If an all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink beach getaway with your honey sounds like your idea of a vacation, then we've got some great resort picks for you. These all-inclusive resorts are not only among the best in the Caribbean and Mexico, they're also adults-only -- so you can enjoy some R&R without getting interrupted by squealing tots.
Arguably Jamaica’s most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves‘ 12 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (the location is on the sea, but the “beach” is not of the traditional variety). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica’s best all-inclusive. It’s not the most traditional all-inclusive luxury pick on here, but its intimate atmosphere, incredible scenery, and great food help it stand out.
This 225-room luxury all-inclusive, couples-only resort is one of the newest additions to the Sandals brand. It’s spread over a sprawling 17-acre property on the southwestern tip of the island, and romantic touches such as fire pits, gazebos, and swinging chairs on a pier looking out over the water that make the property distinctly Sandals. Some rooms have private pools, soaking tubs, and butler service, and the sophisticated, modern decor is a major draw here. The white-sand beach is lovely, if a bit small for the size of the property.
This luxurious all-inclusive is set in the heart of a private resort community to the north of Cancun. Modern, luxurious rooms are huge and have big whirlpool tubs; certain categories have swim-up access or private plunge pools. All the features expected for this caliber of resort are here, including seven pools, 10 restaurants, 11 bars, and a high-end spa. The secluded location is part of the appeal for many, but may be too isolated for some — and the white-sand beach, while tranquil, isn’t as impressive as those in the Hotel Zone. This is one of the top luxury options in the Cancun area, and is for adults only; families may want to consider the neighboring and similarly luxurious Beloved.
Jade Mountain is one of the most romantic resorts not only in the Caribbean, but the world, thanks to its incredible Piton views and extraordinary design. The 29 enormous suites, called “sanctuaries,” are hands-down the highlight; through the innovative, open fourth wall, each has a view of a sea from the entire room — from the canopied bed, raised whirlpool tub, and (in all but the entry-level category) private infinity pool. Organic cuisine is served from a chic open-air restaurant, and guests can expect unwavering peace and quiet throughout (there are no TVs or children). Guests can take a short shuttle ride or hike down to use the two beaches, free water sports, and dive center at sister property Anse Chastanet. They can reserve an a la carte package, or opt for the all-inclusive package that includes meals and drinks (recommended, as paying a la carte can be pricey).
This 174-room romantic all-inclusive luxury resort looks like a Spanish castle town and is perched on a cliff by the ocean in the still developing Cap Cana complex, near the airport but a bit far from the main resort area. Its beautifully decorated pools, spa, and restaurants are all among the D.R.’s best. All rooms have private outdoor space and most rooms have ocean views (some of the Castle Junior Suites do not). Suites with swim-out access to a moat-like pool are available in the Castle section, and the Terrace Tower Suites have outdoor hot tubs. Decadent Honeymoon Suites have private plunge pools and Castle Island Suites sit on their own private islands accessible by bridge.
With only 90 suites, the Zoetry Paraiso offers a romantic, wellness-centric boutique experience in the Mayan Riviera. The unique layouts of the suites offer different experience options for guests, including Terrace Suites with small bath-side indoor gardens, and Plunge Pool Suites with small personal outdoor pools. Even though the warm, Mediterranean style is a bit different in each room type, all are spacious with comfortable furnishings and Bulgari toiletries. The pool area and beach are relaxed with double-wide lounge chairs (perfect for couples), and the on-site dining keeps the resort’s wellness theme alive with delicious, healthy meals. Included amenities not standard at most all-inclusive resorts, such as a “welcome” bottle of tequila, daily bottles of champagne, a one-hour Catamaran sunset sail, three-times-daily maid service, and private chauffeured airport transfers for each room, make this resort a standout among Puerto Morelos’ finest properties (though expect the price to reflect that).
The sprawling Secrets Wild Orchid is one of the more luxurious adults-only all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay, and has a laundry list of property features, including eight restaurants (one buffet-style) and five bars (as well as three swim-up bars), and a host of activities: a theater, a spa, a water sports and dive center, a shopping center, and a casino. Note that the resort shares virtually all of its amenities with the next-door Secrets St. James, and some of the best amenities and freebies are reserved only for the VIP guests staying in “Preferred Club” suites.
The relaxed, tranquil environment of this adults-only (no children under 16) boutique resort is a major part of its appeal. This isn’t Antigua’s fanciest property, but it doesn’t need to be: Simple Caribbean style (think: thatched roofs, stone, and rattan), a truly gorgeous beach, and all-inclusive food that’s better than average for the island make for a winning combo. Non-motorized water sports are also included in the rate, but the ocean here can get a bit rough so guests shouldn’t count on being able to swim in it every day.
The Sandals Royal Plantation is incredibly intimate for an all-inclusive resort, with just 74 rooms — but has all the features of a much larger property, including a stunning beach and elegant spa. Significantly, there is no mediocre buffet food here — all meals are served a la carte. The 74 rooms have classic colonial style with four-poster beds and private butler service, and some have beautiful sea views. The free airport shuttle is an unexpected extra. Gone are the rowdy crowds many traditionally associate with all-inclusive resorts; the feel here is relaxed and secluded.
The luxurious, 260-room Le Blanc Spa is the best (and priciest) adult-only all-inclusive in town. It stands out for its gorgeous white-sand beach in the heart of the Hotel Zone, decadent (guests get free access to the hydrotherapy area), stunning pools (two with ), and especially its pampering service, from the butlers who will unpack your clothes to the pool attendants who will provide cool towels for your eyes. It has a hip, gorgeous aesthetic throughout the entire pristine white property, and the modern, bright rooms have two-person whirlpool tubs; most have either ocean or lagoon . The chic have great food and don’t require reservations (aside from the stunningly designed Lumiere).
As the name indicates, the Iberostar is, in fact, incredibly grand — from the marble floors to the Roman-style columns to the gold leaf accents to the crystal chandeliers. This is the nicest of the five hotels in the Iberostar complex, and guests here can use the beach and facilities at the neighboring properties. Decadent rooms have jetted tubs and private balconies. The three pools impress, and there’s even a pool concierge to provide sunscreen and reading material. The full-service spa includes a Turkish bath and the option of oceanside massages. Both food and liquor here are high-end.
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*This article has been updated since its original publication in Nov. 2013.