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From gourmet meals to spa treatments, these spots deliver
These 12 Caribbean resorts showcase all-inclusive at its best.
Winter weather, with all its snow flurries and chilling temperatures, is finally here and it’s not going anywhere. The holidays are also in full swing and that means you’ve likely got shopping and family on the brain. It’s a lot to have on your mind all at once. Which is why now is the perfect time to plan (or at least daydream about) your latest trip to an all-inclusive resort in the warm-year-round Caribbean. There, you’ll be able to dig your toes into warm, white sands and marvel at the crystal blue water the region is noted for. It’s enough to make you forget all your worries and ease a case of winter doldrums. Plus, if you stay at one of these resorts, most things are included in your fee so all you have to worry about is getting there.
Click here to see the 12 Best All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts (Slideshow)
Once you’ve arrived, let the staff handle the rest. At some of these top spots, you’ll enjoy meals, drinks, and yes, even massage treatments that are included in your stay. In ultimate rock star style, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana features complimentary 24-hour room service, a top-shelf liquor dispenser, and all food and beverages are included. And the dining programs at these resorts really shine. The Cayman Islands’ Pirates Point Resort is owned by a top chef who has worked with the likes of Julia Child and James Beard. Plus, she even hosts a weekly champagne cocktail party at her home that guests can attend. After a few days at one of these resorts, the only question that you’ll be dwelling over as you lounge beachside is, "Piña colada or margarita?"
Click through our slideshow to see all of the 12 best all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, offering everything from stunning beach-views to top quality food.
The Daily Meal ranked these resorts based on the strength/prestige of their dining programs, legacy, number of amenities included, as well as recommendations by industry experts.
Teresa Tobat is the Washington, D.C. Travel city editor for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @ttobat88. View her website at teresaktobat.com.
Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean
The tropical islands of the Caribbean are known for their relaxed cultures, amazing beaches, and abundant sunshine. To truly lean in to the chill Caribbean vibe, book an all-inclusive resort. That means you won&rsquot have to think about how much you&rsquore spending on meals, alcohol, and &mdash often &mdash a variety of activities. However, we&rsquove seen hundreds of Caribbean all-inclusive resorts, and we can tell you that some properties are definitely a cut above the rest. If you&rsquore after the absolute best all-inclusive resorts in St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, and Turks and Caicos, read on and start planning your Caribbean getaway right now.
Before you leave for your Caribbean vacation, don&rsquot forget to double check our Caribbean packing list.
Editor&rsquos note: Save these great destinations for when it&rsquos safe to travel again, and always follow all COVID-19 restrictions, rules, and safety regulations both at your destination and upon returning home.
1. Jumby Bay Island - an Oetker Collection Hotel, Antigua
Photo Source: Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Accessible only by boat, the superlative Jumby Bay sits on 300 palm-dappled acres at the end of an exclusive, car-free private island off the coast of Antigua. Jumby comes from the Antiguan word "jumbee" for "playful spirit," and it's an apt description of the relaxed elegance and care-free vibe here. The staff genuinely seem to love what they do, anticipating your every whim.
In a country known for its beautiful beaches, those on Jumby Island more than live up to the hype, with glittering white sand and crystal-clear water, and the cuisine here is as impressive as the beaches. Meals in the fine-dining Estate House rival that of Michelin-starred restaurants, and more casual options beckon by the pool and beach.
The 40 air-conditioned luxury guest rooms and villas come with features like romantic four-poster beds, wraparound terraces, Italian linens, Bose sound systems, large TVs, and private outdoor gardens with rain showers.
The red-roofed villas and homes add extra features like swimming pools, private chefs, and personal butlers, but all the accommodations feature dazzling, palm-framed views of that impossibly blue sea.
You can spend your days honing your body at the gym swanning around at one of the pools, including a stunning infinity pool cycling around the island playing tennis or golf or luxuriating at the spa.
Guests with an eco bent, can sign up for the island's well-established recycling and conservation projects, such as the Hawksbill Turtle Preservation Program.
Children are welcome here and enjoy a special list of activities crafted just for them.
2. Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
The Beaches Turks & Caicos is among the most popular family-friendly Caribbean resorts that you can consider for your next trip down to the islands.
The entire property has been designed to give you the vibe of a French village but it retains its oceanfront ambiance with close to 12 miles of soft white sand along the beach.
This luxury resort in the Caribbean for families has an impressive waterpark, a Sesame Street Treasure Caravan, art camps as well as a special science program.
One of the activities that you must explore while you are at the property is diving, especially as the island is one of the world’s most popular diving locations.
The kids will not be left behind, as the resort runs a Bubble Makers program that is designed to introduce the little ones to basic breathing skills when they are underwater.
If your tykes and tots are 7 or 8 years old, they could also get used to scuba equipment by looking for toys in one of the many pools on-site, or older ones could the Seal Team or the longer National Geographic scuba program.
The parents will be impressed by the sunrise yoga or body scrubs, and there are also single-parent-friendly receptions for some downtime.
38. Jumby Bay Island, Antigua Arrow
Reopened in October 2017 as an Oetker Collection member (formally a Rosewood resort), Jumby Bay Island is accessible only by boat, with not a car in sight—but plenty of bikes to navigate this 300-acre island off the northern coast of Antigua. With only 40 accommodations in total (rooms and villas), there’s no need to worry about feeling the need to ever get off the all-inclusive island—although if curious, there's a complimentary ferry service that runs from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. You’ll be plenty busy on the resort’s three tennis courts, in its three pools, at the family-friendly Veranda, and on its more than four miles of beach. Plus there's a kids club for when you want to be anything but busy.
Cocos Hotel – Jolly Harbour, Antigua
An important consideration when booking an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Antigua: Is it on the sunset side of the island? Cocos Hotel is, and you can take in the sunset while sipping Champagne (included) in your private cliff-side infinity pool.
Set on one of Antigua’s most beautiful white sand beaches, Cocos is a boutique all-inclusive resort that’s open to couples only. The property offers 34 clifftop cottages, all equipped with hammocks, Adirondack chairs, and outdoor showers.
Melia Caribe Tropical – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
You’ll never feel crowded in the pool at Melia Caribe Tropical, because this all-inclusive resort has nine of them to choose from! You’ll also be able to stretch your legs in the Family Junior Suite. A king bed, two twins, and a sleeper sofa give big families a place for everyone to rest comfortably after a day of fun in the sun. You’ll also find children’s bath tools, a step stool, extra drawers and beach toys in the suite. On the property, enjoy myriad dining options, craft workshops, rock climbing, and a zipline. Kids of ages will have a blast here.
Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Some all-inclusive resorts cater to families with children and focus on activities appropriate for an age mix of participants others attract boisterous singles and younger couples looking for a party vacation with plenty of alcohol. To avoid those types of distractions, look for an adults-only property with the types of amenities and activities that most appeal to you. The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas offers the best of both worlds, with adults-only areas plus kid-friendly zones as well. Overlooking Great Bay, room rates begin at $980 during peak season, though price fluctuates based on the date of travel and type of accommodation.
Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia was designed by the architect and the co-owner Nick Troubetzkoy, who transformed it into the James Bond-type of a honeymoon destination. It occupies a scenic spot on a hillside overlooking the country’s Pitons and Soufriere Bay.
The three-walled rooms enable the guests to sit back and relax in the infinity pool with a view without leaving the accommodation. Talk about living in luxury.
The establishment has its own spa and gym, leaving the rest of the facilities to the nearby Anse Chastanet resort with an out-of-this-world dive center. You can take a mountain bike trail, explore nature with a guide, and tour the chocolate-making laboratory located at Jade Mountain.
You have the option to choose where to eat – meals are served both at the open-air restaurant at the top of the property, and straight to your room. When evening comes, rooftop drinks at the Celestial Terrace are also an option.
Devour the healthy and nutritious à la carte breakfasts consisting of tropical fruit and juices. After some time, explore the many lunch and dinner options made up of the food items derived from contemporary fusion cuisine.
The cost of suites ranges between US$1332 – $1886 (breakfast not included) depending on the season.
This iconic drink hails from Cuba with somewhat of a mysterious background. What we know hints that the beverage didn’t get its start in a bar, rather in the hands of farmers or slaves. It eventually became more widespread during the Prohibition and has remained a favorite among beach travelers. Rum, sugar cane juice, mint, lime, and a splash of club soda are what make this an ideal choice for tropical nights!