When the ‘all-inclusive’ affix is attached to a hotel, it’s customary to be visited by an instant shudder-inducing vision of screaming kids clubs, verruca socks and piles upon piles of cardboard-like hash browns. Thanks to their sprawling size and historic affordability, all-inclusives have been favoured by young families and package-tour aficionados prioritising ease of quality — but no longer. A new breed of resorts have sprung up in recent years, aiming to resurrect the package holiday from the realm of naffness and into a new era of luxury.
Miavana Hotel, Madagascar
Accessible only by helicopter from Diego Suarez airport, the newest hotel from the Time + Tide group is on Miavana, the largest of five islands in an archipelago off the north-eastern coast of Madagascar. This is the ultimate in luxury all-inclusive escapes, with 2,500 acres of wilderness and 14 private villas overlooking the Indian Ocean. The package gets you much more than just a few free Mai Tais — all guests have a butler and access to activities including guided lemur walks, boat cruises, spa treatments and daily yoga. Perhaps the best part is the unlimited meals, with trained chefs whipping up delicacies like mangrove crab, Madagascan Rova caviar and Zebu-milk buffalo mozzarella. Yum.
Prices start from £8,232 per person, mavrossafaris.com
Body Holiday, St Lucia
This hotel has become an institution for wellness junkies and brides looking for a glow-up before their big day. With a private beach by the Caribbean, the hotel’s mantra is “Give us your body for a week, and we’ll give you back your mind”. Guests pay upfront for a spa break and holiday like no other, with inclusive hour-long daily treatments such as bespoke facials, full-body massages and body scrubs using local limes and ginger. With a timetable of daily fitness classes, the hotel foyers are bustling with lycra-clad guests zipping from morning yoga to aqua aerobics. But the Body Holiday is all about balance — in the evenings the pretty verandas come alive with musical performers and guests enjoying a well deserved and, crucially, all-inclusive cocktail… or two.
Prices start from £711 per night for one guest, thebodyholiday.com
Jumby Bay Island, Antigua
A short boat-ride off the Caribbean island you’ll find Jumby Bay Island, which is private and surrounded by 4.5 miles of white-sand beaches, coral reefs and lush jungle; not a bad set-up for Oetker Collection’s all-inclusive Antiguan outpost. The hotel has 28 suites, with 12 more opening at the end of this year, and offers inclusive perks from boat trips and meals at the Estate House restaurant to free-flowing Moët & Chandon. The hotel is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, with waterskiing, windsurfing and wakeboarding, but the jewel in the crown is the Jumby Bay Sailing Academy, where all ages and abilities can learn to sail like a pro.
Prices start from $2,250 per night, oetkercollection.com
Bawah Reserve, Indonesia
We all know about Bali’s pristine beaches but Indonesia is home to many more tropical islands, with far fewer tourists. The Bawah Reserve is on a tiny island in the Riau Archipelago between Malaysia and Borneo and is as close to paradise as you get. The eco-resort is founded on principles of sustainability, with 36 suites and bungalows built in and around the island’s network of mangroves, designed to live in harmony with a diverse eco-system including 2,000-year-old trees and a coral reef. Guests can explore the island’s 13 beaches and two lagoons in complete privacy or take in ocean views from the downward dog position during morning yoga class. Chefs use ingredients from their own organic gardens and wild fish freshly caught every morning. In the evenings guests can flop down under the starry heavens to watch films on the beach while sipping on cocktails, all included, of course.
Prices start from £1,645 per night, bawahreserve.com
The Point Hotel, New York
This unique hotel is set on Lake Saranac in upstate New York on the tip of a 75-acre peninsula, with panoramic views of the lake and forests. The Point was built in the 1930s by businessman William Avery Rockefeller as one of the Great Camps of the Adirondacks, a group of lakeside homes designed for some of America’s most prestigious families. It was bought in 2016 by long-term guests Laurie and Pierre Lapeyre, who lovingly restored the 11 original guest rooms, which feature four-poster beds and myriad antiques, to their chintzy splendour. But the cavernous rooms and preppy luxury are one thing, guests come back every year for the hot toddies in front of a crackling fire and the fully stocked ice bar by the lake, perfect after a long day of cross-country skiing, ice fishing and curling.
Prices start from £1,822 per night, thepointresort.com
Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa Resort Lenk, Switzerland
The best thing about skiing holidays are the accoutrements; the mulled wine at 11am, plates of pommes frites slathered in mayonnaise at lunch, hot chocolates after a long session in the sauna. Imagine all of these amplified by 100, that is what it is like to stay at the Lenkerhof. Not only does this five-star resort boast inclusive ski equipment, outdoor and indoor pools and an ice grotto, it even has its own private sulphur springs in the sprawling wellness centre. But the best thing about Swiss hotels is the breakfast buffet: crusty, oven-warm bread of every shape and size, freshly made bircher muesli and enough charcuterie and cheeses to put your local wine bar to shame. And you can go for seconds, thirds and even fourths without any further dent to your coffers.
Prices start from £238 per night, relaischateaux.com
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Arizona
The super-exclusive Miraval resort in the Santa Catalina Mountains is surrounded by 400 acres of cactus-studded desert… and little else. But this is the point of Miraval, an all-inclusive resort with an emphasis on wellness, where phones are banned from all public places. Guests can book tailored packages based on their “intentions” (mental wellbeing, fitness, self-connection etc) or receive nightly credits to put towards spa treatments or classes like morning HIIT, Aroma flow yoga, photography and even talks on how to biohack your metabolism. Meals and drinks are all included. Chefs whip up delectable dishes created by nutritionists using seasonal ingredients, designed to give you the perfect balance of macros, proteins, fats and carbs. You can even request the recipes for your favourite dishes and get a tutorial on recreating them back home.
Prices start from £735 per night, miravalarizona.com