The best all-inclusive resorts for travellers on a budget

Laura French looks into the all-inclusives offering the best bang for your clients’ buck.

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Like many things, all-inclusives come in all shapes and sizes – and while all-out, blow‑the‑budget resorts certainly have their market, great-value ones do too.

And whether it’s a family looking for an action-packed stay, a couple seeking a culturally immersive break or a group of friends wanting a nightlife-filled, no-holds-barred holiday, there’s no shortage of options at the budget end – and they offer plenty more variety than the stereotypes might suggest.

We’ve rounded up some of the best options to suit every kind of client.

So they want… a local feel

Agapi Beach Resort, Crete

All-inclusive doesn’t have to mean sitting by the pool all day – these days it’s all about cultural immersion, and Crete’s four-star Agapi Beach Resort has that down to a tee.

It hosts weekly cooking classes at the on-site taverna where guests can learn traditional recipes – with local chefs and pastry masters leading the sessions – alongside weekly Greek nights and folk dancing, while outside the resort, there’s a string of sights to explore, from the Bronze Age ruins of Knossos to the stone-built fortifications of Heraklion.

Other selling points here include a kids’ club, three large pools, two bars and restaurants, and an idyllic location right by the beach.

Book it: Cyplon offers a week from £789 per person, based on two adults and two under-12s sharing an Exclusive Bungalow, with easyJet flights from Gatwick on October 19.


So they want… family entertainment

Wave Resort, Bulgaria

For families after an action-packed break with a modern, trendy vibe, look to Bulgaria’s four-star Wave Resort, new to Jet2holidays’ portfolio for 2019.

Located about three miles from the resort of Pomorie – all cobblestone streets and traditional tavernas – it boasts six pools alongside an aqua park, spa and private beach. There’s a kids’ club offering all manner of activities – from arts and crafts to drama and music sessions – plus a daily schedule of entertainment, five restaurants (three à la carte) and four bars.

The hotel prides itself on its sleek design, with family rooms and swim-up suites available for those wanting to push the boat out. The nearby town of Nessebar has plenty to lure those wanting to stretch their legs, from Byzantine baths to Beglik Tash, a prehistoric rock sanctuary.

Book it: Seven nights with Jet2holidays costs from £749 per person, based on a family of four sharing, with return transfers and flights from Stansted on July 29.

So they want… a wide choice of dining 

Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje, Tenerife

Resorts have been upping their game on the food front in recent years, and leading the pack is Sunlight Bahia Principe Costa Adeje in Tenerife, where guests get three speciality restaurant dinners included per week. Four formal-dress restaurants span Mexican, Brazilian, Italian and Asian fusion, while a family-friendly buffet and pool restaurant offer a more casual experience.

Those more in it for the cocktails will find several bars to choose from, while a spa, three pools (one adult-only) and access to nearby sister resort Bahia Principe Village add extra welly – as do the tranquil gardens and idyllic ocean views that surround it.

Book it: Thomas Cook offers four nights from £471 per person, based on two people sharing a double room, including flights from Luton.

So they want… a smaller resort

Majestic Spa Hotel, Zante

If it’s a smaller resort clients are interested in, Zante’s Majestic Spa Hotel might be the one. With only 264 rooms, it’s pint-sized in comparison with the bigger‑name all-inclusives, and it’s a good bet for those looking for a lively stay, thanks to its central location on the main street of  hip-and-happening Laganas  (also known for its loggerhead sea turtles).

“It’s a great option for those on a budget who want to be within walking distance of resort facilities,” says Ricky Wason, head of product and purchasing at Olympic Holidays. “And it enthuses the type of Greek hospitality that can be lost in larger all-inclusive hotels.”

Book it: Olympic Holidays offers a week from £495 per person, based on two adults sharing a garden or pool-view double room, including flights from Stansted on October 5.


So they want… a lively stay

Palladium Hotel Don Carlos, Ibiza

If you’ve got a young group wanting to combine nightlife with downtime, suggest the four-star, adult-only Palladium Hotel Don Carlos in Ibiza. Located little more than a mile from Santa Eulalia, the property offers a peaceful, palm‑fringed setting right by the beach, plus easy access to the bars and clubs that line Ibiza’s third‑largest resort.

There’s a lounge bar, snack bar and restaurant, and it’s all contemporary in design, with underwater beds, a chill-out area, nightly live music and an outdoor terrace offering massages with a view.

Book it: Seven nights in a double room costs from £669 per person with Simply Luxury by Travel 2. The price includes private transfers, airport lounge passes in the UK and flights from London on October 5.


Best of the rest

Riu Playa Park, Majorca: Rebuilt for 2019, this one’s all about the buzz, with live music and shows every night, plus three outdoor pools (one with a swim-up bar), themed buffet dinners, and a central location close to Playa de Palma’s nightlife. A week costs from £623 per person based on two sharing a double room, excluding flights.

Xanadu Island, Turkey: Three restaurants (two à la carte), seven bars, a watersports centre, Shang-Du Spa, kids’ club, tennis courts and bowling lanes make this a hit for couples and families after a higher-end, action-packed stay that still offers excellent value. A week with Kuoni costs from £899, based on two sharing on select dates in October, including flights from Gatwick.

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