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A Few of the Top All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts for 2024

Stress-free escapes in a variety of price ranges.

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The Excellence Collection includes all-inclusive resorts, for adults only. Photo: Suart Pearce Photography/the Excellence Collection
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I’m not sure how, after traveling for decades, I’ve never experienced the ubiquitous all-inclusive resort — especially since I live in Florida and travel throughout the Caribbean. And yet, here I was, at 58, heading to my first all-inclusive stay in Cancun with my husband in tow.

I’d visited Cancun in my 20s when my brother treated me to a celebratory trip after college graduation. We stayed in a nice, clean, affordable hotel that doesn’t even exist anymore. We drank, ate tacos, trekked to the incredible Chichen Itza ruins and filled our days with tours and local experiences. It was awesome — and exhausting.

This time around, my husband and I wanted a very low-key approach with an open-ended agenda and minimal decision-making. The ultimate goal? To decompress, connect, and sink into a mindful, relaxed experience together instead of planning out an itinerary and dealing with sightseeing logistics.

Enter, the all-inclusive resort.

By design, all-inclusive resorts allow you to effortlessly unwind on your vacation. These properties bundle accommodations, meals and select activities (think live entertainment, cooking classes and kayaking) into a single price, simplifying the process of arranging a stress-free escape.

Navigating All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts

The Caribbean, in particular, bursts with ample all-inclusive options, appealing to travelers seeking a tropical getaway minus the stress. While rates vary greatly depending on the destination, resort, room and when you visit, travelers can find options suitable for all budgets, ranging from about $250/night to more than $1600/night (all prices excluding taxes and fees). Keep in mind that during peak season (December through April in the Caribbean), prices are higher, so a budget-friendly choice is to book between May and November.

Here's just a sampling of all-inclusive Caribbean resorts in a variety of price ranges. (Prices are always subject to change, but here’s what I found in late March.)

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The Sonesta Ocean Point all-inclusive Resort includes pool service and 24 hour room service.
Courtesy Sonesta Ocean Point Resort

In Sint Maarten (the Dutch side of St. Maarten), travelers can stay at Sonesta Ocean Point Resort for an all-inclusive, adults-only, all-suite luxe experience. Here, rates start at $469/night for a junior suite.

If you’ll be bringing the family along — or just looking for a more affordable option — consider staying at Ocean Point’s sister property, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa. Here, rates start at $249/night for a superior room or, on the higher end, they start at $779/night for the Sky Loft Suite. Besides incredible cuisine and panoramic views, the properties burst with amenities ranging from a spa, fitness center and live music to a casino, water park and pools.

At Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan, the all-inclusive Grand Bahama Island resort offers rates starting at $213 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The property provides an affordable getaway wrapped in an authentic island experience, including a 7½-acre private white-sand beach.

The Gallery Bay Resort and Spa in Antigua features newly renovated beach-front suites.
Courtesy the Gallery Bay Resort and Spa Antigua

And over in Antigua, The Verandah Antigua just re-opened last November following a major revamp, transitioning to an adults-only, all-inclusive resort. The property exudes Caribbean charm, with rates starting at $569 per suite per night. For a high-end stay to celebrate a special anniversary, the island’s boutique resort, Galley Bay Resort & Spa (with newly renovated Premium Beachfront Suites) starts at $963 per room per night.

Our Mindful, Relaxed, All-Inclusive Cancun Escape

For our first all-inclusive trip, my husband and I stayed at the Excellence Riviera Cancun — an upscale, adults-only, all-suite property in the Riviera Maya. The sprawling resort appeals to a more mature, refined crowd and less of an I’m-on-Spring-Break crowd, setting the tone for a luxurious, let’s-reconnect stay. Rates start at $497 for the Junior Suite but will vary by season.

The Excellence Collection includes all-inclusive resorts, for adults only.
the Excellence Collection

With 12 restaurants, 12 bars (hello, mango margarita), nightly shows that “wow” and activities and events all day long, we could do anything we wanted — or nothing at all. We did a little bit of both, depending on the day. With so much to do onsite — and zero agenda to follow — we literally never left the property. What did we do instead?

We went pool-hopping, taking dips in the six on-site swimming pools. We relished the indulgence of having our lunch delivered to us in the pool. On another day, we watched some aqua-dancing, courtesy of the energetic music and activities director. At another pool (this one with a swim-up bar), a band performed on an elevated stage.

Along with classic tropic drinks like mango margaritas and mojitos, we discovered the refreshing Miami Vice (pina colada on top, strawberry daiquiri on bottom). And for a healthy daytime boost, we sipped fruit smoothies at Revive, the outdoor spot for non-alcoholic beverages. And shopped the many on-site boutiques and kiosks, soaking in the vibrant colors of Mexican artistry.

For meals, we ate specialties from around the globe. Standouts were lunches of mahi-mahi tacos at the open-air beachfront restaurant. For dinner, Chef Benjamin at Spice delighted our table with an interactive cooking demonstration. He created a flaming onion tower, molded a chicken-shaped pot of rice, and invited my husband to flip an egg on the spatula without dropping it. Overall, the food was terrific!

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Portobello's restaurant in Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan includes indoor or poolside patio dining.
Dylan Cross/Dragonfly Image Partners

After 35 years of marriage, we wanted to reconnect on a just-the-two-of-us retreat. We remembered our first vacation decades ago exploring Central Florida — not knowing we’d eventually move there and start a family. Today, our busy work lives mean we spend hours apart most days, focusing on our own projects, meetings and deadlines. But here in Cancun, away from it all, we found respite in deep conversations.

We went for walks, hand in hand, on the beach and along the shaded trail that wound around the resort.

We lounged in beachfront hammocks and chair swings, watching the waves lap at the shoreline.

We amped up the fun at night with live shows (ranging from fire dancers and magicians to burlesque performers and musicians), casino night and silent music parties.

And every day, we talked, dreamed, reminisced and relaxed in ways we never would have done if we’d been busy “seeing the sights” — and not able to experience everything, in one place.

Check out these hacks to get the most out of your all-inclusive vacation.

Have YOU ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort? Which one? How was it? Let us know in the comments below.

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