Winter’s cold evokes thoughts of sipping cocktails under swaying palm trees on white sand beaches. In freezing temperatures, every Canadian can make a convincing case for needing a warm escape.
With a new influx of service-oriented resorts, savvy Canadian travellers are not just enjoying low-maintenance winter escapes; they are discovering a whole new vacation experience. Here are four fabulous properties that have raised the bar on all-inclusive holidays by introducing more amenities and an ever-expanding roster of activities like yoga on the beach, wine tasting, swimming with sea turtles and soaring above a jungle stream on a zip-line. So grab your flip-flops and head for the heat!
Paradisus Palma Real Golf and Spa Resort Punta Cana
One of the biggest complaints in choosing an all-inclusive resort is the lack of quality food choices and endless buffet lines, but Paradisus changed all that. Their LUXEclusive service takes guests on a sensorial journey through exquisite design, aromatic scents, inviting sounds and an incredible sense of taste.
Home to seven gourmet dining venues, the Palma Real lures guests with a more refined palate. Their crown jewel is Passion, an AAA 4-Diamond Award restaurant run by 8 Michelin star Chef, Martin Berasategui. Everything at Paradisus is premium, including the cocktails created by their very own mixologist. Forget those slushy fruit concoctions; the Rosemary & Cinnamon Silver Ginn Fizz is fabulous!
This spectacular resort also features wine tasting classes, butler service, an Asian inspired spa and five swimming pools; including a 40,000 square foot aquamarine stunner that extends onto the pristine sands of Bávaro Beach, declared by UNESCO as one of the best beaches in the world, especially captivating when lounging on a Bali bed.
Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Resorts Jamaica
It used to be that lounging on the beach was enough; exploring what lay beyond the resort was discouraged, but with a growing number of sports enthusiasts and thrill seekers, times have changed.
The new Hyatt Ziva and Zilara (adults-only) Rose Hall, Jamaica’s first Hyatt dual-branded all-inclusive resorts are set amidst lush green mountains and the Caribbean Sea. This golfer’s paradise offers 80 hours of prime time programming on the Golf Channel and one free round of golf at the world-class White Witch Golf Course and Cinnamon Hill; the setting for the reality series ‘Altered Course.’
Hyatt’s evolution of the all-inclusive focuses on ‘service from the heart’ that segues into how guests embody a destination. Exploring the region’s rich history is encouraged through a number of exciting excursions such as gliding along rivers, soaring above a jungle stream on a zip-line, snorkelling off a coral reef or climbing a waterfall and swinging like Tarzan into a freshwater pool. Afterwards, sit back and take in the sunset at Fez; their rooftop Moroccan inspired bar.
Palm Island Resort St. Vincent and the Grenadines
With the expansion into eco-tourism, resorts are placing greater emphasis on green practices. Taking that focus even further is Palm Island Resort; an eco-friendly, green certified, 135 acre Caribbean island nestled amidst swaying palm trees, five white-sand beaches and tranquil waters in blue and turquoise hues.
This tropical paradise is ideal for sailing and its breathtaking seascapes provide some of the best diving and snorkeling grounds in the world. Guests can partake in an array of free water sports including snorkeling expeditions to three surrounding coral reefs, kayak rides and windsurfing. Extras include afternoon tea, weekly cocktail hour and chef’s weekly cooking demonstration; as well as yoga, Pilates and Thai massage classes, or simply enjoy quiet moments walking or cycling along the nature trails. When you’re ready for an off-island experience, staff can help you book a number of memorable excursions like sailing to the nearby Tobago Cays, five uninhabited islands, where you can swim with sea turtles.
In keeping with sustainable practices, their menu incorporates locally grown herbs and produce, some of which are from the on-property greenhouse. And with more than 2,000 coconut trees, this superfood is harvested and incorporated into the menus. The leaves are also used in a weekly hat-making class and the resort’s boutique additionally features handmade soaps, jewellery and other locally handcrafted goods.
Book your stay at palmislandresortgrenadines.com
RIU Palace Aruba
The most inviting aspect of an all-inclusive vacation is the ease of planning and rare opportunity to sit back and enjoy peace of mind. After a 23 million dollar refurbishment project, the RIU Palace Aruba is ready to welcome guests who seek effortless indulgence in a luxury all-inclusive vacation.
Bathed in warm turquoise waters on the white sands of Aruba’s legendary Palm Beach, RIU offers a variety of beautifully appointed rooms and dining venues to satisfy every palate. When it comes to matters of relaxation, pamper yourself with a treatment at the Renova Spa; the Relaxing Massage is pure bliss! Afterwards, disappear beneath an umbrella with a cocktail or good book, poolside or beachside, the view is inspiring, especially at sunset.
Leisure time is time well spent at this Palm Beach oasis. The RIU offers a treasure trove of water sports and daily activities such as wind surfing, golf, diving and hiking. There are also many exciting excursions like shopping in the capital, Oranjestad, swimming in a natural pool known as Cura di Tortuga, and exploring the island’s natural gems on a Jeep Safari adventure. Just a few steps away, Palm Beach is dotted by picturesque piers, beach bars, restaurants, shops and casinos for you to explore. If you want an adults-only haven, book the RIU Palace Antillas located next door. Whatever your preference, there’s something to make this your best vacation yet!
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