Looking for a cheap way to vacation? All-inclusive resort vacations may seem expensive on the surface, but they can save you serious money when all is said and done. If you choose wisely, you can even find some great bargains, like these 10 all inclusive budget resort vacation destinations, all at under $100 per person per night. All-inclusive resorts aren’t just for honeymooners, either. These days, resort vacations are highly recommended for family travel, both economically and for the sake of convenience.
What to Expect:
Each of these 10 budget resort destinations includes a double room, three meals, drinks and activities. You’ll pay one price to cover it all – with the exception of tips to the expected service people. On top of that, each of them also includes an extra perk to make your vacation trip just a little more fun.
Antigua: Jolly Beach Resort & Spa
Enjoy a mile-long white sand beach on the shores of gorgeous Antigua. The Jolly Beach Resort & Spa makes the most of its beach front by providing Hobie Cats, paddleboats and kayaks for guests who want to get out on the water and explore. If you’d rather get in the water than on top of it, there are two pools for guests to enjoy. In addition to the beach action, you have a choice of five restaurants, including casual beach takeout fare and more formal dinner fare – and, for those who truly enjoy formality, you can sit down to a proper British afternoon tea every day in the courtyard.
Bolans Village, Antigua, 866/905-6559, jollybeachresort.com. From $171 per person, per night.
Bahamas: Paradise Island Harbour Resort
The very family-friendly Paradise Island Harbour Resort is located on a private beach and offers a large pool and three places to dine – but none of those are what make the small resort so appealing. In fact, its small size and comfortable pace are exactly the reason that families come here year after year. Rather than the 24/7 whirl of activity you’ll find at some of the larger, more frenzied resorts, Paradise Island provides a kids’ camp to keep your kids entertained with sandcastles, crafts and bowling, which lets you unwind and relax without having to hustle and hurry the younger family members along from one activity to the next. And if you’ve ever had a yen to put on a scuba mask, the resort offers a complimentary scuba lesson in the pool.
Harbor Dr., Paradise Island, Nassau, 888/582-0192, paradiseislandbahama.com. From $200 per person, per night.
Costa Rica: Barcelo Langosta Beach, Tamarindo
Enjoy a little bit of flavor from just about any type of vacation you savor. Barcelo Langosta Beach is located on a secluded beach with easy access to rainforests and a national park, with the popular town of Tamarindo less than a mile away for less peaceful pursuits. The Barcelo is relatively low-key compared to some of the larger resorts, with one buffet and one a la carte restaurant, a casino, a bar and an amphitheater featuring entertainment daily. The room rate includes all tips, so you can really leave your cash behind and enjoy your vacation.
El Robledal, Tamarindo, 800/227-2356, barcelo.com. From $180 per person, per night.
Cyprus: Coral Beach Hotel and Resort, Paphos
While most cheap all-inclusive resorts are close to the U.S., there are some in Europe that are more than worth the trip. The Coral Beach Hotel and Resort on Cyprus’ western coast is one of these. The 420-room resort is relatively small, but it makes up for its size with the flavor and service. How good is it? The British Olympic swim team uses the pool at the Coral for training. You’ll enjoy dinner overlooking the harbor and days lounging on the beach. If you’re feeling inspired, the resort also offers free art classes, including classes in pottery and glass-painting.
Coral Bay, Paphos, 011-357/26-88-10-00, coral.com.cy. From $144 per person, per night.
Dominican Republic: Majestic Colonial PuntaCana
Located in Punta Cana, the Majestic Colonial is a 658-room resort with activities to please all members of your family. You can enjoy catamarans, windsurfing and snorkeling on the beach – all equipment for snorkeling included in your fees – or swim in the 1,300-foot-long main pool. For kids, there’s a kids’ pool, as well as a whirlpool to help you relax. In the evenings, you have your choice of nine bars – each with a different flavor and atmosphere – including a sports bar and a piano bar. Of course, you may decide to just stay in your room. Every room at the Majestic Colonial is a suite with a terrace and a Jacuzzi. Who’d want to leave that behind?
Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, 809/221-9898, majestic-resorts.com. From $150 per person, per night.
Dominican Republic: Iberostar Costa Dorada, Puerta Plata
Taking a tropical vacation with the kids? Iberostar Costa Dorada offers you the best value for your money – and the most fun for your kids. Each of the 516 rooms has a terrace or balcony and is housed in cheerful yellow and purple thatch-roof buildings. A recent (2011) renovation included a full kids’ club where kids can enjoy all sorts of activities while parents enjoy the beach, the massive pool and activities that run the gamut from archery to merengue lessons. Onsite, you’ll get to choose from three a la carte restaurants and one buffet, including a Mexican restaurant, a Brazilian restaurant and one featuring local seafood, fresh from the surrounding waters. And you won’t be consigned to drinking house-brand liquor. The bars at Costa Dorada pour top-shelf drinks, including Stoli and Tanqueray.
Carretera de Luperon Km 4, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, 888/923-2722, iberostar.com. From $100 per person, per night (three-night minimum).
Jamaica: Hotel Riu, Negril
For the traveler who loves to party, Jamaica’s Hotel Riu is the place to be. The lively beachfront resort features 420 guest rooms with complimentary mini bars and liquor dispensers that are kept full and restocked regularly. There’s always music playing on the beach, and the lively party atmosphere extends to the two gigantic pools and to the Pacha nightclub, where you can boogie down to reggae at just about any hour of the day or night. When you book your vacation at this all-inclusive resort, be sure to ask about credits to be used at the Renova Spa. The resort’s all-inclusive packages often include significant discounts on massages and treatments at the spa.
Norman Manley Blvd., Negril, Jamaica, 888/748-4990, riu.com. From $101 per person, per night.
Mexico: Krystal Cancun, Punta Cancun
Every one of the Krystal’s 453 rooms features a spectacular view of either the Caribbean or Cancun Lagoon. The resort’s signature feature is the stunning pool that runs lengthwise along the Mayan Riviera and the beachfront infinity whirlpool. The rooms feature marble floors, flat-screen TVs and relaxing, delicious rain showers. In addition to the traditional three-meals-a-day on site, your Krystal vacation includes a Discover Cancun pass that pays for one dinner at a local restaurant outside the resort.
Paseo Kukulcan Km 9.5, Cancun, 800/437-9605, krystal-hotels.com. From $100 per person, per night.
Mexico: Sunscape Dorado Pacifico, Ixtapa
Is tennis your thing? The Sunscape Dorado offers free tennis clinics as part of the perks in their all-inclusive price. Other perks at the 285-room resort include your choice of four bars and eight restaurants – with no reservations necessary. The biggest draw at the Sunscape, though, is the quite, sandy beach on Playa del Palmar.
Panama: Royal Decameron Golf Beach Resort & Villas, Farallon
If you like to live large, the Royal Decameron is the place for you. With 1,170 rooms – each of them featuring a terrace or balcony overlooking the tropical courtyards – the Royal Decameron is stocked full of amazing things to do. Located on a one-mile stretch of secluded beach, the huge resort features eight pools, 10 restaurants and 11 bars – including one that serves those who swim up. The nightlife is big and bold, with parties (and open bars) continuing well on toward the dawn – but there’s no lack of daytime activities. You have your choice of free kayaks, windsurfers and paddleboards for surface fun or snorkeling equipment to take a peek at what happens under the sea.
Avenida Principal Farallón, Km 115, 011-507/993-2255, decameron.com. From $106 per person, per night.