The Next Level Resort? What is an Ultra All-Inclusive

November 8, 2022

Ultra All-Inclusive Resort

You may have seen a new term floating around in the world of luxury vacations: an ultra all-inclusive resort. But what the heck is an ultra all-inclusive resort? We wondered the same thing, and couldn’t help but dig in. So here we are.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of all-inclusive hotels and resorts. But did you know that all-inclusive resorts have really only been a thing since the 1950s? Since then, they’ve skyrocketed in popularity around the world–especially among families–and now hotels are trying to find a new take on the well-established concept. 

An all-inclusive resort – unlike a traditional hotel – is one that is considered a self-contained destination in itself, with all the food, drinks, amenities and luxurious experience you could want at your fingertips. Usually, those are all included in your nightly rate.  

All-inclusive beach resorts are typically found in warm, tropical destinations like Greece or the kid-friendly Caribbean islands. Some all-inclusive vacation resorts are adults-only, while others cater to families. 

But let’s get back to what we’re here for. What is an ultra all inclusive resort? And is it different from the traditional all-inclusives that families often select for an easy vacation? This type of all-inclusive package has been popping up over the past few years at more and more vacation resorts, so we just had to understand it. 

Read on to find out we learned, and more! 

Table of Contents

Caribbean Travel Resources & Hotel Booking

Real quick, before we dive into ultra all-inclusive resorts, we want to make sure you’ve got our best travel planning resources at your fingertips. If you’re trying to find your dream vacation resort in the tropics, we’re here to help.

It can be exhausting as busy parents to try and score an incredible Caribbean hotel or resort for the whole family. We’ve totally been there – that’s why we curated an amazing collection of recommended family hotels in the Caribbean, including the Bahamas! It’s pretty much our pride and joy. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Explore our intentional hotel collection using customized search filters (like room size) that we designed specifically for parents

Tired of handling all the logistics yourself? We’re also here for that. The core team at Mango Tree offers bespoke Caribbean family travel planning services. Our specialty? Helping parents identify the best Caribbean island and hotel for a top-notch family trip. 

Don’t get overwhelmed by endless choices when you’ve got expert help on your side.

Get Caribbean Family Travel Tips Right Into Your Inbox

Craving more Caribbean travel inspiration in your life? Sign up for our inspiring and useful weekly newsletter, where we feature a Caribbean destination each month and highlight our favorite hotels and family travel tips

We also share our best Caribbean destination guides for families

Now, grab one of those included cocktails and let’s get back to learning about ultra all inclusive resorts. 

Pool at Luxury Ultra All-Inclusive Resort

What is an Ultra All Inclusive?

An ultra all-inclusive is an all-inclusive resort that offers even more amenities, unique experiences, and special benefits than a standard all inclusive package. These extras can include premiums like unlimited food and top-shelf drinks, exclusive island excursions, and spa treatments. 

A handful of all-inclusive hotels are beginning to offer an ultra all-inclusive package option, which comes at a higher cost. 

But an ultra all inclusive resort is by no means a universal concept yet, so don’t expect to find one in every destination. You may hear them also referred to as ‘ultimate all inclusive,’ or ‘luxury all inclusive’ resorts.

The intention of an ultra all-inclusive experience is to provide guests with luxurious, exclusive benefits. They’re meant to provide everything a guest could ever want, day or night, so that one never has to leave the grounds for top-notch vacation amenities.

Row of All-Inclusive Resorts on Beach

All-Inclusive vs Ultra All-Inclusive: What’s the Difference?

Still wondering, what is the difference between an all inclusive and ultra all inclusive? Frankly, we’re still not totally clear on the distinction ourselves.

Since the concept of an ultra all inclusive resort is still pretty new and uncommon, the verdict is still out as to whether this is truly a new breed of all-inclusive resorts, or just a twist on the same concept. It seems like some hotels are just toting an “ultra all-inclusive” package as a marketing or upselling opportunity. 

Regardless, it’s safe to think of ultra all inclusive holidays as a vacation at a resort that offers all the things you’d normally receive, and then some. Think things like top-shelf booze, food without limits, exclusive access to certain parts of the resort, and private island tours or excursions. 

What’s included in an ultra all inclusive beach resort stay depends on the resort that offers it. Let’s start with what’s typically included at a regular all-inclusive resort stay:

  • The room
  • Unlimited food (or 3 meals a day and snacks) 
  • Mini bar and drinks (alcoholic & non alcoholic) 
  • Private beach and pool access 
  • Access to sporting facilities, gym, pool, sauna, etc.
  • Entertainment and special events
  • Gratuity
 

And here are a few additional premium amenities might receive if you purchase an “ultra” all-inclusive package, depending on the resort: 

  • Top shelf alcohol 
  • Special spa services, like massages
  • Add-on concierge or room services
  • Exclusive access to private sporting, entertainment, or spa facilities
  • Private tours or island excursions
Top Ultra All-Inclusive Destination Dubai

Top Ultra All-Inclusive Destinations

These mega-luxurious, ultra all inclusive vacation resorts aren’t found just anywhere. Here are a few of the world’s top ultra all-inclusive destinations, and the hotels that are embracing this new term. People the planet over flock to these locations for a premium ultra all-inclusive resort experience:

Miramare Hotels – Antalya, Turkey

The Mediterranean city of Antalya, Turkey is an all inclusive resort hotspot. Several of these all-inclusives are beginning to rebrand themselves as ultra all inclusive resorts, like Miramare Hotels. The ultra all-inclusive packages includes kids programming, entertainment, food and drinks, and Turkish spa treatments. 

In Turkey, most traditional all-inclusive resorts include only local spirits. That’s  because imported liquor is heavily taxed and therefore much more expensive in Turkey. One of the ultra all-inclusive benefits at Miramare is the inclusion of premium, imported liquor in the cost.

Rixos the Palm Hotel – Dubai

Dubai is known as an opulent, futuristic city and a top ultra all-inclusive resort destination, with its waterfront sand dunes and glass cityscape. But Rixos the Palm Hotel, Dubai’s premiere ultra all-inclusive, takes it to another level. 

On top of all the normal all-inclusive perks, an ultra all-inclusive package here includes unlimited specialty items from the hotel’s restaurants. You’ll also have access to 60 kinds of branded specialty spirits. 

Ikos Resorts, Corfu – Greek Islands

Ikos Resorts could be credited for making the Greek Islands, especially Corfu, a top ultra all inclusive resort destination. Ikos Dassia on Corfu Island offers an ultra luxury package that includes unlimited food and imported alcohol, and an included “Local Discovery” program, offering tickets and scheduled tours to local experiences and cultural institutions on Corfu.

All Inclusive Mexico Resort

Ultra All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico

The term “ultra all-inclusive” has not made its way into the marketing vocabulary describing the resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico — which are our specialty. But these tropical destinations often steal the show for families or couples searching for an all-inclusive retreat. 

Even if the term “ultra” isn’t used, there are tons of luxury resorts to be found in these regions. Cancun and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, plus Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, are the top markets for all-inclusive resort destinations in the Caribbean. 

Below, we highlight some of the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, which give the “ultra” all-inclusives around the globe a run for their money. We also highlight some of the Mango Tree favorite family resorts for every style of traveler and budget level.

Pros and Cons: Ultra All-Inclusive Beach Resorts WIth Kids

Before we talk specific resorts, it’s worth taking a minute to consider: Is an all-inclusive resort (whether it’s “ultra” or not) the right kind of vacation resort for your family trip? There are definitely plenty of benefits, as well as drawbacks to staying at an all-inclusive resort. 

If we’re being honest – and we sort of can’t help ourselves – all-inclusive resorts are not usually our jam here at Mango Tree Travel. We tend to prefer boutique hotels over mega resorts even when traveling with kids. But even we love a good all-inclusive resort from time to time. It just depends on our trip priorities – and it may be the same for you. Here are the pros and cons to staying at an all-inclusive resort with kids.

Pros

Transparent pricing. At an (ethical) all-inclusive resort, you know exactly what you’re getting for the price. This is a breath of fresh air, compared to many hotels that try to nickel and dime guests with hidden fees and itemized checks (like $5 bottles of water or $15+ kids meals.) This is a huge relief for travelers with a set budget, or who simply do not want to have to worry about each dollar spent on vacation. 

Kid-oriented amenities. At family oriented resorts, kids can enjoy plenty of fun family amenities regular hotels don’t offer. We’re talking kids clubs or daycares, playgrounds, water slides, kiddie pools, and live children’s entertainment. The bonus: These all give mom and dad a break, probably the number one reason for choosing this type of resort. 

Low-stress trip planning. All-inclusive resorts make it far easier to plan a trip. A good travel agent can find you the right hotel for you, which fits your travel style. And all your activities are right there at your fingertips. No need to slave away creating itineraries, booking tickets, or searching for the area’s best restaurants or activities.

Convenience. Guests might love ultra all-inclusives because there’s no need to lift a finger. Everything is on-site: shops, restaurants, meals, entertainment, swimming, spa treatments, and outdoor activities. And most all-inclusive properties are well-designed and gorgeous, enjoyable places to take it all in.  There are moments in a parents life –such as when traveling with a new baby, or taking your first big vacation with a toddler – when ease trumps all other priorities. 

Cons

Too curated. All-inclusive resorts are highly curated for guests. That can sometimes feel a bit too glossy or inauthentic. And many of the all-inclusive resorts that focus on children can feel a bit cartoony and cheesy, with little to satisfy parents’ personal tastes. It can be hard (but not impossible) to find one that feels authentic.  

Isolated from surrounding culture. To many travelers, this is a major con of all-inclusives. Due to the nature of “never having to leave the resort,” you are quite isolated from the local destination–and you often never leave the resort. You can have the feeling of being on any beach, anywhere. 

Boring for adventurous travelers. Resorts are geared towards relaxing, unwinding, and enjoying the lap of luxury. This is exactly what many parents need! But others may find the lack of adventure activities and exploration dull, not really one for the bucket list. Others still complain about the lack of good food, as many resort menus cater to more unadventurous eaters. 

Local/environmental impact. This depends on how green a resort is, but some mega resorts have a negative impact on the local environment, community, and economy.

Woman at Ultra All-Inclusive Resort

All-Inclusive Cost: What to Expect

If the pros of an all-inclusive resort outweigh the cons for you, we can guess your natural next question: How much does an all-inclusive cost? It completely depends on what you want. 

Traditionally, all-inclusive resorts offer some of the most affordable vacation options. In Mexico and the Dominican Republic, for example, where there’s a huge market for such resorts, you can find rooms starting anywhere from $150-$300 a night, all-inclusive for a standard room. You’ll have to pay more for a room to fit families.

That said, you get what you pay for when it comes to all-inclusives. You won’t get high-end food or top shelf liquor on the lower end of the pricing scale, and you’re more likely to get nickel-and-dimed for little extras during the stay. Customer service also tends to suffer at large hotels at lower price points. 

On the other end of the scale, ultra all-inclusives can cost thousands of dollars a night, easily, especially if you need a suite when traveling with kids. Hotel prices have skyrocketed in many destinations in 2022 and 2023, including in tropical island destinations where all-inclusives are often found. 

For a higher-end hotel, don’t expect to pay less than $500 a night for an all-inclusive stay. In many cases, though – especially where luxury amenities and ultra all-inclusive perks are offered – family suites cost more than $1000-$1500 per night. 

Families often come to us in search of an all-inclusive that is better-than-average, but still affordable. We’re always on the look-out for top all-inclusive resorts to recommend.  Our current favorite?  The Finest Playa Mujeres in Mexico offer affordable family rates of $500 or less a night a relaxing and kid-friendly property.

All Inclusive Resorts: Mango Tree Travel Faves

Our mission at Mango Tree is to help you find the right Caribbean destination for your family trip. Each family might need something a little different in their ideal family-friendly hotel.  

If a great all-inclusive resort is at the top of your family Caribbean bucket list, we want you to have the best ones on your radar, in every price range. These are our current favorite Caribbean all inclusive resorts for families. We love these because most of them are small and intimate, compared to many much larger, impersonal resorts.

Ultimate Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts 

Since we’re talking about ultra all-inclusive resorts, we’ll start with the best of the best. These resorts offer a total luxury experience, but are also very welcoming of kids.

Kamalame Cay Resort Bahamas

1.Kamalame Cay – Bahamas

Kamalame Cay is often named the best resort in the Bahamas. (Yes, the Bahamas are part of the Caribbean!)   It offers a truly special – and  luxurious – private island experience, all just an hour away from Miami. 

This award winning Bahamas all-inclusive resort welcomes families. Kids will love playing on oversized floats at the pool, and exploring the grounds in search of hermit crabs. Parents will love the well-designed villages and cottages. Everyone will love getting around the island by golf cart. 

The hotel offers all-inclusive rates, and since you’ll have no desire to leave the property, we highly recommend going that route. 

Petit St. Vincent Grenadines

2. Petit St Vincent –  St Vincent & the Grenadines

This is barefoot, private-island luxury at its best, and will put most “ultra all-inclusive” resorts to shame. There are only 22 cottages on the entire island, located in the far south of the Caribbean Sea in the Grenadines.  Beach and water will be everywhere you look. Enjoy an awesome blend of low-key energy and beautiful design. This is also the place to unplug – the resort uniquely features no TVs, internet, or phones!

Those looking for an eco-friendly all-inclusive resort that caters to families will love Petit St Vincent. 

Spice Island All Inclusive Resort Grenada

3. Spice Island Beach Resort – Grenada

The family-owned resort of Spice Island Beach in Grenada is perfectly situated on the gorgeous shores of Grenada’s Grand Anse Beach. The staff here are phenomenal, as they make you feel so welcome and greet your children by name like they’re VIP guests. Take advantage of their Kids Club and beachview terraces.

We especially love the oceanfront one-bedroom suites where families can have their morning coffee steps from the ocean.  Grenada is an easy island to navigate, and easily nabs a place on our top Caribbean islands for kids, and this hotel the perfect home base. 

Round Hill Resort Jamaica

4.Round Hill Resort – Jamaica

With rooms designed by Ralph Lauren, you’ll find simple and stylish luxury at Round Hill Resort in Jamaica. You can feel the intentional sophistication in everything from reception’s black-and-white checkered floors to the white-and-blue striped pillows on the outdoor Adirondack chairs. It appeals to luxury tastes, but there’s nothing stuffy about it. 

If you’re looking for a resort that offers a sophisticated vibe while still welcoming children to the property, this is it. Your kids will enjoy themselves at the free Kids Club cottage, or jumping on the ocean trampoline, while you enjoy a Jamaican rum cocktail and wander the lush gardens. 

Note that Round Hill is not technically an all-inclusive resort, and meals and drinks can be purchased a-la carte, but meal plans are available. 

Baoase Luxury Resort Curacao

5. Baoase Luxury Resort – Curacao 

We recently had the chance to stay at the stunning, boutique resort in Curacao, part of the ABC Islands. Set off the main street of beach hotels, it’s truly an island oasis. The Balinese-influenced resort is lush and natural, and surrounds a manmade lagoon with some of the softest sand our kids have ever experienced. Eat a gourmet dinner with your feet in the sand and relax on plush loungers to truly unwind. 

Our full profile of Baoase Luxury Resort is coming soon! Until then, reach out if you think this might be the hotel for you, and we’d be happy to chat. 

Family Resort in Bahamas- Small Hope Bay Lodge

A Unique Tropical All Inclusive Experience: Small Hope Bay Lodge

For a total unique all-inclusive experience, families should consider the two-bedroom cottages at Small Hope Bay Lodge in the Out-Islands of the Bahamas. Rather than luxury bedding or fine-dining, here you’ll find a more rustic, tropical experience. 

Small Hope Bay Lodge is perfect for families looking for a more off-the-beaten-path, rustic tropical experience. This small beachfront resort encourages guests to socialize in the main room for meals. To facilitate a great experience for parents, they offer top notch family benefits like childcare, a game room, and even babysitting so you can enjoy Happy Hour.

A More Affordable All-Inclusive Option: Finest Playa Mujeres

We totally get it – you’re suffering from sticker shock looking at some of the all inclusive resorts. And the affordable resorts look well… mediocre. Luckily, there are affordable options that don’t require compromising on quality:  Finest Playa Mujeres – Mexico is our personal favorite.  

The Finest resorts are sister to the adult all-inclusive Excellence brand, which has properties in Cancun and elsewhere. This large but manageable resort with beachfront access has spacious rooms, good food, and an aesthetically pleasing design. It’s rare we recommend a big resort, but this one has such a nice energy (and literally everything you could need) that it’s a great choice for an easy, affordable vacation.  

A bonus? Some of the family rooms have private swimming pools, an awesome perk with or without kids.  One last tip: The family rooms at the Finest Playa Mujeres often sell out months in advance, so plan ahead. If you find your ideal travel dates booked, be aware that the Finest brand launched the Finest Punta Cana in 2021, and it tends to have a bit more availability, with similar rave reviews!

Now that you have a better sense of ultra all inclusive resorts and what in the world they are, we hope you’ll feel more confident deciding whether that’s the right vacation path for you! 

Need extra help choosing a Caribbean resort destination? We’ve got you covered.

Parents often joke that we take “trips” with little kids, not “vacations.”

Not with Mango Tree. Everyone's on vacation with us.

Get our weekly newsletter for tips and tricks on family travel that’s actually fun for everyone.