Grand VelasFor years, all-inclusive hotels had a stigma attached to them. Travelers who enjoy highly rated hotels with exceptional service and unique offerings often associated the all-inclusive with overindulgence (“All you can eat/drink!”) and cost cutting (“Is there rum in this Pina Colada?”). In other words, not for the discriminating traveler.

This is no longer the case. With a few well-researched recommendations, we can usher you into the new age of all-inclusives: five- star accommodations, true gourmet dining options, first-rate wines and spirits, world-class spas, and a wide range of included activities.

Today’s all-inclusive offers traveling couples, families or friends a way to pay for a vacation upfront with no unexpected costs while traveling … and still hold onto the coveted title of “discerning traveler.”

  • The five-diamond, all-suites Grand Velas in the Riviera Maya offers 1,000-plus square-feet of living space, whirlpool bathtubs, 42-inch plasma screen TVs, wireless Internet access, and 24-hour room service. With eight restaurants, variety is top of mind with this all-inclusive.
  • The brand-new Verandah in the Turks and Caicos sits on the world-renowned Grace Bay Beach. Architecturally resembling a Nantucket village, the studio and one-to-four-bedroom residences range from 500 square-feet to 2,500 square-feet – plenty of room to provide privacy and comfort in a luxurious getaway.
  • Steeped in tradition, Curtain Bluff in Antigua has long been the epitome of casual elegance. Sporting a laid-back Caribbean feel, the hotel is known for breathtaking beaches, a multitude of water activities, dining fit for the epicurean and a wine cellar that is, well, stellar!

At a time when it seems that civility is waning in many of our travel experiences, being greeted with a smile, a cool towel and a bottle of water still rate very high with well-seasoned and new travelers alike. Today’s all-inclusives might surprise you in their effort to prove that in travel, the maxim “all things are possible” still rings true.

Jennifer CampbellWherever you decide to go – enjoy, relax and experience!

Jennifer Campbell is a partner and travel consultant with Explorations. Contact her at

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Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.