Vacations, in general, are expensive enough as they are already. Flights, hotel bookings, food, local transportation, [possibly] alcohol, souvenirs — there’s seemingly no end to the costs. So, when planning your next getaway, why not look at some of these all-inclusive island vacations to get the most bang for your buck?
There’s no shortage of packages to set you and your family or friends off on one of the best island getaways. Our list includes tropical resorts on a bevy of Caribbean islands, in Hawaii and even off the coast of Australia. From immersing yourself in the local community by fishing for your own food to relaxing in a plunge pool near the base of an extinct volcano, this list of island resorts is sure to have an all-inclusive package for everyone.
No. 26: Little Palm Island Resort (Florida Keys)
Only Here: It’s three miles from a U.S. Highway, so you can drive most of the way. Or swim over, like the miniature key deer sometimes do from nearby islands.
Why It’s On This List: Take a wooden motor yacht over to this romantic private island, and you’re totally disconnected. The resort has hosted presidents because it’s so easy but so shut off. It’s a five-acre jungle paradise with thatched bungalows and bamboo-lined outdoor showers that are anything but reminiscent of the U.S.
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No. 25: Sandals Whitehouse (Jamaica)
Only Here: All leftovers go to surrounding farms, and more than 90% of the staff is Jamaican. So, every morsel of food and every dollar spent is helping the community.
Why It’s On This List: Sandals wrote the book on all-inclusives, so, although other resorts on the list might be lightly trafficked, they know how to create a clean, friendly atmosphere in a setting of huge pools, nonstop crepes and top-shelf liquor. The setting is rural Jamaica and safe.
No. 24: Club Med, Kabira Beach (Japan)
Only Here: Guests at most all-inclusives are discouraged from leaving the property. Not here. Excursions take guests to pearl farms, old Japanese villages and even more remote islands.
Why It’s On This List: The property is at the center of a national marine park with some of the best snorkeling in this region of Japan.
No. 23: Royal Isabela (Puerto Rico)
Only Here: A humongous shower (with three shower heads) finishes off the exclusive nature of each casa.
Why It’s On This List: The cliffside views, privacy of a casa and natural surroundings almost overshadow the fact that Royal Isabela has, perhaps, the best golf course in Puerto Rico. The resort’s sign alongside the two-lane access road is barely visible, an immediate indication that you’re entering a peaceful escape at one of the best island resorts.
No. 22: Travaasa Hana, Maui (Hawaii)
Only Here: Staying at Travaasa means you learn from the staff how to fish, sew leis, play ukuleles and give up your cellphone.
Why It’s On This List: For many travelers, Hawaii is about exploring, not staying in an all-inclusive cocoon. But Travaasa is different because it’s in Hana, which is a minimum of a two-hour drive from the county’s main airport in Kahului. The area is a throwback to old Maui, and the resort fits right in.
No. 21: Club Med, Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
Only Here: One of our editors went to Club Med to relax and wound up learning how to swing on a trapeze and shoot a bow and arrow. She also ramped up her volleyball game.
Why It’s On This List: With more than 40 all-incs lining a stretch of Caribbean beach on the Dominican Republic’s eastern coast, Punta Cana is the world’s mecca of all-inclusives. The Club Med Punta Cana is especially noteworthy because it has so many family-friendly amenities while also smartly offering romance packages for couples.
No. 20: Excellence, Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
Only Here: Somehow, the candlelit beach dinner at Excellence completely shuts off the rest of the all-inclusive metropolis that is Punta Cana.
Why It’s On This List: The Islands staff has stayed at more than 20 all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic, and, as one editor said of Excellence, “It’s one of the only all-inclusives here that genuinely feels like the Caribbean, not just a resort placed in the Caribbean.”
No. 19: Song Saa (Cambodia)
Only Here: The resort works with the local community to teach sustainability, as indicative by straws at bars being made of ocean reeds.
Why It’s On This List: Cambodia is a rising, must-see destination. No place bridges the reality of the location with luxury like Song Saa. The wellness offerings include underwater meditation (don’t worry; it’s only three feet of water), rainforest walks and, yes, we’d say a private-beach picnic qualifies as a wellness extra. Oh, and take a look at this villa’s infinity pool.
No. 18: Barefoot Cay (Roatan)
Only Here: Wake up, and stroll from your beach villa to this palapa. Jump off with a snorkel mask and fins. Come to life on the reef that surrounds Roatan and for some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.
Why It’s On This List: The private villas are built directly on the beach with open-air showers (no one can see) and kayaks ready to use whenever you want (no sign-up forms). Go for the all-inclusive package that includes boat rides out to epic dive/snorkel sites to help complete one of the best island vacations.
No. 17: Sanctuary Cap Cana (Dominican Republic)
Only Here: Island-specific bungalows and a castle fronting the ocean make this all-inclusive stand out from the crowd of resorts around Punta Cana.
Why It’s On This List: On the high end of the budget spectrum is a suite with three private plunge pools. On the other end are rooms for $150 per person per night. The rooms are not what we would call “low-end” living. For a property in Punta Cana, it’s rare to feel so isolated.
No. 16: Kamalame Cay, Andros (Bahamas)
Only Here: The overwater spa is a rarity in the Caribbean.
Why It’s On This List: Andros is known as the wildest inhabited island in the large Bahamas group, with pine trees and lonely white-sand beaches. It’s hard to believe that it’s less than 10 minutes by plane from Nassau. Don’t bother packing shoes on Kamalame Cay: The Guest House entrance backs up to the beach, and there’s no such thing as a dress code — ever.
No. 15: Couples Tower Isle (Jamaica)
Only Here: The spa is consistently ranked as one of the best in the Caribbean.
Why It’s On This List: Jamaica is the birthplace of the modern-day all-inclusive, and Couples makes its mark with more of a romantic indulgence than a gastronomic indulgence (there’s that, too, if you want to partake). In line with that thinking are the sunset catamaran cruise, jacuzzis and a private island for what they call “au naturel” sunbathing.
No. 14: Young Island (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Only Here: The Grenadines are where you still find uninhabited or barely inhabited islands. Young Island fits the region perfectly.
Why It’s On This List: St. Vincent is pretty deep in the Caribbean, but it still takes a Zodiac shuttle to reach Young Island (it’s a 200-yard ride). Some of the private cottages are on top of the hill, which essentially makes up the entire island. There are few places in the Caribbean as quiet as this.
No. 13: The Caves, Negril (Jamaica)
Only Here: This resort is built on a cliff. Private dining available inside the sea cave takes romance to a new extreme.
Why It’s On This List: It isn’t far from the fun of Negril, but most guests choose to stay put because of the views and unique ambience on and in the rock. Photographer Zach Stovall consistently ranks it among his favorite all-inclusives in the Caribbean.
No. 12: Fowl Cay, Exumas (Bahamas)
Only Here: Claim not only one of the few island villas in the Exumas, but also claim the keys to a boat. Go ahead and roam at your leisure.
Why It’s On This List: The kitchen is stocked with whatever breakfast items you order in advance. Lunch is prepared and packed by a chef so you can eat it whenever and wherever you want. Then finish the day with dinner at the restaurant at the top of the hill. It’s the high life in an all-inclusive package.
No. 11: Cayo Espanto (Belize)
Only Here: The Sky, Sand & Sea Exclusive includes a private-helicopter tour of the Belize reef and a five-night stay, among other bonuses.
Why It’s On This List: The villas are about as close to luxury, overwater bungalows as you’ll find in the western Caribbean. There are only seven of them on the island, so you could go an entire trip without seeing anyone other than staff and your significant other.
No. 10: Lizard Island (Australia)
Only Here: We don’t know of another resort that can boast 24 beaches and a position at the Great Barrier Reef.
Why It’s On This List: It’s all five-star: the suites, the meals, the property. But because the resort is Australian and on the Great Barrier Reef, the staff encourages guests to get out and take advantage of sights you might never see again. They’ll even pack a picnic lunch for an extra nudge.
No. 9: Jade Mountain (St. Lucia)
Only Here: Each suite (“sanctuary” in Jade Mountain language) has an unobstructed view of the Pitons because there is no wall on that side of the “sanctuary.”
Why It’s On This List: Once your breath comes back after seeing one of the best views in the Caribbean, it’s almost taken again at the sight of a private infinity pool. Soak with a cocktail, and take it all in. There’s no such thing as being completely inside. Everything is out in the open: the birds, the bed, and even the bathroom has no walls. But it’s all designed so the neighbors have no idea what you’re doing.
No. 8: Guana Island (British Virgin Islands)
Only Here: Seven white-sand beaches, 850 acres of hills and forest and only 30 guests total.
Why It’s On This List: Seeing the BVI like this is usually only possible by private yacht. Here, the ground doesn’t bob around. It’s rare to stay on a private island like this and see so many beautiful plants and so much wildlife. You know you’re in the BVI when the beach barbecue and crab races get fired up.
No. 7: Hermitage Bay (Antigua)
Only Here: With the changing water colors and views of the sharp peaks of Nevis, St. Kitts and Montserrat in the distance, this could be the Caribbean’s sibling of Bora Bora.
Why It’s On This List: With 17 sea-view villas on the lush hillside and eight beachfront suites, there’s not a single bad room here. The interiors are open and wood-heavy, which we now see mimicked in villas across the region.
No. 6: Petit St. Vincent (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Only Here: Room service is called by raising a little yellow flag outside your secluded villa. The food is delivered via cute little Mini-Mokes.
Why It’s On This List: It takes most of a day to get here because the island is tucked near the uninhabited Tobago Cays, far from the outposts of St. Vincent or Grenada. Inside the villa (more of a stone cottage, actually), there is no TV or phone. It’s a true escape. Bring someone special to pass time.
No. 5: Four Seasons Bora Bora (Tahiti)
Only Here: The plunge pool on the bungalow’s patio is practically close enough to Mount Otemanu to splash water on it.
Why It’s On This List: Most of the resorts with overwater bungalows charge everything a la carte. The Four Seasons runs seasonal, all-inclusive overwater-bungalow packages. The snorkeling off the private deck is always included.
No. 4: Lily Beach (Maldives)
Only Here: A calendar photo come to life, Lily Beach offers overwater bungalows on a small atoll in the amazing Indian Ocean waters.
Why It’s On This List: The seaplane landing on an island only the size of two football fields is enough to make this a dream trip. It only gets better with off-the-bungalow snorkeling, gourmet Indian cuisine and sunsets that will make a grown man cry.
No. 3: Likuliku Lagoon (Fiji)
Only Here: Living rooms with glass floors and bathrooms with full views of the dreamy lagoon—constant reminders this is South Pacific living.
Why It’s On This List: In Fiji classic homes are called “bures,” so that’s what the adults-only beachfront villas are called here. And because this is supposed to be an immersive cultural experience, resort staff will show you what home is like, and locals will ask to take you to church. Or they’ll be glad to make music right on the dock.
No. 2: Qualia (Australia)
Only Here: Open a wall-sized patio door to a private plunge pool, eucalyptus trees and the endless Pacific Ocean. This is definitely Australia.
Why It’s On This List: People who live Down Under know about Qualia. It’s a dream destination for them, too. The island is within easy reach of the phenomenal beaches of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef.
No. 1: Motu Teta (Tahiti)
Only Here: When we say “private island in Tahiti,” we don’t mean it’s someone’s private island with 15 villas built on it. Yes, this is someone’s island. He bought it as a family getaway. But, since he only uses it a few times a year, he decided to rent it out, complete with staff, house and everything people once imagined of Tahitian islands.
Why It’s On This List: Photographer Jon Whittle has stayed in nearly a dozen resort bungalows around the islands of Tahiti. He calls this experience unlike any other. “You get to live the local life. Go fish for good; hunt for lobsters at night; swim with the sharks. It’s the complete experience.” For one price, here’s the world’s best all-inclusive.