Picking a resort thats a hub rather than a final destination may seem sensible and obvious, but it doesnt always emerge as a priority. And its not hard to see why. As the trip planner your focus is on nailing down a place with the activities and amenities your family demands. And while your family may refuse to admit it, they probably enabled your pick, testifying that they wanted a relaxing vacation, not a sightseeing one, and getting crazy giddy every time they saw the resorts photos online.
If youre looking at Jamaica, one of the better hubs is the all-inclusive Riu Ocho Rios. Its got what discerning kids would describe as the bare minimum: About a gazillion square yards of gardens, a private beach, a pool with an obligatory swim-up bar, seven restaurants, kids activities, and water sports. But this hub also has three solid spokes. Dunns River Falls and Dolphin Cove are six miles east of the property and Shaw Park Botanical Gardens are slightly beyond those two, about eight miles east of Riu Ocho. While these spokes are conveniently clumped together, theyre each good for a full morning or afternoon. Limit yourself to one spoke a day and let the resort pick up the slack the rest of the time.
Riu Ocho rack rates average $323 per double occupancy, but you can cram up to four in a standard room. Youll pay a child fee amounting to 25% of your total room price for each kid 2-12 and an extra person fee of about 40% of the total for each child 13 or older. Kids under two are free, however, and theres no daily charge for wheeling in a crib or cot.