For a totally secluded holiday, the resort of Islas Secas is located within a 14-island archipelago in the Gulf of Chiriquí, 20 miles off the wild and rugged Pacific coast of Panama. On the island of Cavada, the only one to have been developed, you will find four individually designed wooden casitas and three tented casitas, sleeping up to just 24 guests – perfect for a multi-generational family holiday or party. Each casita is set within its own tropical garden with a plunge pool. The archipelago is home to thousands of species of wild fauna and flora, the largest coral reefs off Panama’s Pacific coast, beautiful beaches and two vast, protected marine parks teeming with sea life. As part of the all-inclusive rate, guests can undertake a fishing trip, marine safaris, guided nature hikes and a variety of water sports activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, wakeboarding and wake surfing, stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking and sailing; as well as sunset cruises exploring the biodiversity of Coiba National Park, a Unesco World Heritage site. Between December and April, you’ll also get front-row viewing of the Humpback Whale migration. Delicious seasonal and sustainable ocean-to-table Panamanian food is served in the cathedral-like Terraza, or guests can enjoy a beach barbeque along the sandy shores of Pargo Beach on one of the other islands in the archipelago.
All-inclusive rates for a casita sleeping two start from $2,500 (£2,806) per night.
Nestled among the palm-trees on a rocky outcrop between two secluded coves on Antigua’s south side lies the idyllic haven of Curtain Bluff. With two spectacular private beaches offering surfing waves as well as tranquil waters, this is quite possibly the most beautiful corner of Antigua. Opened in 1962 by Howard Hulford, a former Second World War fighter pilot, and now owned and run by his wife Chelle, this all-inclusive family-run luxe sanctuary is situated within easy reach of the historic English Harbour, where Admiral Nelson and the Royal Navy established its base during the 18th century and now home to a fleet of superyachts. The hotel has 72 rooms that mix old-school glamour with understated contemporary chic and classic Caribbean influences. For total luxury book one of the Hulford Collection suites which have private plunge pools and unparalleled views of the sparkling blue Caribbean. The food is of a very high standard and one of the biggest reasons guests return year after year – the Tamarind Tree, which has a courtyard with a centuries-old tamarind tree in the centre, serves à la carte breakfasts and dinners, while the beachside Seagrape serves buffet lunches and à la carte dinners. All water sports, such as snorkelling trips to Cades Reef, scuba diving (for certified divers only), wakeboarding, kayaking, windsurfing, hobie-cats, and land-based based activities including tennis, squash, bocce, shuffleboard, basketball are included. There’s also a fully equipped exercise room and aerobics, yoga and Pilates classes. The resort has a no-tip policy and instead donations are taken for the Old Road Fund, which supports the local villagers with college scholarships, medical expenses and building repairs.
All-inclusive rates start from from £580 per night based on two sharing.
Veranda Paul Et Virginie
Veranda Paul et Virginie Hotel on Mauritius’s north coast is a pretty, adults-only boutique hideaway in the fishing village of Grand Gaube close to Grand Baie. All 81 rooms overlook the sea and have recently been refurbished with light décor, pale wood furnishings and neutral fabrics. With a wide choice of facilities – including two restaurants, a wellness spa, two pools and an array of water sports – if you are looking for a quiet getaway, you will love this laid-back beach oasis. The Poudre d’Or bar is the perfect place to relax with a pre-dinner cocktail before heading to either the Isle de France buffet restaurant or to Le Saint Géran where you can enjoy local catch of the day seafood with sand between your toes. If you can tear yourself away from your sunbed, you can try your hand at a range of complimentary activities from tennis to stand-up paddle boarding, pedal boats and wind surfing.
All-inclusive rates for seven nights start from £1,499 per person, including international flights and transfers.
Foodie Electric Biking In Abruzzo
For groups of up to 12, The Slow Cyclist’s five-night foodie exploration of Abruzzo, the wild heart of Italy, is done on e-bikes and on foot through the Gran Sasso and Majella national parks. Cycling distances are between 40-60km per day on a mix of quiet backroads, meadows and paths; and walks are no more than three hours. Gran Sasso has a jaw-dropping plateau overlooked by high peaks, as well as layered foothills and forested valleys – here, you’ll cycle through and stay in medieval stone villages such as Santo Stefano, Rocca Calascio and Castel del Monte before reaching the verdant Majella National Park which is intersected with deep-cut gorges and valleys. With food the highlight of the trip, you’ll eat hearty mountain dishes with Montepulciano wines and enjoy sundowners and dinner lakeside on the Campo Imperatore plateau. Accommodation in Gran Sasso is in two medieval villages, where abandoned houses have been lovingly restored into guest houses. This includes Sextantio Albergo Diffuso where the rooms are scattered through the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. In Majella, three nights are spent at Case Catalano, which stands on its own amongst the meadows and woods, with views of the mountains. On the trip, you get a support vehicle, a host and two English-speaking guides.
Rates start from £2,995 per person for up to 12 guests – a 1% donation to local causes aligned with The Slow Cyclist’s values is also included. Set departure dates in May, June, September & October 2023.
Family-run luxury gulet charter company Salamander Voyages offers bespoke itineraries along of some of the most stunning and richly cultured coastlines in the Mediterranean. Perfect for a group of friends or a celebration holiday, potential trips include sailing from Göcek to Bodrum in Turkey or along the islands of the southern and northern Dodecanese in Greece. Their signature classic wooden gulet Salamander, based in Turkey, sleeps up to 12 guests in six ensuite cabins and the crew of four will take care of your every need from preparing delicious meals to organising cultural experiences and visits to lesser-known corners accessible only by boat. On board, you’ll get daily breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and five dinners, as well as house drinks, dinghy sailing lessons, plus the use of paddle boards, snorkelling equipment and canoes. To relax, there are five socialising areas both in and out of the sun.
Rates for a seven-night private charter start from £16,950 (£1,412 per person) based on 12 guests.
StolenTime By Rendezvous
StolenTime is an adults-only wellness boutique hotel, set within a seven-acre garden on a long white sand beach on St Lucia’s north-west coast. Accommodation ranges from beachfront rooms or cottages to larger split-level suites overlooking the beach. The 100 rooms are decorated in hues of greens and blues with mahogany beds and rattan furniture. Here, you can spend your days doing absolutely nothing – just stick your flag in the sand for beach service or relax in the gardens by the pool. Or you can join in a range of water sports, including paddle, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving (with personalised instruction) and land sports such as unlimited tennis with the on-site pro, cycling, archery and volleyball; or you can book in to daily yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and fitness classes. The spa, where staff have been trained at the renowned wellness centre at sister property The BodyHoliday, has a lovely range of restorative treatments. The hotel has three restaurants – from casual, toes-in-the-sand dining to fine, elegant dining – and three bars, including a swim-up pool bar.
All-inclusive rates start from $465 (£388) per person per night.
Zafiro Palace Andratx
The latest addition to the Zafiro Palace Collection, a portfolio of luxury hotels in Mallorca, this all-suite hotel is located in Camp de Mar and is surrounded by lush gardens with spectacular views of the sea and the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains. It is also just a stone’s throw from Puerto Portals, the glamour hotspot of Mallorca and one of the island’s top yachting harbours, as well as home to some glitzy restaurants and designer shops. The 304 spacious suites are done up in understated beige and cream hues, and all have glass-fronted balconies overlooking the mountains or the sea; some also have private pools or dip pools. For total indulgence, book one of the Penthouse suites which have roof terraces with hydromassage bathtubs, loungers and dining areas. The hotel has recently introduced an all-inclusive programme – you get a choice of five dining venues, a dedicated VIP concierge service, private airport transfers and complimentary electric mopeds for exploring the local area. There is also a sports programme, including yoga, Pilates, water aerobics and training sessions. Or you can unwind in the Zen Spa & Wellness Centre, equipped with a steam room, sauna and relaxation area, where all-inclusive guests receive a special discount for facial and body treatments.
All-Inclusive Redefined rates start from €513 (£455) per room based on two sharing.
Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas
Situated on a peninsula overlooking Anse Louis beach on the southwest coast of Mahé, Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas is the ultimate, exclusive destination for total peace and privacy, yet with the benefit of their super-luxe ‘Beyond All Inclusive’ concept. Set amidst swaying palm trees and white sands bordering turquoise waters, the 30 thatched roofed villas all have private infinity pools and sunken outdoor double baths, as well as butler service. You’re unlikely to venture far from your villa but, if you do, there is a range of non-motorised water sports and exercise classes on offer. Also not to be missed is the snorkelling – the coral reef and multicoloured fish are an unbelievable sight. Delicious India, Asian, Mediterranean and Creole cuisine is served in the open-sided Tec-Tec restaurant, and you can enjoy cocktails sitting on the decking at the Sunset Pool Bar. If you book one of the Premier Pool Villas, which are situated on the edge of the peninsula with 180-degree views of the ocean, in addition to the all-inclusive package you’ll also get a private villa host who can organise for you to dine anytime, anywhere in the resort, daily private yoga sessions in your villa, a massage and unlimited scuba diving.
All-inclusive rates start from €2,500 (£2,217) per night based on two sharing.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Perfect for a multi-generation holiday, Grand Velas Riviera Maya sits between the Yucatan jungle and the Caribbean Sea on the Riviera Maya coastline near the resort town of Playa del Carmen. Divided into three areas within the 200-acre resort, the hotel has 539 light and airy suites but, despite its size, whether you’re looking for a tranquil retreat or some fun with the grandchildren, the hotel has it covered with separate family-friendly, adults-only and relaxation areas. All the suites are big with massive bathrooms and feature contemporary Mexican décor; each also has a private terrace and plunge pool. An adventure paradise, you can enjoy snorkelling around the coral reefs that are teeming with tropical fish, explore the beauty of the coastline by kayak, go on fishing trips, take part in daily yoga classes or join a mixology class. If you want total relaxation, the spa offers an array of ancient healing rituals and treatments, as well as a clay room and ice room. There's a choice of dining experiences, from elegant restaurants and casual bistros to ocean-view eateries, serving everything from Mexican, French, Italian and Asian fusion food.
All-inclusive rates start from $1,234 (£1,030) per night based on two sharing.
Parga Beach Resort
Situated on Greece’s peaceful west coast, this chic resort has recently launched its new Ultra All-Inclusive offering and it’s another great destination for a multi-gen holiday. The rooms and suites are hidden away among centuries-old olive trees in the extensive grounds. Their décor is contemporary chic with Mediterranean touches and, this year, the hotel is unveiling 23 new luxury suites with private balconies or terraces, and some with private plunge pools. For meals, there’s a choice of two restaurants – beachfront Thálassa and the recently launched seaside Alselēa where you also get the benefit of amazing sunsets – both serve local cuisine with a modern twist. There are four pools and you also have direct access to Valtos Beach. For the grown-ups, there’s a wellness centre with a lovely spa and hamman, a fully equipped gym, and a fitness and yoga platform with sea views; little ones can be entertained in the playground and playroom; or for teens, there’s a games room with board games and video games. You are also just a short walk or water taxi ride from the quaint town of Parga where you will find lovely craft shops hidden among the cobbled streets; there are also a number of archaeological sites nearby well worth a visit.
All-inclusive rates for seven nights start from £2,259 for two adults.
Pretty gardens, dazzling sea views, decks set up with the comfiest sun beds await you at adult-only The Caves in Jamaica. Perched on the dramatic limestone cliffs of Negril at the western end of the island, this boutique property has just 12 thatched-roof cottages, within tropical gardens on the clifftop. Accommodation options include one- and two-bedroom cottages and suites, and a luxurious villa with a private swimming pool. Each is individually designed with colourful walls, louvered windows, hand-carved furnishings and batik fabrics. Although there’s no beach, stairways lead down to the sea, where you’ll find in-built ladders on the rocks and sea caves which are ideal for snorkelling; or the hotel offers transfers to the legendary Seven Mile Beach. Activities include yoga classes, cave snorkelling and nature walks. Foodies can enjoy weekly cooking classes, rum tasting sessions and mixology workshops. The food is seasonal and local – think salads and grilled chicken or fish, jerk dishes straight from the barbeque, spicy stews and curries. As you’d expect in Jamaica, the cocktails are unmissable – head to the Blackwell Rum Bar, set in the cosy caves beside the sea, where you can sip rum-based cocktails and watch magnificent sunsets.
All-inclusive rates start from £463 per night based on two sharing.
Visit I-Escape.com (i-escape guests get a free 15-minute spa stress release treatment).
Zambia & Botswana: Waterside Safari
For the ultimate wildlife experience, Aardvark Safaris ensure you have no mounting costs to worry about – full board accommodation with all meals and house drinks, sundowners, laundry service, internal transfers and safari activities are all included. On their seven-night Zambia and Botswana waterside safari, you’ll get the opportunity to enjoy a range of incredible and diverse experiences, habitats and wildlife – from a Mokoro (dug-out canoe) safari along the Botswana waterways, traditional 4x4 wildlife drives, cultural visits, fishing and a visit to the Victoria Falls; you might also see everything from white rhino, wild dog, hippo, giraffe, huge herds of elephants and the vast numbers of birds which Botswana is famed for. Luxe accommodation is across three stylish camps – two nights at Thorntree River Lodge and Linyanti Bush Camp, and three at Khwai Leadwood.
Rates for a seven-night safari combining Zambia and Botswana start from £3,456 per person.
Situated on Haa Alif, the most northern atoll in the Maldives, it’s a bit of a trek via plane plus speedboat to get to JA Manafaru from Malé airport, but definitely worth the effort. The upside is that this lush, 35-acre tropical haven feels very secluded and private with great waters and marine life. There are 84 villas and residences, ranging from beach villas and water villas for two to large two- and three-bedroom residences, all decorated in light woods and pale colours, and each with its own pool and access to the beach. There’s a vast range of activities and water sports on offer, with a PADI certified dive centre, snorkelling from your villa, an eco-friendly golf driving range, daily beach sports, yoga, meditation, cooking classes, sunset boat cruises, dolphin watching; or you can chill in the spa where total indulgence and pampering are on the menu with Ayurveda and Elemis facials and treatments, plus Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms. The resort’s all-inclusive concept means you get to enjoy a variety of gastronomic experiences, from locally inspired seafood dishes at Ocean Grill and international cuisine overlooking the ocean at Kakuni to afternoon tea and sundowner cocktails at the elegant overwater White Orchid Lounge. We like the fact that the resort is partnered with Ocean Bottle, meaning for every bottle of water purchased, 1,000 plastic bottles are removed from the ocean; and they organise regular underwater reef cleans, which certified divers can join.
All-inclusive rates start from $1,840 (£1,535) per night, based on two sharing.