13 Best Affordable All-Inclusive Resorts for a Dreamy Vacation That Won’t Break the Bank
Itching for an easy, fun and exciting vacation but think it won't fit your budget? There's a cheat code: cheap all-inclusive resorts.
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The cheapest all-inclusive vacations
Dreaming of a luxurious all-inclusive resort vacation but traveling on a budget? As it turns out, your bucket-list trip may be well within your price range. All-inclusive family resorts, adults-only all-inclusive resorts and even the best all-inclusive resorts don’t necessarily come with a high price tag. Cheap all-inclusive resorts are definitely a thing.
With a baker’s dozen of options for you to choose from, it’s up to you to decide which types of affordable all-inclusive resorts make the most sense for you and your family. And once you’ve sorted out where you want to travel next, be sure to familiarize yourself with our all-inclusive resort tips so you can get the most out of every joyous minute you’re staying there.
How we chose the best affordable all-inclusive resorts
We focused on resorts priced around $350 or less per night for two people. Our choices are based on expert recommendations, user reviews, star ratings and on-the-ground knowledge from within the all-inclusive travel industry. But price isn’t everything. For some of our picks, the value of the experience—whether that’s upgraded food, recently renovated rooms, more amenities or special focuses—gave it top billing over the cheapest all-inclusive hotel option.
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What are all-inclusive resorts, and why are they a good value?
The term all-inclusive resort typically means that the cost of your entire stay is covered at the price you paid when you booked the trip. Snacks, drinks, all meals, a daily program of activities, non-motorized water sports, pool and beach access and towel service—and of course, your room—are all factored into the total cost of your stay. Which is a big assist for budget-minded travelers who are keeping a close eye on their cash flow.
That said, there are always opportunities for upgrades that you will pay extra for, like a bottle of wine or spa treatments. So if you’re not sure if the price is included for something you’d like to try, be sure to ask before you book an activity.
How to get the best affordable all-inclusive resort deals
In my experience working for more than a decade in the travel industry, to get the best deal on a cheap all-inclusive vacation, the best time to book a hotel is early. Or alternatively, play chicken and see if you can score a last-minute deal. Because prices fluctuate based on demand times, prices for our selected properties might be higher during peak season (also known as high season). For instance, you will see a spike in all-inclusive resort rates as well as airfares during times when people are looking for warm winter getaways and during spring break.
On the other hand, prices below our max budget may be found during the off-season, where you might face a higher likelihood of inclement weather. While it may be tempting to snag the lowest rates of the year, remember to look at all the angles. Shoulder season is the sweet spot between pricier rates and the lower cost of the off-season.
Best for families
Iberostar Selection Bavaro Suites, Dominican Republic
If space is what you seek, look no further than the Iberostar Selection Bavaro Suites in the Caribbean. The property has its own Caribbean town, and the amenities are vast. Located on a Blue Flag beach in the Dominican Republic—which means the beach meets stringent environmental and safety criteria—the resort features a three-story fitness center, a golf course and eight dining options supplemented with eateries from two adjacent sister resorts.
This affordable all-inclusive resort allows you to book junior suites that connect or large family suites. Within those, there are sunken seating areas with convertible sleep spaces should you choose to keep the crew in just one room. You can ask for PlayStations when the sun’s just too much, despite the plentiful pools. Kids can experience activities like an on-site coral nursery or participate in Star Camp, which is broken out into three age groups between 4 and 17.
- Wide selection of connecting suites and family suites
- Use of multiple property amenities within the complex
- Emphasis on environmental sustainability
- Large property can be confusing to get around
- Kids club not available for children under age 4
Best for multigenerational travel
The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences, Mexico
The best part about a multigenerational trip is having the whole family under one roof, with plenty of spaces to gather and opportunities to connect. At The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, you can even have everyone under one roof—which is offered with the all-inclusive two- and three-bedroom penthouse resort residence. These bedrooms are connected via an entry hall and feature a full kitchen, a spacious dining room, a living room with a sectional, a jetted tub and ample seating on the rooftop deck. There’s no shortage of communal spaces throughout the resort either, with 10 restaurants, five bars and pool- and beachfront loungers at this AAA Four Diamond all-inclusive resort in Mexico.
- Flexible room options
- Plentiful communal spaces for making shared memories
- Extraordinarily wide selection of specialty restaurants
Room choices may be confusing
Best for autistic guests
Beaches Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Traveling with autistic children can be challenging, but with some help and support, it’s far from impossible. This Jamaican property is part of the Beaches brand—the family arm of honeymoon favorite Sandals—which is the first resort company in the world to complete the rigorous training required to offer autism-friendly, fully staffed kids camps at no additional cost. It even hosts a tailored Autism All-Inclusive Week each year.
One of the cheapest all-inclusive resorts, it features sensory-friendly spaces, attention to dietary modifications, advanced autism-certification-holding water sports, a PADI scuba diving certification, a marine park and a kids’ camp. The optional one-on-one Beach Buddies program offers an even more tailored experience, and the Sesame Street partnership is universally beloved. Extra-large standard rooms provide space for a family to stretch out.
- A certified autism center with an advanced designation
- Great loyalty program for future discounts
- Sesame Street partnership
- Prices may run higher
Best for teens
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico
It can be hard to get a teen to buy into a family vacation—but not when you promise it’ll rock hard. That’s practically a guarantee at this large all-inclusive property in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Rooms are spacious and decorated in warm, rich tones, but that’s not what makes it hot. Teens have access to some super-sweet amenities that will have them rethinking how cool a vacay with the ‘rents can be.
Dance contests, music quizzes, water balloon fights and paddle board lessons are all on their list of activities, and teens can play in the HyperX Gaming Lounge—which is fully equipped with Xboxes, Nintendo Switches, gaming PCs and a VR station—until midnight. Then there’s the Music Lab for serious bragging rights. This program lets kids and teens take part in a jam band, record a music session with a producer, star in a music video, borrow a real Fender guitar and more. But everyone’s a kid at the on-site Rockaway Bay Water Park.
- Teen-friendly features, including a gaming lounge, music lab and water park
- Mature and tween-geared amenities and programs
- Diverse range of dining options for picky eaters
- Can be at the top range of the budget
Best for couples
Royalton CHIC Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Modern, swanky and sexy, this newer adults-only offshoot of the Royalton resort brand is designed to keep things spicy. Stylish, ultra-contemporary suites with underlit DreamBeds are another spot to rest your eyes … or not. Included 24-hour room service lets you stay in bed or on your private balcony or terrace, but reservation-free dining at seven restaurants means date night during your romantic getaway is only steps away.
For the different love languages couples may share, fitness facilities, a spa and a casino let guests choose the way they want to make memories. But novelty acts like CHIC Angels—who appear without fail at the weekly foam party at the oversized pool—and a mermaid pool give couples something new to talk about at every turn. Any lulls in conversation and connection should be reserved for dozing off on the goldenrod sands of Uvero Alto.
- Adults-only resort
- Stylish, trendy and luxurious—great for reigniting a spark
- Magnificent pool with ample seating in and around it
- 24-hour room service included
- Can be loud by the pool
- Limited ocean views
Best for trips with friends
Hotel Riu Santa Fe, Mexico
Whether you’re looking for a cheap all-inclusive resort for a bachelor or bachelorette party, birthday party or any kind of friends’ trip at all, Riu Santa Fe in Los Cabos is a recently renovated and highly happening resort in Mexico that’s perfect for groups. With room setups that include supersized king beds, twin extra-long beds and two double beds, plus by-request adjoining rooms for in-person wake-up calls and an enormous inventory of accommodations, there’s a configuration for every kind of friend group.
The hotel offers party-atmosphere events that vary by day … or night. During the daylight hours, expect jungle- and pink-themed parties at the adults-only pool, and if that’s not your idea of a good time, there are nine different pools to splash in on this property. Twice weekly, a DJ spins as live entertainers perform. What’s more, it’s one of the few Hotel Riu properties that allow spring breakers if you’re really looking to let loose.
- Room setups that easily accommodate friend groups
- Adults-only pool parties
- On-site water park open six days a week
- Like many Los Cabos beaches, this one is not swimmable
- With 1,200 rooms, this is a very large property to navigate
Best for travelers with dietary restrictions
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic
Rather than a place for all you can eat, this resort is where anyone can eat. That’s thanks to an allergy-conscious program created with dietitians and strictly enforced by chefs and food-prep staff. Guests are asked to identify their food allergies at check-in and are issued a color-coded bilingual card that also gives them a cheat sheet for buffet selections and menu items at any a la carte restaurant.
Lovers of warm-water beaches will also enjoy access to the neighboring Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa and Grand Palladium Palace Resort & Spa, which means access to 13 bars and six beach bars throughout the complex. The resort also offers a sports center—or you can reserve one of four badminton, six hard-floor tennis, four paddleball or six pétanque courts. You can relax in the spacious, contemporary rooms, whose dimensions start at 376 square feet, or settle into your own personal hydro-massage bath.
- Allergy-friendly dining
- Global a la carte restaurant themes go beyond the expected
- Kids will love the pool with a pirate ship
- Additional charge for room service
- Reservations are required for dining
Best for eco-friendliness
Bahia Principe Grand Tulum, Mexico
Learning to appreciate different cultures and the world around us is one of the best parts of traveling, and it’s never too early to teach that lesson. This recently renovated eco-friendly resort offers a multitude of fun ways for children to discover that, from a kids’ club with 10 Mayan-themed play areas—including a zip line and a water park—to planned activities, such as archeological digs and stories about the ancient gods of the jungle.
The Eco Bahia program puts an environmental slant on its teachings and is part of Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to responsible travel. This focus has won the resort multiple awards for sustainability and social and environmental responsibility, which is even more impressive when you consider the breadth of what it offers: six restaurants, a buffet that has its own kids’ section, a teens’ club designed with input from actual teens and exchange privileges with free shuttle service every 10 minutes to nearby Bahia Principe Grand Coba.
- Committed to ecological conservation through water, waste, energy and recycling programs
- Meticulously maintained white-sand beach
- Extensive kids services and attractions with an emphasis on local culture, history and the environment
- Semiformal resort attire required for a la carte restaurants
- Only one hour of non-motorized sports allowed daily
Best for a character-themed vacation
Nickelodeon Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Can’t get enough Nick Jr. or Nick at Nite throwbacks? The Nickelodeon hotel in Punta Cana is a fully immersive experience into the world of Nickelodeon, and the whole cast of characters is present and accounted for. The crew from PAW Patrol, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fairly OddParents, SpongeBob SquarePants and all of their friends pop up daily, and scheduled “slime” dumps at the water park—for which admission is also included—are all part of any trip here. The rooms are also decorated with the channel’s style in mind, including splashes of that signature orange, but given the polish of contemporary luxury.
Novelty restaurants in the nine-restaurant Gourmet Village range from space-inspired dining to a gorgeous marketplace with cooking stations, proving that wanting a kid-at-heart, playful experience doesn’t have to come at the expense of grown-up taste.
- Nickelodeon theme including kids’ favorite characters
- No additional cost for character encounters
- Certified Autism Center since 2018
- Plentiful amenities for families with kids of all ages
- Smaller rooms for the money
- Need to walk to the water park
Best for entertainment
Grand Oasis Cancún, Mexico
The Grand Oasis Cancún is party central in the heart of Cancún’s all-inclusive haven, the Hotel Zone. It takes its cue from Las Vegas but adds plenty of Mexican spice for something really special. Bungee, tightropes, beach soccer and water slides also make fellow guests part of the entertainment.
At the open-air bar Zocalo, a DJ spins three times a week, and a live band and Mexican or Caribbean celebrations take place the other four. Multiple other venues take the spotlight once the sun sets: the Oasis Arena features concerts by international artists—and is known to host a boxing championship or two. Fire and drum shows take place at the Atrium theater, but for something more risqué, the Kinky Night Club, featuring burlesque, live music and sketch acts, draws in revelers. Then there’s the 24-hour casino, plus 13 restaurants to choose from. Or go for the extra-cost sensory gastronomy and specialty restaurant experiences if your favorite performance art is culinary.
- Nonstop schedule of events for those who like to stay busy
- Adults-only spaces, evening venues and entertainment
- Can be loud and overstimulating
- Several restaurants require additional cost
Best for active travelers
Platinum Yucatán Princess, Mexico
You’ll definitely get your daily steps in at the Platinum Yucatán Princess while exploring the grounds, visiting all 13 of its pools or hanging out at its two sister properties, Grand Riviera Princess and Grand Sunset Princess. They’re connected with walking trails, but you can get acquainted with them via a guided bike tour first. This resort has the usual gym, spa and shops for low-key activity, but its Activity Zone is appropriately named. That’s where organized activities, music and a weekly foam party take place. You can unleash your inner, past or present athlete at the Sports Park, which features batting cages, a putting green, ping-pong, mini billiards, an air rifle target range and more. Or head over to the tennis courts.
However you choose to spend your busy day, you don’t have to worry about planning ahead—reservations aren’t needed at the five included restaurants. Afterward, relax in spacious rooms with glossy, polished tile floors, a seating area and a furnished balcony or terrace. All are junior suites and fitted with cool, neutral decor, with pops of jewel tones in the trim.
- Plenty of offerings for active travelers, especially at the Activity Zone
- No reservations required for most a la carte restaurants
- 24-hour room service included
- Access to two sister resorts
- No beachfront views
- Guests must be 18 or older
Best for spa lovers
Grand Palladium Palace Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic
Part of the Grand Palladium resort complex on Bavaro Beach, this property is the one to choose if R&R is high on your priority list. While the services at Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness aren’t included, as is the case with most resorts and hotels, they’re all within steps of your room if you stay here. It’s considered one of the most extensive spas in the Dominican Republic, with a jetted tub, Turkish bath, vapor bath, sauna and an extensive service menu that includes hair treatments, waxes, manis and pedis, facial and body treatments, exfoliation and a full gamut of massage styles.
After or in between treatments, relax at any of this spa resort‘s six pools. They’re all great, but we might recommend The Secret, an adults-only pool open until midnight. Looking to get some activity? Let the kids have their pirate ship (it’s a feature of one of the pools, as are water slides)—if you want to ramp things up yourself, just go to the well-equipped fitness center attached to the spa.
- Elevated spa offering a wide variety of services
- Exchange privileges with adjacent Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort and Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
- Adults-only The Secret pool
- No reservations required for dining
- Additional charge for room service
- Reservations are required
Best for golfers
Meliá Caribe Beach Resort, Dominican Republic
For those who find “free golf” the best value for their green, it’s hard to overlook the Melia Caribe Beach Resort, one of the best affordable all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, which offers complimentary rounds with some stays—especially when it’s designed by six-time Spanish champ Jose “Pepe” Gancedo. The three nine-hole courses are interspersed with coconut trees and beautiful lakes.
The resort’s interiors are classically colonial with a timeless cream and dark wood scheme. All of these are steps from a prime location on Bavaro Beach—a short meander away, past 13 restaurants and through tropical gardens. There’s also the Splash Island Water Park, where the kids can play in the water as you do the same on the green. For even more to do, this resort offers a complimentary shuttle to the theme park Katmandu Park and sells tickets to the attraction right on site.
- Golf is listed among the resort’s inclusions for select stays
- Wide selection of restaurants
- Complimentary shuttle to Katmandu Park
- Golf cart rental not included
- Need to rent golf clubs at an additional cost or pack your own