We’ve been traveling steadily for over a decade. The first half of that consisted of taking a few months off every year to escape the Canadian cold while the second half has been full-time travel. While we had traveled almost everywhere in the world, we hadn’t visited Jamaica. All of that changed not too long ago.
After a couple years of solid independent travel, our trip to Jamaica was our first luxurious all-inclusive vacation in quite a while. And what a luxury it was! We loved being welcomed with a tropical drink and having a platinum bracelet placed on our wrist. It gave us access to the entire resort, including limitless food, premium drinks, and activities for the next week. This was going to be a great escape.
Our trip started in Montego Bay at the ultra luxurious Iberostar Grand Rose Hall. If you want a worry-free, all-inclusive experience without the kids, adults-only resorts like this are a great choice. These resorts have a more upscale feel with extra pampering and more peace and quiet.
The all-inclusive luxury packages at the Grand Rose include butler service, at least one round of complimentary golf, and sporting activities like kayaking, windsurfing, access to the fitness room, and all-inclusive access to their two neighboring resorts.
What we loved about this place was the choice of food. You aren’t stuck eating at the buffet (which was amazing by the way). There are four international dining room options, including Kiniro Japanese Restaurant, where our chef cooked at the table!
Viewfinder Tip: Make reservations at your restaurant choices when you arrive at the resort to avoid them being booked up.
We’ve learned that all-inclusive vacation packages vary greatly and it’s important to look into what you want out of your vacation. If you are bringing the kids, you can still have luxury, as the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Rose Hall Beach Suites were next door to the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall. It gives you premium service in a family-friendly atmosphere. Heck, eventhough we were staying at the Grand Rose Hall, we popped over to enjoy some of their services too.
Not ones to get stuck at the resort, we made our way to Negril for a day to sail along the coast from Beaches Negril Resort. Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the world and the big resorts like Sandals and the Caves can also be found here.
Beaches had a completely different feel from Iberostar. It had that party atmosphere that one thinks of when going to Jamaica; and we liked it. Wooden bridges zigzag their way over the pool, people enjoy a drink on the teak restaurant decks, and others soak up the sun at the pool bar. It definitely had that laid-back Caribbean vibe that we crave when heading to the tropics.
Sometimes, however, you just want to get away from it all and go somewhere warm while having all your activities under one roof; or, should I say, under one jungle canopy. The super resorts, like Sandals Grand Riviera in Ocho Rios, offer every water sport under the sun, including unlimited scuba diving. Surrounded by lush jungle on one side and an incredible stretch of coastline with fifteen dining choices, Sandals Grand Riviera gives you plenty of reasons to never even leave the resort. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
We’ve traveled every way under the sun, from staying at small independent hotels to enjoying luxury resorts. When we are on vacation, we just want to have a worry-free escape that’s been bought and paid for months ago. We can take another trip for exploring and immersing in the culture, but an all-inclusive vacation is a time to sit back, relax, and let someone else take care of you. It’s not often that we get to turn our minds off and when we do, it’s good to know that we don’t need to worry about a thing. When we’re looking to completely unwind, an all-inclusive experience is the way to go.
What’s your favorite thing about an all-inclusive resort?