All Inclusive Resort Destination Supplier

All Inclusive Resorts – Outlying Caribbean Islands

Written By: Geoff Millar, Ultimate All Inclusive Vacations



Since we have covered the main islands of the Caribbean, this month, we are going to look at the outlying islands of the Caribbean where there is either no all-inclusive resort presence or very little all-inclusive resort presence. These islands would be Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Curacao, and Trinidad and Tobago.  While these are all beautiful islands they tend to be a little bit harder to get to and have very little all-inclusive resort presence.


The first set of islands we will look at is the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac.



Grand Cayman is the largest of the three islands. The whole Cayman area are some of the top islands in the Caribbean for water related activities, especially scuba diving.  It is rated the second or third best scuba diving location in the world depending on who you listen to. Grand Cayman is also home to 7 mile beach, one of the nicest and least crowed beaches in the Caribbean. Grand Cayman is also known for its famous stingray city where tourists can swim with and feed the stingrays. Visit Grand Caymans Botanical Gardens and visit the Blue Iguana colony, home of the rare blue iguanas. They really are blue.


The island of Grand Cayman has around 50,000 residents and the island covers around 76 sq. miles.  The island is also known for its duty free high-end shopping as well as local artisans.  Many restaurants on the island provide wonderful fresh seafood dining. Grand Cayman has a number of festivals including Pirates week, a fun week with activities for the whole family.


Scuba diving and snorkeling are some of the best in the world.  There is wreck diving, reef diving, and wall diving.  There are actually 159 dive sites around the area.  Grand Cayman is also known as the birthplace of scuba diving.  Some of the best reef diving can be done directly from the shore. You can dive with a number of dive companies and there are also a number of dive resorts that include scuba diving in their resort packages.


As far as resorts, there are only 2 resorts that have an all-inclusive plan.  The Wyndham Reef resort is a resort that offers both EP plan and an optional All-Inclusive plan.  It is a small, 88 rooms, more boutique style resort located on the quieter end of the island and all their rooms are oceanfront. I would rank this resort 3.5 – 4 stars


The second resort is the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.  This beautiful resort sits on the famous 7 mile beach.  It offers both an EP plan and an optional All-Inclusive plan. It sits in a more active area closer to the action of 7 mile beach and George Town, where the best shopping is located. You can participate in scuba diving activities through a number of dive shops in the area. I would rate this resort 4 stars.


There are a wide variety of accommodations on Grand Cayman, everything from bed and breakfast, condo rentals, villa rentals to 3 – 5 star resorts like the Ritz Carlton, the Westin, the Marriott, the Wyndham, and the Holiday Inn.



The next Cayman Island we will look at is Little Cayman.  This island is devoted to primarily scuba diving.  You have to fly into Grand Cayman and then take a puddle jumper to Little Cayman.  Be warned that the puddle jumper only has one flight a day to and from little Cayman so be careful of the timing of your flights. The island is very small an ideal place for clients who want to get away or those that are really into scuba diving. The main resort on Little Cayman is the little Cayman Beach resort. This is a fantastic resort for scuba divers and those that want to relax.  The do include dive packages in their prices but you can also book without the dive packages included. This resort also has a spa for those that want to relax either instead of diving or after their dive. Remember that Little Cayman is about scuba diving and total relaxation. I would rate this resort 3.5 – 4 stars.


The other resort on Little Cayman is a Villa Resort with 12 one bedroom villas. It is the Paradise Villas Resort. Here it is all about relaxing and scuba diving. The villas all sit oceanfront but are more of a rustic feel than a 5 star resort feel.  If you are looking for a comfortable more rustic experience that is quiet and caters to the scuba dive clientele this would be a great choice.


Scuba dives are more about the experience than the accommodations.



Cayman brac is the third of the Cayman Islands. It sits about 30 minute flying from Grand Cayman.  There are a number of flights so it makes a great day trip destination if you don’t want to stay on the island. Brac is the Gaelic word for Bluff and the bluff on Cayman Brock is the focal point of the island with its spectacular views.  Birdwatching is a huge draw for Cayman Brac.  They have over 200 species of birds on the island including rare Brac Parrot. For the hiker, there are hiking trails that cover the island and the beaches are pristine and uncrowded. Cayman Brac is a scuba diver’s paradise with shallow, Wreck, reef, and wall diving for all ages and experience levels. The island is small covering only 14 sq. miles.


As far as accommodations, there is really only one place to stay on the island, the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. This resort caters to the person who wants to relax and to the scuba diving crowd. The resort has only 40 basic rooms and is at the moderate quality level.  This goes together with the fact that with scuba divers it is about the diving more than the accommodations.



Let’s move on to the next island, Montserrat. Montserrat landscape is made of startling contrasts.  Best known for the volcano the island is divided in the two part, the lush part of the island and the bare landscape of the volcano section. Montserrat is a British controlled island. The British work closely with the local Government. The Soufriere or the south side of the island is known as the exclusion zone.  This is the part of the island that was devastated by the last eruption of the volcano in 1995 and no one is allowed in this section without Government approval. There are two types of activities on the island, Soothing tranquility or Memorable adventure.


With soothing tranquility, which takes place on the lush side of the island include activities such as hiking, diving, bird watching, and relaxing on the black sand beaches.


On the more adventurous side you can explore the buried city that was devastated by the volcano of 1995, with a guide.  The city, Plymouth, was the capital of the island for more than 300 years. You can get a history of the city, the volcano, and tour a number of the buildings that are still standing.


You can also take a guided tour to view the volcano up close and personal. This is kind of an educational tour and would be great for student groups that wanted to view the volcano, help the scientists measure the volcano and it’s activity and learn about volcanos.


You can also take a guided tour of the island and view its wildlife, of which a number are endangered species.


Accommodations on the islands consist of Bed and Breakfasts, villas, apartments, and small boutique style hotels.  There are no all-inclusive resorts on the island and accommodations are limited.


This island is would cater to clients that want to relax in a less touristy area and those that are interested in the volcano, its history and current studies and situation.  I would not sell this destination as a typical Caribbean beach location. Really qualify your client before recommending Montserrat as a vacation destination.



The next island we will look at is the island of Curacao.  One of the main selling points of Curacao is that it lies well outside of the hurricane zone only 35 miles from Venezuela. This island used to be a major commercial island of the Caribbean but now it is all about the sun and fun. It is a smaller island, only 38 miles long and 3 – 5 miles wide with a population of around 170,000 residents. An interesting fact is that children are taught Spanish, English, and Dutch from 3rd grade on and is a requirement.  The island has 38 different beaches to choose from, all with beautiful white sand.


Even though Curacao has tended to be overlooked as a scuba diving destination with a 12 mile long reef that provides great diving for beginners or experienced divers. Fishing a fantastic activity with a huge variety of fish such as Marlin, Tuna, Sailfish, and Wahoo.  On the land, you can visit the wildlife preserve at the Christoffel Park, Curacao is also known for its great duty free shopping with some of the best bargains in the Caribbean. There is a wide variety of social activities from great restaurants, nightlife, and casinos. A fun fact is that one of the early Governors banned painting buildings white because it hurt his eyes so, to this day, the buildings are very colorful but none are white. There were a lot of fortresses built around the harbor to protect it from pirates, and also the English and French but most have been turned into restaurants and cocktail terraces.  Curacao is home to the largest floating pedestrian bridge in the world.  Land activities include, Golf, tennis, horseback riding, hiking, sailing, and windsurfing.


Accommodations include everything from large hotels, small hotels and Guesthouses. There is one all-inclusive resort on Curacao is the AM resorts Sunscape family resort.  This used to be the Superclub’s Breezes Resort. It is a nice mid-level 3 star resort.  The beach is set in a cove created by a rock wall about 50 yards off shore but there is a large ocean beach next door. It has been redone when AM resorts purchased it and has a number of dining options and is close to town and the action of the bars, casinos, and nightclubs.


Other accommodations range from the Marriott, the Hilton, and the Holiday Inn.



The last Islands we will look at in the Caribbean is Trinadad and Tobago. Trinadad and Tobago are twin islands that sit in the Southern Caribbean just 8 miles from Venezuela, again, one of the few islands that sit outside the hurricane zone. Trinadad is the more active island and Tobago is the more tranquil, laidback island. The islands boast 450 species of  birds including 17 species of hummingbirds.


There is a lot to do on the islands, sailing, windsurfing, 40 spectacular scuba dive sites, biking, zip-lining, paddle boarding, hiking, bird watching, great beaches, 5 top notch surfing beaches.  The island of Trinadad is very lush with interior mountains. The people of the islands are very friendly and quick to help in any situation. The food on the islands is very good and a nice mix of fusions because of the diversity of the people.  Trinadad is the active island with nightclub and one of the largest festivals in the world, their 2 day carnival, where tourists are encouraged to participate.


As far as accommodations there are about 5 hotels that are EP with an all-inclusive option.  Most of the accommodations consist of small hotels and apartments but there are a few large hotels like the Hilton, Hyatt regency, and Courtyard by Marriott.


I found that the resorts with an all-inclusive plan, compared to others in the Caribbean, tend to be more in the mid or 3 star range.  They all have very good food but the reoccurring issue tends to be with service and a number of the resorts were showing their age and need of refurbishment.  A good client is someone who wants a unique destination and the destination is the principal factor.  Accommodations are decent but no 5 star resorts, a couple of 4 star with the majority being 3 star and under. Most of the more upscale accommodations tend to be on Trinadad with the accommodations on Tobago consisting of Villas, apts. for rent and Bed and Breakfasts.  These islands are great destinations in need for some updating.


Next month we will begin looking at particular all-inclusive resort chains and resorts. Until then safe travels.