All-inclusives get a bad rap. And that’s because certain types favor the quantity-over-quality philosophy. Images of endless buffets and cheap booze come to mind. But there are plenty of upscale alternatives scattered throughout the Caribbean that cater to discerning travelers (AKA gourmet food, top-shelf spirits, and world-class amenities are all part of the package). From big-name properties like Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana to under-the-radar gems such as The Caves, our picks are guaranteed to change your tune about all-inclusive resorts.
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Fowl Cay Resort
WHERE: Great Exuma, Bahamas
Fowl Cay is a sparkling unicorn in the realm of all-inclusives. Seafaring enthusiasts will love that stylish villas come with complimentary use of a boat—and the property provides a map with suggested spots to check out. What better way to fill your days than exploring the grottos, picnicking on distant shores, and swimming with pigs? Aside from island hopping, visitors can take advantage of golf carts and fishing gear—all gratis, of course.
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WHERE: St Mary’s, Antigua.
Craving R&R? Cocobay Resort is an adults-only respite with manicured grounds and to-die-for ocean vistas. The relaxing ambiance extends from the powdery sands to the pastel cottages, which are positioned to ensure optimal privacy. The atmosphere has been described as almost meditative. Hammocks signal a mid-afternoon nap, while pillow-top mattresses deliver a restful slumber. The attentive team can also coordinate a lobster lunch catamaran or candlelit dinner.
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Spice Island Beach Resort
WHERE: Grenada, West Indies
Grounded in tradition, the pace of life at Spice Island Beach Resort is slower and the people are oh-so welcoming. Folks don’t go here to to party, but are rather in search of a reprieve from the daily grind. Its sandy perch, generous service (Sir Royston Hopkin himself often greets guests), and gastronomic delights guarantee a memorable stay. Refined accommodations feature canopy beds and airy outdoor patios. And everywhere you turn, there are luxurious extras like Molton Brown toiletries and Frette linens.
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Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana
WHERE: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
You can’t go more than a few minutes without stumbling upon an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. But Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana blows its neighbors out of the water. And the picturesque setting is just the beginning. Prepare to be spoiled! Your personal butler (that’s right) is on hand to satisfy all your needs—whether that’s arranging horseback riding or pampering massages.
Ready to chow down? Make sure to try the octopus carpaccio at Olena.
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WHERE: St. Marys, Antigua & Barbuda
With its turquoise tides and cascading bougainvillea, Hermitage Bay looks straight out of an upmarket magazine. Yet the vibe is decidedly carefree. It’s the sort of place where the staff knows your name and is never without a smile. Lest we forget the eats (and you certainly won’t)–many of the herbs and vegetables come straight from the on-site organic garden. And the menu items change daily, so you can savor grilled mahi one day and deliciously indulgent lobster the next.
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WHERE: Andros Island, Bahamas
Kamalame Cay is an island oasis, where scenic splendor meets Caribbean hospitality. A departure from the mass-produced fare some all-inclusives serve, the property is renowned for its culinary excellence. For many foodies, the highlight is the morning breakfast basket stocked with an assortment of coffee, juice, pastries, yogurt, and fresh fruit. If you wake up famished, a hearty buffet awaits in the great house.
Stay in a bungalow with lovely views and quirky details.
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WHERE: Jumby Bay Island, Antigua & Barbuda
Heralded as the crème de la crème of all-inclusives, Jumby Bay—an exclusive private island, off the coast of Antigua—is where celebs go for paparazzi-free downtime. Meaning you might see Justin Bieber strolling the palm-fringed pathways or Piers Morgan playing cricket. A-listers also flock here for discrete decadence–well, that and exceptional service, set to the backdrop of unblemished beauty. And there are upscale conveniences galore–not that we’d imagine anything less from the legendary hideaway.
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Casa de Campo
WHERE: La Romana, Dominican Republic
Casa de Campo has a stellar reputation. It’s one of those treasures that doesn’t just have returning guests, it has die-hard loyalists—people who have been coming back for decades and don’t plan on switching it up anytime soon. Why? Well, for starters, this sprawling 7,000-acre sanctum boasts first-class facilities. Everything from the 18-hole golf course and tennis courts to the fitness center and spa is exemplary. There’s also a wide array of restaurants and service is notoriously impeccable.
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WHERE: St. John’s, Antigua
Before you arrive at Curtain Bluff, the posh comforts begin with expedited customs at the airport. After a 40-minute shuttle, the wonders of this magnificent retreat come into focus. Breathtaking beaches and turquoise waves are complemented by sophisticated rooms and award-winning cuisine. In fact, gourmet grub is a major selling point. Health-focused travelers will appreciate dedicated wellness concierges, nutritious menus, and a robust assortment of calorie-burning activities—ranging from aqua aerobics and paddleboarding to pilates and squash.
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WHERE:Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
Jade Mountain is a magical place. If vistas of the Pitons and shimmering sea aren’t enough to woo you, perhaps a private infinity pool will. That’s right, all of the 24 guest sanctuaries are equipped with ensuite piscines. Besides individually-designed swimming holes, duos who book the Total Romance Package can look forward to meals and beverages along with a slew of tempting activities. Who can pass up a guided snorkel excursion and sunset yoga?
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WHERE: Negril, Jamaica
A far cry from all-you-can-eat buffets and jam-packed schedules, this grown-up getaway offers a more intimate all-inclusive experience geared towards couples. Expect cliffside cottages, cerulean seas, warm hospitality, and fantastic fare–lobster tail, anyone? Speaking of, pairs can indulge in private grotto dining or a brown sugar body scrub at the spa. With all this, it’s easy to see why The Caves is lauded among the most romantic spots in the Caribbean.
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WHERE: St. Peter, Barbados
Situated the awe-inspiring Platinum Coast of Barbados, Cobblers Cove is an exercise in understated elegance with sherbet-hued facades, breezy decor, and lush tropical gardens. If you want a massive resort, look elsewhere, because this is B&B/half-board with an optional all-inclusive package. It feels intimate; the pool and ocean are just steps apart. This boutique jewel also has tasty cuisine—especially fresh barracuda and swordfish. And travelers can opt for the all-inclusive deal. Thoughtful touches, like afternoon tea, take it to the next level.
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Galley Bay Resort & Spa
WHERE: St John’s, Antigua
Galley Bay Resort & Spa is exactly what you envision in a Caribbean vacation. Food is plentiful and delicious. Plus, cocktails are dangerously good. Paddle boards and kayaks are a great way to burn off all those piña coladas, and the staff is eager to cater to your every whim. The property trades casinos and costume shows for more tranquil pursuits, but if you’re seeking some after-dark excitement, the Sea Grape hosts live music.
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Petit St. Vincent Resort
WHERE: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting on an off-the-grid island, now is your chance. Petit St. Vincent Resort promises 115 acres of serenity and seclusion. It’s the perfect spot to disconnect from the trappings of technology and reconnect to what’s important. Instead of TVs, phones, and Wi-Fi (which is limited to the main building), you’ll find captivating panoramas and a sense of laid-back luxury. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, enjoy beach BBQs, and spend your nights stargazing.
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WHERE: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Round Hill isn’t the typical all-inclusive, with shiny yellow wristbands and fluorescent daiquiris. Instead, this family-friendly resort proffers full-board options that are an excellent value and allow travelers to fully settle into vacation mode knowing food and drinks—on top of the laundry list of amenities (yes, even Elemis bath products)—are covered. Guests also have access to recreation such as pedal boats, tubes, and kneeboards. Plus, the Pineapple Kid’s Club is complimentary.
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