All-inclusive resort advice
October 4, 2006 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Help us find an all-inclusive resort!

My wife and I are starting to plan a trip for next spring, and we'd like to go to an all-inclusive tropical resort. I've Googled, but the net is literally swarming with sites.

- Adults-only
- Decent vegetarian food selection
- Private hot tub or whirlpool
- All-inclusive, including drinks
- Preferably not in Mexico or Jamaica

Topless and/or clothing optional places would be fine, but not a deal-breaker. We're not really looking for a place like Hedonism though.

Price is a bit of an issue - we don't want to break the bank over this.

We'll probably end up talking to a few travel agents, but would like a few options to start with.

Any advice?
posted by tr33hggr to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sandals. While excluding Jamaica means excluding some of Sandals' best properties (why exclude Jamaica?), they do have properties elsewhere in the Caribbean, including Antigua and St. Lucia.

Affordable options are there to be had at Sandals, as well as break-the-bank "let's have a butler in our room" tiers of service.

My wife and I have stayed at Sandals twice (both in Jamaica), and visited five different Sandals properties while we were there (exchange privileges included free). All properties are impeccably landscaped, fun to explore, and all-inclusive. No tips, even. Highly, *highly* recommended.

Sandals is couples-only, so you won't find any kids on the property. They aren't topless resorts, though some properties have a private topless beach area. They are also gay friendly, so tell your gay friends that Sandals is welcoming gay couples again (they had a ban on gay couples that was lifted two years ago).
posted by Merdryn at 8:05 AM on October 4, 2006

We're avoiding Jamaica only because we want to do that non-resort style - stay in a little hut or something and dig the locals. This inclusive gig is so we don't have to worry about anything but starting a family!
posted by tr33hggr at 8:21 AM on October 4, 2006

I can recommend Sandals St. Lucia. They have two resorts there - you want the one that is cute little bungalows, not the one that is a huge hotel. As mentioned, you can shuttle bus on over to the other one at anytime to enjoy the facilities (more restaurants, etc). Amazing food, although I wasn't vegetarian at the time. Lots of options and fresh fruit and veggies so I am sure there will be plenty of menu options. Easy enough to hop off-resort and explore the rest of the island as well.
posted by mikepop at 9:20 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

Sorry, tr33huggr, I didn't get your response. You *do* want a hut amongst the locals or you don't? At Sandals, you're in your own private world. You don't really see Jamaica-proper except on the ride there, and on off-property excursions, should you decide to take some.

Our honeymoon was there, and we didn't leave the property (except to visit other properties, and even then, it was a short ride). Our first anniversary, we went back, and we spent a good deal of time doing off-property tours and such. Had a blast. So Sandals Jamaica can serve either desire, really. Stay in and screw like rabbits (a nice pastime in a place where rum flows like water), or leave the property and go biking down the Blue Mountains/go shopping/smoke weed.

Whatev. ;)
posted by Merdryn at 10:27 AM on October 4, 2006

If you want an all-inclusive with a more local feel instead of the "look at our mighty high-rise resort", give Grand Lido Braco a shot. Here is a photo of the resort, taken from a boat. (Several other photos of the beach in the same Flickr set.) Note that there are no tall buildings, just beach. Half clothing optional, all adults-only, very good food (several restaurants to choose from, some require reservations), all-inclusive. Want to go snorkeling for the day? Hop on a boat. Scuba? In-house training (do it! Worth the extra fee, and the dive instructor is a great guy - plus at the right time of year you get 80+ foot visibility.) Need to get out of the place for a bit? Most tour services will come there to pick you up (check before buying a tour though, just in case!).

It's about an hour away from anything big. It is really in the middle of nowhere. They have weekly parties if you feel social, or just order in your room. 24 hour room service, and the bar at the far end of the beach never closes.

We went on one tour that included stops to pick up other people at places like Sandal's and some of the other big-name resorts. We felt sorry for most of them. We were damn glad we chose the resort that we did.

(And if Braco isn't your thing, they have a very similar resort in Negril, run by the same company.)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:30 AM on October 4, 2006

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