All-inclusive resorts can get a bad rap—whether they’re inauthentic to a place, have a bland or cheesy design, serve mediocre food and drinks, or attract rambunctious crowds, we've all heard the horror stories. But like every case, there are outliers, ones that break the mold and offer incredible bang-for-your-buck. If you’re looking for romance, seclusion, or just incredible cuisine, these 8 best all-inclusive resorts for adults up the wow-factor. Get packing.
By Lindsey Olander
Excellence Playa Mujeres, Cancun
You might think of Excellence Playa Mujeres, north of Cancún, as the Disney World of adults-only resorts. This place has everything, including nine all-inclusive restaurants (ranging from Indian to seafood), 11 bars, seven pools, a full-service spa, a long list of activities from bike tours to beach volleyball to archery, and 450 rooms and suites in which to pack them all in (spring for one with a roof terrace, which comes with a private heated spa pool). If you ever do manage to get your fill of what’s on property, there’s even more to entertain you when you leave. The same peninsula is also home to the Playa Mujeres Golf Club, one of Mexico’s best courses, while just offshore you’ll find Isla Contoy, a wetlands preserve home to endangered sea turtles.
Sanctuary Cap Cana, DR
It may sit in Punta Cana, one of the hottest destinations in the Caribbean known for its sprawling beachside resorts favored by crowds of spring breakers and fun-loving families, but the adults-only Sanctuary Cap Cana is a world all its own, thanks to 30,000 tranquil acres of manicured gardens, stunning Spanish Colonial-style buildings and Caribbean-style villas, five notable restaurants and pools, and one spectacular beach. Guest rooms vary between sections, but all earn bonus points for their walk-in closets—ideal for twosomes looking for extra space to spread out—and ocean views (just request that you not be on the ground floor).
The Caves, Jamaica
There’s a strict 17-years-and-over policy at this cliff-side oasis. It might be due to its precarious perch on jagged limestone cliffs that plunge into the Caribbean Sea 20 feet below, or because lack of TVs in guest rooms means entertainment will have to be found elsewhere—be it at the rum bar hidden in a private grotto or via brave jumps into the ocean from cutouts in the rocks. Truth be told, it’s a couple’s paradise: 12 ultra-charming thatched-roof cottages keep the atmosphere quiet and intimate, drinks are strong and unlimited with your rate, kayaks and snorkel gear are complimentary for exploring the nearby reefs, and meals spotlighting native recipes are some of the best stories of the day. If you’re hoping for a bit more action, never fear: Negril’s famous Seven-Mile Beach is just down the road.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
We’ve written about Jade Mountain more times than we can count, but when it comes to the best of the best for a grown-up getaway, few other adults-only hotels check as many boxes. Those staggering views of the island’s twin Pitons from each of its 28 open-air suites keep it firmly on the honeymoon and celebration circuit—but there’s more to this resort than its swoon-worthy vistas. Hot stone massages in the spa are heavenly. Cooking classes and rum tastings at a nearby plantation are educational and fun. Thursday nights are reserved for sunset cruises on the resort catamaran, while the five-star scuba center brings guests below water. A James Beard Award-winning chef mans the restaurant and room service, spotlighting island flavors like cinnamon mahi-mahi and blue crab couscous. (Want a multi-course tasting menu with wines delivered straight to your bed? Just ask your major domo—the personal concierge assigned to each room—and consider it done.) Sure, the crafty design is a little cheesy, but that’s nothing your private infinity pool can’t fix.
Komandoo Maldive Island Resort
The Maldives is renowned for its over-the-top bungalow resorts with even more outrageous price tags, but this private island outpost, one of the few adults-only resorts in the Maldives, breaks the mold with its super affordable rates. Sure, you have to take another 45-minute flight from Male Airport to reach it, and the amenities aren’t endless, but that’s about all there is to fault it for. If you spring for the all-inclusive package, you’ll get run of poolside drink service, water sports rentals, and classes like sushi making and fruit carving —not to mention full access to fabulous meals and daily entertainment including live bands and dance performances. Each of its 65 villas is set on a powder-white beach or over the water. Perhaps the best perk: no jet ski rentals means the waters remain blissfully calm and quiet all day long.
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Read the rest of the original story: World’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Adults by Lindsey Olander, a regular contributor to Jetsetter.