We review nine all-inclusive resorts in tropical destinations, from Barbados to Costa Rica. Have you been to any of these hotels? Let us know what you think, below.
The newest five-star property on St. Maarten and, in our opinion, the most stylish in Sonesta's all-inclusive portfolio, the all-suite resort is the product of a multimillion dollar renovation to the former Ocean Terrace building.
The 129 rooms range from the 480-square-foot Junior Suite King to the lavish 2,600-square-foot Luxury Penthouse -- VIPs in the top 25 suites (Roof Top, Sunset and Luxury Penthouse) can take advantage of the property's butler service. In the Butler Suites the all-inclusive rates even extend to a private wine selection. The resort also has three pools: The Edge infinity pool with a private beach on the cliff, a Swim-Out pool that connects to the property's Swim-Out Suites, and The Point Pool.
Reach out to Eliska Hesova ([email protected]).
Formerly the Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, this luxe getaway become the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort following a big reno complete with new water fountains, updated paths, new restaurants and refreshed guestrooms.
The Ocho Rios resort also has a new Ochi Beach Club, which offers both cabanas and poolside seating, as well as the All-Butler Village: A private area of the resort with 200 villas, attended by 70 butlers contacted through a personal "butler phone."
Contact Ramel Sobrino, general manager at [email protected]
Our pick for younger, seasoned travelers, the top accommodations at this resort are the Sandals Barbados Suites (best views here), especially the Crystal Lagoon One Bedroom Butler Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub and the Ocean Village Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub. Both come with butler service, as well as private luxury transfers to and from the airport.
For dining, there are 11 restaurants running the gamut from Caribbean seafood to French-style patisserie Café de Paris.
Reach out to Ginelle Bell ([email protected]), sales manager.
This family-friendly property represents AMResorts' first move into Latin America. Our favorite room is the Preferred Club Master Suite Oceanfront, which has a hot tub on the terrace, a dining room that seats four, a double vanity bathroom and Preferred Club privileges. For dining (no reservations required), there's eight restaurants, including the Mexican El Patio, and Himitsu, which serves Asian cuisine.
Wedding planners take heed: The Dreams Ultimate Wedding Package includes a choice of one Swedish massage for two, one European facial for two or one glow body scrub for two; hairstyling and makeup application for one member of the wedding couple for the day of the ceremony; and a 15 percent discount on all spa treatments.
Contact Rocio Rossainz ([email protected]), director of sales
Another family-friendly resort, this new property represented the debut of the Generations brand when it opened last year. The Gourmet Beachfront Tower has four beachfront restaurants and lounges, an Eko Kids Club and a Sky Terrace, as well as The Greatest Escape Game by Athens Clue -- a room escape game for two to five guests of all ages.
There are 144 suites, including swim-up infinity suites. For wellness junkies, try the Beachfront Sky Massage at The Naay Spa, a treatment on a raised beach palapa. The Sky Wedding location offers a memorable backdrop for a special day.
Contact Barbara Espinosa ([email protected]), sales programs and training manager
To our dismay, our trip to Galley Bay Resort & Spa marked our first visit to the resort in more than five years. This property has, in our opinion, the best beach of the four we had a chance to check out on the island, being large and not too crowded.
We got a chance to stay in an Ocean View Suite steps away from the sound. The property has 20 Ocean View Suites, as well as a variety of bird species -- perfect for wildlife enthusiasts.
Contact Debra Berke ([email protected]), manager of the Travel Agent Concierge Desk for Elite Island Resorts
Our pick for the best views of all the hotels we visited in Antigua, top rooms here are the Hillside Pool Suites and the Beachfront Suites. (These rooms require some stairs to get to, so potential guests should be in at least moderate physical shape.)
The seven Beachfront Suites offer less strenuous access to the beach -- No. 9 is the last on the beach and offers the most privacy.
Reach out to Stephanie Mack ([email protected]), sales and marketing executive for Hermitage Bay
This 72-room hotel is a good fit for both adults and families. The best rooms are the two presidential suites, the “Grace Bay Suite” and the “Morris Bay Suite,” each of which have separate living rooms and bedrooms with a large patio and a Jacuzzi.
The resort also has its own wine cellar, which is something of a rarity for Antigua. There is also a spa with four treatment rooms, including one for couples -- book at least a day before, or two in the high season.
Contact Karen Bull ([email protected]), sales manager for IslandLuxe - Places of Personality
Although the Caribbean side of the resort first opened in 1991, on our visit this year it looked as fresh as ever. Top accommodations are any Club Level or Butler Level room, all of which gain access to Club Sandals, which offers guests their own private concierge.
There is also a Red Lane Spa with 10 treatment rooms (four for couples), and Eleanor's, a Caribbean restaurant, and Kimonos, which serves Japanese cuisine. Next year the resort expects to open a new location for Butch's Chophouse, a steakhouse that debuted at Sandals Barbados and Sandals LaSource Grenada.
Connect with Ezra Knowles ([email protected]), sales manager of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa