The World’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts on the Beach
Going all in doesn’t mean you have to go down-market. These luxe all-inclusive resorts on the beach offer sun, sand, and most importantly, top-notch service. All you need to do is unplug and unwind, preferably with cocktail in hand.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
In a pulsing resort town saturated with beach resorts, this all-suite property sets the standard for luxury all-inclusives in Mexico. Take your pick among 539 rooms (they’re larger than most New York City apartments and spread across three buildings, one of which is adults-only) or suites, the latter of which come with a private plunge pool, picture-perfect ocean views, and butler service. For a truly memorable experience, make a reservation for the 15-course tasting menu with wine pairings at Cocina de Autor, where chef Nahúm Velasco is known for his creative food combos (like squid with corn truffle and black pudding).
Fregate Private Island, Seychelles
Don’t let the thatched roofs fool you—there’s nothing homespun about this 16-villa conservation-meets-luxury resort, where Julianne Hough recently honeymooned. Each villa comes with its own infinity pool, Jacuzzi, dining pavilion, butler service, and hybrid golf cart (or “buggy”) for zipping around the property. Request a picnic lunch on Anse Victorin, the island's prettiest beach, and you’ll get exclusive use of the coveted stretch of sand. (JS Tip: Pack binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for the frigate bird, for which the island is named.) If you don’t have luck, no worries: 2,200 protected Aldabra giant tortoises roam the island and will happily pose for photos.
Miavana ushered in a new “it” destination for Africa when it opened off the coast of undeveloped Madagascar—the first luxury resort to do so. The 14 low-lying villas are a study in sustainable living: each is solar-powered and made from recycled materials and local Malagasy stone (not to mention designed with a decidedly midcentury-modern-meets-beach-chic aesthetic). The resort’s real appeal, however, is the next-gen adventure activities on offer, including lemur trekking, helicopter sightseeing tours, and whale watching. If you don’t feel like leaving the beach, just ask your butler for a sleep-under-the-stars experience so you can doze off on the sand to the tune of crashing waves.
The world is your oyster at Laucala, a 3,500-acre over-the-top paradise in Fiji’s northern archipelago founded by Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz. Each of the 25 villas comes with a butler, yoga deck, and complimentary spa day. The place is remote, but you'd hardly know it from the sheer amount of amenities on offer—including five gourmet restaurants that serve everything from farm-to-table classics to seasonal Asian dishes (like lobster with black pepper sauce), an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, PADI dive center, rainforest nature trails. and a private submarine—yes, you read that right—which can dive up to 500 feet.
BodyHoliday, St. Lucia
St. Lucia's BodyHoliday resort may be centered on wellness-centric getaways, but you don't have to be a health nut to book a stay. Even if you aren’t looking to burn calories on vacation, you'll be just as thankful for its “field-to-fork” dinners at its five on-site restaurants (including ordering dessert with zero guilt); the full-service spa with a staggering 47 treatment rooms for facials, massages, and body wraps; your Zen-inducing guest room, with its noise-cancelling walls and private outdoor space; and the infinity pool, whose surrounding white day beds have “nap time” written all over them.
Uga Chena Huts, Sri Lanka
Truth be told, you don’t come to Chena Huts for the beach; you come for the leopards. Yala National Park, on Sri Lanka’s southeastern tip, contains the highest population density of leopards in the world. Consider the golden swath of sand just outside your villa an added bonus—one you’ll be thankful for after game drives spent searching for those big cats (along with Asian elephants, peacocks, water buffalo, and the elusive sloth bear). The beach also makes for a romantic private dining venue when, come nightfall, it's lit by tiki torches and millions of stars.
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Song Saa, Cambodia
Set on two islands called Song and Saa (collectively meaning “the sweethearts”), this private-isle resort is the perfect respite from the crowds of Angkor Wat, which most guests visit prior to arrival. Splurge on an ocean-view villa to drink in views of the Gulf of Thailand from your personal infinity pool, then stay in for dinner—contemporary takes on classic Khemer flavors—best enjoyed inside your villa’s sala. Worried you'll get cabin fever? Book a Robinson Crusoe-style excursion to the deserted Five Mile Beach, complete with a picnic lunch.
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Truth be told, there’s no bad room at Lizard Island: the 40 villas and suites that comprise Australia's northernmost island resort are tucked away on the beach or hillsides, meaning guests can go an entire day without seeing another soul. What's more, because the isle is located on a remote swath of the Great Barrier Reef (one that hasn’t been hard-hit by devastating coral bleaching), you’ll see some of the world’s best aquatic life during guided snorkeling and diving tours to nearby coves or fishing the outer reefs. That is, if you ever manage to leave land. The island has 24 private beaches, so even if you stayed a week, you’d have to sink your toes into three a day to see them all.
Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines
With just 22 secluded cottages spread across 115 acres, consider Petit St. Vincent your Caribbean castaway fantasy come true. Even though villas (intentionally) lack WiFi, television, and phones, you’ll still receive five-star service, not to mention access to top-notch amenities like a 3,000-bottle wine cellar, multiple yachts for hire, and four open-air treatment rooms at the hillside spa. Raise your cottage's red flag to signal “do not disturb” or yellow to indicate a call for room service, transportation, or whatever else you need. Because there's a three-to-one staff-to-guest ratio, no request is too demanding—not even a barbecue dinner with a private chef and butler on quiet West End Beach.
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