Picking the “best” of anything is always a challenge, but it’s particularly difficult when you’re talking about all-inclusive vacations. Everyone has a different priority, whether that’s the cleanliness of the beach, the quality of the food, or the abundance of nightlife. For our list, we’ve tried to find the best balance between physical location, luxurious add-on's, and the overall quality of the rooms and surrounds. To narrow the field, however, we’re just focusing on adults-only resorts. You may come up with a completely different top 5, but we’re pretty confident ours will transport you to the heights of tropical bliss.
Before we get started – a word of caution. If there’s anywhere in the world you want to go with your own silk wrap, it’s the Caribbean. A hot, humid climate is heaven for insects and if you don’t want to spend your time scratching a host of weird bites, be sure to tuck yourself into one of our critter-repellent travel sheets. Just saying.
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
A stately resort modeled along the lines of a traditional colonial estate. This posh retreat provides 24-hour room service, private lounges, and top-shelf cocktails. A choice of multiple gourmet restaurants and bars, including free access to the other two Iberostar resorts in Montego Bay. Luxurious amenities include a huge infinity pool, free non-motorized water sports, and a beautiful spa and yoga studio. A round of golf is also included, making this one of the best, and most comprehensive, deals on the island.
Cocobay Resort, Saint Mary Parish, Antigua
A boutique-style resort for couples with only 65 rooms housed in picturesque cottages, each with exposed beams, distinctive color schemes, and a delightfully laid-back vibe. The resort looks over the ocean and spreads down a hillside that adjoins three impeccable white sand beaches. Luxurious features like exterior clawfoot tubs, private plunge pools and balconies with hammocks and breathtaking views. Two restaurants and three on-site bars with nightly entertainment. Blissful seclusion in a romantic setting that can’t be beat.
Palm-Island Resort, Grenadines
A superb getaway destination on a private island at the southern end of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The resort spans 135 acres but has only 43 guest rooms including private suites and villas. Five white sand beaches, hiking trails, cycling, and the full range of non-motorized water sports. There’s also an air-conditioned fitness facility and spa. Swim with the sea turtles or take a sunset sail in an all-inclusive that really does have it all.
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera, Riviera Maya, Mexico
The ultimate honeymoon vacation with patented “unlimited luxury” service. No reservations required for gourmet dining, top-shelf spirits, mini-bar, 24-hour room service, and none of those tacky wristbands. There’s also a superior spa, fitness center, two heated swimming pools and live performances every evening. The beach is an endless expanse of clean white sand that offers the full array of water sports and distractions. Rainforest Alliance Certified for its commitment to reducing the resort’s environmental footprint and adopting green best practices.
Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort, Holguin, Cuba
Far from the hectic party goers and families that flock to Varadero Beach, this luxurious resort is in eastern Cuba alongside a beautiful nature reserve. People don’t usually associate Cuba with luxury, but here you’ll find an elegant exception. Sink your toes into the soft sands of Esmerelda Beach and bask in the warmth of Cuban hospitality. Garden villas have saunas, private pools and absolute privacy while the two-storey bungalows boast large suites and expansive views of the ocean. Eight restaurants and seven bars raise the stakes on fine dining and the spa has won numerous World Travel Awards. If you can get to Cuba, this is where you want to go.
We hope this has given you taste for all-inclusive resorts that manage to provide a personalized experience amidst a sea of mayonnaise-laden buffets and cookie-cutter accommodations. Take the time to find your own special getaway because if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary that’s still within budget, it’s definitely out there.