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Our Resort Expert's Guide to All-Inclusive Caribbean Resorts

September 19, 2022 / updated October 4, 2022
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Carly R
Independent traveler and thinker
10 min read

We all dream of a little luxury when we’re on vacation. And one of the best places to find it is to stay in an all-inclusive resort - even better if it’s in the Caribbean. There’s not much that beats sipping that icy cool cocktail by the pool, or that gourmet steak dinner in the flashy resort restaurant, especially knowing it’s all paid for.

But the Caribbean includes so many islands, resort styles, and price points that it can be difficult deciding where to stay. Here, we’ll run through some of the best all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, split into family-friendly, adults-only, and more affordable options. Which one will you choose?

Which Caribbean Island Is Best?

Side view of the shore at dusk, with the blue ocean on one side, and palm trees on the other.

The Beach Boys, in their famous song ‘Kokomo’, listed some of the many Caribbean islands: Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahama, Montserrat, Martinique - the list goes on. But how can you decide between them all?

If you want to follow the majority, the 5 most popular Caribbean islands in 2019 (the most recent ‘regular’ travel year pre-pandemic) were:

  • Dominican Republic: 6.5 million visitors
  • Cuba: 4.3 million guests
  • Jamaica: 2.7 million tourists
  • The Bahamas: 1.8 million vacationers
  • Puerto Rico: 1.6 million visitors

If you’re price conscious, like me, this recent article suggests that the following Caribbean islands offer the best value for money in 2022:

  • Cozumel, Mexico
  • Dominican Republic
  • Cuba
  • Jamaica
  • Puerto Rico

However, you may be more concerned with choosing the right resort than picking a specific island. And we can’t blame you. There are certainly some all-inclusive Caribbean resorts that are worth making a special trip for.

Our 4 Favorite All-Inclusive Family Resorts in the Caribbean

Comfortable-looking beach chairs under parasols, placed on white sand, with the ocean at the background.

If you’re traveling to the Caribbean with kids or teens, your priorities will likely include kids clubs, family-friendly activities and facilities, and food and drinks to suit everyone. But you’ll also want luxury and sophistication for the adults to enjoy. Here are 4 of the best all-inclusive family resorts in the Caribbean.

Beaches Turks and Caicos - Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Beaches resorts are well-known for their family-friendly credentials and Beaches Turks and Caicos is a great example of how family resorts should be.

It’s a large place, with accommodation and restaurants spread over 5 individually-themed villages reminiscent of Italy, Key West, France, and the Caribbean and Seaside. There’s a giant waterpark, plus kids, tweens, and teens activities to keep youngsters of all ages entertained.

You’ll never tire of the restaurant options at this resort, as there are an impressive 21 to choose from. And the setting is also pretty unbeatable, with the resort enjoying 12 miles of one of the world’s best stretches of coastline, Grace Beach.

Franklin D Resort and Spa - Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Coconut drink placed on a palm tree's trunk, with a view of the beach as background.

The all-Jamaican staffed Franklin D Resort and Spa is the only resort on the island to offer personal Vacation Nannies, a genius service allowing adults some alone time while knowing their little ones are being well looked after.

Accommodation is in 2-bedroom suites which range from 540 to 1040 sq ft, so there’s loads of space for all the family. There are five dining options at the resort, including an adults-only restaurant for mom and dad to enjoy some romantic time, and a kids-only buffet, complete with mini tables and chairs.

There are also plenty of activities, one of the most popular being the 100ft water slide in the pool complex. Kids’ activities run all day, with a disco to tire them out before bedtime. And adult entertainment continues well into the night, with live music and shows guaranteed to enhance the vacation spirit.

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Kids will be enthralled from the moment you arrive at the Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Punta Cana. It really is a kids’ wonderland, where they can meet their favorite Nick characters over breakfast, and get slimed after a busy morning spent in the exclusive AquaNick water park. The kids club ‘Club Nick’ offers everything needed to keep your kids happy, from dance parties to theater experiences.

The whole family will love the 9 onsite restaurants, all serving up ridiculously tasty snacks, meals, and - of course - ice cream. There are 460 super comfortable suites to choose from, that are bright enough to appeal to kids, but luxurious enough to please the adults.

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort - Castries, St Lucia

Offering something a little more adult-centric, but still filled with kid-friendly facilities is the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St Lucia. The location is ultra appealing, set on a hillside dotted with private villas, perfect for families to spread out and enjoy a little more privacy.

When it comes to entertainment, there’s the Jacquot Fun Club for younger kids which runs tennis classes, arts and crafts workshops, and loads of other fun activities. For families who want to play together, almost all activities can be done as a group, making it easier than ever to create long-lasting family memories.

Our 4 Favorite All-Inclusive Adults Only Resorts in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is the ideal location to switch off from daily life, indulge in some serious pampering, and enjoy gourmet dining and drinks. There are plenty of adults-only all-inclusive resort options that cater to this particular wish list, making this a difficult category to choose from - but here are the 4 best all-inclusive resorts for adults in 2022.

Jade Mountain Resort - St Lucia

open air hotel room with ocean in background Photo From Jade Mountain

The striking Piti and Grand Piton mountains create a captivating backdrop to the Jade Mountain Resort on St Lucia’s verdant western coast. The resort is positioned in a luxury estate consisting of 640 acres of lush tropical forest, with two private beaches. In true farm-to-table tradition, the resort even grows its own fresh produce right on the grounds.

The accommodation is out of this world, with private open-sided rooms filled with design-led furnishings, and calming colors, plus most also have their own 450-900 sq ft infinity pool. With unforgettable views, access to gourmet in-resort or in-room dining, exciting culinary experiences, a dreamy bar where stargazing is encouraged, and the treatment-rich Kai En Ciel spa, this is luxury taken to the next level. Prices aren’t cheap, but for something really special, this is worth the splurge.

Petit St Vincent Resort - St Vincent & The Grenadines

Petit St Vincent Resort is located on a private island paradise in The Grenadines. Designed to look rustic, but offering guests an incredibly upscale experience, this resort offers just what modern couples are looking for.

Many of the 22 one and two-bedroom villas offer bed-to-beach luxury, with beautiful views, and indulgent facilities. Others have wonderful vistas from high up on the hillside. The restaurants encourage outdoor living, with beach barbecues and picnics a regular part of proceedings. Nature provides the fitness facilities here, with hiking and watersports available, and a jog around the periphery of the entire island making a perfect start to the day.

Sandals Royal Caribbean - Montego Bay, Jamaica

With its nod to British styling, don’t be surprised to find Georgian architecture and peacocks strutting the grounds of the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort. But you can also indulge in Bali-style luxury at the resort’s private offshore island.

A unique feature at this resort is its over-water villas, with exciting features such as water hammocks, glass floors, and private butlers making them perfect for a special occasion vacation.

Dining is gourmet style, with Indian, Thai, French, and British cuisines represented across the 9 resort restaurants, with another 12 available at the nearby Sandals Montego Bay. A fitness center, spa, and around-the-clock activities mean you can fill your vacation with as much or as little action as you like.

Galley Bay Resort and Spa - Five Islands, Antigua

Perfect for couples seeking a romantic break, the Galley Bay Resort and Spa uses its beach and tropical gardens to create a beautiful space to relax and soak up the welcoming Antiguan vibes.

Suites at the resort are Caribbean in style, dotted with colorful accessories, and offer a comfortable and homely, yet modern environment. Some suites come with beach access, others have a private plunge pool, all offer beach or lagoon views.

The 8 bars and restaurants are mostly open air to allow panoramic views to be enjoyed over dinner or that early-evening drink. And there are plenty of activities to fill your days, including stand-up paddle boarding, tennis, yoga, spa treatments, or simply lazing by the pool soaking up the sun.

Our 4 Favorite Cheap All-Inclusive Resorts & Savings Opportunities in the Caribbean

Photo of the beach at sunset, with beach loungers and parasols on one side, and the ocean on the other.

The Caribbean can be an expensive place to vacation, and many people assume they can’t visit on their budget. But there are some beautiful resorts on the less expensive end of the scale. And, if you know where (and when) to look, there are also opportunities to make savings, such as:

  • Traveling out of season when bigger discounts are available. Check the weather though - for example, here’s a guide to the weather in Jamaica.
  • Visiting the most popular islands, such as the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, where there is more scope for reductions on resort prices.
  • Signing up for resort newsletters to find out about discounts and promotions first.
  • Keeping an eye on new Caribbean resorts being announced - they will often have promotional discounts when they first open.
  • Utilise loyalty schemes - some of the bigger brands will allow you to use points to pay for rooms in Caribbean resorts.

Dreams Royal Beach - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana resort is a beachfront property where you get a lot of bang for your buck. The resort has an attractive layout with winding pools, tropical plants, and loungers sprinkled around providing an enticing backdrop to your vacation.

Room prices start from only 158.50 USD per person per night for the 570 sq ft Deluxe Tropical View suites, which is great value for money. There are seven varied restaurants, plus nine bars to work your way through. There are also three resort pools, a full program of activities and sports, and a Pevonia spa if you’re in need of some indulgence.

Catcha Falling Star - Negril, Jamaica

The Catcha Falling Star is a bargain of a resort, with rooms starting at under 100 USD per night. Former guests have nothing but good things to say about the friendly service, great location, and unpretentious atmosphere at this Negril favorite.

Accommodation is in cliffside rooms and cottages, offering simple but comfortable furnishings and private outside spaces that make the most of the resort’s unique vantage point overlooking the water. The resort’s restaurant, Ivan’s, is open all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as providing the optimal place for an evening tipple or two.

If you want to check out more of Negril’s attractions, take a look at this guide on things to do in Negril.

Viva Wyndham Tangerine - Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

hotel pool by the beach

Another quality resort in the Dominican Republic without the hefty price tag is the Viva Wyndham Tangerine, where comfortable, all-inclusive King rooms are available from just 112.70 USD per person per night.

This beachfront resort has 2 pools and offers an array of daytime activities, including water sports, volleyball, and snorkeling. There’s also plenty of evening entertainment, like theme parties and live shows, so there’s never a dull moment. And the dining options are solid, with four restaurants and bars offering a buffet, plus Mexican, Italian, and international cuisines.

The Explorean - Cozumel, Mexico

Ideally situated on the western coast of Mexico’s Cozumel island is The Explorean, an informal 4* resort offering modern, natural rooms and suites, plus direct beach access.

Rooms are available for just over 100 USD per person per night, which, given its proximity to some of Cozumel’s best things to do is a surprisingly reasonable price point. The attractive pool area is relaxing and surrounded by Bali beds for a touch of luxury. The onsite restaurant, Lool Kan, offers fresh, inventive Mexican dishes, and at the Lobby Bar, you can play at being mixologist by creating your own custom cocktails.

Understanding Caribbean Weather & Geography

Photo of a Santa Lucia mountain, with a resort built on the side, overlooking the ocean.

Although the Caribbean islands are spread across a relatively large area, geographically, they are all between 10 and 20 degrees north of the equator. This means they are all governed by the same tropical climate. In simple terms, this creates certain weather patterns:

Temperature

Temperatures in the Caribbean are generally warm to hot, and there are relatively small fluctuations across the year. On average, temperatures range from 82 to 89 degrees.

Rainy and Dry Season

Rainy season runs, more or less, from May to November and the dry season runs from December to April. Rainy season brings heavy showers which usually take place over an hour or two during the day.

Hurricanes

All Caribbean islands could, in theory, see hurricanes between June and November (peaking from August to October), although the chances are pretty low.

Topography and trade winds

Caribbean islands are topographically varied, made up of rainforest, arid, and mountain landscapes and this has an effect on the weather. Generally, islands with a large proportion of rainforest, such as Dominica, can see a huge amount of rain each year, whereas desert-like islands, such as Anguilla and Antigua, are significantly drier. There are also trade winds that blow from east to west just above or below the equator. As the Caribbean islands are close to the equator, they are affected by these winds.

If you’d like to know more about Caribbean weather, check out our regional expert's guide to Caribbean weather.

In a nutshell…

The Caribbean offers a huge variety of all-inclusive resorts, from ultra-luxury to family-friendly, plus simpler budget options. Most will provide beach access and pools, loads of activities, plus quality dining and drinking options. But some go much further, boasting private pools, your own butler, and personalized services like vacation nannies. But while facilities may vary, what’s consistent - and a particular strength in this part of the world - is the Caribbean welcome you can expect to find when you arrive.


avatar
Carly R
Independent traveler and thinker
Carly hails from the UK but jets across the Atlantic at any opportunity to spend time in Mexico. Architecture, street art, food experiences, and sunsets float her boat, as well as discovering off-the-beaten-path destinations.

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