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Best all-inclusive hotels for a relaxing post-lockdown break

Travel may be off limits for now, but that doesn't mean we can't make plans for the future. We hope that articles like this one will help you plan your next experience, whenever that may be.

All around the world, these past months have left us all reeling. In England, we can expect to continue living in lockdown until 8 March earliest, and travel bans are still in place from the UK to tens of countries worldwide. Holidays aren’t on the cards right now, but we need something to get us through the next few weeks. And post-lockdown, we’re all going to be in need of some serious looking after – probably at an all-inclusive hotel.

Since COVID-19 first disrupted our lives and travel plans, our research has shown that travellers are are prioritising wellbeing, flexibility and peace of mind above all else when considering future plans. That’s why we’ve collected this list of the best all-inclusive hotels with free cancellation, high cleanliness ratings and tip-top wellbeing offerings. That means, the spa, pools, activities and on-site restaurants are excellent enough to get you through an entire holiday without having to leave the premises.

And if you want to venture out, after some serious recuperation, they’re all close to amenities and activities to help get you back to normal, after an extremely abnormal year. With flexible booking available, there’s no harm in getting something in the diary to look forward to.

Best all-inclusive hotels for couples

Twelve months in each other’s company did not equal 12 months of quality time. Reset the romance by treating your S.O. to an all-inclusive break with intimacy on the agenda – it’s a lovely way to thank them for their support through this difficult time.

Iberostar Selection Santa Eulalia Ibiza (from approx. £94 per night)

Iberostar Santa Eulalia Ibiza is one of the best all-inclusive hotels for couples thanks to its spa, romantic pool and nightlife
© Iberostar Hotels

How much are you dying to spend a week just metres from the secluded s’Argamassa beach, with its sheltered sands, water skiing and pedalos? That’s if you can tear yourself away from the hotel, a romantic haven of sun loungers, fresh Mediterranean cuisine and a spa.

There’s even an on-site nightclub, if you’re not yet ready for full-blown Ibiza partying. But if you are ready after a few days of R&R, Nikki Beach Club is just a short stroll away. Bliss.

Hotel Jardin Tropical, Tenerife (from approx. £134 per night)

Hotel Jardin Tropical Tenerife is one of the best all-inclusive hotels for couples thanks to its spa, gastronomy and beach cocktails
© Hotel Jardin Tropical

This classy resort offers tropical, Caribbean vibes just a short-haul flight away. And that’s just the beginning. It doesn’t get much more romantic than a week spent meandering between yoga sessions, spa treatments, sunbathing by two palm-fringed pools and sipping cocktails at the beach club.

Not to mention the mouth-watering range of gastronomy on offer: we’re talking Canarian seafood at Las Rocas, authentic Italian at Ugo & Vandino, Argentinian steak at El Chuurrasco. You could opt for half board – but with five restaurants to choose from, plus on-site cocktail bars, where’s the fun in that?

Best all-inclusive hotels for families

A year of home schooling and working from home meant a lot of time spent with the family. Celebrate your close bond at an all-inclusive hotel, with enough activities to let you celebrate your differences.

Salgados Palace, Portugal (from approx. £262 per night)

Beach waves in the Algarve, Portugal at sunset.

All-inclusive is just the beginning at this expansive five-star in Guia, a 40-minute drive from Faro airport. Yes, you could go for the ocean views and three outdoor swimming pools, but really, this is the place to go for activities.

The Salgados Golf course next door is this hotel’s crowning glory, and you’ll find horseback riding, watersports and a tennis court all in the vicinity. That’ll keep the kids entertained while you make the most of the on-site steam room, sauna, massages and beauty salon. And once they’re in bed, time to hit the pool table and the hotel’s own nightclub.

Iberostar Las Dalias, Tenerife (from £208 per night)

Iberostar Las Dalias is one of the best all-inclusive hotels for families thanks to its kids' Starcamp
© Iberostar Hotels

You could book this family-focused stay for just about any week of the year and maximise your beach time, because Costa Adeje – a short drive from Tenerife South Airport – basks under 300 days of sunshine each year. Throw in its proximity to the popular Playa de las Americas, with its water park, shopping strip and bars, and you’ve got a solid family holiday planned all on the hotel’s doorstep.

The kids’ activities seem endless thanks to the Star Camp children’s programme, spanning games and educational activities. Then, there’s the spa, Jacuzzi, pool and sauna, for you.

Best all-inclusive hotels for smaller budgets

Unless you were already a billionaire, it’s unlikely that you’ve benefited much financially from the COVID-19 era. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hotels for all budgets, for an all-inclusive escape.

Wonderland Healing Center, Thailand (from approx. £73 per night)

Wonderland Healing Center in Thailand is one of the best all-inclusive hotels for those on a budget
© Wonderland Healing Center

Yes, a stay at this beautiful resort in Koh Phangan requires a long-haul ticket to Thailand, but hear us out. If you need some serious unwinding, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place for doing that – especially on this budget.

Days at Wonderland Healing Center are spent on the ancient practises of yoga, meditation and detoxing, with fresh, plant-based cuisine, juice cleanses and even fasting. You can do a detox retreat, a yoga retreat or even yoga teacher training. And that’s before you’ve even got out to explore the rest of the beautiful Koh Phangan island – famous for its full-moon parties, when you’re ready to retox again.

Hotel Hopps, Sicily (from approx. £100 per night)

A snapshot of an Italian building's arches in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily

Mazara del Vallo is a characterful Sicilian town known for its ancient, blue-tiled Arabic quarter, its huge Norman cathedral and – following your next holiday – this four-star hotel on the waterfront, a few minutes’ walk from the historic Casbah.

It’s a great all-rounder for visitors on a budget, seeing as Sicily is significantly cheaper for visiting and eating out than Northern Italy. While there are plenty of historical and archaeological sites to keep you busy, the hotel always beckons you back with its suntrap pool, pizzeria and sea-view bar.

Best all-inclusive hotels for groups of friends

You’ve barely hung out with your friends in person for the best part of a year. Plan ahead for the mother of all mates’ holidays and get your social group back on track.

SOL by Meliá Benoa, Bali (from £24 per night)

If you’ve got the budget for a flight to Indonesia, it’s hard to imagine a better spot for a relaxed, all-inclusive friends’ holiday – and your money goes a lot further once you’ve landed. Picture this: incredible sunsets on the private beach, traditional Balinese massages at the outdoor spa or cocktails at the pool bar.

That’s before you’ve tucked into the Asian buffet or dinner at the Mediterranean fine-dining restaurant. Once you’ve fully reset, it’s time to explore the rest of the island – perhaps with ocean-front yoga or the famous Monkey Palace in Ubud.

El Dorado Maroma, Tulum (from approx. £262)

© El Dorado Maroma

Tulum is paradise for a mates’ break. The Mexican destination on the Caribbean Sea combines ancient Mayan history (think crumbling temple ruins on white-sand beaches) with a laid-back, beach party lifestyle. And at the centre of all this is this five-star, inclusive spa resort.

A stay here is as much about fine gastronomy as it’s about beach activities: Mexican-Caribbean fusion, creative sushi, Italian and Peruvian cuisine are all on the menu. And as for those activities, expect jet skiing, ocean safaris, scuba diving and yoga.

Best all-inclusive hotels for a luxury blowout

These prices aren’t for the faint-hearted. But after a year spent in various stages of lockdown, this might be the once-in-a-lifetime shake-up you need.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp, Thailand (from approx. £951 per night)

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp is one of the best all-inclusive hotels for a luxury blowout
© Anantara Hotels

This place gives new meaning to the words splashing out, but if there’s any way you can do it, post-lockdown is the time to go. This jungle resort on the Mekong River overlooks three countries – Thailand, Myanmar and Laos – and is a magical scene-setter for a holiday in all three.

Start with a river cruise to take a glance at the three cultures you’re immersed in, then opt for an all-inclusive package spanning cooking, spa, cultural and elephant experiences. Elephants? Yep – this resort is also home to an award-winning elephant conservation camp. And you can get face-to-face with the gentle giants on a dusk-to-dawn jungle bubble experience.

Bungalows Key Largo, USA (from approx. £819 per night)

For the ultimate stay in comfort and luxury, this Florida Keys resort is hard to beat. Adults-only, with a full-service spa, fitness centre and two outdoor pools, this place is also known for its unique accommodation in private bungalows. Here, it’s about the small, personal details: 24-hour desk assistance, a daily newspaper service, microwave ovens and excellent coffee in each room.

But you wouldn’t want to forget the bigger details, like the kayaking, canoeing and snorkelling on offer, the private sun terrace, or the proximity to nearby aquariums and shopping plazas. Basically, you couldn’t find yourself in better hands for a restorative getaway.

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