What do all inclusive resorts REALLY include?

Four Seasons Travel LLC All inclusive, Caribbean

All inclusive resort vacations are extremely  popular, and for good reason. Virtually  all of you trip costs are rolled  into one prepaid package, so you’re not having to pull out your wallet at every turn while trying to relax and enjoy your vacation.  You don’t have to make the tough decision of  “can I afford this entree for dinner” or if you can have another glass of wine.  It’s a great way to stay on a budget because you know what your expenses are before you ever leave home, and not have that shocker bar bill at the end of your trip.

Pineapple and melon cocktails at the swimming pool

But what does “all inclusive” really mean?  Many people think all inclusive resorts are all created equal, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth!  The old adage “you get what you pay for” really does ring true.

Your basic all inclusive resort includes your accommodations, most (if not all) meals, beverages and snacks, entertainment and some resort activities.  However, even these basic “inclusions” vary widely depending on the resort, and some resorts inclusions are far more comprehensive than others.

For example:

  • Some properties (usually the lower priced ones) only allow guests to eat ala carte (or sit down, table service) dinners a certain number of nights during a guest’s stay.  Say you are staying 5 nights, you may only have 2 ala carte dinners and the rest you only have the option of buffet.
  • Liquor choices – some properties only include domestic drinks (i.e. beers and liquors made in the country the resort is located) and either surcharge for premium beverages or simply don’t have them at all.
  • Watersports – who doesn’t like to spend time snorkeling or taking out the resort kayaks or hobie cats.  But what if your resort only includes 1 hour of equipment use per day?   A particular resort I visited recently, that has hundreds of rooms, only had a whopping total of THREE kayaks on the entire property for guest use.  Not good!
  • Room service – if you are one of those people who love to hang out on your balcony in the afternoon and read, or maybe you get a case of the “midnight munchies”, it’s great to be able to pick up the phone and order some food instead of having to trek who knows how far to find something to eat.  Many properties either don’t include room service at all, or you can have it…for an additional price.
  • Internet – yeah we all love posting our vacay pics on Facebook, but if wifi isn’t included it can add a tidy sum to your bill at checkout.  Some properties only have wifi available for guests in the lobby, which at some resorts can be quite a walk from the outlying room blocks.

It really does pay to do your homework prior to booking your next all inclusive vacation, so you’re in the know about what your package will really include.  Not sure where to start?  Give us a call and let’s chat about your trip plans, we’ve visited hundreds of properties throughout Mexico and the Caribbean and can give you unbiased, firsthand feedback and help you understand what resort is right for you!


Four Seasons Travel LLCWhat do all inclusive resorts REALLY include?