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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 All Inclusive Destinations
At an all-inclusive resort, accommodations, meals, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and most activities are wrapped into a single rate that is paid upfront. All-inclusives are great for those who want the resort itself to be their destination and who want to simplify meal planning and transportation after arrival. Since gratuities are included, guests don't have to worry about having cash on hand to tip the staff.
Below are our top all-inclusive destinations, along with three top-sellers for each.
Jamaica is a Caribbean playground of pristine beaches, lush forests, fertile valleys and green mountains. Most of the main tourist areas are situated along the north coast; our most popular resorts are in Montego Bay, where there are miles of coral reefs for snorkelers to explore and several championship courses for golfers. Activities in Jamaica include gliding down the Martha Brae River on a bamboo raft, investigating island history at sites like the Rose Hall plantation and cooling off in Dunn's River Falls, a series of terraced cascades and lagoons.
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, a 4-star resort in Montego Bay
Royalton White Sands Resort, a 5-star property in Montego Bay
Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Montego Bay, a 3-star escape in Montego Bay
The Dominican Republic is one of the most affordable resort destinations in the Caribbean, and it's a prime spot for outdoor recreation. Golfers are drawn to top courses designed by legends like Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, and fishing enthusiasts compete for marlin, billfish and sailfish in tournaments. Snorkelers and divers can explore coral reefs and shipwrecks. Windsurfing and kiteboarding are popular activities as well. But many come to the Dominican Republic simply to enjoy its broad, sandy stretches. Our most popular resorts are in Punta Cana at the eastern end of the island, luring vacationers to superb beaches and fun water sports.
Melia Caribe Tropical, a 5-star property in Punta Cana
Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, a 5-star retreat in Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana, a 5-star, kids-free resort in Punta Cana
Whether you want nonstop nightlife, white-sand beaches or beautiful nature preserves, you'll find it in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Lively Cancun offers powdery beaches and water sports alongside nightclubs and an array of shopping venues, from handicraft markets to designer stores. Many hotels can arrange day trips to see the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, roughly two hours away. Playa del Carmen is about an hour from the Cancun airport, and here you can enjoy championship golf courses, the Xcaret eco-archaeological park and the pedestrian-only section of Fifth Avenue, lined with a variety of restaurants and quaint shops.
Crown Paradise Club Cancun, a 4-star resort in Cancun
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, a 5-star property in Cancun
Iberostar Paraiso Maya, a 5-star getaway in Playa del Carmen
Mexico's Pacific Coast offers plentiful recreational opportunities. Our top-sellers are found in two spots, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. The Los Cabos region encompasses Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. It's notable for "El Arco," a natural rock arch that serves as a gateway from the ecologically rich Sea of Cortes to the Pacific Ocean, and for its golf, fishing and shopping. Puerto Vallarta is home to a thriving arts scene, with many galleries showcasing the works of Mexican artists. Prime whale-watching season in both Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta runs from December through March.
Hotel Riu Santa Fe, a 4.5-star hotel in Los Cabos
Iberostar Playa Mita, a 5-star resort near Puerto Vallarta
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, a 5-star retreat in Los Cabos
Travelers to the Bahamas are welcomed by warm breezes, crystal-clear waters, a laid-back atmosphere and a heritage influenced by African and European cultures. The capital, Nassau, is home to cathedrals and fortresses that remain from the city's colonial days. Its straw market is a famous highlight, as are the duty-free shops along Bay Street. About half a mile away and connected by two 600-foot bridges, Paradise Island was developed with vacationers in mind and has fantastic restaurants and shops.
Melia Nassau Beach, a 4-star hotel in Nassau
Breezes Resort & Spa - Bahamas, a 4-star kids-free resort in Nassau
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island, a 4-star property on Paradise Island
Costa Rica is a haven for travelers who love nature and outdoor adventure; roughly a quarter of its territory is preserved as a national park or conservation area. Hummingbirds and butterflies hover at hibiscus flowers, howler monkeys bellow from the treetops and iguanas may lounge in the sun not far from your poolside chair. You can swing through forests on a zipline, take a boat ride down a wildlife-rich river or snorkel along pristine beaches. Most of our Costa Rican all-inclusive resorts, including our top sellers below, are in the northwest Pacific coast province of Guanacaste.
Hotel Riu Guanacaste, a 5-star resort in Guanacaste
Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica, a 5-star getaway in Guanacaste
Occidental Grand Papagayo, a 4-star kids-free retreat in Guanacaste