At ESSENCE we get it, travel is expensive. Not everyone wants to go for broke on a pricey international trip, romantic baecation, or family getaway. Booking an all-inclusive resort makes everything easier when it comes to sticking to your vacation budget. But sometimes they can get a bad rap. You’ve heard the rumors and the horror stories: The décor might be dated, the food is mediocre, the drinks are watered-down drinks and the crowds are too rambunctious. But, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to all-inclusive adventures. These all-resorts break the mold, raise the bar and offer an incredible value for the price you’ll pay. Get ready for the best beach vacation ever!
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Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Aruba has long been a go-to for sunseekers and the Renaissance Aruba Resort allows them to take advantage of all that paradise has to offer without sacrificing any modern comforts. Two recently renovated buildings make up the property — the adults-only Renaissance Marina and the family-friendly Renaissance Ocean Suites, but both have full access to the resort’s 40-acre private atoll located just a short water taxi ride away. Don’t want to visit the islands? Splash around in the rooftop infinity pool or one of the two swim-up bars, then venture off the resort to explore the island’s capital, Oranjestad. Or simply let the sun envelop you from your room’s balcony before trying your luck at the 24-hour casino. Rates from $344/night.
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Ask anyone who has been to The Caves in Negril and they’ll tell you this cliff-side oasis is worth every penny. The strict 17-years-old and up policy means you won’t be disturbed by cranky toddlers while you tan. The lack of televisions in the rooms means that when you and bae aren’t entertaining each other, you can explore the resort’s other fun features like the rum bar hidden in a private grotto and popular cliff jumping spots. When you’re done enjoying the complimentary kayaks and snorkel gear, pop into one of the restaurants for five-course dining or authentic jerk chicken. Go easy on the notoriously strong (and unlimited!) drinks though, so you can do it all over again in the morning. Rates from $390/night.
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Set on the stunning white beaches of Riviera Maya, UNICO 20°87° is the area’s newest and hottest all-inclusive. The property’s unlimited inclusions mean you want for nothing during your stay – in-room minibar stocked with your personal faves, custom scented amenities, four restaurants, three bars, golf, scuba diving, spa treatments, local tours, daily events, butler service and free wifi are at your fingertips. And the stunning ocean view, that’s included too. Rates from $500/night
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For some Barbados has become synonymous with Crop Over, but there’s so much more to experience on the island, and a stay at Turtle Beach is one of them. Located on a strip of pristine beach on the island’s south coast, Turtle Beach is one of the best bangs for your buck offering spacious suites with private balconies, four restaurants, two bars, a splurge-worthy spa, two pools, tennis, windsurfing, snorkeling and delicious activities like the Pepperpot Culinary Tour which features a stop at the famous Oistins Fish Market. And don’t worry, the kiddies can soak up the island flavor too at the popular Flying Fish Kids Club, and even become an honorary Bajan. Rates from $396/night
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Part of the ABC islands (along with Aruba and Bonaire), Curaçao is situated between Bonaire and Aruba. The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort has an enviable spot on the island with the gentle Spanish Bay on one side and the deep blue Caribbean Sea on the other. If you’re an active traveler, you will love the activities on this resort - clay tennis courts, a golf course, an onsite water sports operator that can arrange scuba diving lessons and outings for certified divers as well as snorkeling and sailing excursions. When you’re done working up a sweat, indulge in a budget friendly all-inclusive rate that includes all meals, beverages and rooms that feature stunning views from their private balconies. Rates from $239/night
6 of 6 Sandals Regency La Toc
Sandals is like the Grand Dame of luxury all-inclusives, so it’s no surprise that the Sandals Regency La Toc sits on one of the lushest hillsides in St. Lucia. You get your money’s worth from the moment you land with free nonstop round trip airport transfers. At the resort, indulge in unlimited fine dining, 8 bars, 3 pools, 9-hole golf course and unlimited scuba diving. But that’s not all. Sandals has not one, but three properties on the island and when you book their ‘Stay at 1, Play at 3’ package you get access to properties with a total of 27 restaurants, 10 pools and 21 bars, all with endless activities and entertainment for you to enjoy whenever you like. Rates from $207/night
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