Jim Smith Photography

A hassle-free vacation is closer than you may think: T+L rounds up the best all-inclusive resorts across the U.S.

Mohonk Mountain House Hotel, New Paltz, NY

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Mohonk Mountain House is a 251-room Victorian castle-with a well-planned kid's program, and 21st-century rates. Every December 24, guests competing in the annual Yule Log Hunt venture into the woods to find the timber with a red ribbon on it. Whoever brings back the ribbon gets to light the Yule log in a ceremony before Christmas dinner. The outdoor fun also includes hiking in the surrounding Shawangunk Ridge (aka the Gunks, a famous rock climbing locale), and skating in the resort's own pavilion.

Price Tag: Doubles from $580 per night; add $99 per child ages 4–17; kids under 4 stay free.

America's Best All-Inclusive Resorts

Mohonk Mountain House Hotel, New Paltz, NY

Mohonk Mountain House is a 251-room Victorian castle-with a well-planned kid's program, and 21st-century rates. Every December 24, guests competing in the annual Yule Log Hunt venture into the woods to find the timber with a red ribbon on it. Whoever brings back the ribbon gets to light the Yule log in a ceremony before Christmas dinner. The outdoor fun also includes hiking in the surrounding Shawangunk Ridge (aka the Gunks, a famous rock climbing locale), and skating in the resort's own pavilion.

Price Tag: Doubles from $580 per night; add $99 per child ages 4–17; kids under 4 stay free.

Jim Smith Photography

America's Best All-Inclusive Resorts

“I just love having everything paid for up front,” says Renee Pagnani, who has vacationed at the same all-inclusive resort for six years in a row. “It’s the quintessential Vermont experience.”

Wait—did she say Vermont?

Instead of flying to Cancún or Jamaica, the Pagnanis drive four hours from their Boston-area home to the 165-acre Tyler Place Family Resort, where rusticity meets elegance on the shores of Lake Champlain in northwestern Vermont. The family-run resort was an early pioneer of the all-inclusive concept in the early 1950s and today enjoys a staggering 90 percent repeat business.

The best all-inclusive resorts offer a slew of activities in picturesque, get-away-from-it-all settings. Each has its own personality, from a luxurious ranch in Colorado, where guests can follow up a horseback ride with a soak in a private Jacuzzi, to the summer-camp vibe at affordable lakeside cabins in Minnesota.

Of course, affordable is relative, and the nightly price points at some of these resorts can raise eyebrows. “But think about the value,” observes Pagnani. “Think about the amazing children’s program—now that’s resource-intensive.” Tyler Place, for instance, separates kids into nine age-staggered groups, each with its own clubhouse, counselors, and extensive schedule of activities from art workshops to hikes. Dinners are adults only—with babysitters provided—and include bistro-style meals with ingredients sourced from Vermont farms and food vendors.

Meals, many activities, and accommodations are included, and the advertised rates sometimes extend to alcoholic beverages, although almost never to private sessions like spa treatments. “Always read the fine print,” advises Scott Berman, who leads a practice of hospitality industry consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Miami. “In the end, you get what you pay for.”

At an all-inclusive resort, more than at most other lodgings, you know just what you’re paying for and can take care of all the arrangements well in advance—leaving you free to relax from the moment you arrive.

Read on for America’s best all-inclusive resorts—and consider these other romantic all-inclusive resorts, if you’re looking for a decidedly adult escape.

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