Carly Rojas Avila
Carley Rojas Avila is an avid traveler and the creator behind travel websites Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Having visited twenty-five countries and spent years living abroad, she shares destination guides and travel tips to help travelers and digital nomads feel at home when traveling off the beaten path to Havana or beyond.
By: Carley Rojas Avila
Amid a record-breaking surge of summer travel, a surprising destination has emerged as a favorite: the Caribbean.
While the warmer summer months usually represent a low season for Caribbean travel, the demand for this region seems hotter than ever, with a 48% increase in flight bookings over 2019 highs, according to ForwardKeys.
To the surprise of many travel critics and trendspotters, all-inclusive resorts are more popular than ever, even among millennial travelers who might be expected to opt for more boutique properties or bespoke travel experiences.
Many of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean are doing a better job than ever of offering both seclusion and personalized travel experiences that appeal to even the newest generations of travelers.
Cayo Guillermo Resort Kempinski, Cuba
While many travelers’ first image of Cuba is the colorful, historic buildings and vintage cars that contribute to the energy of the capital city of Havana, Cuba is also one of the premier beach destinations in the Caribbean.
While many beaches on neighboring Caribbean islands are overdeveloped and over-touristed, many of Cuba’s beaches remain untouched and pristine. For many travelers – even those from the United States – Cuba can be a perfect beach destination for a unique and secluded stay in paradise.
Cayo Guillermo Resort Kempinski is among the most impressive resorts in Cuba and is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. The resort is nestled along the white sands of Cayo Guillermo, one of the thousands of tiny white sand cays surrounding the Cuban mainland. Part of the prestigious Kempinski brand, known as the oldest luxury hotel brand in Europe and synonymous with elegance, it guarantees one of the most luxurious stays in Cuba.
The resort is home to 222 rooms and suites, 12 private villas, and seven unique overwater bungalows, which are some of the most you’ll find outside of the Maldives. Suspended over crystal waters and featuring spacious private patios and plunge pools, they offer another level of seclusion and luxury to a memorable stay.
Whether you stay in one of the resort’s impressive suites or overwater bungalows, you’ll be wowed by the incredible natural beauty of this white sand destination. The resort sits along Playa Pilar, considered among the best beaches in the Caribbean. This pristine beach was made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream, which featured the beach after the author visited himself a number of times.
Direct flights from international airports and José Martí International Airport in Havana to Jardines del Rey International Airport in neighboring Cayo Coco make it easy to access this impressive resort.
Whether you’re looking to add a stay at this all-inclusive resort for an addition to your Cuba itinerary or the sole destination of your vacation, it’s sure to be a memorable trip.
Ambergris Cay, Turks & Caicos
For a secluded getaway, how does a private island resort sound? Nestled among some of the most pristine white sand beaches in the Caribbean, Ambergris Cay in Turks & Caicos is the perfect choice. The resort is spread across the 1,100-acre island, most of which remains untouched and undeveloped, rimmed with stunning white sand beaches.
Offering just ten suites and seven private villas, Ambergris Cay ensures its guests the highest level of seclusion and privacy whether you’re looking for a beachfront pool suite with a private plunge pool for the ultimate romantic getaway, or a spacious six-bedroom villa with over 10,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor living space for a family vacation of a lifetime.
Ambergris Cay welcomes just a few guests at a time and offers the ultimate guest experience, complete with amenities you’d only expect at a much larger all-inclusive resort.
The resort recently completed an extensive refurbishment, adding a new dining venue to its enhanced main clubhouse, a state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center, and an expanded and enhanced pool area, among an array of other impressive features and amenities. Whether you’re looking forward to sticking close to your spacious suite or enjoying every amenity, you’ll love what you find at Ambergris Cay.
Ambergris Cay is easily accessible via a 20-minute domestic flight from the international airport in Providenciales, which is well-served with multiple daily direct flights from the United States and beyond. It’s a hassle-free way to reach the private island resort that will exceed your every expectation of an all-inclusive Caribbean resort getaway.
Jungle Bay, Dominica
With its dense, lush jungles, soaring volcanoes, and rich reefs, the island of Dominica handily earns its name as the Nature Island of the Caribbean, offering an abundance of richness to the adventurous travelers that make it here. Jungle Bay is a perfect choice for an eco-luxury stay in a unique Caribbean resort bursting with all the verdant beauty and laid-back character of the island.
While there is no beachfront at Jungle Bay, you won’t miss it. The resort sits perched on the hillside overlooking the fishing village of Soufriere, with stunning views overlooking Dominica’s dramatic southern point and the Caribbean Sea. Jungle Bay features two incredible pools, each with mountain and ocean views better than the next.
Jungle Bay boasts sixty rooms and villas, though it maintains a boutique feel with personalized attention and service. The resort’s grounds are covered with paths shaded with fruit trees and palms, giving the ultimate feeling of seclusion and privacy.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, upgrade to one of the private villas. At around 800 square feet, they are spacious and include a large private terrace with a daybed. A massive indoor-outdoor shower room covered with natural stone and natural, locally-sourced furnishings invites the ultimate sense of bringing the Nature Island close.
While Jungle Bay isn’t all-inclusive by design, it offers many all-inclusive packages so that guests can tailor their stay to make the best of the resort’s amenities and the highlights of the island. The popular Active Wellness Package includes guided excursions, organic meals, and even spa treatments and airport transfers.
For adventurous travelers coming to experience Dominica’s reefs, considered some of the best in the world, a dive-specific package offers everything you could need and more.
Cayo Levantado Resort, Dominican Republic
Recently opened as one of the most impressive luxury hotels in the Dominican Republic, Cayo Levantado Resort sits on a private island off the shores of the beachy Samaná Peninsula. With an incredible array of activities and amenities to draw visitors, it’s poised to be among the next best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean on your bucket list.
As part of the Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, the luxurious resort represents a step further into the luxury sector for the Spanish Grupo Piñero brand, which already owns a number of award-winning properties around the Caribbean.
Gorgeous suites and villas meet two pools, an impressive reflection and wellness space known as Yubarta for workshops and activities, and incredible white sand beach fronts for the Caribbean resort experience you’re dreaming of.
Cayo Levantado Resort significantly emphasizes local culture and cuisine, an area many other luxury Caribbean resorts lack. Interior design concepts and furnishings are local in design and inspiration while keeping an elevated, breezy Caribbean feel. Guests can also try local favorite dishes, along with international cuisine, at any of the resort’s eight restaurants and six bars.
Despite being relatively new to the scene, Cayo Levantado Resort is already making a big splash, promising to be an up-and-coming favorite among the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
Cayo Espanto, Belize
Located off the coast of Belize, the private island resort Cayo Espanto is a favorite with the rich and famous, and it’s easy to see why. This white sand private island is home to just seven private waterfront villas, each with its own private pool, patio, and ample space to enjoy lazy days along the clear waters of the Caribbean.
Cayo Espanto is the perfect spot to explore the Belize Barrier Reef, a healthy and colorful portion of the Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second-largest barrier reef. The resort is well-positioned for divers and snorkelers alike to enjoy access to the reef’s incredible biodiversity.
Cayo Espanto is accessible by a quick 7-minute boat ride from San Pedro, Belize, which is just over two hours from many large cities in the United States. Or, for an even more hassle-free escape, fly in from the international airport on the resort’s helicopter. The helicopter is also available for excursions.
From the air, take in Belize’s one-of-a-kind marine sinkhole, the Great Blue Hole, on an unforgettable excursion. The resort can also arrange diving excursions to the Great Blue Hole for experienced divers to encounter a dive site unlike any other.
Vacation Bliss in The Caribbean
Whether you’re looking for the seclusion of a private island vacation, the exclusivity of an overwater bungalow, or the incredible flavors only found in the Caribbean, consider these resorts for your next vacation. As resorts take the all-inclusive experience to the next level, you’ll be hard-pressed not to fall in love with this style of travel all over again.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.