On a Caribbean island that is famous for their all-inclusives, I wanted to get away from all that as much as possible and really get back to nature, and at Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel and Spa, I was able to soak in all the shades of blue of the Caribbean, as well as all the greens of the boutique resort's flora and fauna. I really enjoyed staying at this rustic eco-friendly hideaway tucked in-between the Dominican North Coast town of Cabarete and Sosua, located in a private residential area away from the tourists called Paseo de Sol. I highly recommend it to all who want to really get away from it all and truly rejuvenate.
All-inclusives are a good deal if you're looking to book a trip where you don't want to rack up extra dollars on your meals and alcoholic beverages. There's definitely a peace of mind that comes with your vacation when you know your meals and drinks are included. All-inclusives are also a great option for cost-effective weddings. Your guests will be glad to know how much they will have to pay up front and everyone can eat, drink, and get totally trashed, without limits.
My friend Carolyn and her husband got married at an all-inclusive and it was basically a wedding, honeymoon, and a vacation with close friends and family in one. If you're short on time or want to kill three birds with one stone, I totally recommend it.
Here are two all-inclusives I recommend due to their contribution to sustainability.
#1) Turkoise: Club Med's Turks and Caicos All-Inclusive
Turkoise, Club Med's Turks and Caicos All-Inclusive (starting at $US150++/night) offers 290 rooms in two-story bungalows. The resort has held a Green Globe Certification since June 2010 and is one of the best destinations in the world for water sports and scuba diving.
Located on the northeast side of the island of Providenciales in the Caribbean Sea, this adult-only (18 years and older) is located on a white sandy beach that lines the entire length of the resort next to a calm and clear turquoise sea.
Activities at the property include adventure sports such as a flying trapeze (yes, you read correct: a flying trapeze), biking, cardio-tennis, yoga, fishing, hiking, scuba diving (at an extra cost), sailing, snorkeling and more.
A golf course is within range and guided tours of the island are available.
In order to ensure the protection of the area's coral reefs, the property has a responsible scuba diving program in partnership with the organization Beautiful Oceans.
This all-inclusive is the only resort on the island to buy locally-produced table wine (white, red, and rose) and bottles are reused. This reduces transport-related emissions and provides local jobs. It also makes the recycling of glass bottles possible, since there is no available waste treatment on the island yet.Also, through their sustainable purchasing policy, they avoid the purchase of endangered species, especially fish.Club Med also supports Provo Children's Home, a home for abused children, where they teach the children about the environment and recycling.In full support of the environment, Club Med organizes Earth Day activities in the local village and participate in the island clean-up with other hotels and local children.
#2) Palace Isla Mujeres Resort in Mexico
I really enjoyed the feel of Palace Isla Mujeres Resort, an intimate couples-only all-inclusive a short boat ride away from Cancun. It offers 62 beautiful and luxuriously appointed accommodations with double jacuzzi baths offering island, pool or ocean views and balconies, a well-stocked mini bars, 24-hour room service where you can order whole bottles of wine (both red and white if you want), wireless internet and free phone calls to mainland United States, Canada and Mexico (a huge plus!).
The property also offers a fitness center, beach volleyball court, pool volleyball, ping pong tables, and table games.
You can also take part in the daily planned activities such as theme parties, contests, live performances, as well as trips to to the nearby turtle preserve. Daily Spanish lessons are also offered for those who want a quick lesson.
Relaxing and energizing spa services are also available in four spa cabins (including a wedding one) at an additional cost. Spa treatments are not included in the all-inclusive plan at Isla Mujeres Palace, although two 25 minute massages are included if you book a Concierge Level Room.
Another perk: Guests at Palace Isla Mujeres will also have day access to the other larger Palace Resort properties in the Cancun area (Beach Palace, Moon Palace, Sun Palace) where you can enjoy the pools and the activities offered there for the entire duration of your stay.
You can also enjoy the infamous nightlife of Cancun a short boat-ride away.
The Palace Resorts was the first group member globally to join EarthCheck – the environmental sustainability program and has implemented new systems to monitor eco-friendly approaches to operations, conservation measures and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). They are also certified under the Meso American Reef Tourism Initiative (MARTI), which awards companies which protect the region’s natural landscape through sustainable hotel operations.
Palace Resorts created the Palace Foundation, which supports the land and people of Quintana Roo, Yucatán, Jalisco and Nayarit in México and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
The luxury amenities of the Palace Resort Isla Mujeres plus the private intimacy of this property starts at $US375+/night.