Whether you're a couple who wants to relax with a cocktail in hand or a family looking to keep the kids entertained, an all-inclusive resort is often the best way to go. While we've seen many oceanfront pools, theaters, and beautiful beaches at all-inclusive resorts, those with lazy rivers are rare, despite their appeal for all ages. From Mexico to Jamaica, and serene to bustling, we've rounded up the 12 best all-inclusive resorts with lazy rivers.
Set along the famous Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica, Beaches Negril Resort & Spa is a stunning all-inclusive particularly appealing to families. This upscale resort has tons to keep guests of all ages busy, but the 1,800-square-foot Pirates Island water park is a highlight, offering a lazy river, long waterslide, and even a swim-up bar. Other features include an ocean-view pool, free water sports (kayaking, banana-boat rides, and stand-up paddleboarding, to name a few), and the Red Lane Spa with free-to-use saunas. Breakfast with Sesame Street characters is a fun, popular activity, while Liquid at Beaches Nightclub is a teens-only space from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., offering a DJ and mocktails. Dining is varied and excellent, and spacious rooms are elegant.
Located in a posh private community, about a one-hour drive north of Cancun, Excellence Playa Mujeres is an adults-only luxury hotel with all-inclusive rates. This 450-room resort sits on a peaceful white-sand beach overlooking Isla Mujeres with palapas, loungers, and a snack grill. Other outdoor facilities are top-notch, including seven pools (four of which are heated during the winter months), a lazy river, and whirlpools. Further relaxation is offered at the secluded and expansive spa, which has a hydrotherapy pool, a cold plunge pool, Swedish saunas, an ice-treatment room, and private areas where guests can soak in a mud bath. Numerous restaurants serve everything from Mediterranean and Italian to Mexican and Indian fare. Rooms are romantic and well-equipped, all with furnished outdoor spaces.
An upscale all-inclusive on Jamaica’s north shore, Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is a popular choice for couples and families alike. The standout feature here is an expansive, lagoon-style pool complex with the country’s largest water park, offering a 280-foot slide, a lazy river, a swim-up bar, and a rope suspension bridge. The wide private beach with mostly calm water and free non-motorized water sports like snorkeling and kayaking, a full-service spa, and daily activities and entertainment are added perks. All-inclusive rates cover dining at both buffet and a la carte eateries, as well as alcoholic beverages. The 488 rooms are modern and equipped with balconies, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi.
Opened in 2013, the Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa is an adults-only all-inclusive along a beautiful and peaceful beach. This luxury property has a whopping 750 suites, but the massive grounds and array of features help keep it from feeling crowded. Many guests opt to spend their days at one of the many pools, which include a lazy river, whirlpools, swim-up bars, and surrounding loungers. A stellar spa, excellent a la carte dining (Lebanese, Italian, and French), nine lounges and bars, and entertainment such as live music, a small casino, and themed pool parties round out the offerings. Another perk: All suites have whirlpools on their balconies.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, an upper-middle-range all-inclusive, divides its 250 rooms into two sections: one for adults (Harmony) and one for families (Splash). The resort is set on a long lovely beach just a five-minute drive from the main airport, though prettier stretches of sand can be found elsewhere. On the plus side, guests can choose from several outdoor pools and a water park with slides and a lazy river. A buffet restaurant and a la carte Asian and Caribbean eateries, several bars — including a swim-up option — serving premium liquor, a coffee shop, and more are covered by the all-inclusive package. Kids’ activities, daily entertainment, a huge spa, and sports facilities are other alluring amenities.
The upscale Velas Vallarta is a kid-friendly all-inclusive resort along the beach in Puerto Vallarta. The 345 rooms here have kitchenettes, and many of them overlook the ocean and can accommodate large families. In addition to the lounger-lined beach, there are three outdoor pools: a quiet pool, an oceanfront activity pool with a swim-up bar — connected to the quiet pool by a lazy river — and a shallow kiddy pool. All-inclusive rates cover food and drinks at three restaurants, including a steakhouse, a snack bar, and 24-hour room service. Daytime activities and nightly entertainment such as casino nights, circus shows, and mariachi bands create a fun, lively atmosphere.
The family-friendly Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa is an amenity-packed all-inclusive resort set along beautiful Grace Bay. Kids and fun-loving adults will have ample to keep them busy here, from the six pools, two kids’ pools, Sesame Street camp, and 45,000-square-foot water park with a lazy river, surf simulator, and two waterslides. There are also many all-inclusive restaurants (20) and bars (12) to choose from, with everything from buffet spreads, Japanese cuisine, and brick-oven pizza to swim-up bars and a coffee shop. Room decor and amenities vary, and guests can opt for butler service.
The 502-room Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort is an upscale all-inclusive property set along a white-sand beach in the exclusive gated community of Playa Mujeres, about a 30-minute drive from downtown Cancun and the Hotel Zone. Guests here have access to two infinity pools, six hot tubs, two kids’ pools, and a water park, plus a pleasant lazy river, though it’s exclusively for Preferred Club guests. Kayaks, Hobie Cats, and snorkeling gear are free, and evening entertainment is provided. Starting at 602 square feet (56 square meters), rooms are huge, and all come with outdoor spaces, two-person whirlpools, and MP3 docking stations.
The 319-room Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites is a mid-range all-inclusive property located less than 20 minutes away from the Montego Bay airport by car. This resort is a fantastic pick for families, thanks to a variety of kid-friendly features, including a free kids’ club, water park with a playground pool showered by fountains and a giant bucket that spills over children, and an enormous pool complex with a lazy river. In addition to the buffet restaurant, a la carte Mexican, Mediterranean, steakhouse, and gourmet eateries are covered by the all-inclusive package, as are strong cocktails with some top-shelf options. Non-motorized water sports and a round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course are also free.
Located along a white-sand beach, the 100-room Rendezvous Resort is an upscale all-inclusive for couples only. The romantic property has an oceanfront pool with a swim-up bar, a more serene spa pool, and a greenery-surrounded lazy river with private spots for couples to relax in pod-like daybeds. The all-inclusive package here covers a lot, including all meals, all beverages such as premium-brand alcohol and wine by the bottle at dinner, motorized water sports and scuba boat dives, nightly entertainment, and tennis courts. Rooms either have a colonial Caribbean style or modern, beachy look, and some come with stellar ocean views.
The 540-room Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya is an adults-only, all-inclusive luxury resort set in the posh area of Playa Secreto in the Riviera Maya. The long white-sand beach here is a highlight, and other top-notch features include a huge main pool with two swim-up bars, a lazy river — select rooms have swim-out access — a full-service spa, and a theater with music and live shows in the evenings. Seven a la carte restaurants (Italian, French, and Mexican among them), a buffet eatery, and 11 bars serving top-shelf liquor are covered by the all-inclusive package. Rooms are elegant and options with ocean views are available.
The upscale, all-inclusive Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort used to be two separate resorts, and now it’s a massive property with 948 rooms, tons of features, and a scenic setting along a rugged stretch of the Riviera Maya coastline. Two large and bustling pools have swim-up bars, hot tubs, and organized activities, and there’s a long lazy river with floaties. A nearly 10,000-square-foot spa has a hydrotherapy circuit, beauty salon, and health bar. A buffet restaurant has adults-only seating areas, plus there are eight a la carte restaurants — a Brazilian steakhouse, Japanese eatery, and Italian restaurant among them — and about a dozen bars and cafes for coffee, smoothies, and cocktails.
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