The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – All Inclusives

Is anyone wondering about all inclusive resorts?

I have stayed at a few different ones now and have some of my own opinions which I can share with you. Before you book an all inclusive resort lets go over a few things you should look at :

  1. Do you like to be around larger crowds or in a more quiet setting?
  2. Do you need to be on the beach or will you spend more time around a pool?
  3. Hotel Reviews
  4. Food and Activities
  5. Are the Places You are looking at Kid Friendly
  6. Customer Service

Big or Small?

Myself when I am on Vacation I prefer to be in the smaller all inclusive resorts just because there are less people and more space on the beaches. With these you may lose out on some services that can be more easily supported by larger all inclusive places. I have always enjoyed my eating experience at the smaller places as some of the larger ones you have to wait in long line ups for fresh cooked foods, like pastas, steaks, chickens and many other things that taste better fresh. A smaller resort dosn’t mean the food or customer service will be worse either as you can relate to the cooks and staff and they will usually go above and beyond for you.

Aside from waiting for food you have to figure out if you mind walking further or if you would like to be able to circle the all inclusive resort in a few minutes. I have been in one large resort that says they have shuttle service all day but if you get a lot of check-in/check-out people they get priority. So one advantage of being in a smaller resort is that you don’t need to wait for the carts as walking takes little to no time.

Do You Need To Be Right On the Beach?

I have seen many all inclusive resorts that are just off of the beach and less than a five minute walk which are very beautiful. This can actually save you quite a bit of money as they don’t call the resort a beachfront resort which we all know most people dream of being right on the beach. It’s time to think about what you are going to do most at your all inclusive because if you are not a good swimmer or don’t like the something about the ocean, why bother spending more money? I have been at both types and myself I like having the option of free snorkling, kayaks, catamarans and other water toys.

With being by the ocean at an all inclusive resort there is a risk that you can’t even go in the water due to high winds. There will always be wind and resorts usually have the cautionary yellow flag blowing at the beach .. very seldom do you see them green and pretty much all is normal. When you see a red flag that meens don’t go in the water which also pretty much shuts down all the water activities, I have seen a red or black flag up once for 7 out of 10 days making all water sports non existant except for by the pool.

Hotel Reviews

Check Hotel Reviews dligently when booking all inclusive resorts there are tons of them and I constantly check www.tripadvisor.com and see what other people think. If it gets fairly high ratings you are safe even 4 out of 5 is pretty good might lack a few points but unless your picky you wont notice. Be aware that there may be a negative review from a really annoying snooty person who if you don’t wipe their but the right way it turns into a dramatical all inclusive disaster. If you start seeing a lot of low scores stay away for now, I do a little research outside of Trip Advisor and see if a hotel is just coming out of recievership or has changed names. If you ever see that and you are planning a trip about 6 months down the road that hotel may be very accomodating and you may even get a deal as they want to fill a hotel and regain their name as the other company may have ran it into the ground you may see all new plants and renovated rooms, A big change from the review still be cautious though as if you know its been through this might go to an established all inclusive.

Food and Activities

I love food, make sure you look at how many restaurants will be there this is crucial as if you are going to be somewhere for more than a week is there going to be enough to keep you entertained. Some food may be good and exciting the first couple days then it gets into, “This Aaaaagaaaaain !!!!!” who wants to be stuck somewhere bored of the food. Go on the all inclusive resorts website and explore and see what they have and if you like it you will be safe, I like to have at least 2 different buffet options and 3 or 4 Al a Carte restaurants to choose from thats a good number because when you book all inclusive you usually get 3 bookings a week a the fancy places so you may miss out on one from it either being full or that you just don’t need to try it. IF YOU HAVE TO PRE-BOOK DO IT ON YOUR FIRST DAY !!!!! OR IN SOME RESORTS THEY ARE FULL !!!! Hope my last statement helps you out.

Same deal for activities is there going to be enough to entertain you, your kids, or anyone esle you are travelling with. I wont go into it to much because all you have to do is look at the site just like food and  see if there is enough to do.

Is Your All inclusive Resort Kid Friendly

If you have kids you are going to want to make sure they aren’t going to get bored for your sake and theirs. Look for places thats have some kind of Kids Club and other activities. I have seen great places where the add the kids into the nightly entertainment and you see them smiling and happy and they enjoy themselves.

On the other hand if you want a more adult vacation you could steer to an adult only all inclusive resort. No kids, More Adult themed entertainment.

Customer Service

I am going to give you a test that you can do to any hotel you are going to be staying at. I actually did this to a hotel I am going to stay at next week. Pick up the phone and call the customer service number and ask them if your all inclusive booking has been alll rang in correctly. I’ll tell you I may be a little nervous if when you call they put you on hold and then hang up on you, guess what it just happened to me. I called back and they heard my voice and then hung up instantly. I tried on more time and they hung up without even hearing my voice.  Later that day my wife emailed their customer relations person there and we will see how they react when we get an email back. Stay tuned in my next blog for the exciting conclusion. 🙂

As soon as I hit publish on this I am going into detail about which all inclusive resorts I have stayed at. Thanks for wondering Whats Will Up To?

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About kbwill

3o Something years old, hard working fun loving kinda guy. Live life to the fullest and Remember to smile, and...... blog everyday
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