The Latest News From All-Inclusive Resorts

(No) Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort Spa & Casino opened on the Dominican Republic’s Bavaro Beach in July.

All-inclusiveness is an important factor when selecting a hotel for nearly half of vacationers, according to MMGY Global’s 2019-2020 Portrait of American Travelers. And for Millennials that number is even higher: 56 percent. These leisure seekers will find no shortage of all-inclusive accommodations, especially in Mexico and the Caribbean. Here are some of the latest developments on that front.

A wider variety of inclusions and an emphasis on local cuisine are all top of mind for AMResorts as it continues to expand in Mexico. Wellness is a major focus of the new inclusions with Breathless-branded resorts, for example, now offering Strong 30 by Zumba classes in its all-inclusive rates.

The company is also ramping up the culinary offerings across its brands, with a particular emphasis on eating local. It is looking to blend food and cultural immersion in more inventive ways, such as incorporating it into its reservation-less restaurants and immersive cooking classes.

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Finally, the company is expanding its family-friendly properties with the new Dreams Acapulco, Now Emerald Cancun and Sunscape Akumal. At these resorts, agents can expect amenities tailored to all age levels of a given family, such as adults-only areas, separate areas for both kids and teens, and daily and nightly activities. 

Also in Mexico, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun is preparing to roll out the red carpet in March 2020 in Costa Mujeres, just north of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. ​It will have entertainment experiences, of course, as well as four swimming pools, a lazy river, trampoline park, kids / teens club, a mini golf course, nine bars and 16 restaurants, including Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint

Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancun is preparing to open in March 2020 in Costa Mujeres.

Marriott plans to expand its all-inclusive portfolio with a mix of newbuild properties and conversions of existing resorts, including properties currently in the company’s portfolio. Additionally, the move will allow members of Marriott’s Bonvoy loyalty program to earn and redeem points at the new all-inclusive resorts. 

The five new all-inclusive resorts, representing a total of more than 2,000 rooms, include a new Autograph Collection resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, set to open in 2022 and comprising 650 rooms, and four new resorts in NIA, a new all-inclusive destination the company plans to develop in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit. These will be a 240-room Ritz-Carlton resort opening in 2023; a 400-room Westin Hotels resort set for a 2023 debut; a 300-room Autograph Collection resort planned for 2025; and a 500-room Marriott Hotels resort also opening in 2025. All told, NIA will span 220 acres on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. 

BodyHoliday in St. Lucia has unveiled two brand new Oasis Villas: Villa Aurora and Villa Calypso. Perched on a hill, each new building holds up to four guests with a Junior Suite on the upper floor and a “Penthouse” on the ground floor, or up to six guests when the double sofa bed on the Penthouse level is incorporated.

Select villa services by BodyHoliday include a personal concierge in addition to all the inclusions that the company has to offer, such as a daily 50-minute spa treatment at The Wellness Centre, more than 40 activities per day and several food and drink options. Guests can also opt for supplemental activities including I-Tal, an organic farm to table experience, or ask a member of the BodyHoliday culinary team to provide private catering services within their villa.

Sandals Royal Barbados has opened a new wedding venue: the Sky Terrace. The new terrace overlooking the Caribbean is available for both weddings and “ReTie the Knot” ceremonies or cocktail receptions, and it is also available to brides and grooms of the neighboring Sandals Barbados. The Sky Terrace is a semiprivate venue that allows one function per day with a maximum of 50 total persons.  

Couples Resorts Jamaica has announced its plans to renovate the 150-suite, all-inclusive Couples Sans Souci resort located in Ocho RiosJamaica. The $7 million project will begin May 1, 2020, and is scheduled for completion in late October. The property will close completely on May 1 and partially reopen July 1.

The renovations will include: Seventy-eight suites and the Hibiscus Cottage, Balloon Bar Terrace, reconfiguration of the Band Gazebo, Balloon Bar, Casanova Restaurant and Kitchen, Bella Vista Restaurant, relocation of tennis courts near Sunset Beach and lobby updates. Guests with confirmed reservations during this renovation period will be contacted by Couples’ reservations management team to facilitate alternate arrangements.

Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort Spa & Casino opened on the Dominican Republic’s Bavaro Beach in July. While it’s family-friendly, 250 of its 1,000-plus rooms are set in an adult-only sanctuary that has its own pool surrounded by adults-only swim-up suites. 

Other facilities include a five-acre outdoor shopping and entertainment strip called “The Boulevard,” accessible only to Lopesan guests; a spa; seven à la carte restaurants, including Mexican, Italian, French and Japanese options; and an English pub, sports bar, nightclub, and a 12,120-square-foot casino. There is also a theater, kids and teens clubs, a bowling alley and a water park.

Club Med Michés Playa Esmeralda is set to open in late November on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic in Miches. This marks the company’s first Exclusive Collection Resort in the Americas. Costing $100 million and spread over 93 acres, the resort’s accommodations will spread across four unique boutique “villages:” two adults-only sections, the tropical Caribbean Paradise in the heart of the property, and the family-friendly Explorer Cove.

Sustainability will be a focal point at the resort. The property plans to enact a tree re-planting program to replace every tree removed during construction. Guests will be able to attend educational mini-sessions and visit the community garden to learn about gardening, recycling and sustainability. Participating in the company’s commitment to eliminate single-use plastics, the new Club Med is banning the use of plastic straws.

Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa now houses Antigua’s first overwater bungalows.

Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa now houses Antigua’s first overwater bungalows. Each bungalow in the 294-room hotel is equipped with a king-size bed, living room, dining room, swim-out infinity plunge pool, over-water hammock, snorkel gear, Bluetooth speakers and jacuzzi soaker tubs. Set to open on March 1, 2020 is Royalton Grenada Resort and Spa with 269 suites in an area known for its mountains, waterfalls and historical sites. It will offer direct access to two of the island’s beaches.

It will be the first property within the Royalton portfolio with the new Ma Maison restaurant, a new dining concept for the chain. The bistro-style eatery will offer French cuisine in a waterfront setting. Guests also receive unlimited reservation-free dining at the resort’s à la carte restaurants included as part of their stay.

In the Bahamas, $250 million Margaritaville will be opening as part of The Pointe, a mixed-use development on Paradise Island that will also include a shopping concourse, movie theater, bowling alley and events stage. The resort will have a water park, entertainment center, a spa and more. This is expected to open in summer 2020. Additionally, Meliá Nassau Beach is slated to open in late 2020 as part of Baha Mar, becoming the first all-inclusive brand to be part of the resort. 

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