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. Dan Simms says:

      Hi Roger,

      I am enjoying the quality of this blog. Thanks! It is giving me reassurance that my choice of an all inclusive in St. Lucia is a good one. I have an Interval International exchange opportunity at a resort that offers a mandatory All Inclusive. St. James We stayed at their sister resort in Antigua which at the time was not al all inclusive, but was first rate. We normally like to explore each island, but this exchange week is expiring in 6 months, so why not try our first all inclusive here. The air fare from New York is a pleasant surprise on Jet Blue.

    2. Andre Bene says:

      Hello, I like to ask if I could have a 2 months vacation for 2 person in all inclusive Hotel from January 2017 in Dominican Republic for low Price, Thank you Best Regards A Bene

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Andre,

        You’ll have a better chance of getting a discount if you contact one of the resorts directly. Punta Cana generally has the best deals as far as quality and price. Good luck. -Roger

    3. Take Care says:

      Hi,
      I’m looking for a Caribbean all inclusive during the fourth of July week in 2017 for our 15 yr anniversary. Any recommendations within a budget of $5,000 (for two including airfare from NYC)?

      Thank you

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Take Care,

        On that budget you can afford pretty much any island that has all-inclusives, so it’s hard to recommend one island and one resort. Strange as it may sound, the islands that have many of the more affordable AI resorts also have many of the best. You can find excellent resorts in the Cancun area and in Punta Cana, and they provide great value even at a higher price.

        Another factor is that most people tend to stay within their resort the whole time, except for maybe a daytime excursion or two, so as long as the resort itself is wonderful, it doesn’t matter too much if there isn’t much else around. All of that said, at your budget if you are looking for something special, I’d probably recommend St. Lucia, which might be the most beautiful of the islands on this list, or Antigua or Barbados. Those islands have smaller resorts that might feel a bit more special and exclusive. Then plug in your dates to an online travel agency such as Expedia and see which places are offering the best promotions. You’ll be able to get something really good, even if you decide to spend a bit less. I hope this helps. -Roger

    4. Brad says:

      Roger, thanks for all your great analysis. I am planning to take my wife and 2 teenage kids somewhere in the Caribbean for our 25th anniversary next June. I want something family friendly, on the beach. All inclusive would be great but not required. Our budget will be approximately $7,000. We’ve been to Bahamas, Jamaica, Aruba and Mexico, and would like to try something different. We’ve started looking at St. Lucia and Barbados. What would you suggest?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Brad,

        Since you have a pretty good budget, I think St. Lucia or Barbados would be ideal. There are a decent number of really nice all-inclusives on both islands, and in general you’ll get much more of an upmarket experience compared to Jamaica, Aruba, or most of Mexico. St Lucia is mountainous and definitely more photogenic, but that means that it’s also harder to get around the island. Barbados has more and better beaches, and it might be better for a family because there are more things to do in or near the resorts. It’s a tough call, but both have great reputations and people go back year after year, so either would be a good choice. -Roger

    5. Kris says:

      My biggest question in finding the best all inclusive Caribbean location is Entertainment. I wish there was an easy way to search the AI Resorts with the best entertainment.

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Kris,

        This is an interesting question and I’m going to think about how I might be able to answer it in the future. From what I’ve seen, the entertainment at all-inclusive resorts tends to be fairly generic family-friendly shows until 8pm and then generic variety shows and such after that. Then there are the resorts with casinos, but I’m not aware of any good place to find listings and reviews of specifically the entertainment at these resorts. If I come up with an idea, I’ll post it here. -Roger

    6. Martha says:

      Hi Roger, we have a wedding to attend in Miami, FL in November and were planning to take a flight from there to Cancun. We have been to Cancun 3 times but only in the summer(we really have enjoyed our time there).we have never traveled to the Caribbean in the fall and don’t know what to expect. Also, we like trying new resorts every time we go, can you recommend an all inclusive in the hotel zone, (not too expensive,we are on a budget), good for relaxing and that offer on site evening entertainment. We are in our early 50’s and we are not interested in the off property nightclubs 🙂 thanks for any suggestions in advance.

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Martha,

        It can be challenging to recommend specific hotels without knowing your preferred budget and travel dates, because a resort that might be US$250 a night for dates that I’m looking at, might be US$350 a night for your real dates. That said, if I were your travel agent based on the information you’ve provided, the first resorts I’d ask you to consider would be the Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas and the GR Caribe By Solaris Deluxe, and perhaps also the Beach Palace. All of those are top-rated all-inclusives in the Hotel Zone that have rooms in fall well under US$300 per night for two people. Between those three, I think you’ll find something that suits you very well.

        Cancun in the fall isn’t much different from Cancun in the summer. It’s just a bit cooler, and there can be those fast rainstorms, but you always see them coming and they are almost over in 30 minutes or so. Have a great trip. -Roger

    7. Mark says:

      Hi Roger. Never been to an all inclusive but wanting to try one this fall, mid October. We’ve been to several Caribbean islands (via cruise) and really like Aruba. Never been to Punta Cana but want to go there as well. Any particular resort in Punta Cana you recommend? Our ages are early 50’s. We don’t care about excursions, etc. We’re mainly looking for nice relaxing time with an upscale modern/contemporary resort, but something that isn’t stuffy or that requires dressy attire, etc. We also like to be close to casino for some night time entertainment. Thanks for your help!

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Mark,

        Based on what you’ve said, it sounds like Punta Cana is indeed the ideal destination. The newer and larger resorts there are gorgeous, modern, and immaculate, which is hard to believe when you see how low the room rates are for what you get.

        As for recommendations, if a casino is important then there are a few resorts that have them, and a couple others (like the Hard Rock) that are easy to visit for an evening from other resorts. Aside from that, I can highly recommend the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana Resort, which is where I stayed most recently. Like several others, there are 5 or 6 different hotels in the same compound, with some being family oriented and others being adults-only, and some being a bit more upscale (although still at amazing prices). If you are staying at one of the adults-only hotels along the beach (others are a bit inland from the beach), you can go into any restaurant or pool or bar in the whole place. The beach is amazing along there, and it’s very relaxing.

        I also toured the similar place next door (also enormous) Riu Palace Punta Cana, which has a similar set up and similar room rates. Both get great reviews, and I can see why. Both are part of large and well respected Spanish resort chains, so they really know how to create a professional product.

        The Hard Rock Casino is just north of those two resorts, but I didn’t visit it. Before I went, I narrowed it down to those two resorts I mentioned, which seemed almost identical and both had great reviews. In the end I chose Bahia Principe because they had free wi-fi all over the resort, and I need it. I think in the Riu it was only in the rooms. Still, from the looks of it, there are many other great resorts along that gorgeous beach area, so if you see a deal somewhere else, don’t limit yourself. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

        1. Mark says:

          Thanks for the quick response!! Will definitely check it out. From the website it looks like it’s formal attire for dinner. Am I reading that correctly?

          1. Roger Wade says:

            Mark,

            Hmmm…while I was at the Bahia Principe, I only ate at the buffet restaurants, although there are a few included a la carte places if you make a reservation. And at least in the buffet, the dress code could not have been more casual. There’s even a lunch buffet just a few steps from the beach, overlooking a huge pool, and people in there often ate in swimwear. In the main buffet, which is definitely kind of a high-end place with very good food and many choices, shorts and t-shirts were fine, and that’s all I wore the whole time I was there. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

    8. Eileen says:

      Hi Roger,
      A group of us travel annually around February. We have been to Punta Cana, Cabo San Lucas, Montego Bay Jamaica, and Cozumel. We really came to enjoy the great snorkeling experience right from the resort beach in Cozumel. Do you have any other suggestions for an all inclusive that may offer the same experience?

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Eileen,

        This is an interesting request. I’m not much of a snorkeler or scuba person myself, but I do know a fair amount about which are the Caribbean places most known for that. And unfortunately, they tend to be clustered in certain islands, while the all-inclusives are very clustered in other islands. As you can see on the list above, the all-in resorts are mostly in 6 or 7 areas in the Caribbean, with a few spread around a few other places.

        From what I can see, Ocho Rios has quite good snorkeling, even better than nearby Montego Bay. As you might know, Ochi is about 90 minutes from the Montego Bay Airport along the north coast, and there are quite a few large all-in resorts along there. There’s also that amazing waterfall just outside of Ocho Rios, so that’s another good day.

        Aside from that, I think you might have to go to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or the area along the so-called Riviera Maya between them to get room rates similar to what you are used to. My favorite is the Playa del Carmen area, which you probably know is just across the straight from Cozumel itself. There are many great all-in resorts there, and it’s a really fun city in general.

        Or you could look into Antigua & Barbuda, or St. Lucia. I believe there is good snorkeling off those, and both of those have at least a few all-ins to consider, although just a bit up the price scale. Good luck and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

    9. Katiee says:

      Hi Roger, I am planning a kind of last minute trip to the Caribbean for the last weekend of June. Either 4 or 5 nights. I don’t care for Jamaica so that’s out. I’m wondering what you suggest as a good place for 2 women in their late 20’s? Kind of looking for a good mixture of party scene and other young adults, but also a nice spa, maybe shopping and surfing and restaurants. It would be nice to stay somewhere that there is a little more to offer than just the resort, but not a requirement. Oh and maybe a casino? And looking for an all inclusive, especially if it includes airfare. With it being “low” season, and last minute, where would you suggest to book through? Is there any sites that do good last minute travel deals?
      Thank you! Sorry for a million questions! Lol

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Katiee,

        Yes, Jamaica has its fans, but I also understand why many people prefer not to go back. For what you have in mind I’m going to suggest Playa del Carmen, which is an hour south of Cancun airport by shuttle or taxi. Actually, that whole coastal area is known as the Riviera Maya, and it has dozens of large stand-alone resorts, many of which are all-inclusive. Those tend to be the huge resorts that are designed so guests never leave, except for perhaps a daytime excursion or two. That might not be what you are looking for, but there are also smaller resorts in and near Playa del Carmen, as well as over on the nearby island of Cozumel.

        I’m not sure if there are any proper all-inclusives right in Playa del Carmen, but you might consider just a normal hotel instead. Cancun, as you may know, is mostly a long strip of high-rise hotels and time-shares, with a few spring-break-style nightclubs near the center. Playa del Carmen, on the other hand, is a real town with hundreds of restaurants and quite a few night spots that are better suited to people out of their college years. So even if you booked at an all-inclusive hotel and you weren’t enjoying the nightlife there, you could easily jump in a taxi and be in PdC shortly. I do believe there is at least one casino there, but I think that it’s mostly slot machines and not like a proper resort casino that you could find on some of the smaller Caribbean islands.

        If that doesn’t appeal to you then I’d suggest St. Lucia or Aruba. Those both have what you have described, although at a much higher price. They are also far smaller so you have fewer options, but there is something to be said for more of an “exclusive” destination, if you know what I mean.

        You should be able to get a great deal this time of the year for a last-minute booking. June is slow in this region because it’s before the Europeans arrive in July. Believe it or not, I find that Expedia is the best choice to book these resorts and air+hotel packages. They do offer loads of last-minute resort deals, and the same airfares that you can get anywhere else, which can be bundled in. Best of all, they make it clear how much you would pay if you booked all through the process. There is another company called CheapCaribbean and you might check them as well, but I find them incredibly annoying because they seem to try to sucker you in with low rates and package prices, which suddenly jump up to the same as every other site on the last screen after you put your credit card in. No worries about the questions, and feel free to ask more if you have them. -Roger

    10. Sandra says:

      Hi Roger,
      I am going to Jamaica and staying with my bro for the first week I am there. 2nd week I will need accommodation and want to relax, so all incl resort is what I am looking for. So, couple of questions: Is it better to look for something once I am there? Or better to book hotel/AI thru internet or agent before I go. And, if I book thru an agency is it better to book with air, even though I will not be staying the entire time at a resort? The dilemma… if I book before is it more expensive? If I wait until I’m there will they raise the prices to a ridiculous amount so I pay more? Thanks!!

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Sandra,

        I’ve never heard of anyone booking an all-inclusive resort in person on the spot, although I’m sure that at least a few people do it every day. I’m 99% sure that you’d get a far better price booking online before you leave. Those all-in resorts are very competitive in price at online travel agencies because they know that cheaper places get listed on top. If you show up in person, they know that it’s a huge hassle for you to go from place to place shopping around, so they don’t have much incentive to give you a decent discount. But online, they have to discount heavily just to stay full.

        Expedia tends to have the same discounted rates as the other online sources, and they are the easiest to use with the most information at your fingertips, so I’d start with them. As for doing an air-hotel bundle, you’ll have to test it yourself. I think on some websites you can only bundle a flight for the same period as the resort you booked, though Expedia should let you just add your flight and resort, even if they are different dates. If you can do that it will probably be your best deal, but it should be pretty easy to compare the separate prices in just a few minutes, so you will know for sure before you book.

        Also, the all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica are quite large and spread out, so you’d have to pay a taxi to take you to one and wait for you and then take you to another one a few kilometers away to check their prices, which would be a headache. It’s MUCH easier to have a place booked and then take a shuttle or taxi directly there from your brother’s place, knowing you’ll be staying there. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

        1. Sandra says:

          Roger,
          Thank you so much for your quick response. I kind of figure they’d have you paying more showing up in person, however, I’d probably just call around, rather than travel. That being said… it kind of takes time away from the water & beach & sun… lol! I did check with some of the online travel agencies and I think that is the best route. So, thanks again,,, Very much appreciate your expertise on the subject!! Cheers… S