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All-inclusive resorts in Europe: beaches, pools and bottomless buffets

By , 12th July 2018

Let’s be honest: is there anyone who doesn’t like to see the magic word all-inclusive when planning their holiday? The luxury of paying one fee then spending your holiday eating and drinking more than your money’s worth, combined with pool sessions and sunbathing – what could be better?!

Worry-free holidays with all-inclusive catering

You won’t have to worry about how much money you spend each day or where to go for dinner. You can simply head for the snack bar and order an ice cream, dip into the lunch buffet or order yourself a pool-side refreshment.

All-inclusive resorts: cheaper than some may think

Anyone who now thinks that all-inclusive resorts are overpriced is wrong. It’s true that most all-inclusive resorts are more expensive than hotels offering half board, but once you start adding up the costs for drinks, ice cream and snacks, you’ll soon be at the same price.

To make your choice a little easier, we have selected some fantastic hotels in popular European destinations for you. You’ll discover all-inclusive resorts in Greece, Majorca, the Canary Islands, Croatia, Bulgaria and Portugal – enjoy!


All-inclusive resorts in Spain

An all-inclusive resort for party animals

★★★★ Hotel Riu Bravo | Playa de Palma, Majorca

Love Majorca? Keen to conquer the mother of all party strongholds? Then you must book into the Hotel Riu Bravo. After partying through the night, relax by the pool, sweat out the alcohol in the steam sauna in the spa area and recharge your batteries for yet more parties. Perhaps a vigorous back massage will revitalise you? If you want to try and cure your hangover with another beer, which can sometimes work wonders, head for the swim-up bar.

I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a breakfast for late risers. So you won’t have to force yourself to get up too early. Of course, you can also skip breakfast and have lunch to line your stomachs for the evening.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle for a while, then you should take a closer look at Palma and visit the cathedral, the marina, the dragon cave, the royal palace and the Castell de Bellver fortress. These famous sights are just a short 15-minute walk away.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Pool & spa

  • Gym, steam room, Jacuzzi, indoor pool
  • 2 pools, swim-up bar

Food & beverages

  • 3 restaurants, including a barbecue restaurant and a Spanish restaurant
  • Snack bar and salon bar

Activities & entertainment

  • for a fee: tennis, horse-riding, golf, squash, bike hire, water sports, crazy golf
  • Shows and live music
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An all-inclusive resort for families in Majorca

Protur Safari Park | Sa Coma, Majorca

If partying all night is not your thing or you’re looking for an all-inclusive family holiday, then choose the Protur Safari Park Hotel, located in the idyllic town of Sa Coma. In the morning, after a good night’s sleep, conquer the breakfast buffet and strengthen yourself for a day full of fun and action by the pool. While the kiddies enjoy themselves in the Mini Club and make new holiday friends, you can relax under the Majorcan sun by the pool.

In the afternoon, you’ll meet up with the kids again and enjoy the time together over ice cream, pastries, fruits, sandwiches, coffee and lemonade. Your little rascals will surely have a few anecdotes from their morning’s adventures. But a detailed report about their day will be provided at dinner time, while you’re enjoying an extensive evening meal together. There is one catch though: you’ll have to choose one of the restaurants! You have the choice between the extensive buffet restaurant, Asian specialities, Italian delicacies, Indian dishes or the barbecue restaurant.

And finally, there’s the number one reason to book for all mothers out there: the hotel has a self-service laundry. So you can easily remove spaghetti stains from clothes or run a quick load through the washing machine on the last day of your holiday.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Pool & spa

  • 3 outdoor pools for adults, 4 for children
  • Gym room, sauna

Activities

  • Tennis
  • Nordic walking
  • Water aerobics and polo
  • Crazy golf
  • Volleyball
  • Climbing park
  • Animation with live music, dance and magic shows

For children

  • Mini Club
  • Kids’ playground
  • Mini disco

 

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All-inclusive resort in Tenerife with many excursion options

★★★★ Sunlight Bahia Principe Tenerife | Tenerife

For a lot of people the thought of all-inclusive resorts conjures up images of other guests plundering the buffet and shovelling their plates full of the nicely prepared food, and of having to shout to have a conversation because it’s so loud as so many guests head out to eat at the same time. This is precisely the reason why most all-inclusive resorts, like the Sunlight Bahia Principe Tenerife, have several restaurants and even an à la carte restaurant. In the buffet restaurant you’ll be amazed by the impressive selection of dishes, while in the other two restaurants you can enjoy Asian or Mexican cuisine in a tasteful ambience. Head for the bar to take a nightcap and philosophise about anything and everything as you see out the day.

If you don’t feel like relaxing by the pool every single day, the hotel offers a range of around 20 excursions. You can, for example, dash through the island scenery in a Jeep or visit the famous Loro Park, the water park Siam Park or the Jungle Park. Couples can take a romantic catamaran tour, float across the Atlantic and reminisce as they watch the sunset.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Pool & spa

  • 2 pools
  • Outdoor pavilion with treatment spa

Food & beverages

  • 3 restaurants, including one buffet restaurant and 2 à la carte restaurants (Asian and Mexican)
  • Three à la carte dinners per week of your stay
  • 2 bars, one of them pool-side
  • 2 snack bars

Activities

  • Crazy golf, darts, table tennis, volleyball, archery, tennis (one hour daily)
  • Over 20 organised excursions from the hotel

For children

  • Mini Club
  • Crazy golf
  • Standard room for 2 adults and 1 child
  • Junior Suite for 2 adults and 2 children

 

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All-inclusive resort in Gran Canaria with Caribbean pool area

★★★★ Tabaiba Princess | Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Can’t afford the Caribbean this year? Then book into the all-inclusive resort Tabaiba Princess on the sunny island of Gran Canaria. The highlight here is the pool area with six pools that are arranged in the shape of a Caribbean island chain. The pool avenue is lined with palm trees and you can drift through the turquoise water or linger on the relaxation islands. Incidentally, four pools are reserved for adults only, while the smaller guests can claim the two other pools for themselves and splash about in the water all day long.

After a few refreshing laps in the pool, treat yourself to fruity drinks at the pool-side bar before you claim a lounger and finally get a chance to read a book again. And if you ask nicely, your darling will be sure to bring you a piece of cake and a cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, beach lovers have to do without sea and sand, but you will be compensated with an artificial sandy beach. I know that’s not the same, but maybe it’s a small consolation for you.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Pool & spa

  • 6 pools, 4 of them for adults and 2 of them for children
  • Gym
  • 2 saunas (one of which without clothing), hammam, open-air massage area

Food & beverages

  • Buffet restaurant with show kitchen
  • Snack restaurant
  • 9 bars (including piano bars with chill-out terraces, disco bars)
  • Á la carte restaurant overlooking the pool
  • Upgrade to all-inclusive premium possible (branded drinks, wine, beer and bottled water and other benefits)

Activities

  • Aqua fitness, beach volleyball, darts, fitness, boccia, table tennis, air rifle, basketball, football
  • At a surcharge: Golf, crazy golf, bike hire
  • Shows
  • Game corner for card games like Skat, Bridge or Mau Mau
  • Books to borrow

For children

  • Play hotel: here children can play hotel staff or guests
  • Kids’ playground, mini disco, Mini Club, children’s pool
  • Animation
  • Highchairs and cots
  • Giant chess
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All-inclusive resort in Fuerteventura right on the beach

★★★★ H10 Tindaya | Costa Calma, Fuerteventura

Are you looking for an all-inclusive resort on a Canary Island with beach access? Then you’ll like the H10 Tindaya in Fuerteventura. In the morning, enjoy the beach and the turquoise blue sea, the gentle sound of the waves crashing and the smell of salt in the air. At lunch time, head back to the hotel and have a snack, for example from Mike’s Coffee, and stroll through the idyllic hotel gardens looking for a shady spot. For your siesta, you can choose between comfortable Balinese beds and sun loungers.

Afterwards, you can head back to the beach or watch the hustle and bustle in the pool. The hotel has three pools for adults and two for small guests. Some parts of the pool area offer fantastic sea views.

While your partner takes a shower and gets ready for dinner, I recommend you enjoy a soothing massage at the Despacio Spa. There is nothing better than enjoying a tasty dinner completely relaxed.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Pool & spa

  • 3 pools for adults, 2 pools for children
  • Sun loungers and Balinese beds
  • Direct beach access
  • Spa area with sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi and treatments
  • Gym

Food & beverages

  • Buffet restaurant, à la carte restaurant with barbecue specialities, café serving coffee and homemade cakes (in June), snack bar
  • Lobby bar and disco bar

For children

  • Children’s pool with water playground
  • Mini Club, Baby Club, Junior Club, Teen Club with many age-appropriate activities
  • Extra family room available
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All-inclusive resorts in Greece

An all-inclusive resort in Greece with a shuttle to the golf course

★★★★ Lyttos Beach Hotel | Crete

When you check into the Lyttos Beach Hotel, you can expect the full unofficial standard package of an all-inclusive resort. During lunch and dinner, you will be served free soft drinks, juices, local beer, house wine, coffee and tea. At the bars you can also get international alcoholic beverages, ice cream and various snacks such as pizza and mini sandwiches. In the mornings and evenings, you can help yourself to the extensive and rich buffet.

And then you can work all those calories off in one of the six pools. If you like it more active, your travel companion can challenge you to a tennis match or a game of golf. The shuttle to the golf course is organised free of charge by the hotel.

Keen to explore beyond the hotel? Then hop on one of the hotel’s own mountain bikes and take part in a guided tour through the Cretan countryside.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Swimming and spa indulgence

  • Training pool, heart-shaped pool, pool near the sea, pool with water slides, relaxation pool, children’s pool with water playground
  • 2 saunas and outdoor jacuzzi
  • Spa area with various treatments

Activities

  • Aerobics, yoga, pilates, Zumba
  • Beach volleyball court, basketball court
  • Crazy golf, table tennis, darts

For children

  • Mini Club, mini disco
  • Swimming lessons
  • Water park with slides, kids’ playground

 

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An adults-only all-inclusive resort that offers more than free food and drinks

★★★★ Keri Village by Zante Plaza | Zakynthos

Are you one of those people who think that all-inclusive resorts are overcrowded, huge and unmanageable resorts? Then let the Keri Village by Zante Plaza convince you otherwise. I would describe the four-star hotel as an all-inclusive resort for beginners. The complex is small and personal. Relax by the large pool and alternate between cooling off in the water and sipping refreshing drinks, which are included in the price.

The beach is not within walking distance, but the hotel can organise a free shuttle for you. So you see, the all-inclusive concept often goes beyond free food and drinks.

If you want to see the famous shipwreck of Zakynthos, a day trip is definitely worthwhile to snap some impressive holiday pics. With your hire car (organised by the hotel, charged extra), this journey takes only one hour and you’ll cruise through the beautiful Greek landscape, which is already an experience in itself. And the best part: the hotel will provide you with packed lunches with salads and sandwiches.

By the way, all-inclusive doesn’t just mean that you have to lounge by the pool all day long. In this all-inclusive resort on Zakynthos you can participate in a Greek cooking course and take home that holiday feeling. If you’re not that comfortable in the kitchen, you can join a Pilates or yoga class and find your inner centre.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort:

 

  • Greek-themed evenings
  • Live music, karaoke, bingo
  • Buffet restaurant with Greek and international dishes
  • Snack bar and pool bar
  • Early check-in free of charge, subject to availability
  • Late check-out available at the lowest rate

 

Compare price

All-inclusive resort on the family-friendly island of Rhodes

★★★★★ Mitsis Grand Hotel | Rhodes

It’s no secret that when it comes to food, tastes often vary. Some want to sample local food and explore the culinary side of their holiday country, while others prefer the tried and tested or simply want variety at the buffet. The Mitsis Rhodos Grand offers something for all culinary preferences. Nobody has to go to bed on an empty stomach, because there’s a choice of eight restaurants. Asian tomorrow, Mexican the day after? Greek delicacies as your final meal on the last night of your holiday? No problem! A sweet little something with coffee at noon? Yes, that’s possible, too! And of course, you won’t have to do without your beloved pizza, other Italian delicacies, pita and burgers either.

OK, enough about food – all that talk is making me hungry. Another highlight worth a mention is the presidential suite with fireplace and jacuzzi. If you’re travelling with your partner and want to really spoil yourselves and indulge in a spot of luxury, you shouldn’t waste any time and book this gem.

And if you want to do some exercise because of all the food you’ve consumed (yes, I know, I’m talking about food again!), then there are plenty of options for you. Let yourself be motivated by the sports entertainer or enjoy a round of tennis. For an extra charge, you can also try your hand at windsurfing, canoeing, sailing or jet skiing across the sea. If you’re a rather frugal athlete, on the other hand, you can swim a few laps in one of the three pools or dip into the sea right in front of the hotel.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Activities

  • Table tennis, darts, boccia, billiard, table football
  • Gym

For children

  • Babysitting service (surcharge)
  • Baby bath
  • Bottle warmer
  • Buggy
  • Highchairs
  • Cot
  • Children’s pool

 

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An all-inclusive resort with a pool lagoon paradise

★★★★ Kanika Olympic Lagoon Resort | Cyprus

On its website, the Kanika Olympic Lagoon Resort describes itself as the “ultimate lagoon paradise”. How much do you reckon is true of this statement, which has probably already got you dreaming? Quite a bit, I’d say. The main pool Blue Lagoon is 1,200 m² and is lined with tropical palm trees, artificial rocks, waterfalls, bridges and whirlpools. If you want to take things easy, grab a swim ring and float on Fisherman’s Lazy River. You won’t even have to paddle, because the built-in jets along the watercourse push it along. If you’re travelling as a couple, you’ll like the adults-only pool, which is separate from the Little Monsters kids’ pool with the pirate ship.

Another prejudice against all-inclusive resorts is that there is no peace and quiet with children romping around everywhere. All-inclusive resorts are indeed often child-friendly, but that does not mean that adults without children cannot also relax there. Proof of this is the five-star hotel in Cyprus, which is enjoyed by couples and families alike. In the buffet restaurant, couples are seated separately from families, who are assigned their own corner. While you enjoy your glass of wine, the children are entertained by staff in the family area. The Garibaldi is open to adults only and will spoil you with Italian dishes in a romantic ambiance with piano music and candlelight. So make sure you pack some high-heels and a smart summer dress.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Spa

  • Serenity Health Club & Spa with different treatments such as candle massage, peelings, Dead Sea detox or pack, anti-cellulite treatment, etc.

Activities & entertainment

  • Family shows, music shows, disco evenings
  • Water polo, Zumba, archery, soccer, darts and more

For children

  • Little Monsters Kids’ Club
  • Creche for babies 6 to 36 months old
  • Children’s dinner with animation
  • Kids’ disco
  • Teenz Club with high-tech arcade and mocktails
  • Football academy
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All-inclusive resort in Croatia for active or leisure holidays

★★★ Bluesun Hotel Neptun | Croatia

Directly on the sea, surrounded by green olive plantations, the Bluesun Hotel Neptun is waiting for your visit. When you book a superior room as a family, a child up to 13 years of age can stay in your room free of charge. Your kids can of course play in and around the pool all day long, but if they get bored, you can tire them out on a boat trip. Just borrow a paddle boat at the hotel.

Have you never explored Croatia before? Then grab a couple of mountain bikes at the hotel and scout out the area. You can also join a guided hike to discover the Biokovo Mountains. After all that hard work, a well-deserved refreshment awaits you in the hotel. Get yourself a drink and then jump right into the pool to cool off. Alternatively, you can have your tired feet massaged in the spa or sweat some more in the sauna.

End your tiring day with a dinner in the buffet restaurant. Once a week you’ll be surprised with Dalmatian dishes and can enjoy authentic Croatian cuisine.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Food & beverages

  • Siesta snacks
  • Five o’clock tea
  • Midnight snack
  • Weekly Dalmatian dinner
  • Weekly surprise evening

Activities

  • Tennis court, beach volleyball
  • Mountain bikes available (booking required)
  • Water skiing, banana riding at a surcharge

For children

  • Kids’ playground with slides, seesaws and swings in the shade of the olive garden
  • Children’s pool with slide
  • Cot available at a surcharge
  • Kids’ Club and Junior Club
  • Children’s snacks, mini buffet
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All-inclusive resort on the best beach in Portugal

★★★★★ Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive | Madeira, Portugal

“We’ll spend our summer holidays on Portugal’s best beach.” That’s what you’ll be able to proudly proclaim when you’ve chosen the Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive Hotel for your holidays this year. If you want to make your holiday experience even more exclusive, then you should opt for the pool villa, which – naturally – boasts a private pool on the terrace. Here you can relax before dinner or during a short lunch break.

If you’ve let yourself be tempted by the delicious snacks at the bar, you might want to take a short digestive walk. Stroll slowly through the lush green gardens of the hotel and discover some quiet shady spots. Don’t forget your book for an idyllic reading break.

There’s no sushi in this all-inclusive resort, right? Sure there is! Head for the Koi themed restaurant to indulge in freshly prepared sushi and sashimi. In the evening, enjoy a drink or two in the Sunset Bar, show off your high-heels, listen to live music or entertain yourself with shows.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort?

Pool & spa

  • 2 pools
  • Located right on Portugal’s best beach
  • Spa area with pool, sauna, steam bath, hammam and gym

Food & beverages

  • 6 restaurants (2 buffet restaurants and 4 themed restaurants)
  • 5 bars (including pool-side bar, Sunset Bar and Beach Bar)

Activities

  • Golf course nearby
  • Hikes in the area possible
  • Tennis court
  • Library
  • Convenience store with magazines
  • Sand football pitch

For children

  • Sports fields
  • Kids’ Club
  • Playroom
  • Babysitting service
  • Bouncy castles
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All-inclusive resort in Bulgaria directly on a sandy beach

★★★★ Sol Nessebar Bay | Bulgaria

A green park, a stunning location right on the beach, a fine sandy beach on the doorstep – what more could you possibly want? The Sol Nessebar Bay all-inclusive resort in Bulgaria is suitable for both beach and pool lovers, and for families and couples alike.

Kids splash in the children’s pool, conquer the water slides or have endless fun in the Kids’ Club. The adults, on the other hand, relax by the pool or on the sun terrace by the beach. Even if you choose to go your separate ways, you’ll probably meet again at the ice cream pavilion. After all, who can resist a creamy scoop of ice cream in the afternoon?

In the evening, you’ll have to decide which restaurant to have your dinner in. Sangria and tapas at Tapería Malecón or rather a hearty German meal in the Der Biergarten restaurant? If the kids are calling for pizza and pasta, then Osteria del Golfo is the place to go. For sophisticated Japanese cuisine, head to the Japanese Umi corner in the lobby.

What else you can expect in this all-inclusive resort:

Pool & spa

  • Water park
  • Pool
  •  Seafront location right on the sandy beach
  • Spa with jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and treatments

Food & beverages

  • Buffet restaurant and themed restaurants
  • Beach bar and pool-side bar
  • Nightclub
  • Ice cream pavilion
  • For children

Kids’ Club

  • Aqua park with 5 water slides
  • Family rooms
  • Playground
  • Swimming pool for babies
Compare price

If you want to spend the best time of your year enjoying undeniable advantages, eat as much as you can and indulge yourself while keeping tabs on the costs, then pick your favourite all-inclusive resort and book a holiday in a class of its own.