All-inclusive resorts in the U.S.

SHERYL NANCE-NASH | 1/7/2021, midnight
There’s something about an all-inclusive resort that makes your vacay easy. Everything from food to entertainment is taken care of.
There is plenty of fun to be had at Discovery Cove in Orlando. Photos courtesy of Discovery Cove

There’s something about an all-inclusive resort that makes your vacay easy. Everything from food to entertainment is taken care of. Your biggest worry is how to decide among the many, varied options. That’s a good problem.

When you think of all-inclusive resorts, it’s likely that what first comes to mind are places in Mexico and the Caribbean. But truth is, stateside you can find stellar all-inclusives. Here are a few worth staying close to home for.

Red Reflet Ranch, Ten Sleep, Wyoming

How would you like to stay in your own private chalet on this 28,000-acre working ranch and all-inclusive luxury resort? That’s likely an immediate yes. Spend your days horseback riding, fishing, hiking, four-wheeling, taking gourmet cooking classes or yoga. If that’s not enough, hit the rifle range, tennis or basketball courts, or rock climb. Refresh yourself with a swim in the natural waterpark and enjoy the beach, suspension bridge, giant rope swings, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and water slide. If you’re up for it, zip line into the water. In winter, cross-country ski, go tobogganing, sledding and snowmobiling. Begin days quietly with breakfast in your chalet. You can have lunch at various prime spots on the ranch. Dinner time is all about dining with the owners and other guests. You have options though, be it dinner at the Mountain Cabin, cowboy-style barbeque in the outdoor Cantina, or if you just want to hang with family, have a private dinner in your chalet.

Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida

Maybe you don’t have the luxury of vacationing for several days. Stay at a hotel nearby this all-inclusive day resort where you can connect with dolphins, snorkel among tropical fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds, gaze at friendly flamingos and more. Explore the stunning coral reef habitat at The Grand Reef. You can helmet dive and take an underwater walking tour of the reef. It’s pretty incredible, and easier than snorkeling. If you’re looking to chill, there’s the beach and the Wind-Away River, where you serenely float. Bird lovers will enjoy the Explorer’s Aviary. Included in your stay is breakfast, lunch and all-you-can-eat snacks throughout the day, plus unlimited gourmet coffee, cold beverages, beer and wine. Parking, lockers, wetsuits and swim gear are also included.

Canyon Madness Ranch, Roy, New Mexico

Good things are worth waiting for. Look forward to the opening of Canyon Madness Ranch in April. This wilderness paradise is 14,000 acres of fun—horseback riding, archery, hiking, river kayaking, canoeing, ATV/UTV rides, sport shooting and more. No need to worry about crowds, the property is for just 16 guests. You’ll marvel at the main house, the Teepee Lodge, that features twin teepee-shaped peaks over an 18,000 square-foot structure of indoor lodging and two levels of massive metal-alloy decks. Sitting on hard rock in a remote area, the structure’s two balconies are cantilevered over the edge of the river 800 feet below. The design concept involves two teepee-shaped structures connected by a great room of immense size, suitable for living and dining, relaxation and entertainment. The second-floor deck offers a pool table, foosball table, air-hockey tables, and expansive lounging areas. Eight contemporary styled suites offer private living rooms, ensuite baths, king beds, and sliding doors that access the balcony with river canyon views. Other amenities in the lodge include the owner’s private gun and art collection with paintings, sculptures and artifacts from international artists, a large remote-controlled outdoor jacuzzi, and a menu featuring ranch-raised meats and farm vegetables. Expect exotic goodies like ostrich and buffalo.

Club Med Sandpiper, Port Saint Lucie, Florida

For sure, you might think you’re at an all-inclusive in the Caribbean. You’ve got the amazing beach, all the watersports you can handle, kayaking, sailing, swimming. Then there’s tennis, table tennis, beach volleyball, golf, yoga, the Flying Trapeze School with circus activities and more. There’s an adults-only infinity pool and bar. Kids have their own club. And of course there is a spa. You know you’re in for a treat with a L’Occitane Spa. Pamper yourself.

Red Mountain Resort, Ivins, Utah

When Red Mountain is in the name, you know what to expect, those infamous red mountains that are reason enough to go there. You’ll get your workout for your body and the scenery will soothe your soul. For action there’s rock climbing, kayaking, rappelling, canyoneering, hiking onsite as well as the iconic Zion National Park. If you’re looking for something a bit different, bring your adventure journal to capture special moments on the Mindful Silent Hike, Meditation Walk or Nature-inspired Journaling Hike. There are opportunities to do yoga in Snow Canyon, try your hand at Anasazi pottery, take wellness and fitness programs, and experience shamanic energy healing and oracle readings. Eat guilt-free with wellness inspired dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spending time in the Sagestone Spa is a must. Go for the Red Rock Hiker’s Massage, a full body massage with a marine mud pack on legs to get the toxins out and improve circulation, the Table Thai Yoga Massage or cranial sacral therapy, among other choices.

Mohonk Mountain House Hotel, New Paltz, New York

The combination of being inside a Victorian castle and on the banks of Lake Mohonk is hard to beat. The rooms take you back in time with their Victorian era flair. There’s plenty to do: golfing on the 18-hole course, playing tennis, swimming indoors or outside in the heated mineral pool with its imported Dead Sea salts, working out in the fitness center, canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding. Still need more? Go horseback riding, biking, take yoga and meditation classes. Or maybe shuffleboard, lawn bowling or watching the evening movie is more your forte. In winter, enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing or chilling in front of the 39-foot-tall stone fireplace with hot chocolate at the Pavilion. When children and parents want time apart, there’s the Kids Club. Mohonk Mountain House gets kudos from magazines like Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure; much is said about the award-winning spa. Before or after your treatment there, soak up the scenery on the verandas and solarium, relax by the fireplace or fixate on the mountainside views.