Photo Credit: Frangipani Beach Resort
Are All-Inclusive Resorts Worth The Cost?
When you start factoring in the cost of travel between the airport and the hotel; all of the meals eaten out; the cost of activities; transportation to and from those; and the hours of research you put into finding fun things to do, places to eat, and the best place to stay to get the most bang for your buck – would it actually be a better idea to book an all-inclusive resort and stay at the resort, enjoying all of the free food and activities?
A night of drinks and live entertainment can cost upwards of $200 a couple, without any kind of bottle service. Dinner can run about the same. Snorkeling for a day with a guide can cost that same $200. So, it does add up. But, is all-inclusive really worth the spend?
It’s best to consider what is included in the “all-inclusive” resort. Many of the mainstream resorts include food, some drinks, and unmotorized water activities. Beaches Resort in Negril, for example, includes all food and alcoholic beverages, transportation to and from the airport (which is almost two hours away), and snorkeling with a guide). A couple of the restaurants require reservations, but you don’t have to pay for your meal.
All of the pools are free. Busy with activities, I lived on Red Stripe and meat patties during my days (the bar closest to my room had a warmer with a steady supply of meat patties) at Beaches, Negril. I went to the formal breakfast daily, with a beautiful view of the pools. I even used the concierge service a couple of times.
The best part of the Beaches all-inclusive resort was the free water activities, both non-motorized and motorized, which isn’t always included in the pricing at resorts. I had to plan a day ahead for these activities, but, that was the most cumbersome part of the stay. I just had to figure out what I wanted to do and on what day I wanted to do it.
So, the answer is yes. Yes, it is worth it to go to an all-inclusive resort, as long as you do your homework. Know what is included ahead of time. Make some kind of plan as to what activities you want to enjoy, and do those activities as they (and the free drinks) are what make spending the extra cash worth it. Be sure your resort includes all beverages. And be sure it’s a well-known resort. Last, check for added fees, gratuities, or taxes that may be outlandish. Call and double check that the amount you are paying up front is all you have to pay. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy your all-inclusive getaway.