Best Resorts on a Budget

Getaways for the Budge-Conscious

You got yourself through those last two weeks on your grueling job by dreaming about the fun you’d have on your time off. Now, finally, vacation is here. When you spend your holiday at a resort, you’ll never have to worry about reserving hotel rooms, locating great restaurants, or scoring tickets on your own to sightseeing attractions because friendly resort staff members will do that work for you.

All-inclusive resorts may be the best option for vacationers who are watching their pennies because lodging, meals, activities and often even alcoholic beverages are included in one upfront fee. Here are three all-inclusive resorts that make fantastic getaways for people on a budget.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya – Cancun, Mexico

Riu Palace Riviera Maya offers 400 spacious, luxurious rooms surrounded by palm trees and tropical gardens. The resort’s huge freshwater pool overlooks Playacar Beach, one of the most celebrated stretches of white sand on the Mayan Riviera. The all-inclusive option offers sumptuous breakfast and lunch buffets as well as buffet or á la carte dinner dining options at one of three restaurants. Room service is also available 24 hours a day. Riu Palace Riviera Maya has a gym, a spa, and a discothèque where you can dance till dawn.

The resort is just a mile and a half away the famous Playa del Carmen where you can rent equipment to go jet skiing, snorkeling, or scuba diving, or hop on a ferry to Cozumel Island. You’re also just a short distance away from the ancient ruins at Tulum and Coba, and for a small additional fee, your concierge will be happy to book a tour for you.

Earthshine Mountain Lodge – Lake Toxaway, NC

This small, hand-built cedar lodge in the heart of North Carolina’s Appalachian country is a retreat for people who love the outdoors and want to take some time out from the technological world. Each of Earthshine Mountain Lodge’s 10 rooms features log-hewn beds with patchwork quilts, and several sport lofts and private balconies. The lodge contains two enormous rock fireplaces. Fill up on three hearty meals a day featuring American favorites like prime rib and pecan pie.

The lodge sits on a large manmade lake and is surrounded by more than 10,000 acres of wilderness making Earthshine a great vacation choice for people who enjoy hiking, mountaineering, fishing, boating, and sailing. Earthshine also offers its own Zipline Canopy Tour that allows guests to explore its 85 acres of property. During winter, the lodge makes a convenient base for skiing and other snow sports.

Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach – La Romana, Dominican Republic

Europeans have known how spectacular the Dominican Republic is for at least a decade, but Americans are just now discovering it. The glamorous Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach has something for everyone from guests seeking tranquil surroundings to people who want to boogie down at the wildest party of their lives.

The hotel features commodious, tastefully appointed rooms as well as a number of beach and garden bungalows. The resort offers buffet and á la carte dining at nine restaurants that showcase the most mouthwatering elements of Caribbean, Mexican, European, and American cuisines. The resort’s theater puts on a new show every night and a variety of sports and other entertainment activities are included in the all-inclusive fee. You’ll also have access to the resort’s gym and sauna. For a few dollars extra, the concierge will be happy to set you up with a snorkeling or surfing adventure on a nearby part of the island.

Budget resorts often offer more perks and fewer crowds than pricier vacation alternatives. You’ll return feeling refreshed and renewed, and you’ll still have money to spend when you get back home.

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