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All-Inclusive Resorts by Brand:
Palace resorts are alluring, beachfront retreats located along Mexico's Riviera Maya, in or near the coastal towns of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. In Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort is kids-free while Sun Palace and Isla Mujeres Palace are specifically geared toward couples.
Iberostar offers numerous options in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, plus three resorts in Jamaica. They provide relaxing atmospheres in well-preserved natural settings, with spacious pools, lush gardens and sandy beaches. In some locations, several Iberostar hotels are in one complex, and guests have exchange privileges at neighboring properties.
Hard Rock Hotels brings its unique brand of entertainment and hospitality to its all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Among the included features is "The Sound of Your Stay," which provides musical amenities like in-room DJ equipment, the loan of a Fender guitar and free downloadable playlists. They welcome guests of all ages, but the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya has a kids-free section called Heaven, with separate pools and beach.
Hyatt recently entered the all-inclusive market with two new, distinct brands: Hyatt Ziva, for vacationers of all ages, and Hyatt Zilara, which provides kids-free environments. Three new Hyatt all-inclusives are scheduled to open in Jamaica and Mexico this November and December.
Palladium was founded more than 40 years ago. Its brands include the Grand Palladium properties in the Caribbean and Mexico, with pools, spa treatments, age-appropriate kids' activities and restaurants from Spanish to Brazilian to Italian. The Royal Suites by Palladium are kids-free retreats with an intimate ambience and personalized butler service complemented by full access to the services, dining venues, bars and activities of the adjacent Grand Palladium resorts.
Occidental is comprised of three distinct brands: Allegro, Grand and Royal Hideaway. Allegro Resorts in Costa Rica and Mexico are moderately priced, with upbeat moods and a broad array of daytime activities followed by lively nighttime entertainment. Occidental Grand Resorts in Aruba, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico are a notch above. Dining options are more upscale and varied, and some accommodations feature the additional perks of the Royal Club, such as private check-in and an exclusive restaurant and lounge. Occidental also operates the Royal Hideaway Playacar in Mexico's Riviera Maya; it has six restaurants, a dinner theater, spa, six pools and a kids-free atmosphere.
Riu has dozens of all-inclusive options, mostly in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico, plus two options each in Costa Rica and Aruba and one property each in the Bahamas, Panama and St. Martin. Often three or four Riu properties are located in one large complex, where guests enjoy exchange privileges at the sister resorts.
Karisma has all-inclusive resorts along Mexico's Riviera Maya and in Negril, Jamaica. It includes four kids-free El Dorado resorts and four family-friendly Azul properties. Azul Fives is a nice option for large family groups, with one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens. The Generations Resorts feature all-suite accommodations (including two- and three-bedroom options) and butler service.
Three of our Excellence properties in Mexico and the Dominican Republic offer an elegant, kids-free atmosphere. Each has a multitude of restaurants, bars and lounges, plus 24-hour room service. In March 2015, the company will open its newest resort in the Cancun area, Finest Playa Mujeres, which will have the same upscale experience as other Excellence properties but will be geared to guests of all ages: families with young kids, couples, multigenerational groups and friends traveling together. Excellence also offers The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres, a 109-room, family-friendly option north of Cancun.
The Sandos hotels in Mexico provide guests with an array of diversions, from water sports and tennis to a daily activities program and live entertainment at night. Its Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort in Playa del Carmen emphasizes Mayan culture and the natural surroundings of mangroves and jungle (you might spot a macaw or spider monkey).
Oasis Resorts in Cancun and Tulum offer value-packed vacations. Most Oasis properties are great for families, while one is kids-free. Each hotel offers multiple restaurants, bars and activities.
The all-inclusive properties of Melia Hotels International are found in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Mexico. The company operates three brands, and all properties are rated 4 to 5 stars. The Paradisus hotels feature all-suite accommodations and include Royal Service rooms with butler service and additional amenities. Melia resorts offer a well-rounded tropical escape with a variety of restaurants, bars, water sports, pools and kids' programs. Meanwhile, ME Cancun is a stylish, contemporary spot offering exciting nightlife and a sophisticated ambience.
Club Med is a pioneer in the all-inclusive resort industry. Of the 11 Club Med properties we represent, one -- Club Med Turkoise in the Turks and Caicos -- offers a kids-free setting. Club Med also has the only all-inclusive resort in the U.S., Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, FL.
Barcelo has all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. One is kids-free -- Barcelo Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana at the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic.
Dreams resorts are family-friendly getaways in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Explorer's Club for young guests ages 3 to 12 has weekly beach campouts and sand castle competitions, and the Dominican Republic properties have Core Zone Teens Clubs.
Secrets provides upscale, kids-free experiences in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and on both coasts of Mexico. They offer elegant decor, multiple restaurants and lounges and 24-hour room service.
If you're seeking an intimate, couples-only atmosphere, check out the Sandals resorts in Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia, or the four Couples resorts, all in Jamaica.
Finally, families might consider a vacation at Beaches in Jamaica or Turks and Caicos, where younger guests can participate in supervised, age-appropriate programs at the Kids Camp -- like Sesame Street-themed activities and treasure hunts for little ones, or glass-bottom boat rides and beach volleyball for tweens. Teens can try out the Xbox Play Lounge or Scratch DJ Academy.
Top Resorts for a Romantic Getaway
If you're planning a honeymoon, an anniversary escape or just a tropical vacation for two, take a look at our most popular resorts for a romantic getaway. Each one is all-inclusive, which means that the upfront rate covers your accommodations, meals, all beverages, activities, entertainment and some water sports.
Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- This 5-star resort fronts a beach more than a mile long, edged by calm waters protected by a coral reef. Choose among 11 specialty restaurants, like Japanese, Italian and Spanish options. Night owls can visit the Bavaro Nightclub, open from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. A 1,400-seat theater hosts a variety of shows featuring dancers and musicians. The U-Spa features an array of treatments, plus a sauna, steam room and a hydrotherapy circuit.
Excellence Punta Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- Tucked into palm groves on a powdery soft beach, this 5-star resort provides a kids-free haven. Swim-up suites offer direct access to the pool plus a private terrace with a hammock. Guests will find eight restaurants, 10 bars and variety of activities, like bicycling, archery, yoga classes and horseback riding. The spa offers indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, an alfresco relaxation area and therapies like the seaside "Moonlight Ritual," which starts with a seaside massage for two followed by dinner on the beach.
The Royal Playa del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, Mexico -- At this elegant, 5-star property, guests can visit the Mayan-inspired spa, participate in wine and tequila tastings led by a sommelier, attend nightly shows and sample nine dining options, like the ocean-view Spanish tapas place, Caribbean seafood spot or Mexican-French fusion restaurant. Beach butlers provide cold towels, ice water, sunblock and reading material. Rooms have in-suite double Jacuzzis. The Royal, which is restricted to guests ages 16 and up, is within walking distance of Playa del Carmen's Fifth Avenue, a pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cancun, Mexico -- Fresh from a $55 million enhancement, this expansive, 5-star property has some new attractions, like a FlowRider surf simulator and an onsite "dolphinarium" where guests can interact with eight dolphins in a 37,000-square-foot saltwater aquarium. Moon Palace also unveiled the stylish Noir, a $2 million nightclub with cutting-edge design, VIP areas, plush booths and specialty cocktail menus. There also are 13 restaurants, 12 bars, 24-hour room service, a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course, a water sports marina, a large spa and fully equipped fitness center.
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico -- This 5-star, kids-free retreat is tucked between the Caribbean Sea and a wetlands preserve. Thatched palapas provide shade on the two-mile beach, and there are seven pools (four are heated in winter). Guests have complimentary use of windsurfing boards, sea kayaks and snorkeling gear. Accommodations start at more than 800 square feet and have four-poster beds and Jacuzzis. The two-story terrace suites feature a private rooftop lounging area with a small hydro-spa pool.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- This 5-star resort is one of Iberostar's Grand Collection Hotels, which are exclusive to guests ages 18 and up. Vacationers here will find all-suite accommodations, personalized service and 24-hour gourmet dining. Rooms have double Jacuzzis, marble baths, a pillow menu and iPod/MP3 player. Go snorkeling, indulge in a beachfront massage, take a dance or tai chi class or try out the P.B. Dye golf course. Or, stretch out on a lounger and take advantage of beach and poolside service.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica -- Also part of Iberostar's Grand Collection, this 5-star retreat offers a kids-free atmosphere and personal butler service. Catamarans, kayaking, snorkeling and windsurfing are complimentary, and the gym provides cardio equipment, yoga and Pilates. Golfers have access to the Robert Von Hagge-designed Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, surrounded by ocean and mountain views. Choose from several dining venues, including La Toscana for Italian specialties and Kiniro for Japanese fare.
Couples Swept Away Negril, Negril, Jamaica -- This 5-star retreat is just for couples, and it ramps up the romance on Jamaica's sparkling Seven Mile Beach. Rooms are outfitted in island-style cedar furnishings, white linen and plantation shutters that open to private verandas. Sea kayaks, snorkeling gear and sailboats are available for guests to use, and a large fitness complex boasts 10 tennis courts, squash and racquetball facilities and a 25-meter lap pool. You can take a complimentary catamaran cruise, and daily free scuba excursions are provided to certified divers. At the spa, discover a eucalyptus steam room and treatments that use local ingredients like ginger and sugarcane.
El Dorado Royale, Playa del Carmen, Mexico -- The 5-star El Dorado Royale is a kids-free haven on more than a mile of sandy beach. Each suite has a Jacuzzi for two and a terrace with hammock; swim-up suites front a lazy river that winds through the expansive property. You'll find 13 swimming pools, a fitness center and spa, as well as seven restaurants (including Fuentes, a "culinary theater" in which the chef prepares a five-course themed dinner as patrons watch on large screens around the venue). At the "gourmet corners," you can pick up wood-fired pizzas or Mexican specialties. El Dorado's spa offers couples' massage classes.