My wife and I recently got back from our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort, where all of our food and drinks were covered in the price of the room. Of course, this luxury came at a cost, as the nightly rate was quite high. If you stay at a resort or a hotel on vacation, how do you choose where you stay? Is the all-inclusive option a large factor?
Pros of Having Almost Everything Included
The biggest advantage of an all-inclusive hotel is convenience. My wife and I were able to order room service, drink anything out of the mini bar in our room, and go to any restaurant without worrying about getting a bill. This removed a lot of hassle and allowed us to order food and drinks without thinking about the cost. Not having to worry about tipping after every meal was also a plus. (For some, a huge plus.)
Many all-inclusive resorts offer a number of restaurant options. On our honeymoon, my wife and I had nine restaurants from which we could choose. They were all included, so we didn’t have to do any cost comparisons and instead went where we wanted.
Cons Are Present, Too
The biggest negative for all-inclusive resorts is the cost of entry. Not only do you pay for the food and drinks, but you also pay for the convenience these plans offer. For my wife and me, the cost of the all-inclusive was just over $130 per day per person. Even with all the food and drinks we ordered, I doubt we met that amount.
Another con can be the quality of the food. With all-inclusive, you aren’t usually going to get first class food. The food we ate was very good, but not incredible. The number of options was also limited. Since there’s no payment per meal, there isn’t a huge incentive to offer a lot of options or really exquisite meals.
Which Do You Prefer?
Many travel spots are starting to offer all-inclusive options, as people are becoming more receptive to the idea of paying everything up front. My wife and I found our vacation to be very stress-free, as we never even had to carry our wallets. We decided that it was a good value based solely on the convenience factor.
If you’re searching for a hotel or resort for vacationing, check to see if an all-inclusive option is offered. If you’re looking for a worry-free vacation, all-inclusive may be a good idea. If you’re looking to save some money on food and drink to spend elsewhere, or have very fine tastes, it may not be right for you.
David’s Note: I like all-inclusive resorts, because worrying about the cost of every item is no way to enjoy a vacation (something I’m prone to do!). But be careful though. Last time I was on a week-long cruise, I came home 7 pounds heavier. Don’t over-consume just because everything is free!
What’s your experience with all inclusive resorts and hotels?