Been staring at the computer screen for hours with an overworked expression? Maybe it’s time for a vacation. How about an all-inclusive getaway? Don’t worry — not the massive, one-size-fits-all retreats that commonly come with binge-boozing spring breakers, crowded bars, cheesy organized activities, lackluster buffet food, and techno pumping through poolside speakers. Believe it or not, there are plenty of resorts that are characterized by their boutique features (no wristbands, no restaurant reservations required), quiet and intimate vibe, personalized service and great a la carte (and often locally sourced) menus — all while still presenting the perks of an all-encompassing, everything-included rate. Need proof? Here’s a roundup up 20 amazing all-inclusives that even the biggest mega-resort haters will love.
The 96-room Zoetry Agua is one of the most luxurious and tranquil all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. Catering to couples, the resort boasts an uncrowded white-sand beach, sleek and spacious suites, a pristine pool, 24-hour laundry service, a superlative spa and daily deliveries of sparkling wine and fruit. The all-inclusive rates cover top-shelf liquor at the hotel’s three laid-back bars and tasty a la carte meals at the four restaurants. Guests can also opt to order from the 24-hour room service menu. In lieu of loud music or nightly entertainment, activities include yoga classes and even one horseback riding session per guest. The difficult-to-reach location and no kids’ club make it less suited for families, but that’s just what makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a romantic and relaxing getaway.
The adult-only Beloved Playa Mujeres is a rare breed. It’s a true boutique hotel, with just 109 rooms and personalized service, which includes a check-in cocktail, cool towel, and pillow menu. But it’s also an all-inclusive resort — though if all meals and drinks (including top-shelf liquor) weren’t included, it would be hard to tell. There are no tacky wristbands, no early-morning hustles for lounge chairs and no reservations required for the restaurants (all a la carte). There are some activities that many associate with all-inclusives, such as bingo, trivia, and DJ music by the pool with the swim-up bar, but overall the activities and nightlife are pretty low-key. Plus, the resort’s compact size is a pro for most. The layout means it is easy to get around (it takes five to 10 minutes to get across the entire property). Starting at 960 square feet, the huge, all-white rooms have decadent bathrooms and private balconies — many with ocean views and some with plunge pools. Room service is available 24/7. To top it off, the gorgeous spa has an impressive hydrotherapy circuit and the three outdoor pools feature whirlpools and food and drink service.
Jade Mountain is one of the most romantic resorts not only in the Caribbean, but the world. The 29 rooms have an innovative design that lacks a…