If you want to try the pay-once-and-unplug method, check out these hotels in the Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Dubai — all are top-rated by our hotel investigators, and all offer all-inclusive options.
The five-pearl experience of Constance Moofushi all-inclusive resort starts with one of the best private airport lounges around, establishing a luxe vibe before guests even board the seaplane in Male to reach the small, private island. Ideal for diving enthusiasts with money to spare, this chic -- but still comfortably casual -- resort is within 30 minutes of oodles of the world's best dive spots and has an excellent house reef. The 110 rustic-chic rooms are sophisticated, artistic, and well-equipped with premium minibars, top-notch entertainment systems, and stunning sea views -- some are even directly over the water. Along with an idyllic beach, a stay here comes with snorkeling and water sports, high-quality food and drink, and lounging by the pool.
The Samabe Bali is an ultra-luxurious beachfront resort located atop a cliff a five-minute drive from central Nusa Dua. Its 81 suites and villas are elegant and stylish, with a gorgeous blend of contemporary and traditional Indonesian decor, top-notch amenities, and balconies offering expansive ocean views. Villas have private infinity pools and up to two bedrooms. With a private beach, a wonderful spa, two excellent restaurants, a gorgeous infinity pool, a kids’ club, and tons of daily activities, there is little guests can’t do on-site. Plus, all-inclusive rates cover everything from free daily spa treatments to cultural tours to beachside yoga classes.
Lily Beach Resort & Spa is a romantic and family-friendly spot with a true all-inclusive plan that covers meals, drinks, and activities. The stylish and spacious rooms have outdoor bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, outdoor decks with direct ocean or beach access, and amenities from suntan lotion and aloe vera to stocked minibars to large flat-screen TVs. Family-friendly features include a kids' buffet, pool, and activity club. Active guests can make use of the land and water sports available, while couples have plenty of romantic options and privacy. The only downside is the narrow beach.
The 50-room Oberoi, Lombok is a luxury property set on 24 acres with a private beach and serene atmosphere. The hotel's large lagoon pool is a relaxing space and the spa has outdoor treatment rooms and a gym, plus there's a tennis court. Two open-air pavilion restaurants provide serene views and sometimes have live entertainment. Rooms are housed in spacious thatched-roof pavilions and have flat-screen TVs, terraces overlooking the gardens or sea, and soaking tubs in open-air bathrooms. Villas offer additional luxury with private gardens or pools. Snorkeling is also available at the water-sports shack and the hotel can arrange boat trips to the Gili Islands.
Maafushivaru is an all-inclusive boutique luxury resort in the South Ari Atoll. The 48 villas have sophisticated decor, espresso machines, minibars, private decks, outdoor showers, iPod docks, and comfy king-size beds; some rooms have semi-private pools. Sandbags, crabs, reef sharks, and fish are common sights in the surrounding lagoon and the island's location is ideal for spotting whale sharks and dolphins year-round. Standout and unique features include a chic airport lounge, beachside infinity pool with large bar, laser light shows, large overwater spa and gym, and small wine bar. There's an all-inclusive option that includes alcohol -- not especially common for the Maldives -- but this former adult-only resort doesn't have much for kids to do.
Located on one of the smallest islands in the Maldives, the 37-villa Mirihi Island Resort has a personal feel, yet is full of the luxe features you'd expect from a large and high-end resort. From a beach cinema to a spa, free non-motorized water sports to a teeming house reef with its own shipwreck, and tons of events, excursions, and on-island activities, there are plenty of alternatives to just lying on the soft sand beach. This small but casually luxe spot is ideal for couples and small groups looking for top-notch dishes and impressive selection of wines and over 40 dive sites in a relaxing environment.
Luxury boutique Kandolhu Maldives is home to 30 villas, all featuring private sundecks and sea views. Surrounded by a fish-filled house reef and close to good dive spots, it’s a good option for underwater lovers -- and it offers various packages, including an all-inclusive plan. This small, screensaver-come-to-life island has four a la carte restaurants, a relaxing beachside bar, spa, dive center, library lounge, and state-of-the-art gym. Favoring couples, this idyllic island is set up for privacy, limited social interaction, and relaxation. Upscale and contemporary styled rooms are outfitted with all the trimmings -- from fluffy towels to wine fridges -- and can feature outdoor bathrooms, private beach areas, and private pools.
Just a 20-minute boat ride from the airport, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a five-pearl luxury property with a village-like vibe. The small island is home to 176 rooms, an oceanside spa, contemporary fitness center with tennis court, dive center, free non-motorized water sports, a kids' club and pool, lagoon-style pool, and several bars and restaurants. With its close proximity to Male, this is an ideal upscale resort (with all-inclusive options) for anyone who wants to mix in a visit or two to the capital city or just stretch the hours of their vacation as far as possible.
The Melia Bali Indonesia is an upscale resort right on the beach on Bali's southeastern coast. The 494 rooms and suites feature elegant, contemporary decor, and have patios or balconies. Several on-site restaurants serve cuisine from around the world, and there's an extensive selection of event spaces for meetings and weddings. The kids' club has activities for children ages four to 12, and while the property is definitely family-friendly, kids are not the main focus here.
An exceptional value for the Maldives, this 112-room luxury resort is has competitive room rates (compared to other high-end properties) and lots of all-inclusive perks: alcoholic drinks, a la carte meals, daily 30-minute massages, water sports rentals, supervised kids' activities, Wi-Fi, and excursions. The resort’s biggest drawback is its out-of-the-way location, at least 30 minutes from Male Airport by plane.
Medhufushi is a small, upscale, all-inclusive-optional resort on the Meemu Atoll, which is known for its dolphin sightings. All 114 rooms sport direct sea or beach access with varying decor datedness and some details that seem overlooked. For those who don't want to think, however, there are daily planned excursions and activities from cruises and free off-site snorkeling (no house reef here) to cocktail hours and crab racing. You'll also find a spa, gym, dive center, water sports, and beachside pool -- oh, and pesky (rather expensive) fees for internet.
On a prime seaside location along a quiet stretch of Kata Noi Beach, this 479-room luxury resort looms large, with six pools, bars, and restaurants across the grounds. Spacious suites in the Thani Wing face the Andaman Sea, but other rooms in the Bhuri Wing are looking tired and need renovation. Catering to families and couples, Katathani is jam-packed with recreational activities, a beachfront spa, a fitness center, a kids' club, and other features. But it's somewhat isolated from any other entertainment in the area.
The 184-room Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is a luxury resort on its own private island with gorgeously landscaped grounds. Rooms are spacious and handsome, with decor that ranges from bright and playful to sober and chic. There are also Water Villas that are suspended over the sea. The resort has multiple pools, restaurants, sports fields, a spa (and much more) scattered throughout, and there are dedicated adults-only areas. With a reef on site and all-inclusive options, it's a romantic, tranquil choice for families and couples.
The 127-room Sol Beach House Benoa Bali is an upscale all-inclusive situated on a beautiful sandy beach in the Tanjung Benoa area. Large rooms have contemporary decor with a few traditional Balinese details, as well as private balconies, spacious bathrooms with rain showers, and free Wi-Fi. The outdoor areas are particularly appealing, and include a freeform pool with a swim-up bar and a kiddy section, several drinking and dining options, and manicured lawns with hammocks and beanbags. Some areas and rooms are a bit worn, but ongoing renovations are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2016.
Nika Island Resort is an Italian-owned, Maldivian-managed resort with 43 huge garden-set villas -- most with private beaches. An island-imposed two-hour time difference with the rest of the Maldives gives guests more time in the sun to snorkel the house reef, enjoy a cocktail at one of the two waterfront bars, or laze on beach loungers. A playground and two-bedroom family villas make it ideal for those with kids, while private beach villas with whirlpools, hammocks, and loungers make it a romantic pick as well. Meal plan options are flexible but restaurant service times are not. The resort features a spa, PADI dive center, free Wi-Fi, and slightly wild (and thus beautiful) garden grounds.
The Grand Aston Bali Beach Resort is a luxury property located on the Tangjung Benoa peninsula, in an area dominated by similar resorts. The 188 rooms and suites are elegant and spacious, and all have terraces or balconies, many with views of the Indian Ocean. On-site facilities include a spa, a fitness center, a kids' club, and six bars and restaurants, and a lagoon-style pool -- the resort also has its own beach area. Regular activities range from village tours to beach volleyball, and the resort offers a number of water sports, including Jet-skiing and parasailing. Bikes can be rented, and the resort operates a free shuttle service to nearby Kuta. This is a good value for its caliber.
With thoughtful and clean design elements, chic and modern decor, luxe amenities like L' Occitane bath products, and a lively collection of guests ranging from families to honeymooners, Velassaru Maldives is a luxury property with a lively, casual vibe. It's also got one of the most impressive infinity pools we've seen. The 129 rooms come with thoughtful features like polished coconut shell decor accents, personal wine fridges, plunge pools, outdoor showers, and private beach areas. There's also a large public beach with a teeming house reef, overwater spa, dive center, water-sports center, and five restaurants and two bars -- and it's only 25 minutes via speedboat from Male.
The Village Coconut Island is a fun and self-contained, all-inclusive, luxury resort with a private beach. The property is only accessible via a water taxi (it runs 24/7), which can feel like an adventure or a chore depending on the traveler (and weather). Once on the island, guests stay in beautiful villas with kitchenettes, swim in the infinity-edge swimming pools, dine at the three restaurants, and play on the private beach. There's an on-site spa with a hydrotherapy pool. Occasional power outages and charges for extra drinking water can be downers.
Located on a remote beach in northeastern Palawan, the four-pearl El Nido Resorts Apulit Island is a stunning, intimate retreat for those looking to get in touch with nature. Its 50 rooms are housed in stand-alone thatched cottages built on stilts directly over the clear waters. Interiors are simple and in-room amenities are limited, but that only adds to the unplugged feel and tranquil vibe. The property offers a wide array of on-site activities, including water sports, a PADI diving center, and a beautiful infinity pool with beach and sea views. In line with the hotel’s many eco-friendly practices, the buffet restaurant serves a menu made with sustainable ingredients, and meals are included in the rate. Getting to the hotel can be quite an ordeal -- it requires a combination of air, land and sea transfers -- but the gorgeous setting and peaceful atmosphere are well worth it.
Stretching just over a mile in length, Kuredu is one of the largest resort islands in the Maldives. It’s loaded with restaurants and bars (14 in total) and has plenty of space for large amenities like a soccer field, golf course, two spas, and three pools. Kuredu isn’t as intimate as some smaller resorts, and it’s a pricey, 45-minute flight from Male. Still, affordable rooms and impressive food make Kuredu an outstanding overall value; travelers will be hard-pressed to find a better upscale resort -- especially one offering all-inclusive packages that include alcohol -- at these rates.