Not all "All Inclusive" resorts are for everyone. It's important to match your life style to the resort.
Urban beach front all inclusive resort, typical style of the smaller resorts. Adults and Families.
I've stayed at two different types of all inclusive resorts in the past few years and I have a strong sense of what really is all inclusive to me vs the resorts' claim. It's not the inclusions for me, it's the experience! I speak about experience on a regular basis after all my travel must fulfill my expectations in value, luxury experience, atmosphere, excellent culinary options, activities and one factor many people don't think about! Location! Like casinos in Las Vegas many all inclusive resorts are designed to keep you on property, utilizing the resort while maximizing your experience within the walls of the resort. Remember the price doesn't make it luxury only your personal experience is luxury, a value priced all inclusive can be as luxurious to you as a ultra high priced exclusive access resort is to others.
Work with your travel professional, be sure he or she knows you, understands your lifestyle and mostly what interests you. What will you want to feel when the vacation is over? A nice relaxing time now time to go to work? (that's okay for some, maybe the vacation wasn't amazing?) Or maybe you return with a new outlook on life your vacation met or exceeded your expectations returning home happy, energized ready to take on the world! (That's our goal for our clients on every vacation! Awesome).
Here's my take on the two major types of All Inclusive!
I won't name any resorts, I enjoy all resorts and represent many to different clients without bias.
Destination resorts, often not near towns or activities outside of the resort. The resort I stayed at was amazing visually, access to a private island for water activities, 14 restaurants, 6 pools, beach, bars in the pools, on the beach and of course within the many buildings. They offered nice view rooms from an extra large room to a Presidential suite with a private transfer in a ultra luxury vehicle to and from the airport or trips to town. Not offered to all guests only high vip's but a nice touch for them. I'd bet the culinary offerings would meet 80% of all visitors expectations 100% of the time. I enjoyed the variety of the meals as well as many al fresco options. Typical fun entertainment in some of the bars, with a couple of younger themed dance bars, pool tables and themed events.
There was something missing in my experience, wasn't the staff or service it was more about the isolation and surprising lack of diversity in the guests. We were only there for a 4 night week stay but the clients were 100% couples (no this wasn't an adults only or couples only resort) and oddly no diversity in the vacationers. It was a little bit vanilla for me in regards to cultural interactions, diversity, life styles and interesting people. Some resorts children aren't allowed due to the concepts. They're more about drinking and pool parties than anything else, this resort has a family area as well which was especially nice for the parents who were able to take advantage of both sides of the resort if desired. I sell this brand to clients looking for this type of resort in being all inclusive with a desire to stay within the resorts offerings. There's nothing wrong with that.
We weren't bored at the resort for sure with many swimming options, water activities I just felt for my experience to be luxurious I needed more. I wanted to experience different venues close in, go shopping in town or have lunch at a local restaurant with locals! I wanted more diversity, culture and interaction besides my traveling companion. I feel this would be a resort to recommend for couples or families wanting the private vacation experiencing with his or her loved ones or family, even multi-generational family visits. It's awesome when the grandparents can enjoy the youngsters while mom & dad take in some evening adult activities, not forgetting the grandparents need a night or two also to get their dance on or have an evening Manhattan at sunset. This type of resort is great for folks wanting to control costs, with all inclusive most everything is covered depending on the resort.
Smaller urban resorts, are unique in many ways you can select your type of visit. Many urban resorts offer options such as rooms only, fully inclusive or partial inclusions that vary from select meals or beverages programs. This is more for the flexible traveler wanting more options or the travel who likes all inclusive atmosphere but not planning on utilizing the resort fully. Some urban resorts offer adults only areas as well. For the penthouse guests or high end suites many of these resorts offer exclusive pools keeping it more private for those wanting privacy and seclusion.
The two resorts I visited for a week each brought to light why I enjoy all inclusive urban resorts! Most have all the same activities as destination resorts more often urban resorts use public beach, sometimes these resorts will be open to the public or day use guests at a significant charge. That adds some interesting elements in regards to diversity in people and life styles. I selected a completely all inclusive option for both stays, allowing me to leave my wallet in my room safe while at the resort (except a pocket full of small bills for tips! You should still offer a little extra to your servers and staff while they're making sure you're experience is exceptional), most of our meals we enjoyed at one of 5 restaurants plus the buffet. Urban resorts will have less variety in restaurants and bars due to location, you're in an area or close in where you can enjoy options outside the resort with ease. That's my thing, I'm truly an urban resort type of all inclusive guest. I like the budget control of an all inclusive resort. I like not signing a bill every time I turn around, or asking to do a room charge every time I want something or do something.
Pools, pool bars and pool parties are still happening in the smaller urban resorts. You aren't loosing the benefits or activities you're adding your personal experience which in fact is luxury at any price. Luxury isn't the price it's the experience. Taking in account all the different types of urban resorts your travel professional has more tools for fine tuning a very special vacation. Your travel agent will be able to combine your all inclusive with other local tours or activities such as zip lining or cave diving or even hikes along trails in the deep rain forests and thousands of other adventures. Exterior options are more plentiful, not part of your all inclusive resort but really it's all about the experience you're seeking and will achieve.
This type of resort is a perfect match for city dwellers, urban tourists, younger friends vacation, families, active travelers and most of all adventure seekers discovering all there is about the country or location privileged to have you as a guest. I recommend this type of resort to the young and mature traveler looking for less mechanics in their vacation and a little more interactions and decisions on how and when things happen. I'll be on my next urban all inclusive later this year, not returning to any of the past properties for the simple reason I have a desire to expand my experiences creating the luxury of an amazing vacation. Luxury isn't the price it's the experience.
Now you're ready to explore an All Inclusive Resort, bring your personality to your travel professional and let us show you some amazing options around the world. We'll bring our A game to the table, you'll return from your vacation refreshed, energized and ready to handle life with a new outlook. Be sure your travel professional, no matter who they are, understands what's luxury to you; be it top tier top dollar or focused on experiences. We're in the business of serving you not suppliers. Really isn't is all about you!