View Full Version : Looking for adviced on all-inclusive resorts
January 6th, 2004, 5:29pm
We were looking at going to Mexico or the caribbean to an all-inclusive resort(We have a voucher for $1200 for Orbitz). Here's the problem --I read an article awhile back and it said alot of these places never live up to what they say. A person told us about one, so I looked on Orbitz and sure enough the comments i'm reading say what the story said. They couldn't get the food and drinks- they even tried tipping more. No food available after supper at all. They never got dessert or even the wine at supper they asked for. Any tips????? After reading the reviews and seeing what they saw I'm not sure. We like to be able to explore the area too.
Any suggestions are appreciated!! :cool2:
January 6th, 2004, 8:40pm
We really liked the Avalon Grande in Cancun. It is not a super large hotel, but the service is outstanding. It is rated a 5 star and I would agree if you are rating all the inclusives together and the other Hotels separately. I'm not sure what you mean by no food after dinner...most that I have been to don't!!?? The hotel has a Sports Bar and Grill (I'm not sure how late it stays open), a sit down and order from the menu restaurant and a buffet restaurant. All were better than the normal all-inclusives. We had no problem getting our food and drinks - they serve premium brands upon request. There are no night clubs at the hotel, but a 5 min walk in either direction will give you plenty to choose from.
We tipped nicely and the staff was very attentive...I don't know if they are normally that way or if it was the tips!!!lol!
Hope this helps....
January 7th, 2004, 6:04am
Check out comments on the property online and believe what you read. We went to La Romano in the Dominican Republic last year. The comments weren't the best (mostly you get what you pay for), but we went anyway. Three star is not good!!! Meatloaf stuffed with a hotdog is not my idea of any edible dinner item. This was our first (and last) all inclusive. We go on vacation four times a year, and this was definitely bottom on the list. We do have a timeshare in Aruba, and they offer all-inclusives there and I would say you'd be fine there. The meals would be the same that we would pay separately for, and we have always been happy with the quality and variety. The younger crowd loves the outdoor and swimup bars and you know they are all-inclusive by their bracelets.
January 7th, 2004, 6:48am
Well, I can advise that you stay away from the El Dorado Resort & Spa in Cancun (actually in Kantena @ Quintana Roo) unless you want questionable food, lots of mosquitoes ad to shower in ocean water. :mad2: :mad2: :mad2:
January 7th, 2004, 7:03am
Here's another good one: The Grand Caribe Real in Cancun. Deluxe motel, beautiful, and the service was excelent. There are 3 Real's in Cancun all owned by the same company. They had food all the freaking time, 3 resturants, played games at the pool all day (Tequila Volleyball--that was fun), performed a different show every night in the lounge, and would just set up stuff at different times. They had a money exchange and would help you with anything you asked (how to get downtown, ect.). I was there Sep. 8-13, 2001 and needless to say had to stay until the 18th (oh, poor me). They had to charge us, understandable, but since it was such a special circumstance, it was $55 a night, all-inclusive. Wow!
Here's a link to see the hotel: http://www.expresstravelnet.com/cancun/hotels/grancariberealcancun.htm
January 7th, 2004, 12:06pm
The Buffhunk and I went to the Couples Resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon in 1994. We were especially attracted by the "no children, no singles, no exceptions" rule. And it was wonderful! The food was great, all we could eat all the time. The booze may have been a tad watered, but it was all we could drink all the time. Those frozen daquiris sure were tasty!! The room was very nice, the grounds were large and lovely, the service was friendly, and the activities were lots of fun. There were daily boats to go out and enjoy fabulous snorkelinig; they have a little class in the pool and then take you for a 'resort' scuba dive; little sailboats to take out yourself; trips to a plantation, to climb the Dunns River Waterfalls, to horseback ride, to shop; there was a large catamaran BBQ; different themed parties or events to attend every night; etc etc. So many things you could sign up to do or you could just lay on the beach, whatever you wanted. They probably have even more to do by now. And no reaching into your wallet at any time! I'd go again in a heartbeat!!
January 7th, 2004, 12:15pm
The Palace Resort chain in Mexico is awesome. We stayed at Xpu-Ha Palace (5 star) and it was totally amazing...these are kinda pricey though so I don't know if it's something you are looking for. If you stay at one of the Palace resorts (they are scattered along the Caribbean coast from Cancun to south of Playa Del Carmen) you can take a shuttle and use the facilities at any of the resorts. Food was good and drinks were free flowing. We're going back to Mexico at the end of the month, this time to Cozumel, and are staying at a MUCH cheaper all inclusive, Reef Club Cozumel (3 star). We've read some horrific reviews on Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com, but there have also been some glowing ones so who knows. I agree that you get what you pay for, and this time around we were just looking to get back to Mexico and the beach without breaking the bank. If the food isn't the best and the beds are a little hard, well that's ok. I've never been on a cruise, but from what I hear if you expect cruise pampering at an all inclusive you are pretty much out of luck most times (unless you're willing to shell out major moolah).
I guess my advice is yes, you should read the reviews carefully, but also take them with a grain of salt. What are the major complaints, and are they things that you think might bother you? It's also hard to know the frame of mind of the people writing them...maybe they were pissed because their expectations were too high (i.e. expected a 5 star when they paid for a 3).
Edited to add that I agree, if you tip well it makes all the difference. Most of these people are making less than $5 a day so a buck or two thrown in here and there is a big deal. I also found that trying to speak Spanish, even if you only know 2 or 3 words, is appreciated.
Good luck, and let us know what you decide!
January 7th, 2004, 6:32pm
:cool2: Thanks for the great info---just being informed helps--I'll have to check out the places online when I have time(my computer is fried) My brother got sick I eating some food on Mexico last Feb. --wasn't fun for him sitting in the room. :cool2:
January 7th, 2004, 8:23pm
My only all-inclusive experience was 2 summers ago at the Beaches Grande Sport in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We loved the small, private beach, had a great time, and enjoyed the food. No problem getting fed there! The smoked marlin was to die for and we were glad it was available at almost every meal, LOL. Beaches has a no-tipping policy, which removes that worry on most occasions.
January 8th, 2004, 6:02am
Oh, my friend got sick in Mexico and we figured out it was probally when we had a drink in downtown Cancun--the glass was frosted, no ice, but they probally ran the glass under tap water to frost it. The hotel said they used purified water in their frozen drinks, and you can brush your teeth and take a shower in their water but don't drink it. So more than likely you will get sick off the water and not the food.
Whatever choice you make let us know and post pictures when you get back! Hope you have a good time!
Also, Chinchilla thanks for the info on Beaches in Jamaica. I want to take a trip before I get pregnant and DH is saying we are strapped for money. I went to Cancun for under $1000 so I know it's "doable". I went to their website and requested brochures ! :blush: I'll get my trip yet!
January 11th, 2004, 4:09am
Stayed at 3 different AI "chains"
They all had buffets and then restaurants where you could make reservations - 1 reservation for every 3 or 4 nights you stayed.
Riu in Jamaica - good food, a little different than what I'm used to, but they're also catering to a European crowd. Jerk chicken was great. Always some kind of food available. Didn't eat at the reservation restaurant. Drinks depend on bartender - seems to apply to all resorts no matter the chain.
Occidental Caribbean Village - Cancun (allegro resort I think) - this was the cheapest resort in the Allegro family. I got sick but noone else in our group of 8 did. Food was horrible - ordered pizza from Papa John's across the street one night. I was told the reservation restaurant was much better, but I wasn't eating by that point.
Iberostar - Playa del Carmen - pricier and by far the nicest. Buffet food had a great selection, reservation restaurant was great. Playa del Carmen itself is about an hour from Cancun, more relaxed if you're not looking for the clubbing/bar scene. Quainter tourist town.
Here's a site I used for reviews: