Tired of the same all-inclusive where you have to keep going to that tired old buffet night after night? These standout all-inclusives might just be the breath of fresh air you needed – with their unique and sometimes unusual amenities, they can even make same of the world’s top resorts look boring.
Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada (Prices & Photos)
Fogo Island is located off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, accessible by ferry from Farewell. It offers an other-worldly experience in a place that’s sometimes referred as the edge of the Earth – in fact, the Flat Earth Society considers Fogo as one of the four corners of a flat earth. It not only offers practically endless sources of inspiration for visiting artists and anyone else who wants to get far off the beaten path, but it’s home to the world famous Fogo Island Inn. Set along the rocky shores of Joe Batt’s Arm, the 29-room, all-inclusive resort is an escapist’s fantasy come true, with expansive ocean views from every room.
Each room at the inn boasts handmade Scandinavian-inspired furniture, a wood stove or fireplace and giant soaking tub. If that’s not enough, the property also features three rooftop hot tubs for soaking up the amazing surrounding scenery. Watch for blue-hued icebergs and passing whales with the in-room binoculars, and when you want to get out and explore you’ll find a network of 14 marked hiking trails that span over 120-miles of ancient, empty footpaths across the island, along high rocky cliffs, inland and down to the water’s edge. Cycling, fishing, kayaking and rowing punts (local traditional watercraft) are just a few of the activities available during the warmer months, while Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are winter options. Visit between late autumn and early spring, and you’ll have the ultimate front row seat for watching the Northern Lights.
The Singular, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile (Prices & Photos)
This 57-room hotel sits within a former cattle storage facility, surrounded by the nearly uninhabited wilds of Chilean Patagonia. To get to the rooms or to dinner, guests need to venture through intact machine rooms and tannery facilities first. Most of the factory has a museum-like feel, with elevated walkways to minimize foot traffic between engines and furnaces, but the employee mercantile has been transformed into an elegant restaurant and bar, while the massive cold-storage space was totally re-designed into guest rooms with full floor-to-ceiling glass windows, letting the wild scenery seep into your dreams. During the day enjoy thrilling adventures, including full-day hikes to the base of Torres del Paine and scenic boat rides to glaciers. Return to relax with a cocktail or unwind in the sauna.
Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado (Prices & Photos)
Dunton Hot Springs offers a unique Colorado mountain adventure that includes overnights in a meticulously-restored 19th-century ghost town – complete with mineral hot springs. This five-star property sits against a backdrop of aspens and the rocky San Juan Range. Dotted with historic log cabins that are spread across 1,400 wildflower-filled acres, the 19th-century structures were restored by local craftsmen two decades ago and converted into this luxurious, secluded retreat that sits about 30 miles southwest of Telluride, offering the chance to totally disconnect from the chaos of modern life. Use the time away from your electronic gadgets to go heli-skiing, rock climbing or hike miles and miles of scenic trails. In addition to the ring of cabins that form the perimeter of the pond, other historic buildings house a lavish spa, a well-stocked library and a saloon with wagon-wheel chandeliers and the original bar that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once imbibed at – by looking closely, you’ll even see their names carved into the wood.
andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Botswana, Africa (Prices & Photos)
The Okavanago Delta offers one of the top safari destinations on Earth. This oasis of rivers and lagoons in the heart of the Kalahari Desert is filled with an abundance of wildlife, including a vast array of birds, lion, cheetah, leopard, hippo, elephant, buffalo, mongoose and more. And, it’s all part of your all-inclusive stay, which also includes overnights in one of nine deluxe private tents, each featuring an over-sized indoor tub, outdoor shower and private plunge pool. In addition to going out on game drives via four-wheel drive vehicles, guests enjoy excursions by dugout canoes and gliding across the water in an electric “eco-boat.” All meals are included too, along with Champagne, fine wine, beer and cocktails.
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Solvang, California (Prices & Photos)
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort is set upon a 10,000-acre working cattle ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley that makes for an ideal all-inclusive family vacation. Melding the spirit of the Old West with the modern charms of a relaxing resort, it features a 100-acre spring-fed lake, 50 miles of horseback riding trails, two 18-hole championship golf courses, a swimming pool, spa, tennis courts and fine dining. Tasty buffet-style breakfast and dinners are included in the rate, and in the evening the hearty western-style fare might include items like ribs, steak, or locally caught fish. Breakfast horse rides where guests travel to a remote hillside location for flapjacks and a cowboy poetry recital are offered too.
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua (Prices & Photos)
This luxurious property is on its own private 300-acre island, just minutes by boat from Antigua. Even the biggest all-inclusive skeptics get excited about the perks here, which include lavish suites with ocean views and outdoor baths in lush, private courtyards. There is a full-service spa, Sense, which features sumptuous treatments like the Sense Hammock Massage for two in an open-air facility steps away from a breathtaking beach as well as poolside yoga and lawn games like croquet. As the resort happens to be partnered with HarperCollins and Random House, guests even have access to future best sellers before they’re available on Amazon. Looking for the ultimate in romance? Book one of the candlelit dinners along a private stretch of sand at the edge of turquoise waters.
The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana (Prices & Photos)
If Montana life is calling, The Resort at Paws Up offers incomparable luxury in the stunning Blackfoot Valley, 30 miles east of Missoula. It’s truly the best of the best, particularly for romance-seeking couples who can enjoy dining in an award-winning restaurant on a deck under billions and billions of stars. Spend your nights cozying up together in a luxury canvas tent, waking up to amazing mountain scenery, fresh clean air and morning coffee delivered via a “camping butler.” Spend your days exploring the wilderness on horseback, on foot or by soaring above the trees in a hot-air balloon. In the mood for an even bigger adventure? Join the ranch hands in a cattle drive, and, when you return your butler will pop open a bottle of wine so that you can toast to the unforgettable experience.
Dar Ahlam, Skoura, Morocco (Prices & Photos)
This 19th-century casbah enjoys a magnificent Sahara dunes backdrop and features 14 rooms, suites and villas as well as plush desert tents for sleeping under the stars. Its location, as the resort itself notes, is central to its philosophy of peace and privacy, to make guests feel as if they’re in another world entirely. Excursions are decidedly unique, from sunset camel rides in the deserts to touring the facilities of olive oil producers during harvest season and picnic lunches under the blossoms of an almond tree. Salt mines, gorges, valleys and lakes are all within easy reach and can be explored via horse, mule, 4X4, quad bike or mountain bike. At the end of the day, look forward to lengthy feasts that end with incredible deserts created by “the Picasso of pastry” chef Pierre Hermé.
Sal Salis, Ningaloo Reef in Australia (Prices & Photos)
A unique eco-friendly escape nestled at the edge of the ocean and coral reef in Western Australia, Sal Salis offers the chance to wake in one of nine spacious wilderness tents to the sounds of the ocean and the songs of the birds, while watching for glimpses of kangaroos that graze among the dunes. Sitting on raised platforms, they offer impressive views of both the sea and the land. The main lodge offers more panoramic views as well as a library and board games. Activities include snorkeling, kayaking, guided walks and even swimming with whale sharks. All-inclusive rates include accommodation, all meals, beverages, daily guided activities and one swim cruise per person, including a wetsuit and snorkel gear, gourmet buffet lunch and a complementary DVD of your fun day out.