Holiday like the Middletons: Luxury Caribbean ideas for families



The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and George have joined Carole and Michael Middleton, along with Kate's siblings Pippa and James on a luxury family holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

The extended family are reportedly staying in a £10,000-a-week villa, where they are indulging in the services of a butler, spa treatments and meals cooked by a chef. But you don't have to be a royal to experience the luxury of your own villa and top notch services in the Caribbean. Here's where to follow in the footsteps of the Middletons and holiday with the whole family...

Half Moon, Jamaica

Offering a choice of 31 four, five, six and seven-bedroom Royal Villas with private swimming pools and plenty of space for relaxation and socialising, Half Moon's villas are ideal for families. Staffed by a butler, housekeeper and cook, everything from booking golf tee times, making restaurant reservations or even arranging a sumptuous feast is taken care of so you can enjoy quality time with your loved ones. As well as two miles of beaches, there is a championship golf course, equestrian centre, dolphin lagoon, a full service spa and more to keep you entertained. Children can take part in fun activities in the Anancy Children's Village, while the older kids can socialise with other teens at the Hype Zone. From $1,295 (£853) per night for a five-bedroom garden view villa on a room-only basis.



The Landings, St Lucia

At The Landings, there are 85 spacious luxury villa suites with between one and three bedrooms for smaller families. The suites come complete with fitted kitchens, living rooms, balconies and some even have private plunge pools. The resort offers a personalised butler service to take care of everything from reserving sun loungers to serving drinks and even arranging a buggy ride from the beach to the suite. The private chef service means you don't have to worry about meals or even cleaning up after! On-site facilities include a private yacht marina, the huge Soleil Spa and Fitness Centre, three swimming pools, two hot tubs, two tennis courts, a children's club and a choice of non-motorised water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking, Sunfish and Hobie cat sailing. From $871 (£574) per night for a three-bedroom Marina View Villa suite on a room-only basis.

Villa C'est la Vie, St Lucia

This privately-owned five-bedroom luxury villa covers over 5,000 square feet and is set in extensive gardens dominated by an eye-catching swimming pool with a feature Sugar Mill waterfall and island. Villa C'est la Vie has access to two beaches and guests get a totally personalised service with a team including a butler, chef and housekeeper. In addition, you can advantage of the Premier Concierge service which will arrange tours and excursions as well as fitness classes and spa treatments. From $1,300 (£856) per night based on 10 adults sharing the five bedrooms on a bed and breakfast basis and including return airport transfers.

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Holiday like the Middletons: Luxury Caribbean ideas for families

Walk along the ocean floor and discover the amazing corals and tropical fish in the Dominican Republic on an underwater family adventure. Children as young as eight can explore the underwater world as the only skills required are walking and breathing. The Seaquarium Underwater Adventure in Punta Cana allows you discover a submarine wreck, get up close to reefs and meet stingrays, sharks and colourful fish. All you have to do is slip on a helmet and attach an air tube to start exploring - you don't even have to get your hair wet!

Family holidays can be costly but if you're looking for an affordable way to experience the Caribbean, going all-inclusive could be the answer. The Dominican Republic has an excellent choice of all-inclusive hotels for families in Punta Cana, where you will find a 30-mile stretch of soft white sand, swaying palm trees and calm turquoise waters. The all-inclusive options here are vast and offer something for everyone. Try Dreams Punta Cana home to the largest free-form swimming pool on the island, Now Larimar Punta Cana for its fantastic Explorer's Club for kids or Occidental Grand Punta Cana for a tranquil atmosphere.

With lush green rainforest, tropical fauna and fascinating wildlife, Saint Lucia is the island for nature lovers. Rainforest Adventures is home to the Aerial Tram tour, where you are transported into the heights of the island's forest reserve. Both the kids and adults will enjoy the magical bird's-eye view of nature on this peaceful ride through the canopy of the Castries Waterworks Reserve in Babonneau. Those who like to explore the sights on foot should go on a Saint Lucia Rainforest Walk, where a forestry guide will lead you on an awe-inspiring nature walk to see massive gommier trees, spot Mangrove Cuckoos and hear the cry of the elusive Saint Lucian Parrot.

The crystal-clear calm waters of the Caribbean are ideal for snorkelling and perfect for discovering the beauty of St. Kitts as a family. South Friars Bay, White House Bay and Frigate Bay are some of the best spots for snorkelling. Blue Water Safaris offers a half day snorkelling trip with travel on a luxurious catamaran across the turquoise waters of St. Kitts & Nevis. Families will explore the finest snorkelling spot in the area, where colourful marine life is abundant, and enjoy a spot of lunch at sea.

Wonderful for kids with fun beach activities galore, there is plenty to keep the little ones entertained during a Caribbean getaway but what about the teens? St. Kitts is a fantastic island for older children and offers a wealth of adventure, thrills and nightlife. Zip lining, Flyboarding and stand up paddle boarding are some of the exciting experiences teenagers will love. They won't want to miss out on the lively beach bar scene at hotspot The Strip either. The area of Frigate Bay has a selection of places to eat, dance and socialise, such as The Dock (part of the Timothy Beach Resort) which boasts spectacular sunset views, lively Ziggy's Bar and Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack where you can enjoy a roaring bonfire, live band and karaoke. Stay at the three-star Timothy Beach Resort located directly on the Caribbean beach and beside The Strip.
Children will adore getting up close to sea turtles in St. Kitts and visitors as young as five can become a Sea Turtle Junior Conservationist to get a hands on experience in the life of sea turtles from April to June or July to September. As a Junior Conservationist, kids will accompany a research team during the nesting season as well as participate in fun-filled games aimed at teaching them about the survival and nesting behaviour of the sea turtles. They will learn how to make a sea turtle nest, take part in sea turtle jeopardy and even act as a sea turtle! Species found in St. Kitts include Hawksbill, Leatherback, Green Sea and Loggerhead Sea Turtles.

On mountainous Saint Lucia, you can visit the Caribbean's only drive-in volcano in Soufriere with the kids. Locally known as the Sulphur Springs, the attraction's road runs right through the crater of the volcano, which emits steam and bubbling sulphur. Don't forget your swimsuits as further downstream the temperature of the sulphur is not so hot and perfect for enjoying a family mud bath. There are observation decks so visitors don't get too close to the hot sulphur and steam, and a mini picnic park where you can stop for lunch. Rainforest Adventure offers excursions to the Soufriere Volcano, including the hot springs and mud baths at the Sulphur Springs.

Whichever Caribbean island you’re visiting, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches. Super soft white sand, warm turquoise water and swaying palm trees provide idyllic days out at the beach. The Dominican Republic's Playa Boca Chica is one of the island's most family-friendly of all, while Punta Cana offers safe swimming all year round. In St. Kitts, White House Bay, Turtle Beach and South Friars Bay are some of the best spots to float around and take in some Vitamin D. Those looking for calm waters and long strolls in Saint Lucia should head for Reduit Beach, Jalousie Beach and Grande Anse.

Coconut Bay Resort and Spa was voted the number one hotel for families by TripAdvisor reviewers in 2012, and with its fabulous oceanfront setting, brilliant kids' club and the island's largest waterpark we can see why. The Splash area is where families can stay in colourful rooms overlooking waterpark CocoLand, which features a large activity pool, lazy river and exciting water slides. There is also the fully supervised Kidz Klub and the Caribbean’s first paintball facility to keep children of all ages entertained. For the parents, there are Caribbean street parties, a swim-up bar and four different dining spaces.

The Dominican Republic is the perfect island to hit the waves and learn to surf. Awe-inspiring Macao Beach in northern Punta Cana boasts picture-perfect seascapes and consistent wave sets. As one of the top destinations for surfers in the Dominican Republic, Macao has shallow waters and a smooth sandy beach bottom making it safe for the whole family to learn how to surf. On a lesson with Punta Cana Tours, you will be taught the basic safety tips, how to paddle, stand up and keep your balance. It's the ultimate way for families to have fun and enjoy the dreamy Caribbean waters!
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Bonaire is known primarily as a spectacular dive site, ringed by a series of offshore reefs.  But Bonaire is also a landlover’s destination, with a developing art and dining scene, and a slew of land-based activities. In the main town, Kralendijk, visit Cinnamon Art Gallery, founded by a trio of artists, or any number of fine restaurants featuring French, Italian, Argentine and creative cuisines. Bonaire is, however, a long way from becoming an urban mecca. Here, the flamingo population rivals the human one, building size is strictly limited, and the circumference of the island is a protected marine park. Stones marked with the names of dive sites can be seen from the coastal roads and a 'two minutes’ swim (literally) will reveal a reef teeming with marine life. Drive-through dive stations allow divers to refill their tanks before heading out to other alluring spots.  Don't fancy diving? Sign up with the Mangrove Info and Kayak Centre for a kayaking session through the pristine mangrove system – one of the few left in the world; drive north up the west coast past a prime flamingo-viewing lake called Goto Mere; spend a day in Washington-Slagbaai National Park amidst more than 13,000 acres of flora and fauna; see rock formations like Seru Bentana (Sky Window), and spot any number of birds and beasts at the Pos Mangel watering hole.
Stay at: The Harbour Village Beach Club in Kralendijk.
Visit tourismbonaire.com

Travellers come to Anguilla for the natural beauty and quiet atmosphere, the 33 sparkling beaches, art galleries, and many other historical and cultural gems. Beach options are seemingly endless: Rendezvous Bay, Cove Bay and Mead’s Bay are among the best. Smaller pocket beaches include Limestone Bay, known for its snorkelling, and Little Bay, reached only by boat. Captain’s Bay and Junk’s Hole Bay are more remote, Shoal Bay East is undoubtedly the island’s most popular beach, while Scrub Island, Prickly Pear and Dog Island are excellent snorkelling destinations.  Activities on land include horse riding, bird watching (there are 136 species), biking and sampling spirits at the Pyrat Rum Distillery. Visit the Arawak 'spirit eyes' petroglyphs in the caverns at Big Springs Heritage Site and the 1,000-year-old artefacts at the Heritage Collection Museum. Art lover? You'll enjoy touring Anguilla’s 16 galleries, which feature a mix of local and Caribbean crafts, woodcarving, hand-blown glass and fine art.
Stay at: The Viceroy Anguilla for beachfront bliss.
Visit anguilla-vacation.com

Belize has the second largest living barrier reef in the world, running the entire 185-mile length of the country, and is revered among scuba divers and fishermen. But there's more - 3,000 foot-high mountains, waterfalls, jungles, dramatic Maya sites and rich culture. Nature, undoubtedly though, is the biggest draw to Belize: manatees, monkeys, keel-billed toucans, rare orchids, green iguanas, blue morpho butterflies, Jaguars and 570 bird species, to name a few. The highlights for divers are the famed Blue Hole and three coral atolls: Lighthouse Reef, Glover’s Reef and Turneffe Islands. Visit partially excavated Maya sites such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha and Lamanai, or explore the country’s vast caves and glimpse into the Maya underworld, where you can see fire pits, artefacts and skeletons of human sacrifices while hiking, tubing or canoeing with headlamps. Belize has three primary tourist destinations: Ambergris Caye off the north coast especially attracts divers and snorkellers, while the main town, San Pedro, features sand streets, art galleries and a few beach bars over the water; the Cayo District, on the western border with Guatemala, hosts a tropical rainforest and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Placencia, along the south coast, has the nicest beaches in the country and is a gateway to the offshore cayes and atolls.
Stay at: Blancaneaux Lodge, a jungle getaway owned by Francis Ford Coppola.
Visit belize.com

Curaçao is one of the Caribbean’s most sophisticated capitals. Don’t miss the Maritime Museum, the Sea Aquarium, and the Curaçao Postal Museum to see bright Antillean stamps. Visit the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the Caribbean’s oldest continuously operating synagogue, with a fine display on the island’s Jewish history. Serious divers come for the spring Curaçao Dive Festival to participate in a week's worth of workshops such as Underwater Digital Photography. The western shores have a series of beautiful beaches, each one occupying a separate cove: popular Daaibooi, tiny Playa Lagun, and Knip, which opens onto a large bay of luminous water. Also in the west is Christoffel Park. Drive, hike, or ride a horse through kadushi cactus, tamarind, divi-divi trees and lignum vitae trees, along the road curving upward to amazing vistas of Mount Christoffel. The locally-famous Jazz Night at Blues Restaurant on a pier overlooking the sea is not to be missed.  Classy, joyful and mellow, it’s the perfect summary of what’s so appealing about Curaçao.
Stay at: Hotel Kura Hulanda, a luxury boutique hotel in a UNESCO world heritage site.
Visit curacao.com

Bequia is the second largest of the islands and cays that make up the island state of St Vincent & the Grenadines. It's the quintessential island paradise with pristine white sand beaches, lush interior, pretty wooden waterfront houses, a multitude of water sports and welcoming people. Port Elizabeth, Bequia’s atmospheric capital built along the harbour of Admiralty Bay (considered one of the safest harbours in the Grenadines and a magnet for visiting yachts), has shops, restaurants and markets stretching out several blocks along Front Street. Bequia is surrounded by some of the most beautiful waters in the world for sailing; head to the famous Tobago Cays, rub shoulders with the rich and famous on Mustique (nine miles west of Bequia), or take a picnic to the nearby deserted island of Isle de Quatre. There are more than 30 underwater dive sites on this charming island that only has a population of 5,000, including The Bullet where rays, barracuda and nurse sharks mingle, and a shipwreck at Devil's Table.  Don't miss a trip to Orton King’s Turtle Sanctuary, which has been caring for young Hawksbills since 1995.
Stay at: Bequia Beach Club overlooking the beautiful Friendship Beach.
Visit bequiatourism.com

There’s a reason why Dominica is branded as the 'Nature Island’ of the Caribbean: lush rainforests, rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls, rushing rivers, hot springs, the world’s second biggest boiling lake and whale-watching tours promise an unforgettable experience. The quickest way to picture this unspoiled island? Just think of Pirates of the Caribbean, as this is where the second instalment of the movie was filmed. Dominica is a world leader in sustainable tourism, offering a selection of eco-friendly properties to stay at; there are no hotel chains here and even the biggest hotel on the island only has 70 rooms. In 2012 the first and only long-distance walking trail in the Caribbean, the 115-mile Waitukubuli National Trail, will be launched in Dominica.  
Stay at: The eco-luxury Jungle Bay Resort.
Visit discoverdominica.com

Martinique is the definition of a refined French-Caribbean island: fashionable and elegant, with an abundance of flora. Filled with ruins and monuments, Martinique has been French, with few interruptions, since 1635, and offers gorgeous beaches, great food and a live volcano. Banana farming, cane raising, the rum business and tourism are all important to the island.  Its many small museums focus on curiosities such as dolls and ancient island civilisations. Hikers and horse riders will find plenty of guided adventures among the steep, lush hillsides, while windsurfers and board surfers will welcome the challenges of the choppy Atlantic side of the island. The capital, Fort-de-France, offers chic shops, the flowered Park Savanne, the Bibliothèque Schoelcher, and the Saint-Louis Cathedral, built in 1895. North along the coast is St. Pierre, which was destroyed, along with its 30,000 residents, in 1902 when Mont Pelée erupted; its Museum of Vulcanology displays chilling lava-coated mementoes. Carbet, a quaint fishing village, was briefly home for French painter Paul Gauguin.
Restaurants are among the best in the islands. Pointe du Bout is the island’s main resort area, offering hotels, golf, shopping and casino nightlife. Don't miss a trip to one of Martinique’s 12 fine rum distilleries, either.
Stay at: Le Cap Est Lagoon Resort & Spa for the ultimate in treat-yourself luxury.
Visit martiniquetourisme.com

Just a 20-minute flight from Antigua, Montserrat combines breathtaking beautiful landscapes with the Caribbean’s friendliest people. Its active volcano woke up after a long period of dormancy in the mid-1990s, transforming its capital into a modern day Pompeii, and remains active today. A famous celebrity hangout in the 1980s thanks to Sir George Martin’s AIR Studios, Montserrat has seen many famous faces throughout the years, including the Beatles, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, The Rolling Stones and Sting, who reportedly learned to windsurf on a trip to the nearby uninhabited island of Redonda. Originally settled by the Irish, Montserrat celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday.
Stay at: Olveston House, Sir George Martin’s very own house.
See visitmontserrat.com

Aruba was conquered by the Dutch in 1636 and this heritage can be seen everywhere on the island. The charming capital of Oranjestad is particularly distinct, with a number of pastel-coloured, gingerbread-house style buildings. The sun-drenched island boasts amazing beaches, contrasting landscapes, friendly people, a colourful underwater world and delicious food. Sitting just outside the hurricane belt, Aruba is at the very south of the Caribbean Sea, less than 20 miles from the Venezuela coast, and has been popular with the American market for decades – though us Brits are slowly catching up.
Stay at: The adults-only Bucuti Beach Resort on Eagle Beach, which was voted by TripAdvisor among the top three beaches in the world in 2011.
Visit aruba.com

The setting for Johnny Depp's movie, Rum Diaries, Puerto Rico is a colourful, diverse and culturally unique island. Hip, funky restaurants nestle next to 15th-century Spanish forts, and the island features tropical rainforests and some of the most stunning beaches, caves and offshore coral reefs in the Caribbean. Take a trip to nearby Vieques Island for palm-lined white beaches and lush landscapes. One of Puerto Rico’s most memorable experiences is night swimming in the Bioluminescent Bays, which are home to large colonies of dinoflagellates that light up like fireflies and provide the experience of a lifetime as they produce incredible glowing waters best seen in the light of a full moon.  Two of the most spectacular bays are the northeast’s Mosquito Bay in Vieques.
Stay at: The W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island, for real indulgence and Alain Ducasse cuisine.
Visit seepuertorico.com   

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