There are times when getting away with the kids is great, and times when getting away from them sounds even better. For those latter moments, here are this year's 15 best adult-only resorts in the Caribbean. Plan your visit for early 2016 now and you'll get your pick of hotel rooms and packages.
-- Jane Reynolds, Oyster.com
The Caves, Jamaica
Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves' 12 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there's no beach). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica's best all-inclusive.
Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
Romantic? Undoubtedly. Unique? Absolutely. Expensive? For sure. Through an innovative, open fourth wall, each of Jade's 29 enormous suites overlooks the sea from its chromatherapy-lit whirlpool tub, canopied bed, and private infinity pool. Getting to Jade Mountain can be tedious, even nauseating, but its organic cuisine, doting service, unwavering silence (no TVs, radios, or children), and extraordinary design make the long journey worthwhile.
Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic
Opened in November 2013, the Breathless is one of the newest, most luxurious all-inclusive options in Punta Cana. The 750-suite adults-only property is massive, so guests rarely feel overwhelmed by crowds, whether they are in one of the restaurants, at one of the pools, or relaxing on the gorgeous white-sand beach. Rates include everything from the food and alcohol to the water sports and themed pool parties, but some guests complain that the food and service at the restaurants lag.
Sandals LaSource Grenada
This 225-room luxury all-inclusive, couples-only resort is one of the newest additions to the Sandals brand. It's spread over a sprawling 17-acre property on the southwestern tip of the island, but all the main property features are centrally located, so it's not difficult to find your way around. With five pools, a lovely spa and fitness center, numerous activities, and 10 restaurants, couples won't be at a loss for things to do. It's the romantic touches such as fire pits, gazebos, and swinging chairs on a pier looking out over the water that make the property distinctly Sandals. However the romance may stop short at long walks on the beach -- the beachfront area is limited due to rough waters on this part of the island, and ocean swimming is reduced to a roped-in cove.
Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection, Dominican Republic
This 244-room adults-only resort is adjacent to the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana and falls under the brand's more luxurious Don Pablo Collection. The property has colonial-style architecture and spacious, cheerful accommodations. There are plenty of opportunities for romance -- there is a long beach for strolling, a pretty dock for private dinners, and sunset views of the bay. The downside: The turquoise waves and beaches in Punta Cana are better for swimming -- it's a fact. That being said, those in search of peace and quiet will be attracted to the elegant lobby area, the stunning pool overlooking the beach, and access to great golfing and day trips to nearby islands.
Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, Jamaica
The sprawling Secrets Wild Orchid is one of the more luxurious adults-only all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay, and has a laundry list of property features, including eight restaurants and five bars, and a host of activities: a theater, a spa, a water sports and dive center, a shopping center, and a casino. But the resort shares virtually all of its amenities with the next-door Secrets St. James, and some of the best amenities and freebies are reserved only for the VIP guests staying in the "Premiere" part of the resort.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall All-Inclusive, Jamaica
The best of the three Iberostar resorts in Montego Bay, this 295-room all-suite hotel is light years beyond its neighbors in terms of decor, food, and features. While some elements remain shared with the lesser Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites -- for instance, the spa, fitness center, casino, nightclub, and shops -- guests at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall get the pick of the litter with free access to all three resorts' restaurants, bars, pools, and beaches. The rates might be higher, but for good reason.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort, Jamaica
For adult guests who want to enjoy an all-inclusive experience but prefer a resort that's a bit smaller and more private, Sandals Royal Caribbean makes a great choice. With a number of small beaches and a private island, the resort feels intimate and secluded even though it's a short drive to both the airport and downtown Montego Bay. Restaurants cater to all tastes, from a romantic French restaurant to a laid-back British style pub to snacks on the beach, and premium alcohol is unlimited. Guests can also dine at restaurants and partake in activities at the other two Sandals resorts nearby, and on-site activities and entertainment are also extensive.
Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua
The relaxed, tranquil environment of this adults-only boutique resort is a major part of its appeal. This isn't Antigua's fanciest property, but it doesn't need to be: Simple Caribbean style (think: thatched roofs, stone, and rattan), a truly gorgeous beach, and all-inclusive food that's better than average for the island make for a winning combo. Water sports are also included in the rate, but the ocean here can get a bit rough so guests shouldn't count on being able to swim in it every day.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba
The Bucuti is a romantic, adults-only resort taking up a prime stretch of Eagle Beach in the Low-Rise hotel district. This intimate, 104-room property has 14 acres of beach, and the main activity here involves lingering on the sand under shaded palapas; there's also a chic infinity edge pool. The hotel has been open for 25 years, and the original owner can often be seen socializing during check-in while guests enjoy a free glass of champagne. Rooms have stylish furnishings and modern amenities such as iPod docks, laptop tablets, and free Wi-Fi. A free breakfast buffet is served daily, and there is a restaurant for lunch and dinner, though plenty more restaurants are within walking distance. The resort sees a high percentage of repeat visitors, so book early.
Excellence Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This upscale, adults-only all-inclusive property is a 45-minute drive from the airport and has a spacious beach with rougher waves than at Bavaro Beach down the road. Swimming can be a challenge, but this surfer's paradise has a more secluded feel, even with 464 rooms on the property. The meandering pool is never too crowded, and at night, adults -- mostly honeymooners, couples, and wedding groups -- can choose from a number of high-end restaurants before hitting the theater or lively casino. Room service is offered 24 hours, and chlorophyll juice and apples are offered in the the stand-out fitness center, yoga room, or luxurious two-floor spa. Excellence knows how to give excellent service, starting with the welcome glass of champagne immediately upon arrival. A more expensive club upgrade is available and may be pitched, but many will find they don't need it with all that is already on offer.
Punta Cana Princess All Suites Resort and Spa, Dominican Republic
Out of the four Princess properties in Punta Cana, this 263-room all-inclusive is the pricier, adults-only option. It is a bit more upscale than the other three, though honeymooners should go for one of the seven Honeymoon Suites for more romantic amenities. Sometimes the resort can feel like an adult party, especially considering the afternoon pool scene, lobby entertainment, and 24-hour beach bar. Those looking for a quieter experience can hit the beach, snag a day bed and have drinks delivered from a server -- though vendors can sometimes be a nuisance. There are five restaurants on-site, including a romantic beachside Mediterranean option, and guests also get access to nightlife at the other resorts, which ensures plenty of variety.
The Royal Suites Turquesa by Palladium, Dominican Republic
With 372 rooms, Royal Turquesa is the more expensive, adults-only section of the massive all-inclusive Palladium complex, and has a more peaceful setting than its three neighbors. Notable aspects here include the swim-up suites and a prime stretch of private beach dotted with lounge chairs, hammocks, and daybeds. The main pool is smack in the center of the resort and has built-in lounge chairs and a swim-up bar. Rooms options come in seven spacious types, all with canopy beds, stocked minibars (soda, water, beer, and liquor), DVD players, sofa beds, and jetted tubs. There is premium liquor at the bars, and two restaurants (including a romantic French option) are exclusive to this in this section only; guests can also access the wide selection of bars, restaurants, and activities at the three sister properties, though they're a long walk or crowded shuttle ride away.
Couples Tower Isle, Jamaica
One of the island's first resorts and a former playground for 1950s Hollywood A-listers, this 226-room, 19-acre Ocho Rios all-inclusive is still a sophisticated option. Public areas are chic and modern, but the rooms fall a bit short by comparison. The pools are also unexceptional, though they do have ocean views, and one has a swim-up bar. The gorgeous spa, robust all-inclusive offering (excursions and top-shelf booze are covered), beachfront location, and mellow vibe are the highlights here.
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Jamaica
This large, 529-room upscale all-inclusive is adults-only, drawing many younger couples and honeymooners. The sprawling, 110-acre resort is split into two halves by the road, and jitneys run between the two lobbies regularly. The Riviera Seaside Village and Ochi Beach Club are both on the water, while the All-Butler Riviera Villas and Great House are set back in the gardens, and offer butler service. There are lots of restaurants, bars, pools, whirlpools, and activities (including an 18-hole golf course) on the premises, and it's a five-minute drive to downtown Ocho Rios for more spots to shop and dine.