Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a multi-generational trip, what’s better than a Caribbean island vacation? How about one where everything is included? Not only do all-inclusive resorts help you stick to your travel budget, you don’t have to carry your purse or wallet since most packages include accommodation, meals, alcoholic beverages, activities, child care and entertainment. Here are our travel writers’ favorite all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, from Jamaica and Aruba to St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic.
1. Club Med Punta Cana
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
“We “won” our trip at a charity auction at Club Med in Punta Cana. When we got off the plane, it was my first experience, it felt like stepping into a box of Crayola crayons. Everything is just a little more dynamic. We took a taxi to the resort, past one of Julio Iglesias’ houses (no sightings of Enrique).
Arrived at the resort, we received our first virgin strawberry daiquiri (which the little ones could have throughout the stay). We immediately enrolled the little ones in the Kids Club (4 months to 17 years old) so they could choose their activities, give the adults some free time, and then come together for family activities.
The spa allowed as many massages as possible in our week. And, we welcomed them during these very active days.
We love the resort because of the outdoor activities: the trapeze school started a lifelong hobby, archery, golf and fitness school, sailing and paddle boarding, the fun poolside antics of the cast members (one of whom dressed like trash and surprised adults and kids alike) and the chance to take nature- or culture-focused excursions.
Our favorite day trip was to Bayahibe, where we boarded a 75ft catamaran that took us to “The Wall” for a snorkeling adventure accompanied by a guide. Stopping at Catalina, we enjoyed a delicious meal. Later we lay briefly on the beach before a snorkeling trip along the reef. Our catamaran trip took us along the coast of La Romana and Casa de Campo before heading to the Chavón River to experience the natural beauty of its surroundings.
The entertainment – whether poolside antics or the nightly show, often with audience participation – was a great way to end the day.
The other thing I liked? Drinking water in the suites! No need for bottled water to brush your teeth. It was a fabulous week! —Gail Clifford
2. South Coast Sandals
Montego Bay, Jamaica
“Sandals South Coast is located in Jamaica in the middle of a nature reserve, making it the only resort in the area. The beach is very secluded with a long stretch of white sand. Major airlines fly to Montego Bay and Sandals takes care of your transportation to the resort.
I love the station because of the village of Rondoval. It’s like a resort within a resort with a tiki hut type dwelling nestled around a river pool. You also have your own plunge pool with a waterfall and super luxurious interiors. During my visit, we retreated to our oasis away from the crowds to enjoy the tranquil pool, enjoying snacks delivered by the included butler, and sipping cocktails and wine from the bar stocked in our room. You’ll find tons of things to do here and never need to leave the resort. Scuba diving is included at Sandals along with a plethora of water and land sports. Every night there is some type of live entertainment. —Peggy Cleveland
3. Jade Mountain Resort Saint Lucia
Mamin, Saint Lucia
“St. Lucia is one of the Windward Islands. There are direct flights from the United States to Hewanorra International Airport or inter-island flights. I arrived on one of those in Martinique, which is north of Saint Lucia.
Not only is Jade Mountain a luxurious all-inclusive resort, but it’s also adults-only. It clings to a cliff with a silver beach below. I loved the remoteness on the one hand, and on the other hand, that all the spaces – including the 24 guest rooms – are open, offering stunning views of the ocean and the twin volcanic peaks called Piton. There’s plenty to do at the resort, which includes an infinity pool, gym, restaurants, and butler service, but no TVs or phones to ensure soothing peace and quiet. However, Wi-Fi is available and you can take day trips to volcanoes, botanical gardens or sulfur springs. I loved the privacy and open spaces and didn’t mind going down the steps to the beach.” — Inca Piegsa-Quischotte
4. Galley Bay Resort & Spa
Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
“Antigua has a beach for every day of the week, but if you’re determined to visit as many as you can to find the best and most romantic one, make it easy. Book a room here. If Giorgio Armani finds it worthy of the house (he’s next door neighbor), you certainly can’t question its coved and hidden design.
Set on 40 acres surrounded by a bird sanctuary with a three-quarter-mile-long secluded stretch of sand on Antigua’s sunset side, the adults-only resort provides a truly romantic hideaway.
Besides beach and quiet, Galley Bay goes above and beyond with all the sit-down restaurants, including Gauguin and his sequestered thatched huts for intimate dinners for two.
With spa treatments in a treehouse, suites steps from the beach, and private off-beach cottages with lush landscaping and their own pool, it’s a true Caribbean original. The resort, which is approximately 20 minutes from the airport, includes a full range of land and water activities. —Chelle Koster Walton
5. Divi Aruba All-Inclusive
“As you enter the open-air lobby with views of turquoise ocean waters, towering palm trees, and bright blue skies, your blood pressure immediately drops into ‘I-love-it-here’ vacation mode.” The Doorman takes care of your luggage and gives you a happy “Welcome Home” while the front desk staff attaches your color-coded all-inclusive wristband. You quickly notice that you have ascended into a world of light and bliss. I I can feel a wave of peaceful relaxation just thinking about lounging by one of their pools; piña colada in one hand and a beach read in the other.
The Divi Aruba All-Inclusive isn’t just a gorgeous resort, it’s set on a gorgeous island. Exploring Aruba off resort property is easy and you feel safe. Aruba offers fabulous shopping, all the water sports you can imagine, outdoor activities and plenty of time to just relax. The toughest decisions you have to make are whether you want to sit by the pool or the beach, which restaurant should be your culinary delight, and which libation is the drink of the day.
Divi Aruba guests return year after year; they have a dedicated vacation afterwards. The staff is focused on keeping everyone happy and in a state of nirvana. It’s my perfect happy place, which is perfect since it’s ‘One Happy Island!’ – Sandi Barrett
Castries, Saint Lucia
“BodyHoliday is on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia. What makes this all-inclusive resort unique is that it not only includes all food and beverages, but also one spa service per day (excluding arrival and departure day).Services include massages and facials, and you can upgrade your experience to include hot bamboo sticks or hot stones.You can also add services for an additional fee. The resort offers several daily fitness activities, including sunset yoga, morning stretching, ab classes, and spins, and water sports — tubing, wakeboarding, sailing, and snorkeling — are also included.
Pro tip: The resort is an hour and a half drive from the international airport, and it’s a windy road! But, you can take a helicopter or a boat (at an additional cost, of course!).” —Amy Sward
7. Emerald Bay Sandals
“There are direct flights to Exuma International Airport, and it’s a short drive from the resort. I absolutely loved that the resort is located on a beautiful property that has its own beach, as well as everything from a relaxing spa (a must for me!) to a variety of off-site excursions. Opt for a historic island tour, a catamaran excursion that includes swimming with the island’s famous (and cute) pigs, a picnic on a secluded island key. All these activities make it interesting and fun at the same time. A mix of themed nights in the resort and very friendly and attentive staff top it all off. —Christine Chagaris
Our travel consultant Carie Skerritt says the best all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean depends on your guests. For adults only, she recommends Secrets Resorts & Spas. For families with young children, Skerritt says Beaches is your best bet. Book your all-inclusive Caribbean vacation today!
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