Chill out this summer and let someone else do all the thinking … and cooking … and cleaning … and childcare! These unforgettable inclusives let you ditch both your wallet and worries – your only concern is finding the closest hammock.

 

BELLA Travel (All Inclusive)

By Sascha Zuger

Chill out this summer and let someone else do all the thinking … and cooking … and cleaning … and childcare! These unforgettable inclusives let you ditch both your wallet and worries – your only concern is finding the closest hammock.


The Veranda Resort & Residences – Turks & Caicos

More than 800 feet of gorgeous light blue and turquoise ocean frontage should be enough to satisfy any beach lover, but for families seeking true relaxation, this is the property. No racing to secure a chaise lounge on the beach at sunrise, no loud “cruise director” cheerleader types blasting music and announcing activities, just friendly and genuine service in an upscale and relaxed atmosphere. Let little ones wile away the afternoon competing in sandcastle contests and learning about the local marine life at Kids Town, while generous mixologists use top-shelf ingredients to deliver suitably frosty beach drinks to a bevy of surfside hammock beds. Traveling with teens can be tricky, but extreme excursions like kite boarding, scuba diving and parasailing might just cut back on the eye rolling and keep those surly retorts to a minimum. (When they realize they have their pick of restaurants to satisfy those bottomless pit appetites, you might even get a – gasp – “thank you!”)

Although the property is family friendly, adults traveling solo will find plenty of serenity and seclusion to enjoy a relaxing getaway; whether in the Sabai Spa, on the adults-only pool deck or enjoying live music and drinks around the firepits near the infinity bar.VerandaTCI.com

* Can’t-miss Munchies: The food is surprisingly good. With no skimping on quality ingredients or tired buffets, it’s easy to forget this is a food- and alcohol-inclusive resort. In fact, the menus have prices listed because non-guests opt to dine on property, particularly at the rooftop Sky Lounge where lobster and fresh conch are featured alongside modern Italian dishes.


Dunton Hot Springs – Colorado Rockies

You’ll wish your home were on this range after a visit to the five-star cabins of this luxury mountain retreat. Nestled in the San Juan Mountain valley, this perfectly restored ghost town offers the rustic charm of hand-hewn log cabins and a weather worn saloon with a healthy dose of modern pampering. Whether horseback riding in the high Rockies, mountaineering the San Juan’s or fly-fishing in the private waters of the Dolores, activity-filled days drift into lazy evenings of gourmet indulgence, before guests retire to soothe those tired muscles in the hot springs under a star-filled sky.DuntonHotSprings.com

* Can’t-miss Munchies: Every day, a new menu is prepared by a classically trained chef (in the open kitchen of the ol’ saloon) honors the wild mushrooms, chanterelles and boletus gathered in the surrounding mountains, while bottles from the onsite vineyard complement both the hearty organic veggies grown onsite as well succulent lamb from neighboring meadows.


The Reefs Hotel and Club – Bermuda

Bermuda is an easy nonstop-hop away, close enough to pull off a long weekend. Take advantage of unusual weather patterns that treat this idyllic island to cooler summer temps (but warmer water!), than most of the Caribbean. Amp up your stay with La Serena Spa treatments and world-class golfing, or just bubble away in the cliffside jacuzzi at this family-owned luxury resort perched over a secluded and serene pale pink sand beach. Rates include the classic Bermuda afternoon tea and meals, served in style with the creative culinary touches that mark this property high above your typical inclusive offerings. TheReefs.com

* Can’t-miss Munchies: Have supper surfside at romantic Coconuts on the beach and be sure to sample the scallops with pulled pork and Bermudian rockfish with toasted coconut raisin couscous, garlic thyme tomatoes and spiced harissa. Yum!


Animal Kingdom Lodge – Orlando, Florida

Kids-in-tow is a common reality for July/August trips. Don’t fight it, just treat yourself to a touch of luxury while ensuring those “wished-upon-a-star” dreams come true for your crew. Worried you won’t be able to handle your sleep-deprived

wild herd after all those Extra Magic Hour perks of being a guest at a Disney resort? Take a midday break for a swim in the gorgeously landscaped Uzima pool or retire to your savannah-view room and leave them mesmerized at the site of passing giraffes and gazelle to lull them into a noontime nap. Let Disney deal with all the details by opting for an inclusive Magic-Your-Way package that includes a dining plan and Magical Express transportation. DisneyWorld.Disney.go.com/resorts/animal-kingdom-lodge/

* Can’t-miss Munchies: While Animal Kingdom Lodge’s authentic African food is fab, a trip to Norway  (in Epcot, of course!) for Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus not only scores you an air-conditioned sit-down buffet, but tableside visits by various Disney royalty and a complimentary five-photo souvenir set of your child posing with a princess (sans endless line!). It costs only one “table service” meal, but book early.


Amanwana – Moyo Island,  Indonesia

If your partner suggests “camping trip,” counter with this fantasy tent resort on the remote island of Moyo. Amanwana, which means “peaceful forest,” is an aptly-named tropical nature and marine reserve east of Bali that’s reachable by seaplane or dolphin-escorted boat. Endless activities celebrating the beauty and diversity of the island’s wildlife can be enjoyed throughout the day, or simply slip under the flower petal’d waters in the recessed soaking tubs of the open-air Jungle Cove Spa before a massage, complete with black Borneo clay treatment to revitalize sunkissed skin. Snorkel amongst the gentle Hawksbill and green turtles or veer left from the resort’s helipad to explore the rugged seaside vistas of the Coastal Cliff Mountain Bike Trail. Amanwana.com

* Can’t-miss Munchies: Pulling yourself from the romance of your luxury tent digs might be tough, but worth it for the Mata Jitu waterfall excursion topped off with a private beachside barbecue (be sure to try the local honeycomb ice cream!).


Nandana – Bahamas

This private six-villa compound on the white sand beaches of Grand Bahama offers the ultimate in friend and family getaways. Plenty of privacy (via 750-1000-square-foot Pavilion-style suites) melds with a high-level staff and stunning public areas that accommodate up to 12 guests in utter comfort. Swimming with dolphin and sport fishing for tuna, dorado, marlin, or wahoo can make for an exciting morning, though likely not as pulse racing as a rare visit to the tiger shark breeding grounds. (If diving with tiger sharks leaves you feeling caged, opt for a swim with the kinder, gentler lemon and reef sharks that populate the shallow reef waters in an alternate location.) Though plenty of tropical excursions beckon, many guests simply lounge by the 120-foot-long waterfall-edged infinity pool or wander down to the private beach for a dip.NandanaVilla.com

* Can’t-miss Munchies: The chef’s talents with fresh seafood just might inspire you to dive in and join him in the kitchen. Bring more than just a memory of a great meal home with onsite cooking classes that let you perfect techniques for a souvenir that keeps on giving.


Knight Inlet Lodge – British Columbia, Canada

If you can’t stand the heat and want out of the kitchen, head north for some of the world’s best wildlife viewing. From the initial seaplane entrance to this unusual floating complex, the thrills quickly stack up for even the most adventurous of travelers. Guided grizzly viewing tours by sea kayak are shifted to platforms overlooking the salmon runs as summer slips into fall, when up to 40 bears might be within a few mile radius of the lodge. The region not only boasts one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears, but is home to 16 pods of killer whales. Each mid-July, whale-watching cruises bring visitors in close contact to observe the orcas, as well as porpoises, white-sided dolphins, sea lions and occasionally, humpback or minke whales. Old-growth northern rain forest hikes offer additional wildlife viewing ops to spot bald eagles, otters and other forest creatures. GrizzlyTours.com

* Can’t-miss Munchies: Though you might be more concerned that the bears stay well fed, guests enjoy all meals, snacks and wine with dinner, which often features crab, prawn and salmon harvested fresh from the glacier-fed Knight Inlet outside your cabin door.


Photo credit: Courtesy of Amanresorts

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