The upscale, 305-room Paradisus Los Cabos is a sprawling, beachfront all-inclusive resort in between the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Aside from spacious, elegant rooms with upscale amenities and pretty views, the resort’s top selling point is its swimmable beach, which is unusual in San Jose del Cabo, where waters are rough. With separate adults-only and family-friendly sections, the Paradisus by Melia draws all types of travelers seeking a fun, relaxing vacation by the sea. The pool — offering loungers, a few cabanas, and a lively swim-up bar — is a definite highlight, as is the spa, complete with six treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy area, a salon, and a well-equipped gym. Dining is good and varied thanks to seven restaurants, including a Basque eatery helmed by 10-Michelin-starred Spanish Chef Martin Berasategui. It’s worth considering the similarly upscale Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos all-inclusive resort, which tends to have cheaper rates.
With chic decor and a youthful, almost-nightly party atmosphere in the lounge, the Soho Grand Hotel NYC offers an authentic but accessible taste of the hip downtown scene. Rooms are stylish and upscale, with industrial-inspired decor, tons of cool designer touches, and high-end amenities, such as smart TVs, C.O. Bigelow toiletries, and gourmet minibars. Many also offer expansive city views, and a handful of them have terraces. The Grand Bar & Lounge is a great spot to grab a bite, brunch, or taste some of its many whiskeys. The Club Room draws locals and visitors alike with live music and a great, lively atmosphere. The gym is a nice perk, but those wanting to get pampered may miss having a spa on-site. The hip James New York – SoHo is a great alternative with a rooftop pool.
Housed in a 39-story tower overlooking the beach, the 331-room Grand Waikikian by Hilton Grand Vacations Club is an upscale time-share condo property popular with families and couples. Contemporary, homey suites have one, two, or three bedrooms, plus full kitchens, washer/dryers, balconies, and an array of solid amenities. There isn’t much on-site, but guests have full access to the adjacent Hilton Hawaiian Village resort, which features five pools, 18 restaurants, shops, a spa, a kids’ club, and a gym. The complex is massive, and crowds should be expected everywhere. Travelers seeking something more upscale may prefer the The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki.
Set in the Playacar district of Playa del Carmen, the upscale Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort set on a pristine section of beach. Renovations in 2019 brought a sleek, modern style to common areas and the 460 rooms, while grounds are well-manicured with greenery. Suites have furnished terraces (none with full ocean views), free minibars, and separate tubs and showers, but the open-plan bathrooms lack privacy and may be an issue for families. All-inclusive rates cover dining at buffet and a la carte Italian, Japanese, and Mexican restaurants, in addition to non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, daytime activities, and nighttime entertainment. Outdoor pools – one with a swim-up bar — a kids’ club, full-service spa, and non-motorized water sports keep guests occupied. This is a good option for the area, but couples may prefer the adults-only Royal Hideaway Playacar, which has excellent dining and in-room jetted tubs.
While not as flashy as Punta Cana’s newer or larger alternatives, the upscale Majestic Elegance Punta Cana is a solid all-inclusive resort choice for all types of travelers, with a family section and an adults-only Elegance Club area. The list of amenities ticks all the right boxes for a proper oceanfront vacation: a beautiful beach, two massive pools, tons of restaurants and bars, and an elegant spa. Entertainment includes foam parties, and the staff organize games by the pool and beach. All 598 suites are spacious and traditionally decorated, equipped with free Wi-Fi and minibar items, hot tubs, and private (optionally swim-up) terraces. The beach can be overcrowded, and the property is starting to show its age, but it’s still a good value among comparable area all-inclusives. The Majestic Mirage Punta Cana — the newer neighboring sister property — offers a more sophisticated, adults-centric vibe and nicer rooms for slightly higher rates.
The upscale Secrets Royal Beach is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort with a party atmosphere along Punta Cana’s beautiful Bavaro Beach. Its 464 air-conditioned rooms are attractive and modern, and feature free minibars, free Wi-Fi, and balconies with hot tubs; some feature ocean views. Three pools — two with swim-up bars — and generous all-inclusive rates mean things can get a bit loud as the day goes on, and it’s worth noting that amenities like the spa are at kid-packed Now Larimar Punta Cana next door. Reservations aren’t required for any of the five on-site restaurants, but wait times can be long and food gets mixed reviews. Preferred Club upgrades include a private pool and lounge, as well as great in-room perks. Couples seeking a quieter all-inclusive option should consider the luxurious Sanctuary Cap Cana.
The 98-room, upscale Galley Bay Resort & Spa is a charming adults-only all-inclusive boutique situated along a peaceful beach in Antigua. Simple Caribbean style pervades throughout, including in the beachy rooms and suites featuring air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, free minibars, coffeemakers, and patios with sea views. Stone cottages set in the gardens add private plunge pools. The white-sand beach is both the resort’s biggest draw and the location of its four restaurant/bars, as well as non-motorized water sports, regular events, and weekly activities. The waters, though, can be too rough for swimming at times. Other high-end amenities include a freeform pool, serene spa, fitness center, and a rustic rum shack. Note that room service is not available, Wi-Fi can be spotty, and Ismay’s restaurant requires an extra charge. It’s worth comparing rates with the Cocobay Resort, another adults-only all-inclusive hotel with a stunning clifftop setting and three beaches to choose from.
The upper-middle-range, 305-room Club Met Phuket is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort along popular Kata Beach, drawing travelers with its packed schedule of activities and entertainment. Property features consist of a main outdoor pool with a kids’ pool, an adults-only pool, international buffet and Thai a la carte restaurants, a spa for massages, and kids’ clubs for specific age groups. Included activities include cooking and Thai boxing lessons, poolside games, sports facilities, and nightly entertainment such as traditional Thai dance performances. Air-conditioned rooms are on the outdated side, but they come with flat-screen TVs, tea kettles, and sitting areas, plus balconies or terraces in most. Possible downsides include the lack of loungers on the public beach and limited dining options, and some past guests have complained of the free alcohol being low-quality. Alternatively, although not all-inclusive, the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa offers a great value, thanks to 12 distinct restaurants and bars, and contemporary rooms.
The upscale Couples Tower Isle just outside of Ocho Rios is a quiet adults-only all-inclusive resort with its own beautiful beach and small private island for au naturel sunbathing. The gorgeous spa is a highlight here, as is the resort’s all-inclusive package, which covers not only food and drinks but airport transfers, water sports (including scuba diving), top-shelf liquor, island excursions, airport transfers, Wi-Fi, and even catamaran cruises and green fees at a nearby golf course. Food is excellent and ranges from Caribbean to Mediterranean to poolside snacks. Rooms, however, fall a bit short in comparison due to somewhat dated island decor and basic tiled floors. Travelers seeking more luxury can book one of the hotel’s sleek villas, which offer private plunge pools and unlimited spa services, among other perks. There is some entertainment on-site, but the atmosphere is quiet and relaxing, including at the hotel’s two oceanfront pools. Moon Palace Jamaica is a good alternative for those wanting something more bustling, though be aware that kids are allowed.
The upscale 599-room Melia Caribe Beach Resort (formerly Melia Caribe Tropical) is an expansive, family-friendly all-inclusive resort with a stellar location along Punta Cana’s Bavaro Beach. Within the grounds are multiple outdoor pools, a fun water park, kids’ club with organized activities, and a full-service spa with a thermal circuit and laundry list of treatments. Rooms here and spacious and elegant, if a bit subdued, all with free Wi-Fi, furnished terraces, and sitting areas, plus upgraded suites have hydromassage bathtubs. Unfortunately, rooms lack ocean views, some are far from the beach, and guests have reported them having worn furnishings. A whopping 13 restaurant and plentiful bars offer buffet, Italian, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisines, though food as a whole receives mixed reviews. Travelers should expect long walks around the property or to take the free shuttles provided. Couples may prefer The Level at Melia Caribe Beach, an adults-only section of the property, while families should consider the more compact Majestic Colonial Punta Cana.