Ever feel so stressed at the office or in your personal life that you want to book a last-minute getaway ASAP? Planning and reserving all the lodging, food and activities for a vacation is often a monumental undertaking that can suck the fun out of even a ’round-the-world trip.
Enter the all-inclusive resort. While the breed is typically known for mediocre food and drinks and being confined to a single property, there are actually other types of all-inclusives that aren’t just “fly-and-flops.” If you’re an adventurer, fitness fanatic or just looking for something totally different, check out one of these properties the next time you want a stress-free, everything-taken-care-of vacay.
1. New Life Hiking Spa: If your New Year’s resolution is to get out into the fresh air, you’ll want to plan ahead for New Life in Vermont. They’re only open for 20 weeks in the summer, and they have all levels of hiking (not just totally extreme stuff). There’s also a wellness component to the destination — each package comes with your choice of spa service, three meals a day and a guided hiking program. The cost comes in pretty reasonably at under $300 a day (remember, that’s for everything), and the resort recommends a three-day experience to get the most out of it. (Photo via New Life Hiking Spa)
2. Little Saint Simons Island: Nature fiends, this one is definitely for you. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing loggerhead turtles hatch, love marshland, fishing and birding or just enjoy nature and conservation in general, start packing for Little Saint Simons. This coastal island off the state of Georgia has it all, including a team of naturalists to answer all your questions. The island is virtually undeveloped and limited to a small number of guests at a time, making it feel like you’ve stumbled upon your own private low-country escape. Your fee gets you boat transfers on and off the island, outdoor equipment, food and beverages and time with the nature conservationists. (Photo via Little Saint Simons Island)
3. Tanque Verde Ranch: If you want a Southwestern-ranch-style experience, head to Tanque Verde in Tucson, Arizona. Adobe-style lodgings face the desert and mountains, affording insane views of the surrounding area. The activities schedule is long and extensive, offering horseback riding, mountain biking, nature walks, tennis clinics and even fishing and watercolor workshops. If you want to escape and commune with nature but still be active, head here. For about $400 a night, you can get “3 Squares” (that’s three square meals), lodging and activities; there’s an à la carte option as well, if you’d rather pick and choose your meals and activities. (Photo via Tanque Verde Ranch)
4. Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch: If your attitude is #ZikaWho?, head to Belize in Central America for total jungle immersion at Cave Branch. You can explore Belize’s natural caves, but you could also hit the jungle, go snorkeling and diving (Belize has some of the best reefs in the world), horseback ride and even visit the nearby Mayan ruins. Oh, and there are a ton of ziplining tours to book too. The minimum two-day, three-night package starts at under $300 per night per person, but that’s only enough time to scratch the surface in this diverse and friendly country. Bonus for those who crave a vacay south of the border but don’t habla Español — English is the official national language. (Photo via Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch)
5. Blackberry Farm: If a splurge trip is in your future, head to Blackberry Farm in the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains to gather crazy amazing Instagram posts from this celebrity-favorite getaway. You can shoot skeet, attend culinary tastings, take wellness classes like yoga and even sign yourself up to adopt one of their adorable Lagotto Romagnolo (AKA “truffle dog”) puppies when one comes available. (FYI, there’s a major waiting list!) Features include a working farm, cheesemaker, butcher, brewery and master gardener. Blackberry Farm should be on any farm-to-table foodie’s bucket list for sure — the Instagram account alone will sell you. (Photo via Blackberry Farm)
6. Travaasa Hana: If Maui’s been on your list for a while, we’re not surprised — it’s one of the most beautiful islands in the world. And nothing is prettier on Maui than the winding, lush “Road to Hana.” At the end of the Road (which can easily take a full day to travel, thanks to pit stops to get fresh fruit and smoothies, see waterfalls, go swimming and lay on black-sand beaches) is the teeny-tiny town of Hana, where the Travaasa Hana is at the center of it all — literally. An old family hotel that still retains that intimate feel, it’s smack-dab in the middle of the town. (Oprah is rumored to have land next to the property.) Restaurant options are limited in Hana, so all-inclusive is the way to go: You would have eaten every meal here anyway. (Photo via Travaasa Hana)
7. Mohonk Mountain House: If it’s a slice of Americana you’re after, look no further than Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York. Accommodations in their stately lakefront lodge, three meals a day, afternoon tea and most classic resort activities on their 40,000 acres (such as tennis, swimming, biking, boating) are included in the cost, and more (but no TVs!). The property dates to the late 1800s and has hosted esteemed New Yorkers such as the Carnegies, Rockefellers and five US Presidents. (Photo via Mohonk Mountain House)
Have you been to any of these resorts? Tweet us your experience @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)