14 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean - Times Travel (2022)

In certain parts of the world, the term “all-inclusive resort” conjures images of troughs of tepid food and bitter skirmishes over sun loungers. Thankfully, if you’re going to make the effort to travel nine hours on a plane, such mediocrity will be a distant memory. You’ll happily find no shortage of high-end all-inclusive resorts dotted around the Caribbean — and each has a dazzling array of activities and experiences, from scuba-diving to private beaches and from rum tastings to opulent resort spas.

While Jamaica and the Bahamas have long been popular spots for British visitors, lesser visited nations are now coming to the fore. Some may be familiar to experienced travellers, but for many the chance to visit St Vincent and the Grenadines or the British Virgin Islands will be something new. And if all that feels a little passé, for those with unfathomably deep pockets, there’s always the chance to book a private island all for yourself.

Main photo: Sandals Royal Barbados

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14 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean - Times Travel (1)

1. Windjammer Landing, St Lucia

Looking not unlike a Greek village, Windjammer Landing hangs over Labrellotte Bay in St Lucia’s northeast coast as though it were moonlighting as Santorini. Though the white, airy decor calls to mind the Mediterranean, there’s no mistaking the Caribbean location — especially when you get to the resort’s Dragon Fly restaurant, which specialises in regional cuisine. It’s one of five restaurants included in the all-inclusive package and sits alongside four bars. The resort also provides activity programmes for children and teens, creating enough distractions to allow you to finish your daiquiri.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

14 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean - Times Travel (2)

2. Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada

With only 64 rooms, Spice Island Beach Resort is as much a boutique hotel as it is an all-inclusive resort. Founded by the late Sir Royston Hopkin, the property leans into tiny Grenada’s history as a spice producer, and while there are plenty of nods to its past, this is very much a high-class contemporary hotel. Given its petite dimensions, the resort has just two restaurants, the pick of which is Oliver’s, the Creole and Caribbean-inspired fine-dining option. There’s a big focus on intimate service and setting, so it’s no surprise that the resort is also a popular wedding destination.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

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3. Sandals Royal Barbados

If you subscribe to the belief that bigger is better, head to the vast Sandals Royal Barbados on the island’s southern coast. Framing the white sand Maxwell Beach, this behemoth shares its real estate with sister property Sandals Barbados, giving it a combined 17 restaurants and 12 bars. The 272 suites each come with their own hot tub, while the package here includes a range of sporting options, including, remarkably, scuba-diving, and even the tips for staff.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

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14 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean - Times Travel (4)

4. Palm Island Resort & Spa, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Stopping just short of being a private island — there are a handful of residential homes here too — Palm Island Resort and Spa still feels very much like a hidden getaway. It’s reached by a series of flights from Barbados to the Grenadines and has been granting a lucky clutch of guests the chance to relax since the mid-1960s. Expect an experience here that’s much more organic than elsewhere in the Caribbean, with swimming and snorkelling encouraged, as well as the option to cycle around the island. If you’re after fireworks and speedboats, this probably isn’t the place for you.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

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5. Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Sir Richard Branson may have turned his attention to extra-terrestrial concerns, but those left behind on terra firma may well describe his personal private resort as otherworldly. Having spectacularly rebounded since it was blasted with a hurricane in 2017, Necker again sets the standard for Caribbean resorts. With extraordinary prices to match the experience, there are a variety of rooms available, all with bespoke service of the highest order. If money is really no object, it’s also possible to hire the entire island for exclusive use — then not even the boss will show up.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price £££

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6. Curtain Bluff, Antigua

Built in the shade of a loose forest of palm trees, your only disturbances at Curtain Bluff are likely to be coconuts falling on to the cushion-soft golden sand. As well as championing relaxation for adults, this is also a family-friendly resort, with water sports, tennis and crafting classes all tailored for children. Sitting on a promontory, the resort has two beaches with very different temperaments — surf on one side, serenity on the other. Under the same ownership for the past 60 years, rather than grow stagnant, Curtain Bluff has been refined into something very special.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

7. Sunset at the Palms, Jamaica

Perhaps it’s only right that children aren’t welcome at a luxe resort overlooking a place with a name as ominous as Bloody Bay. Located just north of Negril and its famous Seven Mile beach, Sunset at the Palms adults-only all-inclusive package offers a romantic experience for couples looking to get away from it all. The decor is Asian-inspired, and while that may not exactly scream Caribbean authenticity, treatments in the Ginger Lily spa will quickly take your mind elsewhere, as will the sensational sunsets at this west-facing resort.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

Book a stay

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8. Sanctuary Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Within 15 minutes of landing at Punta Cana’s airport you can find yourself blissfully lost in the sprawling Sanctuary Cap Cana. With 323 suites, this adults-only resort is one of the largest anywhere in the region and, predictably, entertains its huge flock of guests with a wide range of activities. There’s everything from cooking classes to golf on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course to a natural theme park — but that’s assuming you don’t want to simply laze around the six pools or just wander the Spanish-style castle around which the hotel is built.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

9. East Winds, St Lucia

For a welcome to the jungle, venture to East Winds. Few resorts have quite such a variety of flora as this St Lucian stalwart — the grounds are packed with tropical plants, which have in turn attracted dozens of colourful bird species. Amid the foliage, accommodation is provided by semi-detached cottages, while the personalised service is organised yet informal. Among many other features — including its excellent fine-dining restaurant — the room rate includes the lifeguard’s nightmare: a swim-up self-service bar.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

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10. Hermitage Bay, Antigua

Many Caribbean resorts have borrowed design elements from other cultures, but Hermitage Bay in the west of Antigua has retained a strong sense of place. This peaceful resort’s 30 individual open-sided cottages come with sleek dark wood furnishings and capture the sea breeze to help keep naturally cool. You can also look forward to taking the plunge in individual infinity pools — many of which overlooking the white-sand bay below. Regional DNA runs through the cuisine too, with Antiguan produce used to sublime effect. Minibars are stocked each day with whatever you’ve requested; it would be self-sabotage not to ask for at least one of the local rums.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price £££

Book a stay

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14 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean - Times Travel (8)

11. Guana Island, British Virgin Islands

Richard Branson isn’t the only one offering a private island experience in the BVI. Strictly reserved for guests, the island is reached Bond-style by speedboat or helicopter, with plenty more adventure to be had ashore. A maximum of 40 guests can stay at any time, meaning they will always be outnumbered by the 55 staff. That guarantees excellent service and maximum comfort, but does little to explain the secluded majesty of this place. Exploring will allow you to get up close to the exceptional flora and fauna (look out for the tortoises) as you make your way along hiking trails that criss-cross Guana.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

12. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Dominican Republic

If you prefer to let your hair down on holiday and have little interest in local culture, then head to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana. The focus here is assuredly on hedonism — with one of the Caribbean’s largest casinos and its own dedicated nightclub, the experience is more Vegas than Virgin Islands. That doesn’t mean it’s all decadence: there are fishing excursions and an 18-hole golf course, and though there are undoubtedly more suitable hotels elsewhere, Hard Rock is family friendly too.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

14 of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean - Times Travel (9)

13. The Caves, Jamaica

The all-inclusive experience can hardly get more boutique than the 12-cabin resort known as The Caves. There’s a chance for honeymooners and the like to have romantic candlelit meals in the caverns that give the place its name, but no matter why you’re there, the Jamaican rum cocktails will be a winner. Local cuisine features heavily on the menu, and staff have mastered the neat trick of being organised and professional without being stuffy. If you fancy going for a wander, then Rick’s Café, one of Jamaica’s most popular hangouts, is within walking distance.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price ££

14. Columbus Isle, Bahamas

Overdone it with the all-inclusive bar on your last night in the Bahamas and worried about missing your flight? The good news about Columbus Isle is that it’s walking distance to the airport. Mercifully planes don’t land over the hotel, meaning there’s still plenty of chance to relax and enjoy the resort’s sensational mile-long talcum-powder beach. Managed by doyens of the all-inclusive experience, Club Med, it feels much less kitsch than other properties in their portfolio and provides remarkably good value for its outstanding location.

Spa Y
Pool Y
Price £

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