Have you heard? Winter is coming.
No, not the spooky winter filled with blue-eyed zombies and creepy reanimated corpses marching south of The Wall. I’m talking about the real winter. The one we have here at home.
Even though the summer beach season feels like it just ended, and we haven’t been whacked with freezing temps here in Indiana yet, it’s never too early to start talking about the winter travel season. #amiright
Seriously, can somebody find me a palapa and a tropical drink already?!?
All-Inclusive Resorts, How I Love Thee
If you’ve followed us for long, you already know that we’re constantly looking for ways to make travel cheaper. Whether it’s credit card rewards, city sightseeing passes, or loyalty programs, we’re never too proud to take advantage of a hookup.
One of my favorite ways to travel on a budget – especially when I’m hitting the beach – is to stay at an all-inclusive resort. In my opinion, the whole reason to hit the beach in the first place is to get my relax on. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of the all-inclusive model.
I love arriving at the hotel and not feeling nickled and dimed the entire time I’m there. Since I’ve already paid for it, I don’t have to worry about watching the food and drink bill. It’s already taken care of. There’s no stress at all. I mean, what’s more relaxing than that?
If you think an all-inclusive Caribbean experience sounds fun, we’ve got you covered. All-inclusive resorts are what we do! Keep in mind that you can’t find them on every island (and we haven’t been to each and every one of them), but here’s a list of some of our favorite all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
Favorite All-Inclusive Resort for Families
Alright everybody, stop me if you’ve heard me say this before. My favorite all-inclusive for families is the Holiday Inn All-Inclusive Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Seriously, our family loves this place. We’ve already been there three times, and we’re headed back for another stay this Spring Break. The food is good, the pool is nice, and the rooms are what you would expect from a Holiday Inn. It’s nothing fancy, just a good quality hotel… located on a beautiful beach… in Jamaica.
I really think this is the perfect spot for families, especially if you have little kids. The swimming area by the beach only gets about waist deep on an adult. Better yet, there’s a little island that provides more than just extra beach space; it also blocks the swimming area from waves, perfect for those with little kids. Best of all, kids under 12 are free… and you know I love free.
If you want to know more, check out our full review of the Holiday Inn All-Inclusive – Montego Bay here.
Great Adults Only Section
The Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was the first all-inclusive we ever visited. Even though it has been several years since we’ve been there, I definitely want to go back.
This all-inclusive resort has an incredible beach and pool area. The main pool is enormous, and there are also two smaller “adults only” pools. If you’re more of a beach bum, the sand is sugary soft, and the water has that incredible turquoise color found across the Caribbean.
The resort is also split into two: Families and children are welcome on one side, while the other side is adults only. We stayed on the adults only side and found the rooms to be very nice. The food and staff were also great, and I seriously want to go back soon.
Sound like a great place to spend the week? Learn more by reading our full Majestic Colonial review here.
Perfect Romantic Retreat for Couples
Although we actually went to the Sandals All-Inclusive Resort in Montego Bay for a work event, I thought this spot was the perfect place for couples. In fact, this “couples only” resort is there to provide couples with a fun and romantic experience.
Sandals has all-inclusive resorts all over the Caribbean, but this is the only one that we have visited so far. While their sister brand (Beaches) is geared toward family travel, all of the Sandals resorts are “adults only.” This allows couples to kick back and let their hair down without worrying about what the kids are doing.
The beach here is spectacular, the food is excellent, and the staff is wonderful. I’d consider this a 4-star hotel, so the price is a little more expensive than some but less expensive than a true “luxury” resort. So, if you’ve got a special occasion coming up (or if you just want to get away with your sweetie), you should definitely consider this all-inclusive.
Find our complete review of the Sandals All-Inclusive Montego Bay here.
A Beach Lover’s Paradise
Holly and I had the chance to visit the Barceló Aruba All-Inclusive Resort this summer. It did not disappoint.
If you’ve never been to Aruba, think of it like a cleaner, smaller, friendlier version of Las Vegas… except it’s on the beach. In fact, the Barceló Aruba isn’t just on the beach – it’s located on Aruba’s Palm Beach, one of the most incredible beaches in the entire world. The water is a ridiculous color of turquoise, and it’s absolutely still. The beach itself is a sugary sand lover’s dream. This hotel is also located right on the main strip, which means you’re literally across the street from all the restaurants, nightlife, and casinos you’ll ever need.
The hotel itself is really nice. The staff is wonderful and the food is very good. There are only a handful of all-inclusive resorts on Aruba to begin with, but the Barceló Aruba stands out from any crowd.
Thinking about taking an all-inclusive vacation in Aruba? Read our full review of the Barceló Aruba here.
A More Intimate All-Inclusive Resort
So far, I’ve listed resorts that are all mid to large in size. Although the larger resorts typically have some additional food and entertainment options, there is something to be said about heading to a smaller resort for your vacation. If something a bit more intimate suits your style, you should definitely check out the Waves Resort & Spa in Barbados.
Quite frankly, Barbados is my favorite island in the Caribbean… and some of that probably has to do with Waves. The resort is extremely nice, on the same level as a Sandals type resort. It’s located on Barbados’s famous Platinum Coast, which is absolutely stunning. The beach is pristine, the water is as still as your bathtub, and the resort features some of the most beautiful over-water sunsets I’ve ever seen. Honestly, this hotel is awesome.
One of my favorite features about the resort is the food. Even though there are just a few on-site restaurants, you have the option of taking the free ferry to one of the hotel’s sister resorts. Meals at some of these spots are included, so that way you don’t get sick of eating the same thing every day. (The menu at the hotel also rotates.) Plus you get a nice little boat ride out of it.
Oh, and don’t forget to head to Oistins on Friday night for the fish fry! There’s a shuttle that leaves from the resort, and it’s a ton of fun.
Learn more about the Waves All-Inclusive Resort and Spa in Barbados here.
While we haven’t visited every all-inclusive in the Caribbean, with the resorts listed above, I don’t think you can go wrong. If this is your first visit to an all-inclusive, have a wonderful time. Oh, and here’s a list of all-inclusive tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time there.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of my favorite all-inclusive resorts. Thanks so much for reading. Until next time, happy traveling!
What are your favorite all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean? Let us know about your experiences in the comments!