Belfast Telegraph

Monday 3 August 2015

Five Best: All-inclusive resorts

By Tom Lowe

Published 30/04/2007 | 14:11

Five Best: All-inclusive resorts
Five Best: All-inclusive resorts

For fuss-free indulgence, first-class food and stylish surroundings, check into one of these exclusive retreats

Royal Hideaway Playacar, Mexico

This sprawling complex of Spanish colonial and Mexican-style villas opens onto the white sand beaches of the pristine Mayan Riviera. Linked by tranquil, winding creeks, the elegant rooms feature nice touches such as Wi-Fi, welcome champagne and tropical fruit plates. Don't expect themed cuisine evenings - there are six à la carte restaurants, one under the guidance of a Michelin-starred chef. The resort also provides a good base for exploring the Yucatan Peninsula.

Royal Hideaway Playacar, Lote Hotelero 6, Desarollo Playacar, Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico ( Double rooms start at US$560 (£311), all inclusive.

Turtle Island, Fiji

One of 20 or so volcanic islands that make up the Yasawa archipelago in the western region of Fiji, Turtle Island was the set for the movie, Blue Lagoon. After the film crew's departure, it was converted into this luxury resort. There are 14 bures - traditional thatched huts - overlooking either tropical gardens or the famous lagoon. The surrounding clear water and virgin reefs provide the ideal conditions for snorkelling and scuba diving. Land-based activities include hiking, horse riding and, for sybarites, four-handed Hawaiian massage. Meals - which follow a contemporary Pacific slant - can be taken on the beach, in the gardens or even at the top of a mountain.

Turtle Island resort, Yasawa group, Fiji ( Double bures start at US$1,632 (£907), all inclusive. Minimum six-night stay.

Paradisus Palma Real, Dominican Republic

The Paradisus Palma Real is cloaked from the coastal breezes and shores of the Punta Cana coastline by a maze of palms and tropical gardens. The Dominican Republic might have gained a reputation for commoditised tourism, but this resort is helping to change that. Suites feature Jacuzzi baths and tasteful decor, with mahogany furniture, lots of marble, and plasma TVs. There's also a dedicated family concierge, six restaurants (two of them à la carte), and top-notch spa.

Paradisus Palma Real, Playa de Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic ( Suites start at US$413 (£229), all inclusive.

Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Jamaica

Round Hill - set away from the rest of the Montego Bay resorts - has plenty of laid-back Caribbean charm, without the gaudy decor that blights many of its peers. What it doesn't skimp on is style; the Pineapple House's 36 rooms have been recently overhauled by Ralph Lauren. Think sparkling white interiors and muslin-draped four-poster beds; pale stone floors and brightly coloured cushions complement the plantation-style architecture. Each of the 27 additional private villas faces west to catch the sunset. Look out for a new infinity pool, ideal for idling beside the Caribbean.

Round Hill Hotel, Montego Bay, Jamaica ( Double rooms start at US$710 (£394), all inclusive.

The Cove Retreat, Kenya

The Cove is a fitting name for this charming beach resort, set in a remote nook in Kenya's Indian Ocean coastline. Unlike nearby Diani, Kinondo Beach remains undeveloped and is known for the whale sharks and dolphins that bask offshore. With an ecological approach high on the agenda, The Cove's luxury villas are made from local materials. Other accommodation includes treehouses offering 180-degree views of the Indian Ocean. As well as standard beach-based activities, there are also "community-involved" excursions.

The Cove Retreat, Kinondo Beach, near Diani, Kenya ( Double rooms start at £286, all inclusive.

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