All Inclusive Resorts: Are They Worth It?
A popular vacation term often heard is “all-inclusive” resort. But what, exactly is an all-inclusive resort? What are the benefits of booking an all-inclusive resort? Is it cheaper to stay at an all-inclusive resort? What are the different types of all-inclusive resorts? What are the downfalls of staying at an all-inclusive resort? Travel agents are often asked some of these questions before booking an all-inclusive vacation. In this blog, I will talk about what to expect when booking an all-inclusive resort.
What is an all-inclusive resort?
According to Wikipedia, an all-inclusive resort is a vacation resort that includes, at a minimum, lodging, three meals daily, soft drinks, most alcoholic drinks, gratuities, and possibly other services in the price. Many also offer sports and non-motorized watersports and other activities that are included in the price as well. They are often located in warmer regions of the world, particularly in Mexico and the Caribbean. Keep in mind that the term all-inclusive may not cover everything at the resort, such as golf, the spa, premium liquor, Wi-Fi, or à la carte restaurants. Some all-inclusive resort packages will also include the flight.
What are the benefits of booking an all-inclusive resort?
The biggest benefit of booking an all-inclusive resort is what is included in the price. As mentioned above, it includes at your lodging, three meals and snacks, drinks, and free on-site activities. Having to plan and budget for more than two can be stressful and time-consuming. An all-inclusive resort allows you to stay on budget because everything is included in the one price. A lot of resorts offer different promotions and amenities to attract different tourists. This includes things such as kids under 12 stay free with paying adults, a free bottle of wine in the room, free room upgrades, resort credits, free perks for honeymooners, free COVID testing, etc.
Is it cheaper to stay at an all-inclusive resort? “In this world, you get what you pay for.”- (Kurt Vonnegut)
While some all-inclusive resorts are budget-friendly, some are pricey. Resorts can range anywhere from $550 per person upwards to $2,500 per person. The more exclusive the resort, the more likely you are to pay. Less expensive resorts will have less to offer. For example, an all-inclusive resort that prices at $600 per person may only have four dining options as opposed to one that prices $900 per person and has eight dining options. So, is it cheaper? That just depends on what you consider “cheap”.
What are the different types of all-inclusive resorts? Yes, there are different types of all-inclusive resorts.
Adult Only Resorts - all guests must be 18 or older.
Golf Resorts - resorts that feature golf courses.
Beach Resorts - resorts with direct access to the beach.
Family-Friendly Resorts - resorts that cater to families with younger children and teenagers.
Romantic Resorts - resorts that give special enhancements to romance for couples.
LGBTQ-Friendly Resorts - those that welcome diverse travelers.
What are the downfalls of staying at an all-inclusive resort?
One downfall of staying at an all-inclusive resort is the food. After personally visiting several resorts, I found the food to be bland and just not good sometimes. The resorts have to cater to everyone, so if you are from the south and use to eating spicy food…the seasonings might not be up to par for you. The water activities offered in the all-inclusive package are usually basic and boring with a wait time. The biggest downfall is that some amenities are not included in most all-inclusive packages and they are usually the high-end amenities. The typical all-inclusive package includes the basic room category with the bare minimum perks.
Here are some more all-inclusive tips from the TravelBeauty:
Never leave the resort and venture out alone.
Read the fine print. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for in the package.
Take advantage of what you are paying for in your package.
Do not overindulge in food and drinks to avoid getting sick while on vacation.
Book an excursion away from the property. Go explore the island, people, and culture.
Try to book a package that includes airfare and ground transfers.
Check out my top 10 all-inclusive resorts list below:
Hard Rock Riviera Maya - (Family)
Azul Beach Negril Jamaica - (Family)
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort - (Family)
TRS Turquesa Hotel - (Adult Only)
Nickelodeon All Inclusive Family resorts - (Family)
Temptation Resort Cancun - (Adult / LBGQT)
Riu Santa Fe Los Cabo - (Adult Only)
Secrets Cancun Riviera Maya - (Adult Only / Family)
Valentin Riviera Maya - (Adult Only)
Grand Palladium Jamaica - (Family)
Wikipedia contributors. (2021, January 5). All-inclusive resort. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:39, March 6, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=All-inclusive_resort&oldid=998546596
Contributing Writer: Wynona Chevalier "The Travel Beauty"