5 Things You Should Know About All Inclusive Resorts
All inclusive resorts have always been one of our favorite, ‘easy’ vacations. Meaning, you basically can just check in, and immediately switch into vacation mode. For the next week, or the duration of your stay, all your meals are taken care of, housekeeping, all excursions are easily set up and taken care of, with the idea of never having to carry around your wallet or credit card (most of the time). Sounds perfect right? And the idea is to be completely on vacation and care free. But there are a few things you should expect when visiting one. These are 5 things you should know about the infamous ‘All Inclusive’s.
Side note: these are OUR personal, first hand observations and experiences we’ve had when visiting ‘All Inclusive’s, from the select group of resorts WE’VE been to, primarily in the Caribbean. Other people who have gone to different ones all around the world might come back with a completely different experience. This is a walk through our personal endeavors we’ve had staying a them.
1. The Beaches – The Caribbean’s main industry is Tourism. These ‘All Inclusive’ mega resorts through out the islands are typically the biggest economic sectors for these tiny nations. It is no surprise than that they are typically built on some of the most prestine beaches that the individual countries have to offer.
Seriously, we’ve never been to one with a ‘bad’ beach. Some may be better than others yes, but literally all of them were one of a kind spots on the water. So look forward to picturesque waterfronts.
2. The Food – Trust me, you will not go hungry at an ‘All Inclusive’. I think one of the main attractions is how much variety and options you have at these places. After all, they are catering to people from all walks of life from all over the world. We have not stayed at one resort where there wasn’t a new thing to try everyday. Just walk into any restaurant on the grounds, – and typically, there are more than enough options of places to choose from – just show up, and start eating. You’ll notice that there are no prices on the menu. Everything’s already paid for, remember? For instance our resort destination this summer, in fact just last month, was Dreams Resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 . (Also where most of these pictures are coming from). Back to my point, this resort had a total of 5 DIFFERENT restaurants, 3 outdoor cafes for lunch and quick bites, as well as an all you can eat buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, called the ‘World Cafe’. The ‘sit-down‘ restaurant choices as we like to call them included, a Seafood Grill on the beach, a French Cuisine Restaurant, an Italian place, a Japanese Hibachi Grill, and a Pizza Cafe!
We’ve been to a lot of resorts growing up. My family loved these places, because they were easy, and not very complicated vacations, also typically pretty inexpensive. And for as long as I can remember, they ALWAYS have a variety of restaurants, including an Asian one. That’s our favorite cuisine by the way, Chinese/Thai food, so we are always excited to see one at the place we are going to.
With food, to say they go ‘ALL OUT’ would be an understatement. I swear, there is an entire team at each of these places just for the art aspect, and building these lavish spreads. 😍
If you have a sweet tooth…
Its not all buffets. Like I said there are typically a LOT of different ‘real’ restaurant choices at all of the places as well, or as we like to say, ‘Sit Down’ restaurants.
Also, side note: something in my opinion everyone should look forward to when visiting the Caribbean is the fruit! Seriously best fresh fruit in the world can be found on these islands, and they are typically ready to go and be eaten at the resort’s restaurants at any time of the day.
3. The Drinks – It goes without saying I think, a Caribbean vacation and drinks? It’s hard not to picture one without the other.
At ‘All Inclusive’s, its also VERY easy to get drinks. A fun part about it is you can walk up to any of the bars scatterted along the property and just try anything you want! There’s the bars on the beach, the pool swim up bars, the night club bars, etc. And don’t get me started on their drink variety! I mean there are some CREATIVE bartenders at these places. Half the menu you’ve probably never heard of, thats because a lot of these drinks are island specific, or even resort specific, that line up with the theme of the place.
But here is a MAJOR item to note. I really don’t want this to sound ‘bougie’ – but if you have, lets say, somewhat of a more ‘sophisticated’ palette when it comes to liquor, wine, and beer; than you will be quite disappointed at most all inclusives! Because at resorts like these, there is NO incentive to buy top shelf liquor. Especially since their guests are typically ‘cleaning them out’ every day, for an ‘all inclusive’ price. So the bartenders use low grade cheap liquor, and make drinks that barely if ever ‘pack a punch‘. Meaning not only is it cheap alcohol, you have to really let them know and be consistent about you wanting a stronger drink. A friend of mine said always ask for a double shot, because that is almost equivalent to one shot at these places. ☝️ It took us off guard, not going to lie. If drinking was a major plan on your to do list, feel free to bring your own liquor, or stop at the Duty Free store on your way out of the airport.
All though I will say they looked amazing in pictures. 😉
You can always go a more natural route for hydration if preferred. 😝☺️
4. The Activities – I honestly think its hard to get bored at ‘All Inclusive’s. I would compare it to a massive cruise ship just splatting down onto land. That is kind of what they are like. Windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking, beach volleyball, water aerobics, shuffle board, giant chess, dancing, pool casino, and yoga are just SOME of the activities that you can do to keep you occupied during the day. If sitting on the beach isn’t enough…😉
What was unique about Dreams in particular, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else than like here before was how well entertainment was planned for guests, especially at night. It was almost like a city. There were shows, dancing 🕺 💃 – even a full casino on the grounds.
However, we always find our selves not staying up to late at places like this. After relaxing and playing in the sun all day, it isn’t hard going to sleep. 😴 💤
5. It’ll Be Over Before You Know It – I guess this is the sad truth about all vacations right? All though doesn’t it seem like the really good ones end the fastest? 🤔 You’ll leave from a week at an all inclusive needing to go on a diet and exercise a lot more, or just a bigger pant size, being hopefully tanner, but possibly burnt, a little sad that your stay is coming to an end, but most importantly, refreshed and ready to take on the ‘real world’ again.
…And you will immediately want to go to one again. ✈️🏝🏖💚