Looking for a spring break vacation full of hiking and mountain climbing and physical activity and cooking and hard work and no drinking? Well, I can’t help you there. But if you want to lay on a beach and eat & drink to your heart (and stomach’s) content, I’ve got 3 amazing all-inclusive resorts that I can personally recommend!
If you’ve never been to an all-inclusive resort, you’re definitely missing out. There’s something for everyone: sensational restaurants, unlimited cocktails, pampering & spas, beach, pool, and excursions. You pay for all food and beverage up front, so dinners and drinks are unlimited throughout your stay. It’s really nice not to have to worry about bringing a credit card out, and eating and drinking as much as possible is certainly quite a vacation, eh?
While I obviously can’t do all-inclusive vacations every time I travel, they’re an amazing option for couples, friends, or families who just want to relax and be a crazy lazy glutton for a week! I’ve gone to several all-inclusive resorts since my early twenties, and here are my 3 faves!
SISTER TIP: Resort excursions are fun and amazing experiences, but something I am VERY passionate about it spreading the word NOT to do “swim with the dolphin” programs! Click here to read more about why these excursions are so harmful, and do a booze cruise instead. :-)
3 – Meliá Caribe in Punta Cana
Meliá Caribe was the first all-inclusive I went to, so it holds a special place in my heart and set the bar pretty high for future vacations! I remember being blown away by the service and sheer size of this resort, and I love the Dominican Republic; the people were amazing.
My Fave - “The Level” was an additional upgrade service that is completely worth the cost. We brought cash, after reading a Yelp review, and offered the front desk $300 for The Level adults only section. It worked! It has its own restaurant/lounge, concierge, and pool and beach area.
Eh - I remember the time share sales pushes were relentless. You can run into pushy time share staff at various all-inclusives, my best advice is to be assertive and just say no!
2 – Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica
Sandals vacations are unparalleled – service, food, top shelf drinks, accommodations, and pretty much everything else. Tipping is not allowed, but the staff goes above and beyond to make sure your stay is incredible.
My Fave – Jamaica is an absolutely phenomenal country to visit. The biggest perk to Whitehouse was the isolation of the resort; it’s not a crazy party destination by any means. My favorite part about this vacation, though, was an excursion called Island Routes Pelican Bar Highlight. This booze cruise was a party ship that took you to a bar literally in the middle of the ocean. There, locals fried up freshly caught fish and provided Red Stripes and great conversation. $109 per person and 100% worth it.
Eh – Travelers beware! This resort is about an hour away from the airport and the bus ride to get there is an absolutely horrifying experience. No joke. The Jamaican staff that drive you are certainly confident enough, but as a passenger, I actually became sick halfway through. There are no barriers on these cliffs, there’s goats in the middle of the road, and the twisting turning ride was awful. Just know that the end destination is worth it, but I recommend taking an Advil before you start!
1 – Valentine Imperial Maya in Riviera Maya
Oh man was this adults-only 5-star resort fabulous for New Year’s Eve! The staff went all out and threw the most incredible celebration, and really, you can’t go wrong with any all-inclusive in Mexico!
My Fave – The nightlife of this resort was excellent. There was nightly entertainment, a piano bar, sports bar, beach parties, and a club. Like I said, the New Year’s party was phenomenal; the attention to detail blew me away!
Eh – Be prepared to pay for this puppy. This was the most expensive all-inclusive I’ve done, at about $600 a night. But you can get a direct flight from Chicago, and be on the beach by 10 am! Worth it.
What all-inclusive vacations would YOU recommend?? Leave in the comments section!