One of the questions asked often, is "what is the best all-inclusive resort for vegans"?
The whole point of planning a vacation to an all-inclusive resort is to kick-back and relax, and you can't do that if you're worried about finding something to eat. But while typically you may be used to searching out "best vegan travel destinations" or "vegan restaurants in [place]", finding out which all-inclusive resorts cater to vegans seems a little more challenging. Let me help...
To my knowledge, there is not yet a vegan all-inclusive resort. But some are incorporating vegan restaurants, and some are certainly more vegan-friendly than others. So without further ado here are some options for your next vegan vacation in Mexico, Jamaica and elsewhere:
Grand Velas All-Inclusive Resort Mexico pool and beach view
GRAND VELAS RESORTS
Velas Resorts have a collection of exclusive luxury resorts in Mexico - Riviera Nayarit, Riviera May and Los Cabos. With contemporary luxury accommodations, world-class spas, gourmet restaurants, and gorgeous landscapes, they each offer an indefinable hospitality experience.They have earned 26 AAA Diamonds, including the prestigious Five Diamond Award.
The Velas Resorts in Mexico are famous for their flagship restaurants: Frida (Mexican), Lucca (Italian) and Piaf (French). Noticing that they were getting more and more requests for vegan modifications, which chefs would have to create on the spot, Velas tapped celebrity vegan chef Miguel Bautista to create vegan tasting menus for all of their restaurants.
Secrets All-Inclusive Resort Swim Out Suites View
AM Resorts include Zoetry, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now, Reflect and Sunscape. They have locations in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama and Curacao. I have completed the Master Agent certification with AM Resorts and with the exception of Dreams Puerto Aventuras which has captive dolphins on site, these are among my favourite resorts to recommend to clients.
One of the reasons I like AM Resorts so much is the Unlimited-Luxury® privileges, which include all meals and top-shelf spirits, but more than that is wristband-free with no reservations required for a la cartes. Plus 24 hour room service. Special menu items include vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, but not vegan at this time. However, chefs will happily accommodate in my experience.
Excellence All-Inclusive Resort Playa Mujeres view of buildings, pool area and beach
THE EXCELLENCE COLLECTION
The Excellence Collection includes Beloved Hotels (Playa Mujeres, Mexico), Finest Resorts (Playa Mujeres, Mexico; & opening 2020, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), Exellence (Playa Mujeres, Mexico; Riviera Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; El Carmen, Dominican Republic; Oyster Bay, Jamaica).
Excellence is well known for focusing on attention to detail, luxury accommodations, fine cuisine and other elements that help to create the perfect environment to enhance the vacation experience. The Excellence Collection properties are recognized within the industry for their quality and exceptional service.
In each resort, breakfast and lunch buffets feature separate vegetarian zones with vegan options. And at dinner, every restaurant offers a full vegetarian menu with vegan options. As well, guests say the chefs are very accommodating and happy when it comes to vegan meals. Excellence Riviera Cancun does feature a completely vegetarian and vegan restaurant on property. Yaay!
The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun All-Inclusive Resort pool and beach view
With oceanfront resorts overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Palace Resorts offers high standards for five-star all-inclusive vacations in Mexico and Jamaica. The properties include Beach Palace, Sun Palace, Moon Palace Cancún, Le Blanc Spa Resorts Cancún, The Grand At Moon Palace Cancun, Cozumel Palace, Moon Palace Jamaica, Isla Mujeres Palace, Playacar Palace, and Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos.
Each Palace Resort offer spacious accommodations, a luxury spa, exciting activities, and nightly entertainment.
Sandos Caracol All-Inclusive Eco Resort, pool view
SANDOS CARACOL ECO RESORT, RIVIERA MAYA
This is one of only two resorts at time of writing that I know to have an exclusively vegan/vegetarian restaurant on site. Designed for nature-lovers and explorers, this hotel lies in the middle of a lush green area at the edge of an exotic jungle, surrounded by cenotes, mangroves and natural lagoons. This is an excellent 4-star property for those who want a tropical, eco-friendly and educational experience. The resort boasts over 80 eco and archeological experiences offered daily. The property also has a water park with 27 water slides for the young and young at heart!
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort is one of a handful of all inclusive eco hotels in Mexico. The resort uses sustainable energy such as solar power along with sophisticated water treatments to reduce both the carbon footprint and the impact to the surrounding environment.
BODYHOLIDAY SAINT LUCIA
BodyHoliday Luxury Wellness resort, beach ocean, pool, buildings
BodyHoliday is an indulgent wellness resort in St. Lucia, surrounded by thirty-two acres of stunning tropical islands, nestled alongside the gorgeous Cariblue Beach. The resort offers a unique experience that is great for couples and groups of friends, as well as being a great option for solo travellers. You can look forward to a fun and easy-going beach holiday combined with fine dining, wellness programs, health and fitness activities and personal spa therapy programs. As well as indulgent, luxe rooms. SUPER COOL - one spa treatment is included for each guest per day as part of the all-inclusive experiences.
As far as dining, the resort can assess your specific needs and will establish a meal plan for your stay. You can liaise with the chef prior to arrival, or alternatively upon arrival. BodyHoliday does also a vegan restaurant on site, I-Tal If you're not familiar, Ital is the diet of the rastafari movement, vegetarian and intended to improve health and energy. I-Tal builds on this concept, using garden to table cuisine, and having guest share a guided experience collecting produce and assisting chefs in creating a vegan meal. This does need to be pre-booked with a surcharge applying.
Beach in Panama, Palm trees, sea and sand
POPA PARADISE BEACH RESORT, PANAMA
Popa Paradise is an Adults-Only (18+) beach hotel located on a stunning island called Isla Popa in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, off the Panamanian coast in the Caribbean Sea. Self-described as barefoot luxury. Here you can relax, snorkel in beautiful clear water and visit the amazing outer islands. Popa Paradise has a main lodge with rooms, as well as freestanding casitas. All of the guest rooms are designed to feel like cozy beach bungalows. The chef can cater to vegetarians and vegans, which is all included in the all inclusive rate. Advance notice requested.
Okay but what if none of the choices I've offered above fit the bill for you. Don't despair! Here are some quick tips:
Contact the resort BEFORE you book to find out if they are willing to accommodate you.
Include your food restrictions when you're booking. If that's not possible, then contact the resort directly and have them add a note in your booking.
Meet with the food concierge upon arrival. Okay maybe drop your bags off first! Remind them of your dietary needs and discuss which restaurants are able to accommodate.
Ensure you know how to say you are vegan in Mexican or whatever the language may be, so that you can also inform your server when you arrive at the restaurant