As much as I love my kids, the concept of staying at a kid-free resort every once in a while has serious appeal. No screaming children, no day-camp counsellors with pumped-up music and beach games. At adults-only properties, the emphasis is on high end: plush accommodations, fine dining, premium
liquors and a setting that caters to privacy and romance. You can enjoy your massage on the beach with only the sounds of the waves to break the silence. It’s all about catering to grown-ups.
Here are three excellent adults-only, all-inclusive properties.
Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort, Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica
With its evolution to adults-only last November, this relaxed, low-key property on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has upped its focus on luxury and caters mainly to couples. During the day, the 162-room resort runs a full activity program, with hourly events ranging from yoga and snorkelling in the pool to sushi and exotic cocktail-making classes. Rather than large spectaculars at night, live music plays in the lobby, with a disco open until 2 a.m. for night owls. All rooms and suites have a king or two double beds, mini fridge, a balcony or terrace, cable TV and a view of the garden or sea.
Nature lovers can head out for day trips to local volcanoes, or an overnight trip to Nicaragua, while shopping buffs can visit Playa Coco and Liberia, both within a half-hour of the resort.
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, Province of Samana, Dominican Republic
After a 45-minute ride from the Samana Airport, a private boat will pick you up for a 15-minute trip to the resort’s own private island. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with champagne and cool towels, and a butler is available to unpack for you. Luxury accommodations—either a suite or one of six beach villas—all have a four-poster, king-sized canopy bed, a six-option pillow menu and aromatherapy oils. There’s even a Bahia Principe app for booking spa and dinner reservations and viewing a resort map and activity schedule.
The island has five white-sand beaches, four of which are private for resort guests. Enjoy the beaches’ waiter service, snorkel through natural reefs, which are almost half the size of the island, or learn merengue or bachata (a Dominican dance style) by the pool. There are many day excursions—ziplining, caves with petroglyphs, humpback whale viewing—and a boat leaves every half-hour for nearby Samana.
Couples Sans Souci, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Carved into a cliff, Couples Sans Souci (loosely translated to “without a care”) is a romantic enclave with winding stone pathways leading throughout its 35 acres. The resort has two sheltered beach coves (one of which is au naturel—no clothing allowed) and a healing natural mineral pool. It’s easy to find a secluded hammock, a whirling hot tub or a stylish bar anywhere on the property.
Sans Souci is one of four Couples Resorts in Jamaica. This one is set apart from the others by its old-world charm, with 150 suites set in low-rise colonial-style buildings. Enjoy the stunning design of the guest suites—all with luxuriously comfortable beds, a view of the ocean, daily stocked mini-bars and room service (which is part of your all-inclusive package). For total romance, splurge on the property’s secluded Hibiscus Cottage.
The resort has also received many accolades for its dining options. Try the international cuisine at the elegant Casanova; no flip-flops allowed.
10 Reasons to Choose a Destination Wedding
A destination wedding means you get to say "I do" at a unique venue (like a lava field in Hawaii or a castle in Ireland) and spend quality time with your guests. Plus, it's less stressful if you have a planner at a resort and your photos will be different from everyone else's.
Five Warm-Weather Resorts With Exceptional Restaurants
Typically, resort food isn’t the highlight of a trip to the tropics, but an increasing number of resorts are upping their game with chef-driven concepts that should be experienced. Get classic French fare at Café Martinique at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas or sip aged rum at The Sugar Mill at Half Moon Resort in Jamaica.