17 Cheapest Caribbean Islands in 2022-23 For All-Inclusive Resorts

As of summer 2022 there are around 400 all-inclusive resorts spread around the Caribbean, with more being constructed every year. More than 130 of those are in the Dominican Republic, with nearly 60 others in Jamaica. The Cancun/Playa del Carmen/Cozumel area has more than 130, and the rest are spread among other islands. When researching Caribbean vacations, you’ll find the cheapest all-inclusive deals are clearly on the islands with the most resorts.

With so much competition it’s becoming more clear that the Dominican Republic is the cheap-vacations value leader and the best choice for most people. The Punta Cana area is home to dozens of newer resorts that have a thousand or more rooms each, and the new airport and new highways make it the easiest and most efficient place to reach as well. But those looking for something smaller and more exclusive also have choices, so we track all of the islands that have more than a few all-inclusive resorts. In other words, the best all-inclusive resorts are often on islands with only a dozen or so choices.

To make your decision at least a bit easier, we’ve sorted through the entire Caribbean to compare prices of these all-inclusive resorts, and listed the destinations from cheapest to most expensive below. We’ve previously ranked Caribbean islands by price for regular hotels, but the order here is quite different.

COVID-19 Update for late 2022

As of autumn, 2022, things have gotten better in the travel world and especially for most of the countries on this list. All of the biggest islands for all-inclusive resorts have dropped all COVID and vaccination restrictions and travel is just as it was in 2019. A few countries on this list are still requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test just before arrival, so it’s important to know the current rules.

Mexico COVID-19 rules: No COVID or vaccination restrictions or requirements as of summer, 2022.

Dominican Republic COVID-19 rules: No COVID or vaccination restrictions or requirements as of summer, 2022.

Jamaica COVID-19 rules: No COVID or vaccination restrictions or requirements as of summer, 2022.

A generally safe environment

In case you are only starting to plan your first-ever all-inclusive holiday, it’s worth noting that ALL of these resorts mentioned below are in the Tropics, meaning that it’s warm every day and every night. Guests generally spend almost 100% of their time in their private hotel rooms or in the open air. Even the hotel lobbies and most restaurants are in the open air in the Caribbean, so it’s a much safer environment than visiting a big city hotel and amusement parks and so forth.

Updates for 2023

CataloniaPuntaCanaAs 2023 approaches and most countries are allowing tourism again, the all-inclusive scene in the Caribbean is much better than last year. The most popular countries (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica) all allow for unrestricted visits with no COVID tests or vaccination requirements, and most of the other islands are welcoming to vaccinated guests and some to unvaccinated guests with a recent negative test.

Room rates for January 2023 are similar to rates in 2022, which is a pleasant surprise since so many other things have gone up in price. Airfares are going to be about 20% to 30% higher than they were in early 2022, but that’s mostly because of greater numbers of travelers and higher fuel prices.

>>>23 Europe all-inclusive destinations from cheap to expensive

New: Best cheap Caribbean destinations for all kinds of trips – All-inclusives, nightlife, culture, chill-out, super-cheap, and more.

High season vs. Low season

PuntaCanaPoolIn all of the Caribbean “high season” runs from December through early April, and the “peak season” is the last week of December and the first week of January. The cheapest months are generally May, June, September, October, and November. The islands that are popular with Europeans can be busy in July and August, which drives room rates up.

The best-value time of year is from around January 10 through the end of February, because you get perfect weather and smaller crowds than around Christmas and in March.

The list below is ranked based on high season rates because that’s when most people visit the Caribbean, but it’s worth looking closely if you are going in the off season because the order would be somewhat different, and some destinations are far cheaper while others only drop prices a bit. In other words, if your schedule is flexible then cheap all-inclusive trips are even cheaper September through November.

The Best Deals?

Air + hotel packages are often the best deals. The room rates below are obviously for the resort only, with airfare extra. Depending on your departure point, you might find slight differences in the order if you choose an air+hotel package. Regardless of where you are starting, it’s worth checking the prices of the airfare and the hotel separately, and also as a package. Usually the air+hotel package will be cheapest, but certainly not always, so it’s worth a few more minutes to confirm before you buy.

It’s also worth considering a cruise, since they also operate on a mostly all-inclusive basis and they can be incredibly cheap, even during high season. Check our list of the cheapest Caribbean cruise lines for more information.

Check for today’s best deals from our Caribbean partners

The 17 Cheapest all-inclusive resort destinations in the Caribbean

1Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$110 – $387 per night for two people, all inclusive, tax included
  • Low season: US$110 – $387
  • All-inclusive resorts: 33

Pictured above: Be Live Collection Marien – From US$168/night for two in high season

On the northern coast of the Dominican Republic you’ll find the district of Puerto Plata, which may not have the country’s nicest beaches, but it does have a great abundance of cheap all-inclusive vacation resorts. Flights into the local airport aren’t as cheap as into many other areas on this list, so flight+hotel packages might not reflect the amazingly low prices of the resorts themselves.

During the high season the deals available at the 30 or so all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Plata are definitely among the best for any Caribbean island, and during the off season (particularly September and October) the prices are so low that some of them look like mistakes. As long as you are clear that this is nothing like St. Barths, then Puerto Plata offers great value and a lot of fun.

If your budget is so low that your options are Puerto Plata or staying home, then Puerto Plata could be perfect. But if you can afford a bit more I think it’s worth checking the deals in Punta Cana, which is listed a bit below.

>>>Best all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Plata for couples, families, nightlife, golf, foodies, and much more

Nearest airport: Gregorio Luperón International Airport (code: POP)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, Montréal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Québec City, Toronto-Pearson, Halifax, Winnipeg, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, Manchester (UK), Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels


2La Romana, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$147 – $481
  • Low season: US$140 – $387
  • All-inclusive resorts: 13

Pictured above: Coral Costa Caribe Beach Resort – From US$255/night for two, including tax

On the southern shore not far west of Punta Cana in eastern Dominican Republic, La Romana is probably best known to the legendary 5-star resort called Casa de Campo, which remains popular today. There are about 12 other all-inclusive hotel choices in the region, and most of the others are in the lower to middle price range, some with very appealing off-season prices.

Direct flights into La Romana Airport are available from many larger cities, but the resorts are also close enough to the Punta Cana Airport that flying into that larger and cheaper facility might save both time and money depending on where you are starting. In fact, when you search for Punta Cana resorts you’ll usually see the La Romana resorts mixed in, so it’s really one big market.

Nearest airport: La Romana International Airport (code: LRM)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Montréal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lyon, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Munich, Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino


3Cozumel, Mexico

  • High season: US$170 – $481
  • Low season: US$144 – $435
  • All-inclusive resorts: 16

Pictured above: Grand Park Royal Cozumel – From US$223/night for two, including tax

A small Caribbean island just across the channel from Playa del Carmen and just south of Cancun, Cozumel has 16 of its own all-inclusive resorts with rates mostly in the lower end and middle of the pack for Caribbean all-inclusives. On Cozumel you get the benefits of being on an island, but also the convenience of being a short ferry ride from an interesting town and some famous ruins and other sights.

Cozumel has its own airport and if you can get a direct flight into it you can often get a good fare. But the Cancun Airport is much larger and has many more direct destinations, so you might actually save both time and money by flying in and out of that one. To get from Cancun Airport to Cozumel you can take a short (and super scenic) flight or take a shuttle to the ferry in Playa del Carmen and then take the ferry over, which takes about two hours each way in total.

Nearest airport: Cozumel International Airport (CZM) and the much larger Cancún International Airport (code: CUN)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


4Samaná, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$174 – $263
  • Low season: US$133 – $603
  • All-inclusive resorts: 4


Pictured above: Bahia Principe Grand Cayacoa – From US$178/night for two, including tax

Facing a peaceful bay on the southern edge of a peninsula, Samaná has only a handful of resorts offering all-inclusive options, but it’s still worth considering for people who prefer a low-key destination compared to most of those mentioned above. There is a new international airport nearby with nonstop flights from many key international cities, so it’s pretty easy to reach for most people.

The high season prices are in the middle to upper levels for the Caribbean, but the low season special rates are among the best anywhere, so it might be worth even a closer look for those willing to risk the tiny possibility of a big storm altering their holiday plans.

Nearest airport: Samaná El Catey International Airport (code: AZS)
Nonstop flights from: New York-JFK, Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Lisbon


5Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • High season: US$178 – $866
  • Low season: US$152 – $767
  • All-inclusive resorts: 87

Pictured above: Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana – From US$200/night for two, including tax

With over 80 hotels that offer all-inclusive deals, Punta Cana has the greatest concentration of these resorts on any Caribbean island. The resort area occupies the far eastern tip of the Dominican Republic and the hotel beaches can either face northeast or southeast. The busy local airport gets direct flights in from all over North America and Europe, and airfares are reasonable for the Caribbean.

With so many to choose from, Punta Cana has resorts big and small, up and down the price range, though it’s worth noting that a few of the cheapest places tend to get a lot of negative reviews from guests. The vast majority of hotels here are in the same general price range, and most offer very good value for the region. With new highways and an efficient new airport, Punta Cana should probably be the first choice for any value-oriented traveler who appreciates gorgeous beaches. The actual town of Punta Cana doesn’t have much going on, so staying in an all-inclusive resort here is wise and you won’t be distracted by things outside of your resort.

>>>Best Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts for couples, families, nightlife, foodies, golf, and more

Nearest airport: Punta Cana International Airport (code: PUJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


6Playa del Carmen, Mexico

  • High season: US$201 – $2,232
  • Low season: US$142 – $2,293
  • All-inclusive resorts: 30

Pictured above: Hacienda Tres Rios Resort Spa & Nature Park – From US$289/night for two, including tax

Only about an hour by road south of Cancun and its huge airport, Playa del Carmen is a lively tourist town filled with hotels, shops, and activities. Nearly all of the all-inclusive resorts are on the edges of town or on the beach on the road from Cancun, so guests at these resorts will need to make special trips to enjoy the town itself. This is part of an area now known as the Riviera Maya, which runs from just south of Cancun to just south of Tulum, so sometimes you’ll see resorts listed with Riviera Maya as their location if they aren’t in Playa del Carmen itself.

Room rates at all-inclusive resorts in Playa del Carmen are very competitive, and package prices are unusually good value because they come with a flight into Cancun, which is known for bargain flights. This isn’t an island, but being out of the Yucatan Peninsula it feels a lot like one. The nightlife in Playa del Carmen isn’t as famous as that of Cancun, though the town far more interesting in most other ways.

It’s also worth noting that the most expensive all-inclusive resort in this area are stunning overwater bungalows at the El Dorado Maroma Resort. These are the only true honeymoon-style overwater bungalows in Mexico and they are very popular.

Nearest airport: Cancún International Airport (code: CUN)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


7Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • High season: US$210 – $1,652
  • Low season: US$195 – $1,026
  • All-inclusive resorts: 23

Pictured above: Iberostar Rose Hall Beach – From US$463/night for two, including tax

Featuring about 25 hotels that offer all-inclusive options, Montego Bay in Jamaica has a few rather affordable resorts, but most of them are at least a bit up the price ladder, well over US$300 per night in high season. That said, the resorts here also tend to get very good reviews from past guests, so this should be a great-value option for those who can afford a bit more than the Caribbean minimum.

Being in between Ocho Rios and Negril, and being home to the entire area’s major airport, Montego Bay also has the fastest connections from the plane to your hotel, so it’s also an ideal option for a long weekend trip where every minute counts. The main tourist area of Montego Bay is almost as disappointing as the one in Ocho Rios, so staying in an all-inclusive is your best option. Some resorts here, including some of the most expensive ones like the Sandals Royal Caribbean, are very close to the airport’s runway. Guests do hear planes taking off a few times an hour, but it’s over in 10 seconds or so.

>>>Best Montego Bay all-inclusive resorts for couples, families, nightlife, activities, foodies, golf, and more

Nearest airport: Sangster International Montego Bay Airport (code: MBJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


8Cancun

  • High season: US$222 – $1,000
  • Low season: US$185 – $2,681
  • All-inclusive resorts: 85

Pictured above: Occidental Tucancún – From US$292/night for two, including tax

While it’s not a Caribbean island like the rest of these on the list, we are including Cancun because it has endless Caribbean beaches, and it’s among the cheapest choices for an all-inclusive holiday when you factor in the flight. The area has over 80 hotels that are fully all inclusive or offer an all-inclusive option, all the way up and down the price range.

As obvious a choice as it may be, Cancun does have a lot going for it, including cheap nonstop flights from all over North American and even Europe. One thing to be careful of is that that there are quite a few disapointing resorts mixed in at the lower price ranges, so it’s important to check the reviews before you commit. Those who book carefully will be getting the best value for money in the Caribbean.

The Cancun area actually has 7 different distinct hotel zones that are all close to the busy airport here. We recently wrote a guide to where to stay in the Cancun area that is right for your trip.

>>>Best Cancun all-inclusive resorts for couples, families, spa lovers, and more

Nearest airport: Cancún International Airport (code: CUN)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


9Negril, Jamaica

  • High season: US$253 – $1,232
  • Low season: US$237 – $1,326
  • All-inclusive resorts: 16

Pictured above: RIU Palace Tropical Bay – From US$553/night for two, including tax

Located on Jamaica’s west coast, just southwest of Montego Bay, Negril has nearly 20 resorts that offer all-inclusive options. This popular and long strip of hotels is where you’ll find some of Jamaica’s best bargains for those who prefer to pay for food and drinks separately, but its all-in resorts are more geared for the mid to upper range guest. More specifically, there are two fairly cheap all-inclusive resorts in Negril, and the rest are much more expensive.

As with the others, you’ll fly into Montego Bay and then take a shuttle to your Negril resort, so you can get good airfare and nonstop flights from all over. Quality in Negril is generally high, but it runs the gamut so the area draws a mix of budget party people up to the luxury crowd. One added benefit of Negril compared to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios is that the 7-Mile Beach area here is actually a fun place loaded with local bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s sort of like the Jamaica that you might have dreamed about visiting decades ago when things were more simple.

Nearest airport: Sangster International Montego Bay Airport (code: MBJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


10Ocho Rios, Jamaica

  • High season: US$279 – $977
  • Low season: US$222 – $1,131
  • All-inclusive resorts: 8

Pictured above: Bahia Principe Luxury Runaway Bay – From US$320/night for two, including tax

With 8 all-inclusive resorts in the area, Ocho Rios offers mostly mid-market all-inclusive resorts, while nearby Montego Bay and Negril have some cheaper and more expensive options. Visitors to all three of Jamaica’s main tourist spots will all fly into the Montego Bay Airport, which has very competitive fares and nonstop flights from all over, so the chances of a cheap nonstop to get here are fairly high.

This is another Caribbean destination that has very appealing prices during high season, and jaw-dropping specials during the off season. Interestingly, pretty much all of these resorts get good or great reviews from past guests, so it’s not the minefield of some other cheap destinations. By the way, the town of Ocho Rios has very little to offer on its own, aside from being near the wonderful Dunn’s River Falls. So if you want to go to Ocho Rios then an all-inclusive is the best and only good choice. Ocho Rios is also a cruise port, which does affect the town, but won’t have much effect on guests at all-inclusive resorts.

Nearest airport: Sangster International Montego Bay Airport (code: MBJ)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US, Canadian, and European cities


11St. Lucia

  • High season: US$344 – $3461
  • Low season: US$286 – $1,923
  • All-inclusive resorts: 26

Pictured above: Mystique St Lucia by Royalton – From US$405/night for two, including tax

More remote and a bit more exotic than most of the choices above, St. Lucia is arguably the most beautiful of all Caribbean islands. The island has a handful of resorts that offer all-inclusive options or are completely all inclusive, and most of those are in the middle to upper range of prices for the Caribbean.

Finding cheap airfare to St. Lucia is often the tricky part of doing it on a budget, so that’s the price you pay for getting off the beaten path a bit, but if you can find an airfare+hotel package that looks good then it’s definitely worth a good look.

By the way, arguably the single most beautiful view in all of the Caribbean is of the Pitons peaks on the southern portion of St. Lucia’s west coast. There are a few resorts with views of the Pitons and if you want to make your friends super jealous you might want to book at one of them.

Nearest airport: Hewanorra International Airport (UVF)
Nonstop flights from: Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York-JFK, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Frankfurt


12Nassau, Bahamas

  • High season: US$397 – $1,482
  • Low season: US$397 – $1,039
  • All-inclusive resorts: 5

Pictured above: Breezes Resort Bahamas – From US$397/night for two, including tax

The greater Nassau area and the Paradise Island area in particular are very popular for winter holidays, but they aren’t good places to find affordable all-inclusive resorts. With only about five options, including one cheap and disappointing resort, the Bahamas is not fertile ground for all inclusive deals.

The best thing Nassau has going for it is that it’s very close to Florida and flights are usually quite cheap and frequent, so it’s a good choice for a long weekend when you don’t want to spend most of your coming and going days in transit. But for a week-long trip you’ll get much better value for the money by going to the DR or Jamaica.

Especially outside of peak season it’s worth looking at Atlantis, Paradise Island deals and specials, which can be up to 40% off.

Nearest airport: Lynden Pindling International Airport (code: NAS)
Nonstop flights from: Most major US and Canadian airports, London-Heathrow


13St. Maarten/St Martin

  • High season: US$448 – $777
  • Low season: US$327 – $624
  • All-inclusive resorts: 6

Pictured above: Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa – From US$579/night for two, including tax

Partly a French territory (in the north) and a Dutch territory (in the south), Saint Maarten/Sint Martin has 6 all-inclusive resorts including a couple of newer ones. They were all closed in early 2022 so we didn’t include them, but as of later 2022 they are all back open again better than ever.

The all-inclusive resorts here are all in the mid range on the price scale, so each of the six could be considered by almost anyone looking to come here. You’ll get lower prices and better value at the destinations nearer the top of this list, but this island has many fans who come back every year, although it’s also usually crowded with cruise ship passengers during daylight hours.

Nearest airport: Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)
Nonstop flights from: San Juan, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm

  • Check current St. Maarten all-inclusive package deals

  • 14Barbados

    • High season: US$448 – $777
    • Low season: US$327 – $1,023
    • All-inclusive resorts: 23

    Pictured above: Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels All Suite – From US$698/night for two, including tax

    In spite of its remote location at the edge of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a large and popular hotspot for winter vacations, with nearly 100 different beach resorts on offer. Of those you’ll over 20 that offer all-inclusive packages, and those tend to be rather expensive compared to elsewhere in the Caribbean, at least during the high season.

    Due to its popularity it’s not too difficult to get reasonably priced flights to Barbados, so you might find air+hotel packages that are appealing. Again, if you want an alternative to the DR and Jamaica, this is an option to consider. Barbados is very popular with Europeans and it has a long stretch of mansions and beach houses and exclusive shops and restaurants that make it a favorite with the rich and famous as well.

    Nearest airport: Grantley Adams International Airport (code: BGI)
    Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Manchester, Frankfurt


    15Antigua & Barbuda

    • High season: US$453 – $3,854
    • Low season: US$479 – $2,800
    • All-inclusive resorts: 17

    Pictured above: Pineapple Beach Club Antigua – From US$616/night for two, including tax

    Unlike most of the other island groups in the Lesser Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda have many all-inclusive resorts, with more than 15 to choose from. Antigua has had some excellent deals for all-inclusive resorts during the off season so it’s worth checking if you are planning a summer trip, but the rates when we checked for this update were looking pretty high for some reason.

    For guests who are looking to escape the scene of the huge hotels and mass-market tourism of the DR and Jamaica, this is an excellent option. The downside is that flights tend to be more expensive and the airport is served by far fewer destinations, so packages can seem a little more expensive than the resort prices would indicate.

    Nearest airport: V. C. Bird International Airport (code: ANU)
    Nonstop flights from: Miami, New York-JFK, Newark, Charlotte, Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson, London-Gatwick, Frankfurt


    16Grenada

    • High season: US$508 – $1,527
    • Low season: US$399 – $1,260
    • All-inclusive resorts: 5

    Pictured above: Royalton Grenada – From US$641/night for two, including tax

    Grenada is partly famous for being less developed than many of its Caribbean neighbors. As of late 2019 they were down to a single all-inclusive resort that was also extremely expensive, but since then a few more resorts have come on board and now you’ve got choices up and down the price range. This is an English-speaking island so it mostly appeals to Americans, Canadians, and Brits.

    Flights into Grenada aren’t among the cheaper ones compared to some of its neighbors, so this isn’t an ideal destination for those looking for great bargains. However, that also means that it tends to cater to a more thoughtful group of visitors, which will appeal to many.

    Nearest airport: Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND)
    Nonstop flights from: Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Toronto, London, Frankfurt


    17Aruba

    • High season: US$581 – $1,158
    • Low season: US$477 – $712
    • All-inclusive resorts: 10

    Pictured above: Divi Aruba – From US$682/night for two, including tax

    Just off the coast of Venezuela, the island of Aruba is somewhat different compared to most Caribbean islands, with a dry climate all year round. The island has quite a few good bargains for those interested in traditional beach resorts, but its 10 or so all-inclusive resorts tend to be aimed primarily at the upmarket crowd.

    During the autumn months you can get better deals at all-inclusive resorts on Aruba, which is even better considering it still gets almost no rain and is usually clear of the main hurricane zones. The island continues to be popular with Europeans, and airfares are quite reasonable from most major cities.

    Nearest airport: Queen Beatrix International Airport (code: AUA)
    Nonstop flights from: Atlanta, Baltimore, Orlando, Miami, New York-JFK, Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Toronto-Pearson, Amsterdam, Milan-Malpensa


    Note: Sandals & Beaches

    Sandals is arguably the most famous high-end all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, and Beaches is the company’s family-oriented brand. Curiously enough, those chains DON’T show up on most travel search sites so they aren’t included in the information in this list. Generally speaking, Sandals and Beaches would be among the more expensive all-inclusive resorts on these islands, and they are famous for including more than their competitors in the room rate.

    It’s worth mentioning that Sandals now has 3 all-inclusive resorts with overwater bungalows, two in Jamaica and one in St. Lucia. They obviously aren’t cheap, but still they are an extremely popular ‘bucket list’ experience for many romantic couples so they tend to be booked well in advance.

    >>Why Sandals might be your best Caribbean all-inclusive choice

    Best affordable Caribbean destinations for each kind of trip

    Best cheap Caribbean destinations for all kinds of trips – All-inclusives, nightlife, culture, chill-out, super-cheap, and more.

    Book your own all-inclusive vacation from the best deals today

    Photo credits: Royal Cancun Resort, Gran Ventana Beach Resort in Puerto Plata, Sandals Ocho Rios, Dreams Punta Cana Resort, Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, Sandals Negril, Casa de Campo in La Romana, Gran Bahia Principe Samana, Sandals Grande St. Lucia Resort, Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort Bahamas, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Barbados Beach Club Resort, Riu Palace Aruba Resort

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    All Comments

    1. Sarah says:

      Looking to go somewhere nice the end of June. The last week. I’ve been to punts Cana, Mexico and was looking at Jamaica. But it’s hurricane season. So what do you think would be my best bet going June 27 to July 3. And what hotel. I like adults only. Luxury with jacuzzi on balcony! Please help. And what should I book on?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Sarah,

        This is a bit tricky. First off, I wouldn’t worry about hurricane season until you get into August. The season “officially” begins on June 1, but the storms that might alter holiday plans almost never appear until August or September. I visited many Caribbean islands from June through October of last year, and never thought twice about it, and of course there were barely any clouds, much less storms.

        If you are looking for luxury with a private Jacuzzi I think St. Lucia might be your best option in an all-inclusive. I haven’t been there yet, but people rave about the high-end resorts there and the scenery is far nicer than in the DR or Jamaica.

        There are actually a few excellent resorts that might fit what you are looking for just a bit north of Playa del Carmen, which is just south of Cancun. I haven’t stayed in any of them, but that is a wonderful area for resorts and the flights into Cancun are always reasonable. Also, it’s actually on the mainland so in the unlikely event of a storm, it would be easy to go inland a bit.

        As for Jamaica, I’m not a big fan to be honest. I quite like the Negril area, though not really for luxury all-inclusive resorts. There are some incredible Sandals all-inclusives in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, as well as the ultra-luxury Royal Caribbean resort near Montego Bay. But of course, they are quite expensive.

        As far as where to book, you should start by clicking on the links on the article above. I link below each destination to the online travel agency that offers the best deals for each place. In the Caribbean it’s mostly to Expedia because they offer daily deals and offer full service packages. Believe it or not, they also have or match the best rates you can get anywhere, and their resort-area pages are nicely designed for the user. Best of luck with this and let me know if you have any other questions I can answer. -Roger

    2. Shawn W says:

      Hello Roger,
      I am looking to invite my friends on a 40th birthday bash at a island resort 2016 in Nov. Some are married and other singles. Any suggestions? Looking to have fun not to expensive since its about 8 months away..

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Shawn W,

        I’ll try to help if I can. First off, the article above is only about all-inclusive resorts, and I just want to make sure you are clear that that’s what you want. Those resorts are built such that guests arrive there straight from the airport, and pretty much stay at the resort until they go back to the airport. You can book excursions like as fishing or swimming with dolphins or cultural tours of ruins and that sort of thing, but those cost extra and many people just stay in the resort the whole time.

        The nice part about that is that the larger Caribbean all-inclusives are designed to be large resort complexes with a variety of restaurants and bars and such within each one, so you can get plenty of variety. But of course you are pretty much shielded from the culture and every day life outside the resort. If that’s what you want I’ll repeat once again that Punta Cana offers the best quality at the best prices.

        The Punta Cana Bahia Principe complex has 6 separate hotels inside and guests can use most of the facilities at all of them, depending on which one you book. And the Rui Punta Cana next door has 5 hotels in its complex. The room rates are very reasonable, the rooms are large and fairly luxurious, the food is surprisingly good, the beaches are gorgeous, and the drink service is excellent. I recommend either of those, although there are about 20 other resorts in the Punta Cana area that are also quite good.

        However, if your group is more interested in interacting with a local culture, then I’d recommend either Playa del Carmen or the nearby island of Cozumel. Both of those also offer excellent value with reasonable flights into Cancun International. Better still, you can choose from dozens or hundreds of different restaurants and bars, with generally very good prices, depending on your mood. The beaches aren’t as nice as the Punta Cana beaches, but they are still pretty nice.

        I hope this helps. If you were thinking about something different, let me know and I’ll give it another try. -Roger

    3. Whitney J says:

      Hey Roger –
      Planning honeymoon vacay for July 2016 and looking for tropical all-inclusive .. DR, St. Lucia? What resort would you recommend? Any specific suggestions?
      Thanks

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Whitney,

        If you are looking for an all-inclusive in the Caribbean then your best value by quite a bit will be in the Punta Cana area of the Dominican Republic. St. Lucia has a few resorts and it’s definitely a bit more scenic, but the resorts are quite a bit more expensive for the quality you get. Also, Punta Cana is excellent in the sense that it has a fairly new and efficient airport with lots of incoming flights, and new highways that make ground transportation a breeze.

        On my trip there last year I booked at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection, which is the adults-only hotel within the enormous Bahia Principe resort on the beach. The room was huge and lovely, the service was excellent, and the food was surprisingly good even in the buffets. They also have several a la carte restaurants that are included. There were many honeymoon couples there, for what it’s worth.

        And amazingly, the price was so low that it felt like a mistake, yet it was all legit and you really don’t even need to tip (much) while you are there. The downside might be that the resort is huge when you include the 5 or 6 different hotels within the complex. However, at the Ambar resort, only guests staying in that hotel could use the facilities because it’s the most expensive one and it’s adults-only, so it’s actually quite exclusive and not over crowded while you are there.

        In some ways it’s like a perfect vacation factory that they have set up, and the Riu resort complex immediately next door also looked amazing and guests there said it was fantastic. That said, if you would prefer a smaller hotel that feels more secluded and less polished, especially if you don’t mind paying more, then St. Lucia could be a good option. I’ve not stayed in any all-inclusives there, so I can’t personally recommend one. I hope this helps, and congratulations. -Roger

    4. JOHN says:

      Hi, Have been to Punta Canta about 10 years ago @ an all inclusive and food options were tettible. Have they improved food quality?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        John,

        I was in Punta Cana in late 2015 and I was extremely impressed with the food at the buffets, and they also had included a la carte restaurants that people were quite happy with. I stayed at the Bahia Principe cluster of resorts, which I chose over the Riu cluster of resorts next door. Both of those (about 11 hotels in total) get great reviews and positive comments on food, and my experience was the same.

        I can’t comment on all of the all-inclusives in Punta Cana, obviously, and I’m sure there are at least a few that spend less on food and preparation. So what I’d recommend is reading the reviews carefully on the resorts you are considering, and see what people are saying about the food. As far as I can tell, the heavy competition there has pushed many of them to do a great job with food, and the rates on those places are still really good considering all that you get. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

    5. Melanie says:

      A good friend of mine & I (2 adult females) are looking for an all inclusive affordable vacation. We’ll be going in January next year. Prefer not to go to Mexico. Ideas?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Melanie,

        Punta Cana, Dominican Republic has the best all-inclusive deals on high quality resorts in the Caribbean, so I’d look there first. It also has a new and efficient airport so getting in and out is quite easy. You’ll be amazed at what you can get for your money there. Have a great trip. -Roger

    6. Patricia says:

      Hello Roger,
      We are currently trying to decide on a winter holiday destination (Feb) and are at a bit of a crossroads. In the past we have traveled from Canada to the Bahamas (2x), Cuba(3x) and for the past 6 years to Punta Cana (we agree with best value for our money). We do love it there but would like to try somewhere new (but still affordable-mid range). We do not require nightlife or “action” but are looking to swim, relax and enjoy time as a family with our daughter (age 8). Our musts are: warmth, beautiful, clear, turquoise waters, lovely sand, we enjoy lots of palm trees on the beach but it is not a must. We are open to non all-inclusive’s as long as there are good and affordable eats nearby…we are not overly fussy (pizza/pasta is always popular with us). Are there any new places you would recommend for us? Many Thanks, Patricia

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Patricia,

        Whether you still want to do an all-inclusive or you are open to an a la carte hotel, I’ll highly recommend the area around Cancun. There is the main hotel zone in Cancun itself, with great beaches and a mix of all-inclusives and other hotels. Nearby you’ve got the Riviera Maya area with many large resorts leading down to the town of Playa del Carmen and the close island of Cozumel. The beaches in Playa del Carmen aren’t quite as nice as the others, but there is plenty to do and many great and affordable restaurants in the pleasant downtown area.

        The only other suggestion I have is greater San Juan, Puerto Rico. There are almost no all-inclusives but it does have affordable restaurants and great variety. Most people you’ll encounter speak English so it’s easier than many other islands. Hopefully this helps and I’ll be happy to try to answer more questions if you have them. -Roger

    7. Barb Meyer says:

      Any suggestions for a nice spot all-inclusive, mexico, Caribbean, costa Rica, Caymens etc open to just about anything. Going on spring break but with 2 teenagers so not really “adult only” but not looking for kid-friendly either. Looking around $1500/person.

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Barb,

        In my opinion, the best value for all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean is in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, or in the greater Cancun area. Those airports have the most and cheapest flights from the most places, and they are both very efficient in how they are able to treat guests with a very good experience from the time you land until the time you leave again. For absolute best value and an excellent product you can’t beat Punta Cana. There are a bunch of Spanish hotel chains there that have these resort complexes that are made up of medium sized hotels that each cater to a different audience. The Riu and Bahia Principe are among the better options, and each has about 5 different hotels within one complex. One will be adults only, another is family oriented (water slides and such), and others are for mixed groups like yours. You can use the facilities at any of them (except kids can’t go into the adults places, of course), so you have an incredible number of options.

        The one thing I’d point out about Punta Cana is that it’s most ideal for people who are mainly there to relax locally. There are various tours and day trips like an island excursion or swim with dolphins etc, but they are all very mass market. The Cancun area, on the other hand, has huge nightclubs and various outside restaurants, as well as trips to Chichén Itzá or Tulum, which are both famous ruins that are worth a look. Depending on where you stay, you might also be close to the town of Playa del Carmen or Cozumel, both of which are really interesting (tourist-oriented) towns with loads of other things to do.

        So if you are more in the mood to stay in the resort like most people do, then Punta Cana has the best product and best value. But if you might want to see some interesting things nearby, then the Cancun area is probably the best choice. Best of luck with this and feel free to ask other questions if you have them. -Roger

    8. Geri says:

      Hi there Roger,

      Looking for adults only AI in either eastern Caribbean or possibly southern Caribbean. Have been to both Cancun, (Playa Del Carmen, Myan Riveria, and Isla Mujeres numerous times) as well as Aruba and the Punta Cana in the DR. Now looking for something relatively easy to get to from the east coast states, preferably direct flights. Possible stay, February/March 2016. Any suggestions or favorite places of yours would be greatly appreciated.

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Geri,

        This is a bit tricky because something like 80 or 90% of the all-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean are all bunched in the DR, Mexico, and Jamaica, so there aren’t a great number of options on the other islands.

        Jamaica isn’t everyone’s favorite island (I quite like Negril, although not necessarily for all-inclusives), but at least there are many direct and affordable flights into Montego Bay. There are many nice resorts near Montego Bay itself, as well as heading towards Ocho Rios as well as down to Negril.

        But you might be happier in Antigua and Barbuda or St. Lucia, from the sound of where you’ve already been. Both of those islands have close to 20 different all-inclusive resorts, and both have frequent nonstop flights from many large North American airports. St Lucia in particular has some really good deals as long as you can get a convenient flight. Best of luck with this. -Roger

    9. Cathy Roberts says:

      We are a wedding party of 30-40 people, is Punta Cana a good place to spend 3-4 days?
      thanks,
      Cathy

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Cathy,

        Interestingly, I’m in Punta Cana as I write this, at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Resort. Punta Cana is perfect for large groups like that because the resorts are huge and the infrastructure is new and robust so you can move around quickly. Better still, the value at these all-inclusive resorts here is amazing. They deliver a first-class product at a surprisingly reasonable price.

        Also, there are dozens of honeymoon couples at this resort at any given time, so they are well suited to helping with celebrations and decorations and such. This particular resort is actually 6 resorts in one, with over 3,500 total rooms. I’m in the adults-only wing, and there are also family wings and more modestly priced areas. And there are quite a few similar resorts nearby, including the Riu resort next door, which also looks great. So yes, I highly recommend Punta Cana for a large destination wedding, and you won’t find a better deal anywhere. Have a great trip. -Roger

    10. Reg says:

      Is November a bad time to go to Dominican Republic? I read that it rains alot in Nov.

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Reg,

        The Dominican Republic doesn’t actually get very much rain at all. It’s true that November is officially part of the wet season, but most of the island only gets a few inches (10 cm) during the month. In Punta Cana, which is the most popular resort area, it’s even less. I’m actually headed to Punta Cana myself on October 19.

        Also, the rain in tropical areas like the DR tends to come and go quickly. In other words, it will be sunny for most of the day, and then clouds form around 3pm. Then it pours for maybe 20 minutes, and the clouds are gone by 4pm. So even if it does rain, you just get under cover for a short time and then resume your holiday. Have a great trip. -Roger