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All-inclusive resorts have just as many super fans as major haters.
While we've had not-so-great experiences at huge-mega resorts with mediocre food and watered-down drinks, we've also stayed in luxurious properties with phenomenal food, and even spa treatments included in the rate.
So if you're wondering whether an all-inclusive hotel should be in your future, you've come to the right place! WeGo Travels does the homework for you with training, visits and personal experiences to KNOW which resort fits your needs.
Though it varies from hotel to hotel, typically all-inclusive rates include the room, meals, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and non-motorized water sports (if it's along the beach). However, although the term is 'all-inclusive,' not everything is included -- such as golf and the spa -- which can sometimes catch guests off-guard. This is where using a travel professional is in your best interest.
The most surprising is when hotels don't include premium liquor, Wi-Fi, or a la carte restaurants in the rates.
There are going to be some resorts that WILL include EVERYTHING, however you need to consider YOUR budget and the VALUE you are getting for it. WEGo Travel puts together all the pieces to make it VALUE FOR YOUR TRAVEL DOLLAR!
So when are all-inclusives worth it? This really drills down to vacation style: Are you the kind of traveler who would risk a disaster for the chance at something spectacular and unexpected? Or do you want to know what you're getting ahead of time? All-inclusive resorts can be great -- if that's the experience the traveler is looking for.
If planning which restaurants to go to or how much money to budget for food and drinks is causing stress, you may want to go with an all-inclusive package. Families budgeting for more than two people may particularly enjoy the ease of all-inclusives. It makes it easy to stay on a budget -- especially when traveling with kids because so much is included, you don’t have to worry about saying ‘no’ to their requests.. And since a kids' club, non-motorized water sports, and poolside activities are typically included, the kids will be plenty occupied.
Sure, you'll find a few all-inclusive hotels in the United States, as well as Phuket and Bali, but most are located in Mexico and the Caribbean. Generally, the best all-inclusive resorts are in places where you're perfectly content getting some R&R by the pools and beach, or perhaps the surrounding area is a little sketchy and you'd rather stay at a guarded property. And, for little extra you can add in unique experiences that delve into the local culture and atmosphere.
"In my opinion, the best all-inclusive resorts are located in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic . The labor costs in these countries allow the guest to get the most bang for their buck. Plus, the beaches can’t be beat," said Kristina D'Amico, Senior Analyst at HVS, a global hospitality and hotel development consulting firm.
Obvious downsides of booking an all-inclusive hotel are that there may be hidden fees and an impersonal atmosphere at the resort (a pro for some), and you might miss out on sampling the local cuisine if you're stuck eating every meal on-site. We point those all out to you!
All-inclusives are great if you don't mind staying put at the resort for the vast majority of your time.
Particularly for vacationing families, the stress of planning and budgeting virtually disappears with a resort that includes everything from the meals to daytime activities. Not having to take out your wallet is such a relief; you won’t have to worry every single time you eat a meal, which adds up. The added sense of comfort that you've already paid for your trip is well worth any possible drawbacks.
The takeaway? Do your research beforehand to check out the atmosphere (party-centric, family-friendly, or relaxed luxury) and features/amenities included in the rates in order find the best hotel for your style.
WeGo Travel is here to help provide 1st hand experience, as we have personally visited dozens of resorts and can provide you with options that will garner the most value for your vacation budget!