Dreaming of a lounge chair by the pool with a view of the sea and a fruity drink within arms reach – and somebody else to do all your heavy lifting over the next week or so? Sounds like you could do with an all-inclusive resort vacation. Of course, there’s a wide variety of destinations to keep in mind when booking an all-inclusive getaway, but if you want that view to have a turquoise twinkle to it and that fruity drink to be full of fresh fruit (and maybe with a hint of rum) you’d do well to consider the Caribbean for your hard-earned downtime.

If you’re looking for an easy and carefree way to vacation in the Caribbean, the all-inclusive route can be a smart choice. But it’s important to remember: it’s not for everybody and there are certainly other options for enjoying white sand beaches in the sun. Here’s our quick guide to the all-inclusive Caribbean, after weighing the pros and cons and throwing in a few recommendations as well.

Key Advantages

couple on the beach in the caribbean

Comfort and Convenience

One of the main reasons for choosing an all-inclusive lies in the comfort and convenience it offers. It’s a simple way of planning a vacation, as it is all previously organized by the hotel or resort.

Price

Another great advantage is price, booking the whole package tends to be much cheaper than planning the trip independently and taking an “a la carte” approach to activities and bookings.

Services and Activities

In addition, resort complexes offer a wide range of services. Leisure activities are varied, suitable for all ages and take place from early in the morning until late at night. You’ll get the opportunity of taking part in water sports and wellness sessions as well as enjoying all kinds of performances, shows, and parties. This is especially useful for families, as it allows you to combine children’s entertainment with adult pastimes.

Food and Drink Packages

Finding a place to enjoy a meal shouldn’t be a problem with most all-inclusive packages as you should be able to choose from an array of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.

Convinced you want an all-inclusive Caribbean getaway? Check out these cheap flights to get you there!

Inconveniences

woman snorkeling in caribbean sea

Lack of Freedom

The principal drawback of these types of centers is that they do not give much freedom. Planned vacations limit your decisions and can to be quite restricted. And when you want to do something “off site” it might be difficult or expensive to organize.

Sheltered Experience

The immense offer of activities and the great variety of services that they provide push people to stay within the premises of the hotel. So, you miss out on the opportunity of exploring the culture and traditions of the region. You could end your trip feeling as though you could have been anywhere in the world without any sense of the place you had visited.

Added Costs

It’s important to keep a lookout for extra costs and read the small print on the holiday packages. In some cases, trips and excursions or alcoholic drinks are not included in the overall price. Make sure you know exactly what “all-inclusive” actually means before making any bookings!

Access to Food and Drink

Although there’s likely to be a wide array of cuisines, there’s the risk of the quality of the food not being as good as it could be – or simply nothing that really appeals to you.

Our Recommendations

woman sits by poolside at sunset

If you’re organizing a romantic getaway, Jade Mountain Resort in St Lucia and Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort in the Bahamas are for you. Couples will be able to enjoy luxurious facilities and exquisite cuisine.

Other options, which allow kids, also provide peace and quiet. Zoetry Ana in Punta Cana provides a pleasant and relaxed surrounding, as there is no nightly entertainment. It stands out because of its interesting leisure offer, which includes yoga lessons and horse riding. However, if what you’re looking for is intimacy and non-crowded beaches you should consider staying at Fowl Cay Resort in the Bahamas.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort in St. Lucia, and Atlantis on Paradise Island will mainly appeal to families. These centers offer a fun-packed holiday for the little ones as well as a vast array of activities for adults. Half Moon Jamaica near Montego Bay is intended for all types of travelers. Whether you are a couple, a family, or a group of friends, this complex will satisfy your needs.

How about you? Are you into all-inclusive packages or are you more apt to go it alone?

About The Author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.