Editor’s Note: Some of the information below may be out-of-date. Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands were heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. Please visit caribbeantravelupdate.com or the specific hotel’s website for updates.
You’ve decided on an all-inclusive resort for your big day. Nice! But with so many, how do you narrow your options? Pick one priority — food, family or fun.
Best for Foodies: Azul Sensatori Mexico by Karisma
While the Karisma resort brand’s gourmet-inclusive offering has been praised by culinary tastemakers, its Azul Sensatori Mexico property — with 435 suites and six dining venues — is a standout. Head immediately to adults-only Le Chique restaurant to savor a six-course modernist-Mexican menu (don’t be surprised if your food has been flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen) paired with wine. And if you’ve jumped on the craft-cocktail bandwagon, hit up the Mojito Lounge, extending 18 specialty takes on the popular concoction. Wed on the all-inclusive resort’s private sky rooftop terrace with 360-degree views of the Yucatan Peninsula’s sandy shores, then dine with your nearest and dearest at international Spoon restaurant. Bonus: Each suite flaunts an alfresco hot tub for two. Basic wedding package free with a seven-night stay, plus 15 additional room nights.
Best for Foodies: Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Of the five restaurants (and not a typical buffet in sight) at the 267-suite Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, an all-inclusive resort just north of Puerto Vallarta, three are fine-dining powerhouses that have been racking up accolades. There’s Piaf, serving classic French fare accompanied by a live trumpeter; Lucca, an Italian-Mediterranean venue with decadent combos like leg of lamb with eggplant caviar; and Frida, whose new menu features Mexican cuisine based on dishes that artist Frida Kahlo prepared for her lover. (Don’t miss the seasonal margaritas, courtesy of the resident mixologist who roams the dining floor with a top-shelf-tequila trolley.) Say I do in the tropical garden or beachfront gazebo; for the reception, work with the international chefs to customize a locally inspired menu. Basic wedding package free when booking 25 or more suites for a two-night minimum.
Best for Foodies: Sandals Royal Plantation
Sandals Royal Plantation, a 1950s-era all-inclusive resort, exudes loads of old-world charm (e.g., Georgian architecture and stunning fountains perfect for photo ops) and boasts exhilarating views of the Caribbean from its perch on a 25-foot bluff. Exchange vows in the gazebo pier; for parties of up to 60, keep the festivities going with a pier-side dinner. Just 74 butler-serviced, ocean-view suites dot the 10-acre property, and five restaurants offer everything from French to gastropub fare. You can also get fancy at the Caribbean’s only champagne and caviar bar or take afternoon tea on the terrace. Of course, no Jamaican meal is complete without rum punch, courtesy of the island’s own Appleton Estate, which partnered with the resort. Basic wedding package free with a three-night stay.
Best for Foodies: Vomo Island Resort
With just 32 villas set on a 255-acre private island in the South Pacific, the all-inclusive Vomo Island Resort is about as exclusive as it gets. Fresh from a reno, the hotel reopened in March 2015 and debuted a new show kitchen at The Rocks Bar, which highlights grilled eats and a raw bar with plucked-from-the-Pacific seafood. For those with picky palates, think of resort menus as more of a guideline than a rule. The á la carte dishes, made with ingredients from the onsite organic garden, change daily but can be tweaked according to any dietary (or other) requirements. Good news for your reception; after you’re escorted down an aisle of pure white sand by a traditional Fijian warrior and married to the tune of an island choir, you can look forward to a celebratory meal suited to your particular tastes. Wedding packages from $2,250.
Best for Families: Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa
Like a city unto itself, the 75-acre Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa comprises four distinct areas (like the sophisticated French Village) and 758 rooms edged by 12 miles of powdery sand (the top spot for I do’s). If lots of kids will be in attendance for your big day, this all-inclusive family resort is a prime pick. But with a pirate-themed water park and a surf simulator — plus a DJ academy, Xbox Play Lounge and sailing program for aspiring skippers — you might never see them again. Except obviously at your wedding, for which you can choose from six themes, like the pink-infused Flutter of Romance. Or go completely custom with the Your Wedding, Your Style online planning tool. Basic wedding package free with a three-night stay.
Best for Families: The Verandah Resort & Spa
Five gazebos — from hilltop to pier — scattered around The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua, provide an array of ceremony choices. Follow with an all-out bash on Rasta Beach. The 180-suite all-inclusive resort also has a Kidz Club with an adventure playground and a kiddie splash pool, where little ones aged 2 to 12 can run in circles. Children 8 and up can sail, kayak and paddle boat, while beach games, arts and crafts, and guided nature walks are on the docket as well. Lastly, two restaurants and two beach grills with kids menus and a buffet option mean everyone’s happy at mealtime. Basic wedding package free with a seven-night stay in a Waterfront Suite category or higher.
Best for Families: Melia Caribe Tropical
The all-inclusive Melia Caribe Tropical on Bavaro Beach has a whopping 1,138 rooms, so you can invite just about everyone you know to your wedding. And if those guests have niños, they’re in luck: The property offers a Kids & Co. club (organized by age from 8 months to 14 years), with activities like zip lining, a climbing wall, a super jumper, crafts workshops, pirate discos and beach camp-outs. If you’re having a larger event, the resort’s ballroom can accommodate up to 680; for a smaller affair, host your reception in one of five specialty restaurants. Of course, that’s after you’ve swapped vows in the ocean-view gazebo, which is cloaked in fluttering sheer white fabric. Wedding packages from $1,200.
Best for Families: Travaasa Hana
This rebranded all-inclusive resort (formerly Hotel Hana-Maui) sits cliff-side in the famed village of Hana. Of Travaasa Hana’s 70 cottages and suites, the aptly named Waikoloa Family Suites sleep up to six and have full kitchens. Kid-friendly programming spans from lei-making, hula and ukulele lessons to snorkeling and throw-net fishing. An elopement package is available, and any larger parties require a full buyout. However, that means you’ll have free rein to celebrate anywhere you’d like, including Hamoa Beach, the Plantation Guest House or the Kauiki restaurant lanai. Elopement packages from $5,000; buyouts custom.
Best for Fun-lovers: Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
When a resort is touted as the “Caribbean’s most entertaining,” we’re sometimes skeptical, but in the case of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, they can tout away. Flip-flops are always welcome at this 74-room all-inclusive — or bare feet, especially if you tie the knot aboard the hotel’s 53-foot catamaran. Drop by Iggies Beach Bar to groove to nightly live entertainment (from Carnival to karaoke), with Voodoo Juice — concocted with five types of local Cruzan Rum — in hand. Or join the weekly snorkel booze hunt to search for hidden bottles in the bay. Best part: finders, keepers. Wedding packages from $1,000.
Best for Fun-lovers: Breathless Resort & Spa
The first Breathless Resort, the adults-only Breathless Punta Cana is heavy on the entertainment. Options for fun at this 750-room all-inclusive include an indoor theater hosting live shows, nightly outdoor big-screen movies and beach parties, theme nights at the pool and beach, and dance classes. You’ll be treated to endless premium libations at nine bars and lounges too — from the seaside Foam lounge to Lush, a spa bar (because who doesn’t want a Mamajuana cocktail while being pampered?). Get hitched on the resort’s bleached sands under a fabric-wrapped canopy, and keep the party going beachside with a lighted dance floor, a Caribbean music trio and fire dancers. Basic wedding package free with a seven-night stay.
Best for Fun-lovers: Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Guests of Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa have access to the amenities of its sister property, Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton, meaning double the venues for double the fun. With 13 bars, plus the Boogie Woogie discotheque, you could stay at this 540-suite all-inclusive resort for two weeks and still have a different place to party every night. Belly up to the colonial-style Miss Lou Bar for all the top-shelf liquor you can handle. Catch live music nightly (including a steel-drum band on Fridays) at the Infinity Saloon Bar. Or try your hand at the casino if you’re feeling lucky — luckier than you already are for getting married, that is. Speaking of, choose from six exclusively designed Karen Bussen Simple Stunning wedding packages to dress up the ceremony site of your choice (beachside pergola, garden gazebo or alfresco atrium). Then throw a private beach bash beneath the stars. Wedding packages from $1,050.
Best for Fun-lovers: Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort
Surrounded by the untamed beauty of Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast, the 169-room Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort recently turned adults-only. Plus, the pool drink concierge means you can sip to your heart’s content without ever having to leave your lounger. When (if) you do, three on-property bars, including a disco, serve unlimited premium beverages. For smaller weddings of 10 to 20, go with the all-inclusive resort’s Simple Love package, in which you’ll walk down a rose-petal aisle to wed beneath a wooden canopy draped with white linen. Wedding packages from $1,499.