As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowers its travel-related warnings and restrictions, demand to go somewhere, anywhere, has reached peak frenzy. Widening vaccine availability for many ages and growing comfort with travel amid a new normal means that today’s families are eager to return to more traditional ways of travel. This includes a family favorite: the all-inclusive resort.
As inflation reaches new heights, inclusive resorts are an ideal way to plan ahead for budget, as well as offer something for everyone. But gone are the days when all-inclusive properties meant big buffets and limbo contests by the pool. Today’s luxury options have fine dining, top-shelf drinks and activities that are fun for the whole family, all at a single packaged price. Here are five to check out:
The newest in the Velas resorts family, the Los Cabos outpost of Grand Velas is admittedly one of our all-time favorite resorts in the area, boasting a three-tiered pool looking out over the crashing waves of the Sea of Cortez, and an iconic whitewashed exterior that curves like a sail, a subtle nod to the brand name — velas means “sails” in Spanish.
Come as a couple or bring the whole family. Grand Velas is one of those resorts that accommodates all kinds of travelers, capped off with perks like personal concierges for guests and near panoramic ocean views from every room. For romance seekers, wake up with a champagne breakfast via room service, indulge at the 35,000-square-foot spa and end the day at Cocina del Autor, the resort’s tasting menu restaurant helmed by chef Sidney Schutte, who travels from Amsterdam multiple times a year to ensure that the dining remains state-of-the-art. Families are equally well cared for. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort offers amply sized family suites with two adjoining bedrooms, and both kids and teens programming are built into daily rates.
Set on a private island accessible only to resort guests, Jumby Bay Island is less than a 10-minute ferry ride from the island of Antigua, but it feels miles away. The 300-acre island is dedicated exclusively to the resort and private homes, and it’s part of the family-owned Oetker Collection, which boasts iconic names like Le Bristol Paris and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the French Riviera.
A celebrity haven for its laid-back luxury vibe, the Five-Star hotel boasts plenty of activity for all. Take a rum cruise, attend the weekly white party or ride one of the resort’s complimentary beach cruisers around the island for exercise. Kids will love the Jumby Explorers program, which provides wildlife tours, water sports and ecology programs, while adults won’t want to miss the signature “castaway” spa experience, where you take a private yacht to a small island for a spa service where the only guests are just you, your partner and a therapist. Inclusive rates even include gratuities, so you’ll never reach for your wallet, either.
Active families will adore The Resort at Paws Up, an all-inclusive ranch and glamping experience in the wilds of Montana. Set on a working cattle ranch of more than 37,000 acres, you will dive into everything from whitewater rafting and cattle drives to chuck wagon dinners. Stay in well-appointed ranch homes or luxury glamping tents, but there’s no real roughing it here. Tents have king-sized beds and en-suite bathrooms with bathtubs and heated floors, as well as gorgeous views of the nature surrounding the Four-Star property.
Adults may want to consider the newest portion of the resort, Green O, a nod to the property’s location in Greenough, Montana. Here, 12 homes are modern, glass boxes nestled individually in nature, perfect for a secluded escape.
Want to go off the grid? It’s harder to get further from civilization than Tetiaroa, a private island off the coast of Tahiti in French Polynesia. The 35-villa hideaway was once Marlon Brando’s personal paradise, which he developed into a Five-Star hotel that is as beautiful as it is eco-friendly; the island is fully self-sustaining. Don’t miss the Green Tour, which shows you how the LEED-certified property uses seawater for air conditioning, grows its own produce, and more.
Popular among celebrities for its ample privacy (Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa famously honeymooned here, but she’s far from the only big-name guest; it’s also an Obama family favorite), the resort is optionally all-inclusive — the rates often even include spa services, so you can get into the off-the-grid vibe without a care in the world.
Jamaica is a classic family getaway, and there’s no better place to return to year after year than Round Hill Hotel and Villas, which has been drawing families since it first opened in the 1950s. It’s as famous for its history — JFK and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned here; The Sound of Music was written here — as it is for its gorgeous beaches and open-air suites.
Choose from 26 unique villas or the 36-room Pineapple House hotel. We prefer the villas, which come with a personal housekeeping staff and the ability to take chef-prepared meals in house, many made from ingredients grown right on the property. While there’s no shortage of water sports, nearby golf and tennis, or pool time to keep you occupied, don’t miss a stop by the hotel bar to view images of famous past guests. It’s a great way to feel a part of living history.
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