Our editors and writers scoured the globe to find the best all-inclusive resorts based on standout offerings, from top-notch dining options and cool bars to over-the-top suites and white-glove butler service. We also asked our readers to vote for their favorites in each category. We’re proud to present the winners of the 2019 Islands All-Inclusive Awards.
Looking for next-level vacation relaxation and a “no problem” state of mind? You’ll find it at our favorite all-inclusive resort spas, where you can check in and chill out in no time flat. Perfectly positioned on Mexico’s Riviera Maya and Jamaica’s north coast, they’re the Caribbean’s best.
Winner, Editors’ Choice: Barceló Maya Grand Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico
“Go big or go home” seems to have been the thinking behind the massive U-Spa and fitness center at Barceló Maya Grand Resort, which is shared between five Barceló resorts (Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, Maya Colonial, Maya Tropical and Barceló Maya Palace). The sanctuary itself has 22 treatment suites, where you can enjoy body wraps with chocolate, papaya and pineapple or unwind with hot stone massages.
Before your service, reserve time to try the hydrotherapy circuit, which features hot and cold plunge pools, aromatherapy showers and an ice bath. We were also impressed by the kids’ spa and salon, where little ones can enjoy manicures, “Super Hero” haircuts, and massages to melt away any middle-school stress.
As for the gym, it boasts 15 treadmills, 19 spin bikes, eight wall-mounted TVs, and Technogym strength training equipment — plus all the complimentary fruit and bottled water a gym rat could desire.
Winner, Editors’ Choice: Couples Tower Isle, Jamaica
If you and your sweetie are serious spa mavens, this is your resort. Because at Couples Tower Isle, a classic couples-only playground just outside Ocho Rios, a clutch of eight suites come with a major bonus on top of the usual all-you-can-everything perks.
Reserve an Oasis Spa Villa or a larger Signature Oasis Spa Villa (which have secluded terraces, plunge pools and private pathways directly to the Oasis Spa) and both of you will enjoy unlimited spa treatments every day of your stay. Yes, you read that correctly, unlimited spa treatments every day.
Relaxation begins on arrival, when you bypass the front desk to check in en suite, and continues with a customized regimen of treatments (devised in advance by a spa concierge), performed either in the privacy of your villa or the comfort of the spa.
Hard-core spa lovers can squeeze in as many as six treatments a day, including the Bamboo Fusion massage, which uses heated bamboo sticks to knead away muscular tension. Want a rubdown before breakfast, a pedi at lunchtime and a facial at 5pm? No problem; even gratuities are included.
Winner, Editors’ Choice: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
Clocking in at 75,000-square-feet, Grand Velas‘ spa claims to be the largest in the Caribbean, and the palatial sanctuary is undoubtedly one of the region’s best. Spa valets (wearing walkie-talkies with headsets) are on hand to guide you so you’re never left wandering aimlessly around the expansive, two-story space.
The Water Journey — a sublime odyssey that entails drifting from clay room to steam room, ice room to hot tub, massaging shower to jetted pool — is offered complimentary with every treatment of 50 minutes or longer.
And the treatments themselves, many of which incorporate Mayan techniques and Mexican ingredients, are superb. Our pick: the Bacal massage which uses, of all things, steamed corncobs, to muscle-melting effect.
Winner, Readers’ Choice: Secrets St. James, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Relaxation comes easy at Secrets St. James, an adults-only playground. It starts with the resort’s secluded location on the Montego Freeport peninsula. And it is enhanced in the spa, where the amenities and therapies (many incorporating local ingredients such as coffee and sugar) conspire to encourage beachfront bliss.
Enjoy body scrubs, facials, massages or soothing after-sun treatments in the sanctuary, and then make use of the hot and cold whirlpools, sauna, steam rooms and a tropical yoga garden to completely de-stress.
Couples should consider the Moon and Stars massage, which combines Swedish techniques, sparkling wine and an outdoor location within earshot of the waves.