7 All-Inclusives With Incredible Food
Anyone who has ever booked an all-inclusive vacation knows not to expect too much creativity when it comes to the food. ‘Round the clock buffets? Sure—just remember those ice sculptures are meant to distract you from the rubbery shrimp that will soon grace your plate. But that’s decidedly not the case at these 7 all-inclusive resorts with incredible food, where the menus are not only unpredictable—they're downright delicious.
Jen has been a staff editor at Architectural Digest, Travel + Leisure, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Afar, and Elle Decor. When she's not snowmobiling in the French Alps or tasting scotch straight from the barrel in Scotland, she's at home in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts
Gourmet meals are the standard when you’re staying in an eco-friendly 400-acre working farm built on the slopes of St. Kitt’s Mount Liamuiga. The laid-back luxury resort has 84 gingerbread-trimmed cottages with alfresco baths and verandas that overlook the neighboring islands of Saba and St. Eustatius, but the farm-to-table cuisine served at Belle Mont’s six restaurants and bars are the real reason to stay. Signs signal when fruit on the banana-plant landscaping is ripe enough to pick, and international spins on West Indian favorites (papaya lamb stew, anyone?) don’t disappoint. The highlight of your stay: a starlit communal dinner at a 30-foot-long table hidden among the farm’s plantings.
Grand Velas Los Cabos
Leave it to a place with a $25,000 gold-flecked taco (admittedly not part of your all-inclusive plan) to up the ante on resort dining. If that’s too rich for your blood, there are plenty of more reasonable options, from fresh-caught sushi to house-made pastas, served at an array of internationally focused Michelin-rated restaurants with views as memorable as the food. The bars are equally impressive: at Miramar, you can sip smoky mezcal cocktails by bonfire-light along the Sea of Cortez, then retreat to one of 304 understated rooms that embrace beachy luxury with coral-themed artwork and a serene cerulean color scheme.
Resort at Paws Up, Montana
Rustic-luxe adventure seekers head to the Resort at Paws Up for its rugged pursuits: nestled in the Blackfoot hills of Montana, the 37,000-acre working ranch offers more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, plus fly fishing and hot air ballooning—and that’s not to mention the sumptuous tents and cabins where you’ll spend your nights. But the food is on another level. Witness the s’moreologist, who can help elevate the classic treat with sea-salt caramel, or the huckleberry pancakes and house-made scones served at breakfast. Dinner is equally inspiring thanks to hand-cut meats and locally sourced creations by chef Sunny Jin, a veteran of Michelin darlings The French Laundry, El Bulli, and Tetsuya.
Twin Farms, Vermont
The onetime home of Nobel Prize–winning novelist Sinclair Lewis is now a Thoreau-worthy retreat in southeast Vermont. Nestled within 300 acres of rolling hillside that’s studded with wildflowers and pine and maple trees, the 18th-century farmhouse features 20 individually appointed cottages and suites with stone fireplaces and world-class artwork by the likes of Hockney and Lichtenstein. But the real draw here is dinner, a multi-course feast that begins with a champagne cocktail hour and launches into thoughtful dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients as well as produce from Twin Farms itself. Upon checkout, your takeaway is a gourmet lunch box so you can savor the experience on your way out the door.
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania, Australia
Traveling to the ends of the earth isn’t for the faint of heart, but Saffire Freycinet makes it worth your while. First, there’s the otherworldly location, an atmospheric expanse of sea and sky set against a granite mountain backdrop, where you can try your hand at archery, bird watching, canoeing, and hiking. But most venture to this remote corner of the world for its pristine food scene. Slip on waders to indulge in fresh-shucked bivalves at a local oyster farm, taste your way through the vineyards of a nearby winery, or sit in on a cooking demonstration with the resort’s chefs. Looking for something a little more low-key? The daily-changing degustation menu at Palate, the on-site restaurant, is a regular on lists of Australia’s best restaurants.
Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
Sleepy Walland, Tennessee, has become an unlikely mecca for seasonal southern fare thanks to Blackberry Farm, a 4,200-acre retreat at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains that boasts its own creamery, brewery, bakery, and charcuterie, as well as a 180,000-bottle wine cellar. Your stay includes meals served in The Barn, a 19th-century outbuilding, or The Dogwood, but for a supplemental fee, you may join a master gardener for a walking tour through the property’s heirloom vegetable garden or a farmstead tasting tour that culminates with a cheese tasting in the barn. Or simply lounge in a rocker out on the lawn with a glass of one of the resort’s 600 different kinds of whisky in hand.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
If your idea of paradise includes hot stone massages and sunset cruises, plus rum tastings on the grounds of an 18th-century plantation, then Jade Mountain is for you. Its 28 open-air suites each overlook St. Lucia’s towering twin Pitons, but the view is just as impressive in the resort’s restaurant, where James Beard Award–winning chef Allen Susser turns out epicurean twists on island favorites (think cinnamon mahi-mahi and blue crab couscous). Your personal concierge can also arrange for the multi-course tasting menu to be delivered to your room—how’s that for a gastronome’s dream? Have more of a sweet tooth? Don’t miss the resort’s chocolate lab for cacao tastings and truffle making classes.
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