7 Beach Bargains for Fall
Enjoy these beautiful tropical resorts
for much less in the off-season
By Kimberly Garza
Dreams Resorts & Spas
Check out seven of our favorite five-star beach resorts with discounted rates: four all-inclusive properties that cover lodging, meals, drinks and activities in the up-front rate and three traditional hotels. We've even broken down the price difference for you, comparing low October prices to those of the popular winter season in January. Rates are for a weeklong stay and per person, based on double occupancy.
For more information, call the travel specialists at Vacations To Go, (800) 998-6925, or review accommodations and amenities online.
Iberostar bids bienvenidos to visitors of Mexico's lush Yucatan Peninsula. Catch a live show in the Telon Theater, book a massage at Initium Spa or cool off in any of the resort's seven pools. Kids can explore Lucy's Club, the tots-only spot complete with private water park and daily activities. Included in the up-front rate are three daily meals, bar beverages, most sports and live entertainment.
Perfect for: Sports nuts. The new Iberostar Cancun boasts a par-72, 18-hole championship golf course (extra fee required), a lap pool, two tennis courts and even a professional soccer field, plus activities like water polo, target shooting and archery.
Breakdown: A seven-night vacation at this all-inclusive resort starts at $568 per person for an ocean-view room in mid-October, a savings of $558 per person for the same room in mid-January.
Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
Located on one of the world's loveliest beaches in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe is protected by a coral reef that provides calm, clear waters for swimmers. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at some of the property's 11 restaurants, sample some of the unlimited drinks at more than a dozen bars and get busy windsurfing, learning Spanish or taking Latin dance classes.
Perfect for: Families. Kids get their own swimming pools and activities while teens can play games at a private lounge or head to a nightclub that's just for them. And the whole family can enjoy on-site snorkeling and sailing or head to the Gran Bavaro Teatro for the daily show.
Breakdown: A seven-night stay at this all-inclusive property starts at $564 per person for a deluxe room in mid-October, a savings of $461 per person for the same room in mid-January.
Dreams Huatulco Resort and Spa
Tucked in Tangolunda Bay on Mexico's Pacific coast, Dreams Huatulco offers an Unlimited Luxury package with perks like premium beverages, gourmet dining at seven eateries and leisure sports and activities from snorkeling to Euro-bungee jumping (a somewhat less intimidating version of the daredevil's sport). Jet Ski rides, sport fishing and championship golf are available for additional fees. At night, unwind at a theme party in the moonlight or take in a movie on the beach.
Perfect for: Spa goers. The resort's Dreams Spa by Pevonia features Swiss showers and saunas, plus treatment rooms providing hydrotherapy, massages and skin treatments for men and women. Offerings include the green coffee wrap, salt glow scrub and an evening seaside massage, with all spa treatments at an additional charge.
Breakdown: A seven-night getaway at this all-inclusive resort begins at $429 per person for a deluxe tropical-view room in mid-October, a savings of $427 per person for the same room in mid-January.
Couples Swept Away Negril
Nestled on a private stretch of white sand in Negril, Jamaica, Couples Swept Away provides a sweet escape. Garden- and ocean-view rooms include island cedar furniture and plantation shutters, with three pools, six restaurants, a spa and a 10-acre sports and fitness complex featured on the grounds. Travelers (couples only, naturally) partake in included meals and drinks plus activities like complimentary scuba dives, unlimited golf green fees and transfers, sunset catamaran cruises and offshore excursions.
Perfect for: Lovebirds. Swept Away prides itself on its romantic options for couples, from tandem spa therapies to a private three-course meal by candlelight on the beach (all for additional fees).
Breakdown: A seven-night stay at this all-inclusive retreat starts at $1,446 per person for a garden suite in mid-October, a savings of $403 per person for the same room in mid-January.
Atlantis Paradise Island
The rosy towers of Atlantis, ringed by turquoise water, greet travelers to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Here, you'll find a never-ending array of activities, from the 24-hour casino to coral-reef snorkeling to Dolphin Cay, where guests swim with the playful mammals as well as sea lions and stingrays. A water park, full-service spa and fitness center also are available.
Perfect for: Foodies. Atlantis boasts eight fine dining restaurants and a plethora of bars, lounges and cafes for every palate. Whether you prefer Southwestern spice (try Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, the Food Network star's signature restaurant), elegant French fare a la celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten or sashimi plates designed by Japanese master Nobu Matsuhisa, your taste buds are covered here.
Breakdown: A seven-night escape at this traditional hotel starts at $670 per person for a beach tower terrace room in mid-October, a savings of $964 per person for the same room in mid-January.
Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
With nine restaurants and bars and prime snorkeling on-site, and two golf courses and scuba diving points just minutes away, this resort in sunny Aruba has something for everyone. Head to the 6,500-square-foot Mandara Spa for steam baths and facials or get your blood pumping during a complimentary exercise class. Sunbathers and swimmers can romp at two outdoor pools (including the adults-only H2Oasis) and at Palm Beach at the resort's doorstep.
Perfect for: Gaming enthusiasts. The on-site Stellaris Casino is Aruba's largest gambling den, with more than two dozen gaming tables and 500-plus slot machines (including "Wheel of Fortune" machines that are exclusive to Stellaris). Card sharks can try their hand at everything from blackjack to Caribbean stud poker.
Breakdown: A seven-night stay at this traditional property starts at $792 per person for a garden-view room in mid-October, a savings of $944 per person for the same room in mid-January.
Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa, Grand Cayman
This Westin resort, sprawled along Grand Cayman's stunning Seven Mile Beach, features an assortment of restaurants and bars -- including the award-winning Casa Havana, serving up contemporary Cuban fare -- as well as a full-service spa and salon (with in-room treatments available) and an 18-hole golf course nearby. The special Unwind ritual offers food and beverage tastings most evenings on the pool deck, which fronts an oversize outdoor pool with swim-up bar.
Perfect for: Divers. The Cayman Islands are renowned for some of the best scuba diving on Earth, and with more than 40 dive operators and 360-plus dive sites available, the opportunities are endless. Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa offers an on-site scuba package directly from the water's edge of the resort, no shuttle service required.
Breakdown: A seven-night sojourn at this traditional hotel starts at $662 per person for an island-view room in mid-October, a savings of $1,061 per person for the same room in mid-January.
The information in this story was accurate at the time it was published in September/October 2012. Please visit Vacations To Go or call (800) 998-6925 for current rates and details.