If your idea of Caribbean all-inclusives includes rowdy spring breakers and bland buffets, think again. A new wave of refined offerings and exclusive properties is transforming the all-inclusive landscape. The traditional appeal of affordable packages for hotel, food, and travel is still the focus but on a more sophisticated scale. From gourmet cuisine to boutique amenities, here’s the newest version of all-inclusive vacationing. Check out these trends:
Forget about questionable food warmed by heat lamps and consider the dazzling foodie selections at the new Breathless Montego Bay Resort & Spa. Launching on December 15, this chic, adults-only resort features seven restaurants that serve up international and fusion dishes. You don’t need reservations or wristbands to sample dishes with rooftop views at Altitude restaurant, Jamaican and International flavors at Culinary, or freshly caught seafood at Fishnets beach cafe. There’s also the option of “Sip, Savor & See,” where guests can explore complimentary dining and entertainment at neighboring resorts. Families can head to the Mexican Caribbean for Generations Riviera Maya, where butler service and an on-site greenhouse provides organic vegetables and herbs. The property hosts a gourmet inclusive experience that includes 24-hour room service, bespoke menus, and dining spots that include Habb for Mediterranean dishes, Jade for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Wine Kitchen & Tasting Room for meals from beloved wine regions.
The cookie-cutter design of sprawling resorts with palm tree landscaping has also been upgraded with more intimate layouts and luxury details. At Zoetry Chamela Costalegre Mexico, set to open in 2018, only 120 rooms beckon along a secluded beach location on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Open architecture allows wafts of sea breezes and all-suite rooms feature beach views with maid service three times per day. At Sunscapes Sabor Cozumel, all 218 rooms are equipped with private spa tubs on balconies or terraces, and guests check in on a red carpet with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to make the process even sweeter.
The expected tropical environment of beaches and waving palms is no longer a given with all-inclusive properties opening in Central America. At Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa, the Costa Rican landscape supplies an exotic refuge. Unfolding along a black sand beach, mountains and volcanoes serves as a backdrop, along with lush, tropical gardens. At the just-opened Dreams Delight Playa Bonita, Panama ‘s jungles and rainforests provide unusual getaways and excursions. Guests can lounge on the beach or for more active pursuits, visit the rainforest for zip-lining, or try scaling a volcano for the ultimate adventure.