The Browns and the Greens returned from their friends-cation singing the praises of their all-inclusive resort. They enjoyed frosty cocktails poolside, watersports at the beach, sumptuous buffet meals, and a nightly dance party. It was the perfect resort for their active, party-centric lifestyle. Meanwhile, the Smiths spent a romantic honeymoon at a different all-inclusive resort where they enjoyed a couple’s massage and a round of golf, gourmet restaurants with fine wines, and quiet evenings at their private plunge pool. The definition of all-inclusive – and what’s actually included – can vary, so Travel Maestro has a list of questions you should ask to help you choose the right all-inclusive for your interests, style, and budget.
Benefits of an All-Inclusive Resort
All-inclusive resorts are extremely popular because they make vacationing so easy! The hardest thing you have to do is decide whether to jump in the pool or relax in a hammock. By bundling meals, drinks, activities, and entertainment with accommodations, all-inclusive resorts offer attractive overall pricing – that is, as long as you actually utilize the included features. Travel Maestro tip: If you don’t drink alcohol and aren’t interested in the included activities, the price may not be quite as competitive as an a la carte resort. Ask your vacation advisor for a comparison.
Another nice benefit is having everything paid up front, so you can better control your total cost. This is particularly good for those on a tight budget. You never have to take out your wallet during the trip so you don’t risk overspending on a whim. And if you’re in a foreign country, there’s no concern about currency exchange.
Not All All-Inclusives are Equal
Surprisingly, “all-inclusive” doesn’t mean the same thing at every resort that claims the term. As you consider a selection of all-inclusive resorts, ask your vacation advisor what specifically is included.
- Are all meals included? Is breakfast full or continental? Are snacks or afternoon tea included?
- How many restaurants are on the property? What types of cuisine are offered?
- Are the restaurants buffet style or do they offer table service?
- Are reservations necessary? How far in advance?
- What is the service time for each meal?
- Is room service included?
- Are gratuities included?
- Are cocktails included, or only beer and wine?
- Do top shelf liquors or fine wines carry a surcharge?
- Are drinks limited in number or by the time of day?
- Are gratuities included?
- What watersports are available? Do any have a fee?
- Is there a spa? Most treatments incur charges, but are steam rooms, water therapy or exercise classes included?
- Is golf available on or off resort property? Are carts or caddy fees included?
- Is there a Kids Club? What are the hours? Is there a fee?
- Are there enrichment classes, i.e., art, historical walks, cooking?
- Is transportation to off-site activities available and included?
- What kind of evening entertainment is included? Is it the same nightly?
- Are there options that require a fee?
You’ll find that the answers will differ from resort to resort. By knowing what is actually included in your all-inclusive vacation, you’ll be able to choose the resort that best meets your style and you won’t have any unhappy surprises when you get there. To find out about specific all-inclusive resorts, talk to a vacation specialist at Covington.