8 Top Features to Look For in an All-Inclusive Resort
The days are getting shorter, the skies are getting duller, and the temperature’s dropping. That’s our cue to start thinking about a beach vacation.
Many people are deciding to 'splash out' on their next vacations and really treat themselves to the very best version of their dream trip.
That’s where your trusted travel advisor can really add value to your vacation.
We recommend dreaming big! Pick the features that appeal most to you, and work with your trusted travel advisor to help match your top features with an ideal destination and design your best beach vacation ever.
Your travel advisor can also help make sure you are fully up-to-date on the current travel requirements for your next sun and sand holiday.
Here’s our list of some of the top requested features of an all-inclusive resort vacation. Which of these features would make your all-inclusive holiday dreams come true?
For many of us, our first drink at a swim up bar - whether it’s a margarita, a mudslide or a mojito - is the moment we feel 'Ah!' I’m on vacation. It’s one of the most popular features of beach resorts - but not every resort in the tropics has one.
Generally speaking, the more pools a resort has, the more likely it is to have one with a swim-up bar.
Adults-Only Pools and Other Areas
Speaking of pools, if you don’t like your swim time interrupted by pool noodles, splashing and high-decibel shrieks, it’s time to consider an adults-only resort - or at least one with adults-only areas. That could include not only pools, but lounge areas, sections of the beach, bars and restaurants.
That way, kids can be kids and grown ups can get their rest in, too. Or playtime, because sometimes adults like to have grown up fun. And more adult behavior can have its place without having to worry about being improper in front of someone’s kids - or getting a glare from disapproving parents.
Multi-generational Family Time
Some resorts make a concerted effort to cater to all generations, especially those who travel together.
That can come in the form of adult-and kid areas, where everyone, from parents, grandparents, child-free aunts and uncles, and kids, can all have their own versions of a great tropical vacation.
It can also be different types of accommodation, from connecting rooms or suites with separate sleeping quarters but shared living areas, even to private villas.
Some sun-lovers enjoy spending their entire holiday at the pool. But for others, they haven’t really been on vacation unless they’re in the sea.
While most resorts have access to waterfront, not all beaches are created equal. Do you want to be on a long strip of a famous beach that goes for miles? Or have access to a smaller, secluded - even private - beach? Must it be a silky, sand beach or are pebbles ok?
Do you need to see the beach from your room’s balcony? Or are you satisfied to have a 10+ minute walk or ride to a distant beach at a very large property?
If the beach is important to you, these are the questions to ask yourself.
On-site Watersports and other Activities
How active a vacation do you want? Do you want to rent jet-skis? Go snorkeling? Play tennis every day? If an active vacation - or lots of time in the water - is your idea of the perfect vacation, your best bet is a resort that already has lots of activities on the property so you have easy access to your favorite activities.
Multiple Included Restaurants
If you’re a foodie, an all-inclusive with just one buffet might not be up to your standards. Fine dining and multiple international cuisines are increasingly available at all-inclusives throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and other short-haul tropical destinations.
Make sure to ask your travel advisor if all the specialty restaurants are included, or what the costs of specialty dining is.
Bonus Question for the Super-Savvy: are there any restaurants with air conditioning? Not everyone soaks in the tropical heat with equal pleasure. Some of us just can’t enjoy dinner in a restaurant that isn’t air-conditioned.
Spa and Wellness
Almost all resorts at least have the facilities to get a massage, but after that, your wellness travel experience varies widely.
Some have extravagant spas with huts on the beach, where your massage is accompanied by the sounds of the waves and the smell of sea breezes.
Others have daily, scenic, included yoga, pilates, and other sessions for physical and spiritual well being. There are also some resorts with spa menus so those committed to returning from vacation even healthier than when they left can embrace health throughout the day.
A trend that started before the pandemic is now here to stay. More and more resorts have created an environment for those who are able to work and travel at the same time.
From enhanced internet, to live-work accommodations and packages, to private rooms where you can book quiet virtual meetings… if you are joining the ranks of digital nomads, there are all-inclusive resorts that you can call 'home' - until you want to move on again!
Treating Yourself to Upgrades
For a really special treat, let your fantasies of beach vacations run wild: private villa with your own splash pool? Overwater bungalow? Butler Service? It’s all available for that unforgettable beach vacation.
by Lynn Elmhirst
in Sea & Sand