10 Best Budget Friendly All-Inclusive Resorts
Your kids want to swim in the ocean, your spouse wants to perfect his tennis serve, and all you want is a nice glass of wine with dinner…oh, and to wake up to the sound of the waves lapping the shore. All for one price that won't break the bank. Mission impossible? Not anymore.
Coral Beach Hotel & Resort, Paphos, Cyprus
While the other resorts listed here are close to the U.S., this all-inclusive trades the Caribbean for the Mediterranean—and it's worth the trip. The 420-room resort is located on the edge of the UNESCO-protected Akamas Peninsula on Cyprus’s western coast. The beach is lined with blue loungers, as is the 164-foot pool (keep an eye out for members of the British Olympic swim team; they use the pool for training). Have dinner overlooking the boats bobbing in the harbor from the terrace where blue-and-white-checked tablecloths flap in the sea breeze. Then watch some local folk dancing. Who knows, after a glass or two of zivania, you might join in. Bonus If the scenic surrounding inspires your creative side, the resort offers free art classes in pottery and glass-painting. Coral Bay, Paphos, 011-357/26-88-10-00, coral.com.cy. From $144 per person, per night.
Majestic Colonial, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This 658-room resort in Punta Cana gives you a lot of you choice for how to spend your evening: there are eight restaurants, plus nine bars including a piano bar and a sports bar. Not that there aren't choices during the day as well: The main pool is more than 1,300 feet long (there is also a children's pool and a whirlpool) and catamarans and windsurfers are available on the beach. The snorkeling right off the beach is top-notch, and all the equipment you need is also included. Bonus Every room at the resort is a suite with a terrace or balcony (and a Jacuzzi tub). Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, 809/221-9898, paradiseislandbahama.com. From $150 per person, per night.
Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa, Mexico
The Sunscape's budget-friendly price makes it a deal, but most people travel here for the location on a sandy beach on quiet Playa del Palmar. The resort re-opened in November 2011 after a $10 million upgrade to all the rooms (including new furniture, flat-screen TVs, and fully renovated bathrooms) and restaurants as well as the addition of a new spa (alas, massages aren't covered in the all-inclusive rate and start at $68). There are only 285 rooms, but you'll find the choices typical of a much larger resort. There are four bars plus eight restaurants ranging from seafood to Italian to Mexican (and the small size means no reservations are required). Bonus Embrace your inner Serena Williams or Roger Federer and perfect your serve at the free tennis clinics. Paseo de Ixtapa S/N Lote 3-A, Ixtapa, 800/087-4890, sunscaperesorts.com. From $151 per person, per night.
Jolly Beach Resort & Spa, Antigua
Set on 40 acres (including a mile of white sand), the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa is great for those who want to get out on the turquoise water. Kayaks, Hobi Cats, and paddleboats are all at the ready and there are also two pools. Would you rather just take in the view of the waves? The 464 rooms all have at least partial ocean views. The resort also has five restaurants, ranging from a casual beach take-out place to the Italian Bocciolo. Bonus A proper afternoon tea with scones and cucumber sandwiches is also offered every day in the courtyard-a nod to the island's British roots. Bolans Village, Antigua, 866/905-6559, jollybeachresort.com. From $171 per person, per night.
Barceló Langosta Beach, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Staying here affords travelers the best of both worlds: The resort is on a secluded beach surrounded by rainforests and a national park, but is less than a mile from the popular town of Tamarindo. This is a low-key resort, with just one buffet restaurant and one a la carte restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine (there is an additional $36-$42 fee for the a la carte restaurant) and one bar, plus a small casino and an amphitheater with daily entertainment. But the 134 rooms have views of the Pacific Ocean or the estuary of Las Baulas (part of the national park). Bonus Tipping for the staff is included in the rate, so no need to reach for your wallet every time you order another round. El Robledal, Tamarindo, 800/227-2356, barcelo.com. From $180 per person, per night.
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