Finding an all-inclusive resort with an adult-only policy doesn’t take a lot of research time or chops. Finding one with a couples-only policy, however, is a bigger challenge—but not one that you’ll have to face because Oyster has done the work for you. These all-inclusives take their adult-only vibes to the next level by admitting only couples. This policy translates to an environment free of not only families with small children, but also friend groups, single people, and business travelers, so that the hotel can truly cater exclusively to couples. (Some will occasionally make exceptions, like in the case of an on-site wedding with a few solo guests.) From the Barbados outpost of a well-oiled resort machine to a kinky Riviera Maya resort for swingers and voyeurs, these couples-only all-inclusives are tailor-made for romantic twosomes.
Sandals Barbados fits well into the brand's vision of couples-only all-inclusive luxury, and is easily one of the most decadent resorts on the island. The Barbados location opened in early 2015, making it the newest of the chain's 15 resorts, which are scattered throughout the Caribbean, from Antigua to St. Lucia. Some of the hotel's 280 rooms offer swim-out access into a river-style pool, or terraces with free-standing soaking tubs. With three pools, 13 restaurants, bars, scheduled theme nights with live entertainment, and unlimited water sports (including diving), the Barbados venue, like all Sandals properties, is the epitome of a couples-only Caribbean mega-resort. Sandals' main pools are reliably bumping with loud dance music and games during the day, but couples who want to relax will find peaceful, quiet corners scattered throughout the lushly landscaped grounds, which include the brand's hallmark on the beach, gazebos, two-person hammocks and swinging chairs, and Red Lane spas. Everything is perfectly planned out and well executed—to the point that the experience can end up feeling overly choreographed and less than authentic. However, the popular upscale all-inclusives with luxurious rooms are definitely dedicated to creating romantic getaways. (Just be prepared to share yours with a few hundred other couples.)
Even travelers who are turned off by the mass appeal of all-inclusive resorts might consider a property like Couples Tower Isle. It's decidedly more sophisticated than competing resorts on the island, and its refined amenities include a zen spa, a yoga and spinning studio, and an Asian-fusion restaurant that hovers over the water in a thatched-roof palapa. Of course, Tower Isle and Couples' three other Jamaican properties aren't exactly intimate, with hundreds of guests packing into the pools and restaurants, but they have an overall vibe that is nonetheless more mellow than some hard-partying adult-only options. (The other locations are the 35-acre Couples Sans Souci, also in Ocho Rios, and Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away, both located in the beach resort town of Negril, on the westernmost tip of the island.) Perhaps most compelling, though, are Couples' all-inclusive rates, which cover far more than the meals and watered-down drinks dispensed at many all-inclusive resorts. All four locations' impressive range of freebies include airport transfers, golf green fees (guests must pay additional for mandatory caddies), catamaran cruises, glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, horseback riding, and even honeymoon packages with massages for two and a bottle of sparkling wine. Of particular note is Couples’ all-inclusive booze policy, which includes the top-shelf liquors in addition to the usual beer, wine, and rum punch.
Couples of all ages come to Rendevous Resort for the romantic and easygoing all-inclusive vibe. Set on a white-sand beach close to St. Lucia's capital city, the resort offers a slew of activities, including tennis, yoga, archery, and motorized and non-motorized water sports. Loungers will find plenty of private spaces on the beach, by the two pools, and along the lazy river, a meandering series of streams with secluded pod-like day beds. The beachfront bar revs up for cocktails in the late morning and keeps buzzing until late at night. In the evenings, the Terrace Restaurant, which serves all three meals buffet-style, transforms into a romantic candlelit dining room. Guests craving a la carte options (and air-conditioning) can reserve a table at the Trysting Place, the resort's French restaurant, or head to the Champagne Bar for nightly samplings of bubbly. All of the 100 rooms have sophisticated colonial Caribbean style; some open directly onto the beach.
This 62-room boutique hotel is located on a white-sand beach in the southern part of Isla Mujeres. All the standards of larger resorts are present here—a pool with a swim-up bar, spa, fitness center, and kayaking and paddle boarding—but on a smaller scale and with an intimate vibe. Elegant, airy rooms feature Jacuzzis for two, furnished balconies with ocean views, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. The one restaurant is open-air and faces the ocean, but its menu is somewhat limited. This hotel's lack of crowds is a major perk—no early-morning squabbles over sun loungers—as is its quiet beach.
Steamy shows, clothing-optional policies, and X-rated whirlpool parties make Desire Riviera Maya Resort and its sister property, Desire Riviera Maya Pearl Resort, great picks for those looking to have some sensual adult-only fun. Both Desires are located outside of quiet Puerto Morelos on the Riviera Maya. The Pearl draws a somewhat younger crowd and feels a tad less racy, yet still naughty. Both locations stage provocative themed nights (foam pool parties, BDSM nights, burlesque shows), but open-minded guests who only want to experience the clothing-optional part of it will not necessarily feel offended, as sex is only allowed in specific common areas at each resort, and respect is the number one house rule.
A quiet yet full-scale resort, the Sun Palace is an intimate all-inclusive set in the remote section of Cancun, around 45 minutes away from the downtown sprawl in the southern strip of the Hotel Zone. The hotel's last major renovation was in 2007, and everything is wonderfully maintained, including the spacious rooms with minimalist, earth-toned decor and two-person jetted tubs. The beaches here are pristine most of the year, and nearly private compared to those further north in the heart of the strip, as there aren’t any wandering merchants or guests from nearby resorts. The semi-secluded location means that there aren’t any nightlife options in the vicinity, which is why this is such an ideal spot for those looking for a relaxing and quiet getaway.