The Sirenis resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the most searched all-inclusive vacation region. (Courtesy: Sirenis)
While looked down on by some, all-inclusive vacations can offer a stress-free way to relax. Because food and drinks are included at all-inclusive resorts, you can indulge to your heart’s content without worrying about driving up the bill. All-inclusive packages also get rid of some of the logistical complications of planning a trip, with amenities and activities included in your price.
Of course, the downside is that many all-inclusive vacations can be a little less lavish than their a la carte versions. But with more luxury brands getting into the all-inclusive market, the options (from family-friendly to adults-only to adventure getaways) are growing.
Here are the most searched all-inclusive vacations on Yahoo:
On the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is the perfect vacation location. Known for its warm weather and white beaches, the area is also home to several all-inclusive resorts. In fact, the area is home to so many resorts that Bahia Principe Esmeralda also gives guests access to the other four resorts on the beach – in addition to its own four bars, two pools, and two restaurants. Want a rocking experience? Head to the Hard Rock Punta Cana. Take the kids to the Sirenis Punta Cana Casino and Aquagame for the family water park. Prefer an adults-only environment? Excellence Punta Cana is a romantic all-suite resort with a nightclub and casino, and lessons in cooking, dancing or Spanish.
All-Inclusive Resorts: Bahia Principe Esmeralda, Sirenis Punta Cana, Excellence Punta Cana, Hard Rock Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana, Riu Naiboa, Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, Sivory Punta Cana
Belize (Photo: Thinkstock)
The only country in Central America that has English as its official language, Belize is a popular vacation spot for Americans looking to get away to warmer climates. Many of Belize’s resorts are not advertised as traditional all-inclusive resorts, but do offer inclusive packages for food, activities, or even transportation. Head to the The Placencia Hotel in Southern Belize for some family fun and an inclusive package that includes a jungle river trip. For a romantic getaway, go to the Coco Plum Island Resort or Xanadu Island Resort. Isla Marisol Resort, on Glover’s Reef Atoll, offers a bit more adventure and the best scuba diving in the country. Don’t come to Belize without hitting the water for some high-quality fishing, snorkeling, sailing, or scuba diving. Many resorts will include some of these activities with your all-inclusive package – and a massage for when you’re done.
All-Inclusive Resorts and Packages: The Placencia Hotel, Coco Plum Island, Xanadu Island, Isla Marisol, duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge, Lamanai Outpost Lodge, Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, Cayo Espanto
(Courtesy: Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort)
Although it’s not as popular a tourist destination as nearby Jamaica or the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico offers plenty for the vacation-goer. Visit the Bioluminescent Bay, hike through the rainforest of the El Yunque Caribbean National Forest, or hit up the nightlife in San Juan. There are also a number of resorts that have begun offering all-inclusive packages to tempt the traveler – though the term “all-inclusive” can vary from hotel to hotel. The Rio Mar Beach Resort covers 500 acres between El Yunque and the ocean, with 11 different restaurants, and a range of all-inclusive options. The Gran Melia Golf Resort’s all-inclusive packages include happy-hour cocktails and access to an adults-only pool. And, the Copamarina Beach Resort and Spa, on the southwestern coast, provides a classic all-inclusive vacation that covers your drinks and food.
All-Inclusive Packages: Rio Mar Beach Resort, Gran Melia Golf Resort, Copamarina Beach Resort, El Conquistador Resort
Mexican Ruins (Photo: Thinkstock)
Cancun may be best known for its spring break exploits, but it also has amazing natural wonders and family fun for the kids – and an expansive list of all-inclusive resorts long enough to please even the most discerning of travelers. If you want an adults-only vacation (and who doesn’t), then book a room at the Le Blanc Spa Resort or the Excellence Playa Mujeres Cancun Luxury. Le Blanc features nightly entertainment, a spa, and two swim-up bars right near the Nichupte lagoon, while the Excellence has seven pools, four Jacuzzis, and Japanese, French, and Indian restaurants. The Beloved is ultra-luxurious and modern. And, for the kids, you have Dreams Cancun Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun. Both provide family-friendly activities and plenty of space for the little ones to run around in.
All-Inclusive Resorts: Le Blanc Spa Resort, Excellence Playa Mujeres Cancun Luxury, The Beloved Hotel, Dreams Cancun Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, Beach Palace Wyndham, Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Great Parnassus Resort and Spa
Jamaica (Photo: Thinkstock)
For real island living, head to Jamaica – where they drive on the left like the British but with cars designed in America to be driven on the right. (It can make for some wild taxi rides.) The island is warm year-round and the beaches are crystal clear. Swim at Doctor’s Cave Beach or take a rafting trip down the Martha Brae River. Most of the resorts on the island are classically all-inclusive. Possibly the most luxurious all-inclusive hotel in Jamaica, The Caves, offers adult-only cottages on a cliffside near Seven Mile Beach. Couples Swept Away is nearby and provides either romantic or action-packed all-inclusive packages. In a cove south of Montego Bay, Round Hill Hotel and Villas feels more like a private country club than a massive resort. In a wilderness area on the south shore is Sandals Whitehouse, done in a European style with butlers available for the higher-end suites.
All-Inclusive Resorts: The Caves, Couples Swept Away, Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Sandals Whitehouse, Sunset at the Palms Resort, Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, Jamaica Inn, Half Moon Resort, Beaches Negril
Outer Banks (Photo: Thinkstock)
The Outer Banks (OBX) are a 200-mile string of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. The narrow islands, of which the largest are Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island, are a popular tourist destination for their unique beaches and wildlife reserves. The islands are an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, with windsurfing, biking, sailing, and kayaking. While there are no classic all-inclusive hotels on the windswept islands, the Sanderling Resort offers the premier resort experience on the islands. Near Duck, N.C., the beachfront resort provides a number of inclusive packages for family trips or romantic weekends. The Inn at Pamlico Sound and the Oasis Suites Hotel are hot wedding spots, with inclusive packages for visitors. Vacation home rentals are the most popular way to visit the Outer Banks. Renting a house gives you a chance to experience the islands like a local. Ocracoke Island Realty and Outer Banks Blue both offer vacation rental prices inclusive of all fees.
All-Inclusive Vacations: Sanderling Resort, the Inn at Pamlico Sound, the Oasis Suites Hotel, the Sea Ranch Resort, Outer Banks Inn, vacation rentals with Outer Banks Blue and Ocracoke Island Realty
Florida Keys (Photo: Thinkstock)
Beginning on the southeastern tip of Florida, the Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago stretching along the Florida Straits and dividing the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The Keys are relatively unpopulous, with Key West being the biggest city in the islands. The tropical climate, mixed with the coral reefs, make for a breathtaking vacation spot. Visit the Everglades National Park or the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. But, be careful: the area can also be ravaged by hurricanes in the late summer/early fall. While vacation home rentals are a popular way to plan a relaxed getaway, there are also a handful of luxury resorts with all-inclusive packages. Little Palm Island offers one of the premier secluded romantic retreats, accessible only by boat or seaplane. Try the All-Inclusive Islander package and enjoy all your meals in the waterfront dining room or have them delivered to your room if you just can’t bring yourself to leave. The Hilton Key Largo and Hawks Cay Resort also offer luxurious surroundings with inclusive deals that save you money while you lounge in the turquoise water.
All-Inclusive Vacations: Little Palm Island, Hilton Key Largo, Hawks Cay Resort, The Reach Waldorf Astoria
(Courtesy: Sheraton Bijou Beach Resort)
If you’re looking to head to Panama City, you have two choices. Panama City, Panama, is at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal and next to national parks. Visit the beach and the rainforest. Or, Panama City, Florida sits on the Gulf of Mexico between Tallahassee and Pensacola. While both offer tropical vacations, Panama provides more extensive all-inclusive options. The Sheraton Bijou Beach Resort is one of the largest Panama City, Panama, all-inclusive resorts with a nine-hole golf course, pools, and watersports. The Royal Decameron Beach Resorts is about two hours outside the city and away from the crowds. If you venture further into Panama, you’ll have even more luxurious remote options like the relaxing Tranquilo Bay or Popa Paradise Beach Resort.
All-Inclusive Resorts: Sheraton Bijou Beach Resort, Royal Decameron Beach Resorts, Tranquilo Bay, Hotel Riu Playa Blanca, Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca, Breezes Panama, Popa Paradise Beach Resort, Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ibiza (Photo: Thinkstock)
What Caribbean vacations are to Americans, trips to Ibiza are to Europeans. The Spanish island sits in the Mediterranean near the much larger Majorca. The rocky Ibiza Town and God’s Finger in Benirràs Bayis are UNESCO World Heritage sites, but the island is also known for its underground music scene and nightlife. Or, take the kids to the Playa d’en Bossa’s Aguamar waterpark. Insotel Tarida Beach Resort has a number of pools and bars. Invisa Hotel Cala Verde has archery, tennis, beach volleyball, and wind-surfing. Fiesta Hotel Tanit, on the western coast, is aimed more at families, while Fiesta Hotel Don Carlos is a quiet adults-only resort.
All-Inclusive Resorts: Instotel Tarida Beach Resort, Fiesta Hotel Tanit, Invisa Hotel Cala Verde, Sirenis Cala Llonga Resort, Fiesta Hotel Don Carlos, Club Hotel Portinatx, Club San Miguel
Rio De Janeiro (Photo: Thinkstock)
Brazil may be in the news right now with tourists flocking there for the World Cup, but Rio de Janerio is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere year-round. Along with its famous beaches, the city is also home to landmarks like the giant Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado mountain, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. With the World Cup and the upcoming Olympics, there are a number of all-inclusive Brazil vacation packages to be found. Once there, stay at the Club Med Rio das Pedras for a family fun all-inclusive trip. Visit Vila Galé Cumbuco on Cumbuco Beach for what is considered one of the top all-inclusive resorts in the country with its nearby sand dunes and coconut trees. On Santa Catarina Island, Costão do Santinho is known for its preservation of natural sites and ecological beauty. Or, venture all the way down to Brazil’s southernost all-inclusive resort, the romantic adults-only Ponta dos Ganchos.
All-Inclusive Resorts: Club Med Rio das Pedras, Vila Galé Cumbuco, Ponta dos Ganchos, Costão do Santinho, Breezes Resort and Spa