News & Reviews News Best all-inclusive luxury resorts in the world

All-inclusive has a terrible reputation.  When you say those words, most people think of a piss-up in Magaluf or Benidorm, followed by six weeks of non-stop diarrhoea and a new disease named after you.  Actually, some all-inclusive properties are amongst the best in the world.    Here’s a list to prove it to you.

Laucala, Fiji

Sure, it’s now part of the COMO portfolio, but the sheer insanity of Laucala remains untouched. This billionaire’s dream island features an 18-hole golf course, stables, and one of the largest swimming pools you’ll ever see, all reflecting a spared-no-expense mentality. Each villa is massive, incredibly spaced out, and offers immense privacy—not that you need much, considering how seldom you’ll encounter other guests on the island.  The only shame is the submarine is no longer there, but probably best we avoid those for a while.

The island offers a vast array of activities to keep you entertained. However, be prepared to wait on the service. Despite this, Laucala remains a favourite as long as don’t expect speed-of-the-essence service.

Kudadoo, Maldives

Kudadoo comprises just 15 overwater villas, each featuring contemporary Japanese design and expansive ocean views. The villas come with private butlers who seemed to never be around, yet always delivered.  Like the ghost of Tom Hanks from Castaway.  One standout feature of Kudadoo is its extensive menu, offering everything from wagyu beef all the way to wagyu beef.  I mean, come on, what else are you gonna eat when it’s all-inclusive?  Better yet, it’s available around the clock.  Better suited for couples than families, the facilities are minimalist, but they try their best to make up for it with the food – especially the breakfast dishes that might just be the best I’ve ever had. However, the resort’s proximity to other islands sometimes makes it feel like you’re vacationing next to a bustling city rather than an isolated paradise.

Jumby Bay, Antigua

Jumby Bay in Antigua is conveniently close to the airport—you can almost wave at the pilots.  Let’s put that in the “easy to get to” category, shall we?  The island is beautiful, with multiple stunning beaches surrounding it.  There’s enough to do to keep you and the children entertained, and it provides an excellent array of choices for villas and private residences for groups and family trips.  Just don’t expect the food to win a Michelin star.

Miavana, Madagascar

Located on a remote island in Madagascar, it combines stunning wildlife encounters with top-tier luxury. In most cases.  The villas, of which there are just 14, are so stylish (but sadly lack proper swimming pools) that you could spend your trip indoors and feel it was worth the long trek.  That they’re all along the the white sand beach means you probably will want to go outside.

The resort emphasises adventure with activities like scuba diving, helicopter tours, banana boats, and wildlife safaris, allowing guests to explore Madagascar’s unique biodiversity. Since I last stayed they have now introduced lemurs to the island.  Despite its remote location, Miavana ensures top-tier service and amenities, including a personal butler and excellent dining options.  And maybe I’ll finally get that spa they kept promising when I return in a few months.

Kisawa, Mozambique

Kisawa Sanctuary likes small numbers, like 11, the number of villas, and four, the amount of restaurants. You can almost have a restaurant per guest.  The food is absurdly good, with even the potatoes leaving a lasting impression.  It’s a great escape for those who want to get away from it all but still have it all. Nestled on the coast of Mozambique, they blend seamlessly with the sand dune surroundings.  They have successfully blended high-end luxury and untouched nature. The villas are huge, and so is the property – you get electric cars to drive around in, which you can also take to explore the island.

The staff’s attentive, almost prescient service ensures a seamless stay, though the occasional shortages (like orange juice) and unusual menu items (like avocado ice cream) might catch you off guard.

The Brando, French Polynesia

Named after Marlon himself, The Brando is Hollywood meets eco-paradise. Which is basically Hollywood now anyway.  The man had foresight.  Located in French Polynesia, but away from the hustle and bustle of Bora Bora.  It’s home to a mosquito-free island (apparently – something still bit me) that offers private villas, pristine beaches, excellent food, and a commitment to sustainability, making it worth a trip.  Activities are geared towards relaxation and cultural experiences, so leave your thrill-seeking tendencies at home.

Arijiju, Kenya

Ok, so most safari lodges are all-inclusive, but none are as good as Arijiju. I could not have a list without them, so here it is. Set in Kenya’s Laikipia region, Arijiju is a safari lodge that redefines luxury. This is one of my favourite properties in the world, and as luck would have it, it’s all-inclusive, so you don’t even need to worry about money at all. I think that’s how it works.

The property is stunning, offering a unique mix of comfort and nature. But even though the facilities, rooms, decoration, and setting are stunning, it’s the service that really adds warmth and character. Think game drives followed by spa treatments and dinners under the stars. Oh yeah, and endless wildlife, including the elephants that come and drink from the pool.

Ol Jogi, Kenya

The only place on the list where you can go pet a wild rhino.  Or a wild elephant.  Or experience what it’s like to be Dr. Dolittle.

Ol Jogi in Kenya is an over-the-top safari experience that’s part art gallery, part wildlife sanctuary, and part midlife crisis. With 30,000 acres all to yourself, it’s a conservationist’s dream. The property itself is a bit wild in design, but the animal encounters are even more wild. If Cinderella’s Castle was run by Gene Simmons, this would be it.  An absolutely magnificent property that exceeds all expectations with the unique animal encounters.

Fregate

Even though it’s shut and is not due to open until at least 2025 (which really means 2026), I have a huge amount of faith in this project.  Fregate was the ugly duckling to North Island’s swan, or some equally laborious analogy.  A stunning island with a very mediocre product, which is now going through a four-year closure to revamp it into a masterpiece.  It has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen and an incredible range of biodiversity that, previously, would show up unannounced in your bedroom.  This is Dorsia’s most anticipated (re)opening of anywhere in the world.

Worth a mention

As always, I have not been everywhere, but here are a few other options that might enter the list when I get around to visiting them: La Cigale, Reid Creek Lodge, Nihi, Bawah Reserve, Blackberry Farm, Four Seasons Naviva and Islas Secas.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 1st Jul '24

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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