All-inclusive resorts aim for high-end clients

Published: Nov. 26, 2019 at 2:33 PM EST
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All-inclusive resorts are opening in more destinations around the world. Many are offering higher-end amenities to attract wealthier guests who once snubbed their noses at the concept.

Kudadoo Private Island in the Maldives is taking all-inclusive to the next level.

"We wanted to try something new, which was the anything, anytime, anywhere concept," said Bradley Calder, the general manager.

Starting at $3,800 a night, you get unlimited spa treatments including a Himalayan salt room. Guests can have their breakfast on a deserted island, go diving with turtles and hunt for stingrays from a private boat. CBS News got special rates to see the enormous overwater villas. There's also a cheese room and plenty of wine to pair it with.

Closer to home, overwater villas are now available at Sandals' all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica and St. Lucia.

Even budget-friendly all-inclusives like Bahia Principe's four resorts south of Cancun, Mexico, are upping the ante with activities including elaborate stage shows.

Also in Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort offers unlimited golf and seven-course tasting menus dotted with caviar at its French restaurant.

Seven-courses are also on every dinner menu at family-owned Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada.

About half the rooms lead directly to Grand Anse Beach. The resort has hosted royalty, including Prince Harry who had a favorite dessert.

"We served him avocado ice cream, which is one of our signature dishes handed down through generations, and he loved it," said Janelle Hopkin, the deputy managing director.

Although higher-end all-inclusives are becoming more common, the model is not new. Curtain Bluff in Antigua has been operating as a luxury inclusive resort for 32 years. It offers unlimited scuba, tennis and two beaches with some rooms in the bluffs.

The biggest hotel brands including Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott are also opening new all-inclusive properties.