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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.
Best All Inclusive Romantic Resorts
If you're planning a honeymoon, an anniversary getaway or just a tropical vacation for two, take a look at our 10 most popular resorts for a romantic escape. Each one is all-inclusive, which means that the upfront rate covers your accommodations, meals, all beverages, activities, entertainment and some water sports. All offer an exceptional, upscale experience. They provide kids-free environments excepted where noted below.
The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- The Royal Suites Turquesa is located within Palladium's four-resort, beachfront complex. Guests have access to the restaurants, bars and amenities of the other properties while enjoying the privacy and personalized butler service of the Royal Suites. Many ground-floor rooms have swim-up access to the pool from their patios.
Excellence Punta Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic -- At this property, nestled in a palm grove fronting a powder-soft beach, guests will find nine restaurants (no reservations required), 10 bars, tennis courts, a fitness center and a spa. Two enormous pools meander through the grounds. Activities include yoga classes, horseback rides, cooking demonstrations and evening shows.
Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica, Montego Bay, Jamaica -- This new resort opened in December 2013 and includes suites that have a whirlpool tub on the balcony or terrace. Start your day at the breakfast buffet, then take your pick from a variety of activities: a treatment at the spa, a game of tennis, or windsurfing, sailing or kayaking. Or, simply relax in a beach lounger and grab lunch from the casual oceanfront snack bar. Dinner options include Japanese and Italian restaurants.
Secrets Aura Cozumel, Cozumel, Mexico -- This is our most popular Secrets resort. It fronts an enticing, 1,000-foot stretch of beach where vacationers can try out the complimentary kayaks or snorkeling gear. Join a yoga session or take in a show at the open-air theater. Accommodations include Solarium Suites, which have small, private pools and furnished rooftop solariums. The rooftop Sky Bar provides a sophisticated spot for after-dinner drinks.
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico -- This 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. 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.
El Dorado Royale, Playa del Carmen, Mexico -- Each suite at this resort 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.
Couples Swept Away Negril, Negril, Jamaica -- This retreat, which is specifically for couples, ramps up the romance on 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. 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.
Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, Nassau, Bahamas -- Top-tier suites at this couples-only resort come with butler service. Escape to the private offshore island -- reached by launch, sailboat or kayak -- and enjoy its two secluded beaches. Guests can choose from 10 restaurants (including Italian, Asian, French, Caribbean and British pub-style spots), eight bars and seven pools. Kayaks, sailboats, hydrobikes, Hobie Cats and snorkeling gear are available, and certified scuba divers can embark on two complimentary dives per day.
Iberostar Playa Mita, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico -- Prime attractions of this newly opened resort on Mexico's Pacific coast include three pools, evening entertainment, 24-hour room service and a rooftop bar overlooking the ocean (perfect for watching sunsets). Among accommodations are spa rooms featuring spa amenities and access to a private sanctuary with a whirlpool and relaxation garden. The Greg Norman-designed Litibu Golf Course is next door. This resort allows children.
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica, Guanacaste, Costa Rica -- Amenities of this resort on Costa Rica's Pacific shore include 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi and in-room liquor dispensers. Some suites have Jacuzzi tubs on the terrace. It is well-suited for those who want to explore Costa Rica's many natural splendors, like its lush forests, volcanic areas and array of wildlife. On the property, which is not kids-free, you'll find four pools, a spa and a variety of restaurants.