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Make a splash: Standout all-inclusive pools and beaches for summer

Nothing signals a summer vacation like sliding into a divine hotel pool or feeling super-soft sand between your toes. Here, we round up our pick of all-inclusive resorts with amazing pools and beaches to suit every kind of traveler. | By Joanna Tweedy | July 20, 2023

Swimsuits at the ready! Whether you’re vacationing with kids who are keen on splashing around all day long, or have more grown-up ambitions to simply relax, swim and repeat, there’s a resort pool lounger or beach cabana with your name on it. Head to these beautiful destinations and discover the best hotel pools and beaches to dive into this summer.

  • Explore the big blue: All ages will love snorkeling at Mangrove Beach

  • Preschool paradise: You’ll find a splashing good time for young travelers in Cancun

  • Vallarta pool party: Make a group toast on the Bay of Banderas at sunset

Cancun, Mexico

For travelers with younger kids, booking a care-free vacation where all your family’s needs are anticipated is key to a successful stay. An all-inclusive resort with child-friendly swimming pools, creative activities and diverse dining is just the ticket.

Set on 100 acres (40 hectares) of sparkling Mayan coastline, Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort has everything families need, including a conveniently short transfer time from the airport (just 20 minutes), two infinity pools, kids and teens clubs and 12 dining experiences.

The large family pool is great for children of all ages, but preschoolers will particularly adore the designated splash pool, located right outside the Kids Club. This water-based playground includes slides, games and plenty of safe, shallow areas for pottering toddlers.

Guests can also enjoy complimentary towels and pool and beach service with friendly staff bringing refreshing drinks and snacks right to your lounger. Should the little ones fancy a treat after all that splashing, there’s an all-you-can-eat ice cream and churro shop on-site, too. The fun for youngsters doesn’t slow in the evenings either, with pint-sized dance parties, face painting and movie nights being just some of the entertainment to try.

Willemstad, Curacao

With views of the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea and the promise of exhilarating snorkeling and scuba adventures, Curacao is a perfect pick for travelers on the hunt for high-energy days.

Featuring an exclusive-use beach for guests, four outdoor pools and an expansive Aqua Park, Mangrove Beach Corendon Curacao All-Inclusive Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton is heaven-sent for water-themed thrill seekers.

Guests can also enjoy the on-site PADI Dive Center where experts advise on the best local dive and snorkeling spots and a host of other activities, including everything from beach and pool volleyball to hip hop dance sessions.

Hungry after all that fun? Feast in style at the resort’s many eateries, with Curacao specialties on the menu at buffet-style Breeze, pizza and pasta at Ristorante Siciliano and Asian cuisine at Dushi Sushi Club. And for the over-21 guests, there's mouthwatering cocktails and a sunset spot right by the ocean to be enjoyed at the Flamingo Beach Bar.

Tulum, Mexico

A pristine sweep of secluded white-sand beach welcomes travelers in Tulum. Take advantage of available beach service to cater to your every need or discover some of the best pools in the region at Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort. There are nine pools to explore on-site — including an adults-only pool — so guests of every age will find their ideal place to cool off. The resort’s Splash Park, with slides and a tipping bucket, will keep younger children busy for hours.

By each pool, there’s loungers, chairs and roomy cabanas with food and beverage on offer from attentive beach staff. The Family Zone has dedicated kids and teen clubs, with age-appropriate activities including everything from pinata-making sessions to a teen-friendly cinema room. Refuel at one of the resort’s 13 bars and restaurants, including Auma steakhouse, Italian influenced La Luce and the more laid-back Azulinda Cafe.

Rooms and suites are spacious and guests booking an Enclave room are offered an elevated experience that includes family-friendly perks like additional space, private check-in and checkout, dedicated pool areas and access to the upscale Enclave Lounge. To make your beach time even sweeter, Enclave guests will find an in-room souvenir beach bag, welcome amenity and a private concierge to make vacation life as smooth as possible.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Whether it’s a restorative morning swim, or a romantic dip for two, adult-only hotel pools promise serenity in spades. In the heart of Playa del Carmen, The Yucatan Playa del Carmen All-Inclusive Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton provides the added joy of an infinity-edge rooftop pool that serves up a cooling dip with spectacular views of the Yucatan Peninsula’s turquoise waters. A weekend DJ and tropical cocktails transform the space into a paradise pool party.

Double your pool and beach fun by booking an All-Inclusive Plus package and get access to all amenities at the hotel’s nearby beachfront sister resort, Hilton Playa Del Carmen, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort. Relax in a beach cabana along the Caribbean shore for shade and a siesta, or dip into the seaside, Olympic-sized pool (the location of the resort’s popular foam parties) with an impressive 164-foot (50-meter) lap lane.

After a day spent in and out of the water, head to famed Fifth Avenue, Playa del Carmen’s lively pedestrianized street, home to high-end stores, art galleries, bars and restaurants.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Near vibrant downtown Puerto Vallarta you can experience the best of both water worlds — oceanfront pools and the stunning Bay of Banderas, widely regarded as one of Mexico’s most alluring bays.

Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort’s two infinity pools are just steps away from sand and surf, offering stunning sunset views. Larger groups will love the wide range of on-site activities — bat a volleyball around by the shore with members of the entertainment team or sign up for a culture and craft class together. Need a little breather? Reserve a poolside or beachfront Bali Bed — a stylish cabana — and soak up the easy-on-the-eyes vistas. Sunset pool parties to celebrate that orange-hued Bay of Banderas panoramic ensure the evenings are just as enticing.

In sun-drenched destinations like these, you’re promised balmy beaches and wonderful hotel pools. Throw in delicious dining from a global menu, luxurious rooms and an exciting range of activities, and it all adds up to maximum vacation fun.

Joanna Tweedy is an award-winning travel writer and editor who lives in London.

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