No one needs an introduction to the Caribbean, but many people are unfamiliar with how well this destination is suited to an all-inclusive holiday. Whereas on a city break you want to get out and sample the restaurants and local attractions, in many cases in the Caribbean, the hotel is the main attraction. With 4- and 5-star hotels packing the shores of dozens of islands, it can be very tempting to remain in the comfort of your own stretch of white sand. Couple this with the fact that many of the best restaurants can be found in the hotels, and it’s easy to see why this style of holiday is so appealing. This is especially true of long haul destinations where the airfare can be high and you want to get as much value from your accommodation as possible.
With that in mind, here’s a tip for 2013: if you are looking for a great-value long haul break, head to the Caribbean and take advantage of the huge savings we’ve found on all-inclusive holidays in the region. Discounts of up to £710 are available at properties in Mexico, Cuba and Barbados, which means you’ll have more money to spend on mojitos, and rum and Cokes.
Here are our top picks, all for less than £1000.
Cancun, on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, is one of the country’s most visited resorts and Frommer’s believes it is worthy of its popularity: "powdery white sand and a Caribbean sea the colour of blue Curaçao -- believe the brochures about Cancun". Set yourself up for a week of luxury with a stay at a 5-star Condé Nast Traveler Gold List property with this offer from Caribbean Warehouse. Stay in a Junior Swim up Suite at the Excellence Riviera Cancun with drinks and meals included, for £999 per person. That’s a huge £710 saving on the normal price.
Described by Rough Guides as "the Jewel of the Caribbean", Cuba offers travellers an energetic capital, Havana, as well as luxurious beach resorts in Varadero. Combine both with this 10-night escape from The Holiday Place that starts with three nights in Havana before an all-inclusive week at the 4-star Occidental Allegro Varadero. The whole package is yours for £849 per person and will leave £600 in your bank account in savings. That’s what we call cheap Caribbean.
For a Caribbean experience with a British flavour, Barbados is your best bet. "Afternoon tea is a ritual, cricket is the national pastime, dressing for dinner is a firmly entrenched tradition," says Fodor’s of the island. However, that’s where the comparisons end. This sophisticated place is full of sandy beaches, has a tropical climate and moves at an all together slower pace of life. Relax and unwind for seven nights at the Barbados Beach Club, for £995 person. Elegant Travel has chopped 45% off the regular price of this holiday, which includes direct flights with Virgin Atlantic.
For more all-inclusive holidays to the Caribbean and other longhaul destinations, click here.