By Caroline Hallemann
The ease of an all-inclusive vacation is undeniable. Simply show up, and have every whim catered to—without lifting your wallet.
But a truly remarkable one-rate stay requires a bit of research. Sure, endless dinner buffets and bottomless piña coladas are nice, but how about access to a private submarine or complimentary surfing lessons?
Here are eight single-price hotels with features that far exceed the standard fare and house booze. Read on for circus lessons, private hot springs, and a peek at Hemingway’s unpublished letters, all included in your rate.
Courtesy: Laucala Island
Located in Fiji’s northern archipelago, on the site of a former coconut plantation, the private resort of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz offers its guests myriad indulgent amenities (think five restaurants serving farm-to-table cuisine, an 18-hole golf course, butler service, and spa treatments using bespoke coconut oils), all included in the room rates (which start around $4,600 per night). But the most over-the-top? A ride in the property’s private submarine, which can dive as deep as 1,500 feet.
Little St. Simons Island
Courtesy: Little St. Simons Island
At this all-inclusive Georgia resort, adults can indulge in “seed-to-table” regional cuisine while tiny travelers take full advantage of the property’s complimentary naturalist program. Daily wildlife expeditions range from saltwater fishing to guided kayak tours, but the real magic happens during turtle hatching season when the staff organizes evening walks near the nests. Book during August for the rare chance to see a baby loggerhead in the wild.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas
Courtesy: Royal Caribbean
If the only thing stopping you from skydiving is your intense fear of heights, book your next vacation with Royal Caribbean. Both Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas offer access to a RipCord by iFly simulator, which allows guests to take flight without the whole jumping-out-of-an-airplane thing. More over-the-top cruise amenities this way.
Photo: David Crookes
If you’d pick books over booze any day, consider a stay the Segera Retreat in Kenya. Not only is the property a wildlife sanctuary and home to an array of native animal and plant life, but it also hosts an extensive manuscript collection, which includes personal letters, diary entries, and unique photographs from Charles Darwin, Theodore Roosevelt, David Livingstone, Ernest Hemingway, and other notables, all available for guests to enjoy.
Club Med Punta Cana
Courtesy: Club Med
Earlier this summer, Club Med launched a new fitness program called Creactive in collaboration with the circus-style performance group, Cirque du Soleil. Guests can try their hand at high bungee, flying trapeze, aerial silk, tightrope, trampoline, and juggling, but they won’t have to jump through hoops to sign up — the program is included in the room rate, and doubles start at $129 per person.
When ranking the highlights of a Singita vacation, the brand’s wine collection comes in second perhaps only to spotting a cheetah cub in the wild. Your standard house chardonnay, this is not. With both conservation and sustainability in mind, François Rautenbach, head of Singita Premier Wine, curates the selection of bottles for each lodge. And while each label on the wine list is included in the guest rate, you won’t go wrong trusting the daily pairing recommendations at lunch and dinner.
Courtesy: Kalon Surf
Whether you’re a total beginner, or a regular Johnny Tsunami, Kalon’s luxury surf “camp” will get you out on the waves in no time. A seven-night stay costs $2,740, and includes not only coaching, but also airport transfers, a massage, meals and snacks, as well as sun protection and aloe.
Vana Malsi Estate
Courtesy: Vana Retreats
If meditation, relaxation, and digital detox are your primary vacation goals, check in to this contemporary ashram-cum-spa in the Himalayan foothills, which requires guests book a minimum of five nights. Visitors are contacted in advance of arrival to identify stay objectives and to curate a selection of activities, ranging from yoga to naturopathy to traditional Chinese medicine. And while electronic devices are allowed on-site, they’re required to remain tucked inside guest rooms, ensuring the common areas remain tranquil spaces.
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