World travel

World’s Best Christmas Beach Vacations for Families

Does your perfect Christmas involve palm trees and white-sand beaches? It’s time to pack your bathing suit and bring your family to one of these top sunny destinations around the globe. Not only do these sun-soaked spots boast sun-kissed coastlines ideal for a warm-weather getaway, but they also offer the chance to experience new cultural traditions during the festive season. 

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve discovered the world’s best beach destinations for December, from the white-sand beaches in Aruba and tropical landscapes of Hawaii to a family-friendly stretch of sand in Mexico. We’ve also highlighted the top kid-friendly resorts nearby and added a few insider tips to help take the stress out of planning.

Why You Should Visit Palm Beach, Aruba

Photo| Shutterstock | STEVE PHOTOGRAPHY

The beaches of Aruba are some of the best in the Caribbean, and Palm Beach is often touted as the most family-friendly shoreline on the island. Set against a backdrop of luxury resorts, the stretch of white sand is dotted with palm trees, water sports huts, restaurants and shops.

Best Family Experiences in Palm Beach, Aruba

  • Join in traditional Christmas celebrations, from seeing the colourful light displays at Seroe Preto to listening to Sinterklaas music.
  • Join a 4WD excursion to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary or iconic Natural Pool.
  • See rare butterfly species at the Butterfly Farm.

Best Hotels in Palm Beach, Aruba

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Photo|Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino | Provided by ARUBA MARRIOTT RESORT & STELLARIS CASINO

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is a tropical paradise with exceptional resort amenities, including a 24-hour casino, full-service spa, sauna and whirlpool. Kids can swim in the children’s pool, then recharge with poolside bites at Waves Beach Bar & Grill before enjoying a sweet treat at Gelato & Co.

Families on a budget can stay in the 2 Queen Garden View Room, which boasts a flat-screen TV, mini fridge and private balcony, or upgrade to a Partial Ocean View 2 Queen for ocean glimpses. For panoramic ocean views, stay in the Premium Ocean View 2 Queen.

Nearby Attractions

●  Tierra del Sol Golf Course (3.5 kilometres)
●  Hadicurari Beach (850 metres)
●  Malmok Beach (2.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 294 – USD 1,219
Guest Rating: 9
Address: LG Smith Boulevard 101, Palm Beach, Aruba

Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino

Photo| Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino is the epitome of oceanfront luxury, offering direct beach access, an inviting outdoor pool, casino and spa. The entire family will love the wood-fired pizza at Cafe Piccolo, fresh guacamole at Mexicado and baked goods at Shoco Market Cafe.

Unwind in the 55-square-metre 2 Queen Beds with Balcony room, which has a flat-screen TV, mini fridge and furnished balcony with Caribbean Sea views. The Garden and Ocean View Family Suite adds even more space with a living room and children’s bunk beds.

Nearby Attractions

●  Jolly Pirates Sailing Cruises & Snorkeling (1.1 kilometres)
●  Pelican Pier (550 metres)
●  California Lighthouse (6.6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 359 – USD 1,231
Guest Rating: 9
Address: JE Irausquin Boulevard 85, Palm Beach, Aruba

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Maui, Hawaii

Photo| Shutterstock | FOTOGESTOEBER

Known as “The Valley Isle”, Maui is a tropical paradise with seemingly endless pristine beaches, outdoor adventures and natural wonders. While honeymooners flock to this Hawaiian island to lounge on the sand, travellers with kids will find plenty of engaging activities, including Christmas festivals.

Best Family Experiences in Maui, Hawaii

Best Hotels in Maui, Hawaii

Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Photo| Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, A Waldorf Astoria Resort | Provided by GRAND WAILEA RESORT HOTEL & SPA, A WALDORF ASTORIA RESORT

With direct access to Wailea Beach, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa A Waldorf Astoria Resort boasts a Grand Luau, which showcases a delicious buffet of local cuisine and highlights traditional Hawaiian culture. There’s also a kids’ club, teen spa treatments, multiple restaurants and nine pools featuring water slides and a lazy river.

The Deluxe Ocean View – 2 Queen Beds has a flat-screen TV and a private lanai (balcony) with ocean views, while the Terrace View – 2 Queen Beds offers Mt Haleakala views. The 3 Bedroom Villa can accommodate up to six people and has a full kitchen, personal concierge and a lanai with a grill.

Nearby Attractions

●  Wailea Blue Golf Course (600 metres)
●  Ulua Beach Park (1.4 kilometres)
●  Te Au Moana (1.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 391 – USD 1,242
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Hawaii, United States

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Photo| Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa | Provided by LEONARDO

Experience authentic island luxury at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, where stylish rooms have their own private lanais with ocean, mountain or garden views. Families can choose either two queen-size beds or one king-size bed and one double bed. The modern amenities include flat-screen TVs, mini fridges and air conditioning.

The Drums of the Pacific is an award-winning luau on site, where guests are treated to traditional chants, songs and dances. You can also watch penguin feedings, sign up for hula lessons or lei making or join wildlife tours. Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice is also a hit with kids.

Nearby Attractions

●  Whalers Village (1.1 kilometres)
●  Baby Beach (5.3 kilometres)
●  Black Rock Beach (2.2 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 263 – USD 839
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina, Hawaii, United States

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Koh Samui, Thailand

Photo| Shutterstock | IKUNL

A small island off the coast of Thailand, Koh Samui is a family-friendly destination with golden beaches, lush jungle interiors and family-friendly attractions. Families with kids can frolic in the Gulf of Thailand, explore glittering temples and kayak in stunning national parks.

Best Family Experiences in Koh Samui, Thailand

  • Snorkel or kayak the crystal-clear waters of Ang Thong Marine National Park.
  • Zip through the air past rainforest landscapes and cascading waterfalls with Canopy Adventures.
  • Marvel at the famous 12-metre-tall Big Buddha shrine at Wat Phra Yai.

Best Hotels in Koh Samui, Thailand

Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa

Photo| Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa | Provided by LEONARDO

Anantara Bophut Resort & Spa offers a mix of tranquillity and adventure for families, with a garden spa, beachfront infinity pool and kids’ club. HotelsCombined visitors rave about the dining options at this 5-star resort, which includes a buffet breakfast, Thai cooking classes and Southern Thai cuisine at Eclipse Thai Bistro & Bar.

Families can unwind in the Junior Garden View Suite, which has direct garden access, a standalone tub and private terrace. The Anantara Beachfront Pool Suite boasts a plunge pool, while the One Bedroom Pool Villa adds a full kitchen.

Nearby Attractions

●  Fisherman’s Village (900 metres)
●  Samui Go-Kart (450 metres)
●  Pink Elephant, Samui Water Park (4.8 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 154 – USD 694
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 99/9 Moo 1, Bo Phut, Thailand

Amari Koh Samui

Photo| Amari Koh Samui | Provided by AMARI KOH SAMUI

Nestled on Chaweng Beach, the biggest highlight of Amari Koh Samui is its glittering oceanfront pool and Breeze Spa, which offers traditional Thai massages. Food-loving families will appreciate the Italian favourites at Prego Italian Restaurant, while Amaya Cafe offers coffee and cakes and Amaya Food Gallery focuses on Thai dishes and Asian-inspired buffets.

The Deluxe Family Duplex is ideal for families, offering a king and twin-size bed, living area and private balcony overlooking a garden. Need extra space? The 99-square-metre Two Bedroom Family Suite Beach Wing has a second bedroom with two twin-size beds. For a private balcony with ocean views, upgrade to a Junior Suite, which has direct access to the beach.

Nearby Attractions

●  Wat Khao Hua Jook (2 kilometres)
●  Central Festival Samui (1.3 kilometres)
●  Samui International Airport (2.9 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 116 – USD 644
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 14/3 Tambon Bophut, Chaweng, Thailand

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Photo| Shutterstock | SVONGPRA

Playa del Carmen offers an array of exciting activities for families, including water-based adventures at its palm-lined white-sand beaches and natural water parks. This Mexican tropical paradise welcomes adventurous families with snorkelling, wildlife watching, water slides and eco-park excursions.

Best Family Experiences in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

  • Visit Xcaret Eco Park to explore underground rivers, an aquarium and Butterfly Pavilion, then watch a Charro (cowboy) show.
  • Get up close to colourful schools of fish, enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour or hop on an inner tube at Xel Ha Park.
  • See impressive acrobatics at the family-friendly Cirque du Soleil Joya show.

Best Hotels in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Grand Riviera Princess – All Inclusive

A 5-star beachfront resort designed for families, Grand Riviera Princess – All Inclusive has multiple restaurants, four kid-friendly pools, a kids’ club, game room and complimentary non-motorised water sports. There’s also nightly entertainment for children, including a mini disco and mini theatre.

The Family Club Deluxe Junior Room features one king-size bed and three single bunk beds or two double beds and a sofa bed, as well as a flat-screen TV, coffee maker and balcony or terrace. You can also upgrade to a swim-out room for direct access to the pool.

Nearby Attractions

●  Xcaret Eco Park (18.4 kilometres)
●  Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf (4 kilometres)
●  El Acuario de Playa (10 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 184 – USD 424
Guest Rating: 8
Address: Prolongacion 5ta Avenida, Mz. 20, Lt. 006, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Panama Jack Resorts Gran Porto Playa del Carmen All Inclusive

Photo| Panama Jack Resorts Gran Porto Playa del Carmen All Inclusive | Provided by PANAMA JACK RESORTS GRAN PORTO PLAYA DEL CARMEN ALL INCLUSIVE

Panama Jack Resorts Gran Porto Playa del Carmen All Inclusive is a family-friendly resort steps from Fifth Avenue. Enjoy beach volleyball, oceanfront pools and blissful body rituals at Aura Spa. Kids love the mini golf at Camp Jack and the arcade games and air hockey at #Hashtag. The whole family can indulge in fresh sushi rolls at Off The Hook or Mexican cuisine at Zarape.

Accommodation for families ranges from Standard rooms with two double beds and semi-private terraces to the Family Junior Suite Oceanfront with a private balcony with ocean views. The latter features two double beds, twin bunk beds and a trundle bed.

Nearby Attractions

●  Fifth Avenue (1 kilometre)
●  3D Museum of Wonders (1.2 kilometres)
●  Museo Frida Kahlo Playa Del Carmen (750 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 161 – USD 475
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: Constituyentes 1, Gonzalo Guerrero, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo| Shutterstock | MARIDAV

San Juan creates the perfect Christmas getaway with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings and lively Plaza de Armas illuminated with twinkling lights. Culture-loving families can explore centuries-old landmarks, sample authentic cuisine and visit kid-friendly beaches.

Best Family Experiences in San Juan, Puerto Rico

  • Stroll through Old San Juan, starting at Plaza de Armas and down San Sebastian Street, to see the city draped in colourful Christmas lights.
  • Enjoy water sports at Playa Escambron or splash in the small pools at Playa de Condado.
  • Explore Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th-century fortification with cannons.

Best Hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Photo| San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino | Provided by SAN JUAN MARRIOTT RESORT & STELLARIS CASINO

Families can sunbathe by the outdoor pool at San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, which features swaying palm trees and a waterslide. Parents can sip tropical cocktails from the poolside bar or locally-sourced Puerto Rican coffee at La Panaderia, while kids will love the gelato shop.

Every room features a private balcony overlooking the beach or city, as well as a flat-screen TV, mini fridge and coffee maker. The Double Ocean View features two double beds, while the brand-new Double Lanai rooms have direct pool access.

Nearby Attractions

●  Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (1.3 kilometres)
●  San Juan National Historic Site (5.9 kilometres)
●  Jaime Benítez (Condado Lagoon) National Park (650 metres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 234 – USD 664
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 1309 Av Ashford, San Juan, Puerto Rico

TRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde

Photo| TRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde | Provided by ICE PORTAL

TRYP by Wyndham Isla Verde is a contemporary hotel steps from a picturesque beach. It offers ocean-view rooms, an outdoor pool and two on-site restaurants. Start your day with a buffet breakfast, then enjoy water sports at the beach or explore the nearby historic sites of Old San Juan.

Every room has ocean views, complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and coffee maker. Families with kids can upgrade to a multi-room suite or a Family Room with bunk beds.

Nearby Attractions

●  Balneario de Carolina (2.4 kilometres)
●  Parque Acuático Infantil Aquasol (3.8 kilometres)
●  San Juan Airport (4.7 kilometres)

Star Rating: 2.5*
Price: USD 140 – USD 215
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 4820 Isla Verde Avenue, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Hotel Location

Why You Should Visit Boracay Island, the Philippines

Photo| Shutterstock | R.M. NUNES

Boracay is an island paradise in the Philippines, where powdery white sand and azure waters complement outdoor excursions and luxe beachfront resorts. From lazy days building sandcastles on the beach to cultural visits to man-made attractions and island-hopping adventures, families will find plenty of activities to keep children entertained.

Best Family Experiences in Boracay Island, Philippines

  • Join island-hopping adventures to nearby islands for snorkelling in crystal-clear waters and picnicking on the beach.
  • Splash in the gentle waves at White Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines.
  • Try parasailing for bird’s-eye views of the gorgeous island scenery.

Best Hotels in Boracay Island, the Philippines

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa

Photo| Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa | Provided by SHANGRI-LA’S BORACAY RESORT AND SPA

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa is cocooned in a sheltered bay on the island’s northern coastline, offering a lavish spa for adults. It also has an indoor playground with giant slides and the Entertainment Centre with movie rooms, video games and karaoke for little ones. Outside you’ll find water sports and a large pool with a poolside bar and restaurant.

The Premier Family Seaview Room offers lavish living spaces, two queen-size beds, a complimentary breakfast buffet and a private balcony with sea views. Upgrade to the Two Bedroom Beach Villa for direct beach access or a Pool Villa for a private pool.

Nearby Attractions

●  Puka Shell Beach (2.5 kilometres)
●  Diniwid Beach (3.6 kilometres)
●  Bulabog Beach (5.2 kilometres

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 405 – USD 3,771
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Barangay Yapak, Boracay Island, Yapak, Malay, Philippines

Discovery Shores Boracay

Photo| Discovery Shores Boracay | Provided by DISCOVERY SHORES BORACAY

Discovery Shores Boracay offers a prime beach location, positioned in Station 1 of White Beach. Kids can enjoy organised activities at The Sandbox or swim in the pool with inflatable toys while parents enjoy signature massages at Terra Wellness Spa. There are multiple on-site restaurants as well as 24-hour room service.

The crown jewel of Discovery Boracay – the Signature Suites is an exclusive wing of the resort with 11 lavish suites. Perfect for travelling families, each suite features high ceilings and separate living spaces, which open onto a spacious balcony with its own infinity lounge pool.

Nearby Attractions

●  Bulabog Beach (1.7 kilometres)
●  White Beach (1.4 kilometres)
●  Puka Shell Beach (6 kilometres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 219 – USD 692
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Station, Balabag, Malay, Philippines

Hotel Location

Experience the Magic of Christmas at an Exotic Beach Destination

Gather the family for a warm-weather winter escape this Christmas and trade layers of clothing for picturesque coastlines with crystal-clear water. Make the most of your holiday at one of these top beach getaways, which boast exciting outdoor excursions and family-friendly hotels with outdoor pools, kids’ clubs and spacious family suites. 

Which beach destination do you want to visit this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

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Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.
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