realm of family holidays. The big ships are like floating resorts with dining 24/7, children’s clubs and a plethora of activities. P&O Cruises is one of the best line for families. Its best ships include the Azura and Ventura. Both offer an in-cabin baby listening service plus expert care for under-2s. Marella Cruises is great value with fully-inclusive rates (including tips) and highly rated kids clubs and children’s menus. See a full range of family cruises and the latest offers.

Peter Sommer Travels has some wonderful family cruising holidays, which include full board accommodation on a traditional sailing gulet that not only comes with a skipper and crew, but also an expert guide who will lead your little Lara Crofts on archaeological excursions.

Last updated: 7 April 2022

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