For a long time, I associated all-inclusive holidays with overindulgence and therefore money waste. I thought I would never be able to eat and drink so much for the price that I have to pay on an all-inclusive package. So, I preferred to feel frugal and go for room-only or B&B options. Until one day, I came across a good deal for an all-inclusive holiday to Dominican Republic. It turned out to be the best holiday of our lives. Until a few years later, when we got to one of the islands in Maldives for honeymoon also on an all-inclusive basis, which became the holiday of a lifetime.
So, what makes all-inclusive so much better than any other board options?
1. You don't have to worry about the cost of food and drink
It's so heavenly to just be able to order anything you want from the menu at the bar or in the restaurant, without worrying about how much the bill will be at the end or whether you are spending too much. The last thing you want to do on your relaxing holiday is to start worrying about how much you have spent and how much you have left or to worry about exchanging currency if you run out of cash.
Oftentimes, the all-inclusive resorts are 5-stars and boast speciality foods from the local cuisine and exotic drinks that you normally wouldn't have access to that easily (without spending a higher amount). Food and beverages in holiday destinations tend to be more expensive and having to decide before ordering each food or drink whether its worth the money, would impact your relaxation time.
2. You get to try new dishes, drinks and entertainment
As you don't have to pay for the things widely available to you on your all-inclusive resort, you are more likely to try foods, drinks and adventures that you haven't experienced before. There is no extra cost for any of them, so there is no risk. If you don't like them, you can just walk away from them without regretting that you've wasted your money on them.
When my husband and I go all-inclusive, we like to try sea food specialities, local cocktails and activities like paddle boarding and snorkeling. I would've never considered to pay to do paddle boarding otherwise. And I would not have tried snorkeling in the deep ocean, if it weren't included in my holiday package.
3. The staff are genuinely nice and willing to serve you
The staff working on the all inclusive resorts seem to live and breathe the hospitality culture. I am always so impressed by how kind and nice they are and even, it seems to me, they take great pleasure in serving you. In the Maldivian honeymoon we went to, the staff lived on the island and so they were entrenched in making us feel like guests on their homeland.
There is such a big discrepancy between the polite nature of the customer service staff working in normal hotels, restaurants and bars and the genuinely humble and servant attitude of the staff working in all-inclusive resorts. I wish I had a better way in which to express my gratitude towards the wonderful people working and serving us on the all inclusive resorts, rather than a simple "thank you".
4. All inclusive feels more exclusive
All-inclusive resorts tend to be in remote locations like islands where you don't normally have access to restaurants or supermarkets that easily. Therefore, the food and drink included in your package is only available to you and your fellow holiday makers on that resort. Apart from feeling like you are part of a select group of holiday makers, you also get to enjoy the peace and quiet as oftentimes all inclusive resorts are less busy than self-caterpillar no, B&B or half board destinations, which the majority of tourists tend to go for.
5. It feels more luxurious
All-inclusive resorts tend to be 5-stars, so they can provide all the services and the variety that qualifies them for the all-inclusive status. This implies that they have to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Comfort means luxury and wellness. Even if you don't stay at a renowned 5-star hotel chain, you can rest assured that your all-inclusive hotel will treat you like queen or king and give access to the same level of facilities and sense of luxury as an established high-end hotel brand.
6. Free activities and entertainment
Because all-inclusive resorts tend to be in secluded areas, they have to keep their guests entertained. This means providing them access to pools, sports facilities, tennis courts, relaxation areas, games room, as well as after-dinner entertainment, at no extra cost, so that all guests can enjoy them.
7. You get a better value
You might think (just like I used to) that you save money by not going all-inclusive, as you consume less. However, the all-inclusive package allows you to benefit from economies of scale. It's like you buy everything up front and in bulk. Paying for things one by one (like you do if you don't go all-inclusive) will always be more expensive than paying a set price for everything.
Also, when you consider all the added extras I mentioned above (activities, entertainment, service, facilities) all included in your package at no extra cost, the value you get form your package increases greatly.