The truth about all inclusive resorts and are they right for you

In My Vacation Lady‘s offices all inclusive resorts are very, very popular— and for good reason.  It’s a fun and easy way for you to vacation.  You don’t need to worry about meals or huge bar bills at the end of the vacation and there are some very high end and luxurious all inclusive resorts.

Iberostar Grand

Iberostar Grand

Back in November 2014, we posted these pro and cons of an all inclusive resort vacation, so that you can figure out whether an all inclusive resort is the right type of vacation for you.

 There seem to be a lot of myths about what all inclusive resorts so let’s try to address them too.

Myth #1- you will never spend any money at an all inclusive resort because everything is included.

For the most part, you won’t be spending much money at an all inclusive resort but some are more inclusive than others.  Usually with the 5 star adult only all inclusive resorts that we send many of our honeymooners to, there are very few extras.  Some of the lower priced 3-4 star all inclusive resorts may have a bit more “optional” things to purchase to enhance your vacation experience.

What may be some of the additional costs at some all inclusive resorts:

  • Spa Treatments
  • Excursions
  • WiFi
  • Specialty wine (for instance, I like Reisling and that is considered as specialty wine in many of the resorts.  You can get Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet and Merlot but not Reisling)
  • Golf (and if it is, you’ll usually have to pay for a caddy and/or cart)
  • Transfers to and from the resort
  • Some tipping (although not mandatory)

Myth #2- the accommodations are pretty standard and cookie cutter

Oh my goodness—- NOT AT ALL.  Some of the rooms and suites at all inclusive resorts are incredible and can be larger than many apartments in New York City.  There are some rooms that have in room jacuzzi’s for 2, your own private plunge pools, butler service or offer direct access to a pool.  Some look like your own private villa.

This is the instance of you get what you pay for.  If you are looking at the lowest priced room at a moderate all inclusive resort, you probably won’t have an ocean view, in room jacuzzi or plunge pool.  You need to consider what is most important to you— price or view and amenities.

Myth #3- all inclusive resorts are big and crowded and not geared toward the more discerning travelers

Beachfront_VerandahAgain, this falls under the “you get what you pay for” clause.  For those discerning clients who want something more secluded, perhaps with more upscale amenities with gourmet dining and personalized service, there are certainly all inclusive resorts for you.  Hermitage Bay (pictured) in Antigua has just 25 bungalows, some with their own plunge pools and a chef who can cater to special dietary needs.  There are certainly many others that will fit the needs of those upscale travelers who are willing to pay for the experience they want.

Myth #4- the food at all inclusive resorts is not good-

In late August 2014, Mr and Mrs. My Vacation Lady stayed in 2 different adult only all inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya and Cancun and visited another 20+ resorts.  We ate in almost every restaurant in each hotel and have to say that we didn’t have a bad meal at either resort.  We rarely ate at buffets but even those were really good– omelet stations for breakfast, fresh food preparations stations for lunch.  There was one hotel we visited in Cancun that we were super impressed with their buffet lunch— Le Blanc.  This buffet also included a selection of fresh meats and fish that you pick and give to a chef to cook for you.  Once done, it is then delivered to your table.  Now that is an upscale buffet that I would be thrilled to eat at again!

However, please do keep in mind that at some of the more moderate all inclusive resorts, you may be limited to the # of times you can dine at the sit down (waiter service- a la carte) restaurants for dinner.  With some, you may be there for a week but only be able to get a reservation for the a la carte restaurants 3 times and you’ll need to eat at the buffet for the rest of the nights.  Food at some all inclusive resorts will be great and some- not so great.  This is where using a good travel adviser can help out a lot.

Myth #5- All inclusive resorts are always the best value-

If you are going on a vacation with a family of teenage boys who can and will eat anything and everything in sight, an all inclusive will certainly be a good value vs. paying for every meal, snack and drink out of pocket.  If you enjoy drinking on vacation, having alcohol included is a great value.  If you are counting every penny and need to make sure you are estimating all of your vacation costs, then an all inclusive would be a great option for you.  If you are in certain destinations (Aruba and Barbados are 2) where there are so many great restaurants that are within walking distance or a short taxi ride away, perhaps you might want to explore some local restaurants and unless your hotel allows you to dine at sister properties, an all inclusive may not allow you to have the opportunity to enjoy some of the great island restaurants.  Again, a good travel adviser can assist with helping you make these decisions in which options are best for you.

Read the full article here 

My Vacation Lady takes the personal approach to vacation and honeymoon planning.  Rather than just offering you the deal of the day, we will help you choose the best options to fit your dreams and budget.  Contact us to help plan your next vacation or your dream honeymoon!

By |May 4th, 2015|Categories: All|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on The truth about all inclusive resorts and are they right for you

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.