The best all-inclusive resorts for foodies

The convenience of going ‘all inclusive’ is often followed by the disappointing discovery that you’ll be eating from the same unimaginative buffet for the duration of your trip. Thankfully, this is totally not the case with today’s listed lodgings. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘all inclusive’, these modern, food-centric resorts wouldn’t be seen dead serving up stale croissants two days in a row. Read on for our rundown of the best all-inclusive resorts for foodies from Oceania to the Caribbean.

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Photo: Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort

1. Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania, Australia

It doesn’t get much more ‘down under’ than Saffire Freycinet, based on Tasmania Island off the south coast of Australia. Going so far south has its benefits, however, beyond cold-climate wines and ethereal sea-meets-mountain views, it’s the awaiting foodie experiences that excite us most. At Saffire Freycinet, you can taste the very best of the island, on tours of local oyster farms, nearby vineyards, or even, at a cooking class with the resort’s own chef. Guests are also sure to be blown away by the ever-changing menu at Palate, the hotel’s on-site restaurant and one of the best in Australia. In line with the blissful food, Saffire Freycinet’s striking main lodge is an architectural wonder both inside and out, coloured by a cathedral-like ceiling and artwork to mimic the natural world of eucalypt forest and sandy bay outside.

2. Blackberry Farm, Tennessee, US

Travel to the base of the Great Smoky Mountains in Sleepy Walland, Tennessee, to find the 4,200-acre retreat of Blackberry Farm, where the best of seasonal Southern cuisine comes lovingly prepared using produce from the farm’s own creamery, bakery and charcuterie. The 180,000-bottle wine cellar, craft brewery and 600 whisky blends can also ensure you’ll never go thirsty. Try all of this either in The Barn or The Dogwood dining room, joining the master gardener beforehand for a farmstead tasting tour to see how it all comes together.  Otherwise, simply enjoy the tranquillity of Blackberry Farm, lounging on the lawn with a sweet tea or roasting s’mores and telling stories around the bonfire on an evening. The Wellhouse can also bring some ease, alongside gardening classes, cheesemaking, fly-fishing and horse-drawn carriage rides through the sweeping countryside.

Photo: Jade Mountain

3. Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

It’s on to the Caribbean to find the 18th-century plantation turned boutique resort Jade Mountain, where guest suites come flanked by grand peaks and characteristic Caribbean beaches. In amongst the stellar views, find a fine restaurant run by award-winning chef Allen Susser and a chocolate tasting lab for those more sweetly inclined. Local seafood and creole dishes are firmly placed on the menu at Jade Mountain, with gourmet twists to create dishes such as the cinnamon mahi-mahi and the blue crab couscous. Devour a multi-course tasting menu from the comfort of your high-rise room – complete with a private infinity pool and dedicated butler – or pack some truffles for trekking up the Piti and Gros Piton mountains or hiking down to the beaches. Otherwise, the hotel’s spa services can help you relax ahead of cocktails and live music on the sky deck.

4. Hotel Le Toiny, St. Barthelemy

Keeping to the Caribbean chain, we sail forth to St. Barts where Hotel Le Toiny awaits upon 28 hilly acres lining the coast. Though Le Toiny is not an all-inclusive offering, we couldn’t resist mentioning its delectable themed meals at on-site restaurant. The sea views from the restaurant may attempt to pull your attention, but, in honesty, no view could rival the food. The menu experience successfully draw celebrities far and wide, for dishes such as braised seabass and crispy guinea fowl served alongside homegrown organic vegetables and a healthy selection of wines. Private pools and large terraces looking out over Toiny Bay await guests at any of Hotel Le Toiny’s 22 colonial-style villa suites, with additional facilities including the beach club, gym, library and bar, all spread out between the coconut grove, pineapple orchard and tamarind field.

Photo: Hotel Le Toiny

Photo: Hotel Le Toiny

5. Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Lying in the lavish resort realm of Los Cabos in Mexico, the Sea-of-Cortez facing Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort knows exactly how to serve up decadence to its international clientele. Though the $25,000 gold-speckled taco lies outside of the hotel’s all-inclusive plan, guests at Grand Velas can freely enjoy dishes such as gourmet Mexican, fresh sushi and homemade pasta across the resort’s five Michelin-rated restaurants. A number of bars await too, allowing for unlimited mezcal cocktails on the beach before trips to the spa for blue agave massages and after-sun treatments. The art galleries, shops and restaurants of San José del Cabo lie just a 20-minute drive away, but the scale of Grand Velas will surely bring you back to lie beside its several pools with a personal concierge on hand to bring whatever your heart desires.

Photo: Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort

Photo: Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort

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Though the $25,000 gold-speckled taco lies outside of the hotel’s all-inclusive plan, guests at Grand Velas can freely enjoy dishes such as gourmet Mexican, fresh sushi and homemade pasta across the resort’s five Michelin-rated restaurants

Worlds Most Expensive Taco | Photo: Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort

6. Twin Farms, Vermont, US

Great wine and great food should go hand in hand and no hotel does this partnership better than Twin Farms in southeast Vermont. The one-time home of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Sinclair Lewis, Twin Farms remains artistically inclined across 300 acres of forested countryside. An 18th-century farmhouse at the centre of it all, Twin Farms also operates a collection of 20 private cottages and suites, all fitted with stone fireplaces and iconic contemporary artworks. A foodies paradise first and foremost, Twin Farms comes into its own in the dining room of the main lodge where guests come together to enjoy a multi-course feast, beginning with champagne cocktails and culminating in a variety of locally sourced dishes, all carefully prepared. Twin Farms is an adults-only retreat with countless fun activities on the grounds, including trail skiing and canoeing on Copper Pond. The fitness centre, spa and tennis courts can also keep you busy, with cycling opportunities further afield, such as to the nearby town of Woodstock.

Photo: Twin Farms, Vermont

Photo: Twin Farms, Vermont

7. Le Blanc Resorts & Spa Cancun, Mexico

Foodie hashtags at the ready for a stay at Le Blanc Resorts & Spa Cancun, a Riviera Maya hotspot that’ll make you feel #full #blessed. This five-star property on the beachfront is just-for-adults, making for a tranquil experience while dining at any of six gourmet restaurants, drinking at the bars or lounging under the cabanas (by the beach or pools). Swim-up bars and two-person hot tubs make relaxation extra easy for all, spread across the property’s five smoke-free acres. After an international fusion breakfast or lunch buffet at the resort, embark on tours to Chichen Itza, Tulum, Xcaret and the jungle, before returning to base to take advantage of the butler service, full-service spa and live nightly entertainments.

8. Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts

On a foodies tour of St. Kitts meanwhile, savvy travellers can base themselves at Belle Mont Farm, one of the best all-inclusive resorts for foodies in the Caribbean. Not only does Belle Mont Farm have the very best sea-to-fork fare across its six restaurants and bars, but the property also has an earth-friendly setup built upon a 400-acre working farm on the slopes of Mount Liamuiga. Guests stay in colonial-style cottages while at Belle Mont, enjoying outside baths and verandas that look out across the sea towards Saba and St. Eustatius islands. Besides gorgeous West Indian cuisine and communal dining on the plantation, guests can roam the grounds on golf buggies, picking bananas and teeing off across the nine-hole ‘edible’ golf course. Other facilities on the farm include the full-service spa, fitness centre and tennis courts, with shuttles running to Basseterre and South Frigate Bay Beach.

Photo: Twin Farms, Vermont

9. St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

The penultimate choice in our foodie guide is the elegant St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico, located on 483 acres between El Yunque National Forest and Espíritu Santo River State Preserve. The hotel grounds include three kilometres of Atlantic shorefront, while, inland, an 18-hole golf course and tropical sanctuary filled with wildlife await. Work up an appetite at the tennis school and watersports centre (otherwise lounging by the hotel’s oasis pools on private cabanas), before feasting at Fern restaurant, the Greek Paros restaurant or the casual Beach Club. Seagrapes is another option for tea rituals and s’mores, while the bar serves up signature sundowners. The annual food truck event is another reason to stay at St. Regis when the nation’s best four-wheeled eateries swing by to provide guests with authentic Puerto Rican cuisine.

10. Sanctuary Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Finishing off our foodies guide is the Dominican Republic’s Sanctuary Cap Cana, an adults-only resort based on the cliffs above Punta Cana’s beatific beaches. The gated community of Cap Cana – which the hotel is a part of – covers 30,000 acres of beach and valleys hiding an endless variety of things to do, such as watersports, fishing, golf and outdoor adventures. At the Spanish colonial hotel itself, guests can enjoy five á la carte and buffet restaurants, seven bars and lounges, with all the more foodies restaurant options in the community’s Luxury Village and food trucks at Sanctuary Town.

Photo: Sanctuary Cap Cana

Photo: Sanctuary Cap Cana

Before you set off on your trip, educate yourself on all the best local restaurants in your destination, downloading apps such as OpenTable and Roaming Hunger or bookmarking the best websites for foodies such as vegan-centric Happy Cow or The Travel Bite. Once the hard work is done, get hyped for your trip by watching the best films for foodies such as Chocolat and Sideways, following our favourite quotes for foodies; ‘First, we eat. Then, we do everything else.’

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Photo: Twin Farms, Vermont

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