March 2, 2024

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Booking Travel

7 Best All-inclusive Resorts in the South

When it comes to hospitality, the South, unsurprisingly, tends to excel. Ask any Southerner, and they’ll extol the virtues of making sure your guests are always comfortable, provided for, and feel right at home. This concept also extends to resorts in the region, particularly ones that are billed as “all-inclusive” properties.

“An all-inclusive gives a sense of simplicity,” says Jen Mitchell, a luxury travel advisor and founder of Jen Mitchell Travel. This type of resort “maintains the seamless nature of the Southern hospitality experience,” she adds, as some travelers like to opt for experiences where they “don’t like to feel like they are being nickel-and-dimed” or have to be “concerned with what the cost of activities or meals [is] going to add to their trip.” Mitchell also notes, however, that the definition of “all-inclusive” varies by resort, but it’s usually “inclusive of your specific destination and its strengths.”

Ready to plan your next relaxing getaway? Read on to discover the best all-inclusive resorts in the South — from a Tennessee mountain getaway to a serene island off the coast of Georgia.

Trip Advisor




What We Like

  • Outside of alcoholic beverages, most amenities are included in your stay.

What to Consider

  • There’s a two-night minimum for all bookings.

The Swag, a mountain property in Waynesville, North Carolina, was named the top resort in the South by T+L readers in the 2023 World’s Best Awards — a distinction that, in part, arose from its complete dedication to guest comfort. When you book one of the 18 rustic-chic guest rooms, suites, and cabins, meals and non-alcoholic beverages are covered for the entirety of your trip. The resort also offers complimentary yoga classes for guests, and there are a variety of free activities, including guided hikes, badminton, fishing, and s’mores around the bonfire. Oh, and did we mention The Swag’s unparalleled views? Let’s just say, there’s nowhere better to be if you’re searching for stunning fall foliage and breathtaking sunrises.

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Accommodations, meals, non-alcoholic drinks, and select activities
  • Location: Waynesville, North Carolina
  • Distance to Airport: 45 miles from Asheville Regional Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: On the edge of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and within driving distance of The Biltmore in Asheville
  • Rates: Start at $875 per night for two adults


Hyatt




What We Like

  • You can completely customize your experience based on your individual interests.

What to Consider

  • Leave the kids at home; Miraval Austin is an adults-only property.

Health-focused retreats often fall in the all-inclusive category, as most of these resorts want guests to concentrate solely on their own wellness journeys — and not get distracted while waiting to sign the check after breakfast. When booking a stay at Miraval Austin, the Texas Hill Country outpost of the destination resort and spa portfolio, your fee covers all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as a large selection of daily wellness classes. The property also notes it’s a “gratuity-free resort,” so guests don’t need to tip instructors, servers, or therapists. At the end of the day, the only thing you have to keep track of is your itinerary — which is sure to fill up with all of the incredible offerings.

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Meals, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, and most classes included
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Distance to Airport: 28 miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: Overlooks Lake Travis
  • Rates: Rates start at $924 per night per person and include a $175 nightly resort credit to be used toward spa services, fee-based activities, and private sessions with Miraval specialists


Phillip Murdaco / Lodge on Little St Simons Island




What We Like

  • This is privacy at its finest; the private island holds a maximum of 32 guests.

What to Consider

  • Start planning your trip now; the property suggests booking six months in advance.

Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island is a private barrier island that boasts 11,000 acres of picturesque Georgia wilderness, including seven miles of beaches. The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, another top-ranked property in the 2023 World’s Best Awards, is the only resort on the island, hosting a maximum of 32 overnight guests at a time. Travelers can rent single rooms, an entire cottage, or the whole island — either way, rates include three daily meals, non-alcoholic drinks, guided excursions, boat transfers to and from the island, and use of the resort’s recreational equipment (think bikes, kayaks, fishing supplies, and binoculars).

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Meals, non-alcoholic drinks, guided excursions, boat transfers, and use of recreational equipment are included
  • Location: Little St. Simons Island, Georgia
  • Distance to Airport: 75 miles from Jacksonville International Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: Explore the neighboring Golden Isles — Sea Island, St. Simons Island, and Jekyll Island
  • Rates: Rates start at $675 per night for two adults


Blackberry Farm




What We Like

  • The property is thoughtful about everything it does — from the impeccable rooms to its renowned food and beverage program.

What to Consider

  • There’s a three-night minimum stay for most bookings, and Friday and Saturday must be booked together.

The famed Blackberry Farm is one of the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the United States, not just in the South. Located in Walland, Tennessee, the Relais & Châteaux property (named one of the best resorts in the South in the 2021 World’s Best Awards) is known for its serene, remote location and its ability to provide a magical vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains. The 68 guest accommodations — rooms, suites, and cottages — are all priced to include daily meals from the on-site restaurants. It is important to note, however, that any meals ordered outside the traditional hours (10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) or via room service will be an additional charge.

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Daily meals are included
  • Location: Located in Walland, Tennessee
  • Distance to Airport: About 18 miles from Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: In the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains
  • Rates: Rates start at $1,045 a night (with a three-night minimum) based on two-person occupancy


Blackberry Mountain




What We Like

  • There is a variety of accommodation types — from the secluded Watchman Cabins to the spacious Mountain Homes.

What to Consider

  • Lunch isn’t included in the nightly rate.

Blackberry Mountain’s 23 cottages, 14 treehouses, and six cabins and multi-bedroom homes opened to guests in 2019 — and they quickly became some of the most coveted reservations in the Southeast. Blackberry Mountain was named to T+L’s It List in 2020 and the best resorts in the South list in the 2023 World’s Best Awards. The mountain resort’s all-inclusive policy mirrors that of its sibling property, Blackberry Farm, but there are some slight differences. Breakfast, dinner, pantry snacks, pantry non-alcoholic beverages, and morning wellness classes are included in the nightly rates, but lunch does result in an extra charge.

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Breakfast, dinner, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and morning wellness classes are included
  • Location: Walland, Tennessee
  • Distance to Airport: About 18 miles from Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: Take advantage of the amazing hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains
  • Rates: Rates start at $1,595 a night (with a three-night minimum) based on two-person occupancy


Lake Austin Spa is the first resort to have Hobie Pedal Boards.
Lake Austin Spa


What We Like

  • The 25,000-square-foot spa has multiple pools, steam rooms, saunas, and hot tubs.

What to Consider

  • Day guests can also access the spa’s facilities.

Austin, Texas might be known for its live music and quickly expanding tech scene, but it also has a more relaxing side — and it’s here where you can find Lake Austin Spa Resort. The adults-only, lakeside property has 40 rooms and suites, and its guest policy features an all-inclusive package that covers the majority of your stay. Three meals a day, snacks, room service, smoothies and juices, and an impressive selection of wellness experiences — like yoga, guided hikes, boat outings, and meditation — are all included in the nightly rate. After a few nights at the resort, you’re basically guaranteed to depart feeling rested and rejuvenated.

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Meals, snacks, room service, smoothies, juices, and most wellness experiences included
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Distance to Airport: 32 miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: Within driving distance to all of downtown Austin’s popular sights
  • Rates: Rates start at $620 a night for one guest


Keen Eye Marketing




Also available to book at snowbirdlodge.com.

What We Like

  • The nightly rates are more budget-friendly than other all-inclusive properties in the region.

What to Consider

  • You’ll need to rent a car to get to Robbinsville; the closest airport is 58 miles away.

Guests have been traveling to Snowbird Mountain Lodge since 1941 when it first opened its rooms to the public. Today, it has a spot on the Register of National Historic Places and continues to beckon visitors with its all-inclusive offerings. Under the policy, guests have three complimentary meals a day and can access the resort’s canoes, paddleboards, kayaks, fly fishing rods, mountain bikes, and yoga mats. Accommodation options — whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner, or with a large group — range from the 15 rooms in the historic Main Lodge to the deluxe rooms in Wolfe Cottage and the top-tier (read: private decks and two-person hot tubs) suites in the Chestnut Lodge. Kathy Roberson, T+L’s copy and research chief, visited the lodge in 2023 and said, “The home-like Snowbird boasts the panoramic mountain views we all dream of for a Smokies vacation. Packed lunches in the morning give guests the freedom to range far afield for hiking, boating, fishing, or scenic drives.”

The Details:

  • What’s Included: Meals and use of outdoor equipment included
  • Location: Robbinsville, North Carolina
  • Distance to Airport: 58 miles from Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport and 107 miles from Asheville Regional Airport
  • Nearby Attractions: Check out Wehrloom Honey and Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville
  • Rates: Rates start at $327 a night for two guests with a two-night minimum stay


Know Before You Go 

Have a clear vision of what kind of trip you’re looking for

Do you want an active vacation or one where you can sit by the pool and read for hours on end? Is the whole family coming, or is it a couple’s trip? All-inclusive hotels vary significantly in the type of experiences they offer, and you’ll want to book according to your preferences. 

Consider seasonality

The weather plays a starring role at many of these all-inclusive properties, often affecting the offered activities and the nightly rates. Autumn, for example, is primetime for mountain resorts like The Swag, Blackberry Farm, and Blackberry Mountain. The Texas properties, on the other hand, tend to be more affordable in the height of the summer.

Know what is — and isn’t — included

“All-inclusive” is a broad term. For some hotels and resorts, the nightly rate covers all food, activities, and gratuities. Others charge an additional sum for snacks, beverages, and meals outside of the set daily limit. It’s important to read the fine print (and have some wiggle room in your budget) before making your final decision.


How We Chose These Hotels

Lydia Mansel is a travel journalist from Virginia who has spent an extensive amount of time traveling throughout the South. The all-inclusive hotels on this list were chosen based on her personal experience and research as well as the first-hand accounts of Travel + Leisure editors and other contributors. Many of these hotels have also been voted into their respective categories in the World’s Best Awards by T+L readers. All of our hotel recommendations also align with our T+L Hotel Values.

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