There’s All Inclusive, and then there’s All Inclusive. If you’re after a holiday with that little bit of extra oomph, try these hotels on for size. We’ve rounded up the cream of the crop – we’re talking the kind of places where waterparks, 24-hour grub and Michelin-starred menus are up for grabs. Take a look and pick your fave…
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The rockstar one
You’ll feel like a total Mick Jagger as soon as you swipe your room key at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. First off, it’s got the biggest casino in the Dominican Republic, as well as a bass-pumping nightclub. When this place says R&R, they mean rock ‘n’ roll. Even the rest and relaxation, AKA the spa, is themed around music. And you should cop a load of its hydrotherapy circuit with whirlpools, a sensory pool and an ice room – it’s one of the best in the Caribbean. It doesn’t take entertainment lightly, either. Diddy ones can make their own band, learn dance moves and perform on stage as part of the included KIDZ BOP experience. And those aged 12 and over get a Music Lab with coaching and jam sessions.
Find out more about the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
The water baby one
If you can’t tear your little one away from the pool, get yourself to the Holiday Village Costa del Sol – stat. This family-friendly pad’s pool scene is bursting at the seams, with a splash pool, a pirate ship and a massive lagoon-like one for everyone. Grown-ups can slip away to the sea-view hot tubs. Or, you can take the whole brood down to the beach club, where the wave pool and lazy river will keep ‘em busy. After you’ve towelled off, there are the HV classics to try out. Book your little ones in for the football, swim or stage academies, or watch them go wild on the Aerial Adventure course.
The foodie ones
Boring buffets are a thing of the past at the El Dorado Royale Spa Resort by Karisma. This Riviera Maya hotel is packed to the rafters with restaurants – racking up a whopping nine eateries. And, even the snobbiest of foodies would struggle to turn their nose up at what’s on offer. That’s because this place is Gourmet Inclusive®, so you can make the most of a la carte dining for brekkie, lunch and dinner – there’s even waiter service to your sunbed. Fuentes Culinary Theatre gets the biggest applause. Here, you can tuck into a different tasting menu every night, while watching the chef prepare the next course on big live screens. If you’re feeling extra fancy-pants, you can pair each dish with a sommelier-selected wine, too. When you’re just after a chilled bite to eat, you’ve got everything from a pizzeria to a sushi-serving Asian joint.
Follow your taste buds at the El Dorado Royale Spa Resort by Karisma.
If you’d rather stay closer to home, the TUI MAGIC LIFE Cala Pada is a top pick. This place is parked up in Ibiza and it puts on a tasty trio of restaurants. The main one, Magico, is a real all-rounder. It’s got a corner for healthy eaters, live cooking stations to gawk at, plus an area for potato lovers, with the root veg in every kind of form. There’s a duo of speciality restaurants, too, which you can dine at once a week for free. And midnight snacks are sorted, courtesy of the 24-hour Wunderbar.
Whet your appetite with a look at the TUI MAGIC LIFE Cala Pada
The luxurious one
Nowhere does la-di-da luxury quite like the Ikos Oceania, in Halkidiki, Greece. Think Michelin-starred menus, private beach and a top-notch spa. There are four restaurants to stuff yourself silly at. Plus, there’s a super-cool Dine Out concept, which means you can try out recommended local restaurants for a chance – the hotel will even ferry you there and back. The whole place looks uber-stylish, too, thanks to a double helping of infinity pools. You can spy Mount Olympus from one of them, while the other’s reserved for grown-ups. And, whether you’re flopped by the pool or beach, waiters will bring over drinks to your lounger.
The activity-packed ones
The clue’s in the name at the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort and Spa This Turkish gem is the proud owner of its own 27-hole golf course, designed by pro golfer Nick Faldo. You’ll get reduced green fees when you stay here. But the sport offering doesn’t stop there. This place is so big that it comes with three FIFA-standard pitches for footie matches. Inside, meanwhile, you can get a game in at the 10-pin bowling alley, or chill at the cinema. And the kids’ club cranks it up a gear with bumper cars, a mini-railway and minigolf – all part of the All Inclusive package.
Get the full lowdown on the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort and Spa
Over in Egypt, the Serenity Fun City Resort gives Disney a run for its money. Its huge castle-themed waterpark looks like it belongs in a King Arthur tale. And it’s chock-full of slides, from black holes and rafting rides to kamikazes and racers. Alternatively, you can get your H2O hit at the private beach, where you’ve got a diving centre. The thrills keep coming on dry land, too. For a little extra, you and the kids can let loose at Luna Park. This mini-theme park swings open its gates in the evening when the temperature’s cooler. Here, you’ve got dodgems, a ferris wheel, a carousel and a rollercoaster to play with.
Take a peek at the Serenity Fun City Resort.