What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visited?

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supersharpie
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What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visited?

Post by supersharpie »

My wife and I are planning spending 7 nights at an AI in January 2015 to escape the cold. We are flexible on location. What would you recommend?
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Hayden
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by Hayden »

They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
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Go Blue 99
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by Go Blue 99 »

We have been to multiple luxury AI's in Jamaica and Mexico, and the most luxurious has been Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso in Playa del Carmen. When we did the research, it was the highest-rated AI on Tripadvisor.

http://www.thegrandcollection.com/en/ho ... el-paraiso
The Wizard
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by The Wizard »

Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by bloom2708 »

Tranquility Bay in Marathon, FL is very nice.

It isn't "all inclusive" as it is a hotel/condo, but it is high on our list of favorite places.

You don't have to leave the US to get that "tropical" relaxing vacation. It isn't cheap.
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supersharpie
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by supersharpie »

Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Here are our requirements:

1. Location on a beautiful beach (me)

2. Really nice pool (wife)

3. Good food (both of us)

4. Good drinks that are made with decent liquor (both of us)

5. Modern, air-conditioned rooms (both of us)

We also would much prefer an adults only resort but that is not an absolute requirement.

While we are not prudes I know my wife in particular would not be comfortable at a place like Hedonism. I probably would not be either.
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Hayden
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by Hayden »

supersharpie wrote:
Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Here are our requirements:

1. Location on a beautiful beach (me)

2. Really nice pool (wife)

3. Good food (both of us)

4. Good drinks that are made with decent liquor (both of us)

5. Modern, air-conditioned rooms (both of us)

We also would much prefer an adults only resort but that is not an absolute requirement.

While we are not prudes I know my wife in particular would not be comfortable at a place like Hedonism. I probably would not be either.
Do you want lots of activity (nightclub at night; beach volleyball games during the day, or do you want peace and quiet. The resorts differ a great deal in terms of how much is going on (and also the average age).

We go for peace and quiet, and the resorts we go to have mostly older people.
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supersharpie
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by supersharpie »

Hayden wrote:
supersharpie wrote:
Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Here are our requirements:

1. Location on a beautiful beach (me)

2. Really nice pool (wife)

3. Good food (both of us)

4. Good drinks that are made with decent liquor (both of us)

5. Modern, air-conditioned rooms (both of us)

We also would much prefer an adults only resort but that is not an absolute requirement.

While we are not prudes I know my wife in particular would not be comfortable at a place like Hedonism. I probably would not be either.
Do you want lots of activity (nightclub at night; beach volleyball games during the day, or do you want peace and quiet. The resorts differ a great deal in terms of how much is going on (and also the average age).

We go for peace and quiet, and the resorts we go to have mostly older people.
We really could go either way. We are only 30 but neither of us hit nightclubs. That being said we don't mind being in that environment. The age of the guests is not a major concern but we wouldn't want to be the only young folks on resort.
pparedes
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by pparedes »

Since price wasn't listed as an objection (even though it is bogleheads!) I would recommend the Rosewood Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen. There are actually 3 hotels in this Mayakoba complex (Rosewood, Fairmont and Banyon Tree). I've stayed at both the Fairmont and Rosewood resorts would recommend either but the Rosewood rooms were slightly more luxurious, some of the suites having their own pool.

Here is a link to Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... nsula.html and they list it as the top resort in Playa. The food is excellent in the complex (though not inexpensive as mentioned previously). One thing to note is that you can reserve rooms without a 'meal plan' so just be careful to select the all inclusive option.

Have fun regardless of what you pick!
Last edited by pparedes on Wed May 07, 2014 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
rholt
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by rholt »

My experience is that getting really top quality food at all-inclusives can be a challenge.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by VictoriaF »

The Wizard wrote:Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
You are not supposed to have back pockets there, or anything a pocket could be attached to.

Victoria
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supersharpie
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by supersharpie »

rholt wrote:My experience is that getting really top quality food at all-inclusives can be a challenge.
Yep, it merely needs to be "good" to satisfy us. We are not looking for fine dining. However, local cuisine options would be great! I know a lot of AIs only offer "international" fare.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by rholt »

We recently stayed at the Iberostar Parisio Maya - south of Cancun. I give it 4 or 5 stars in all categories except food - where is just get 3 stars.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by The Wizard »

VictoriaF wrote:
The Wizard wrote:Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
You are not supposed to have back pockets there, or anything a pocket could be attached to.

Victoria
Quite true, Victoria.
But when I'm back home and the weather's getting colder, it's nice to know that another trip to one of my favorite places is just a few website clicks away.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

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feh
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by feh »

supersharpie wrote:
Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Here are our requirements:

1. Location on a beautiful beach (me)

2. Really nice pool (wife)

3. Good food (both of us)

4. Good drinks that are made with decent liquor (both of us)

5. Modern, air-conditioned rooms (both of us)

We also would much prefer an adults only resort but that is not an absolute requirement.

While we are not prudes I know my wife in particular would not be comfortable at a place like Hedonism. I probably would not be either.
Turkoise (Club Med, Turks & Caicos) meets most of your requirements. The rooms have A/C, but are most definitely not modern. On the other hand, one of the most highly rated, beautiful beaches in the world is right outside your door.

Ask questions on Tripadvisor for more info.
davebarnes
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Ours

Post by davebarnes »

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... larta.html

small
adults only
in town so you can walk anywhere
great service
A nerd living in Denver
mw1739
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by mw1739 »

Peter Island Resort - British Virgin Islands

Beautiful location, top notch food. I think alcoholic drinks were billed separately however.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by wesmouch »

We have been to a variety of Riu all inclusives in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. They have been superb. The food is excellent. They typically have three price point resorts clustered together with the Riu Palace being the top of the line
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Post by Nestegg_User »

As far as RUI's, and the best all-inclusive we've been to is the RIU Palace in Aruba--- we went there went the first year it opened (had been to Aruba earlier and saw it being built). The high rise district there has a great beach and the service then was great....it was the top rated Caribbean resort that year.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by DTSC »

The Wizard wrote:
Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
Is Hedonism a swingers' type of place? (Serious question, not judging or anything)
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by The Wizard »

DTSC wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
Is Hedonism a swingers' type of place? (Serious question, not judging or anything)
Basic answer is NO, it's not a swinger's resort.
But there are various groups that come to the place typically for the same week(s) year after year and some of those groups have Liberal Attitudes, which is as much as needs to be said here.
Hedo fell down a bit from 2010-12 due to maintenance funding issues, but new ownership is throwing money into the place and it's slowly getting better.
The best place to find out more (trip reports, message board) is at http://www.dennyp.com.
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Post by VictoriaF »

The Wizard wrote:The best place to find out more (trip reports, message board) is at http://www.dennyp.com.
My firewall blocks it with a label "Adult/Mature content." It must be a good place for retirees.

Victoria
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by DTSC »

The Wizard wrote:
DTSC wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
Is Hedonism a swingers' type of place? (Serious question, not judging or anything)
Basic answer is NO, it's not a swinger's resort.
But there are various groups that come to the place typically for the same week(s) year after year and some of those groups have Liberal Attitudes, which is as much as needs to be said here.
Hedo fell down a bit from 2010-12 due to maintenance funding issues, but new ownership is throwing money into the place and it's slowly getting better.
The best place to find out more (trip reports, message board) is at http://www.dennyp.com.
Would another guest see these Liberal Attitude folks acting liberally? i.e. "relaxed" dress codes, behavior etc? Or do they go off to a corner by themselves?
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by The Wizard »

VictoriaF wrote:
The Wizard wrote:The best place to find out more (trip reports, message board) is at http://www.dennyp.com.
My firewall blocks it with a label "Adult/Mature content." It must be a good place for retirees.

Victoria
My employer's IT blocked it also, but it's just a travel agency website focused on adult AI places. You generally will not find any objectionable pics there.
But similar to bogleheads for investing, you get accurate "reports from the front" from people who have been to Hedo and similar places. This counters false impressions from brochures showing everyone in their 30s with athletic builds; reality is different...
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The Wizard
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by The Wizard »

DTSC wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
DTSC wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
Chalk me up for Hedonism II; been there eight times.
That being said, I may try Couples Negril next time whenever that is.
But it's nice to have Hedo in my back pocket whenever I need it, so to speak...
Is Hedonism a swingers' type of place? (Serious question, not judging or anything)
Basic answer is NO, it's not a swinger's resort.
But there are various groups that come to the place typically for the same week(s) year after year and some of those groups have Liberal Attitudes, which is as much as needs to be said here.
Hedo fell down a bit from 2010-12 due to maintenance funding issues, but new ownership is throwing money into the place and it's slowly getting better.
The best place to find out more (trip reports, message board) is at http://www.dennyp.com.
Would another guest see these Liberal Attitude folks acting liberally? i.e. "relaxed" dress codes, behavior etc? Or do they go off to a corner by themselves?
I'll PM you; we're getting OT from the OP's question...
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toumata
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by toumata »

I can't recommend Excellence Playa Mujeres enough: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review ... nsula.html

I know multiple couples who have gone and had the same amazing experience.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by deanbrew »

rholt wrote:My experience is that getting really top quality food at all-inclusives can be a challenge.
I agree, it is a challenge. But my wife and I went to Couples Swept Away in Negril and the food was very good. There are several restaurants and I was quite satisfied with the quality and variety. I've been to AI resorts where the quality and variety were lacking, and Couples was a real step up. FWIW, "Couples" is the name of the resort chain, and they have about six different properties on a couple of islands. I've only been to the one, but I would definitely go back to Swept Away or try another Couples resort.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by dpm321 »

1 - Beaches at Turks and Caicos
2 - Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach at Cabo San Lucas
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Post by twindad57 »

Secrets Maroma Beach
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by llessac15 »

#1. Couples Swept Away is our favorite.
#2. Couples Negril

We liked both a lot. Can't go wrong at either place. We stayed at The Veranda in Turks and Caicos before. Loved it there. But, they were bought out by another company so i can't recommend it.
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supersharpie
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by supersharpie »

llessac15 wrote:#1. Couples Swept Away is our favorite.
#2. Couples Negril

We liked both a lot. Can't go wrong at either place. We stayed at The Veranda in Turks and Caicos before. Loved it there. But, they were bought out by another company so i can't recommend it.
We have considered both Couples resorts. What puts CSA over the top for you in comparison to CN?
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Post by JonnyDVM »

The best we have been to is Excellence playa Mujeres. Lazy river was like an ice bath but that was the only negative I could say about it. Adults only. Little kids are annoying, Yah I said it.

As for your requirements: For an all inclusive the food was as good as it's going to get. The beach was relatively small but very nice. Too shelf liquor available. Rooms were modern clean and air conditioned. Pool was fun. There's a loud obnoxious American/ Canadian side (that's where we hung out) and a quiet Euro side plus numerous hot tubs. We had a great time. Book it through cheap Caribbean to get the best deal.
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llessac15
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by llessac15 »

supersharpie wrote:
llessac15 wrote:#1. Couples Swept Away is our favorite.
#2. Couples Negril

We liked both a lot. Can't go wrong at either place. We stayed at The Veranda in Turks and Caicos before. Loved it there. But, they were bought out by another company so i can't recommend it.
We have considered both Couples resorts. What puts CSA over the top for you in comparison to CN?


We liked the layout of CSA better and the beach a little bit better. However, it's really just a coin toss between the two. T/C is a much better island. The people are very nice and the beaches are prettier. You can ride bikes into town without fear of the locals. Never once got offered weed (or even cigarettes for that matter) at T/C. Two of are freinds stayed at Somerset in T/C and loved it. I see that The Veranda T/C is now part of Beaches T/C. That might still be a good option.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by yolli71 »

supersharpie wrote:
Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Here are our requirements:

1. Location on a beautiful beach (me)

2. Really nice pool (wife)

3. Good food (both of us)

4. Good drinks that are made with decent liquor (both of us)

5. Modern, air-conditioned rooms (both of us)

We also would much prefer an adults only resort but that is not an absolute requirement.

While we are not prudes I know my wife in particular would not be comfortable at a place like Hedonism. I probably would not be either.
My wife and I have the EXACT same requirements as you and we have stayed at 3 AIs so far. Our favorite was Zoetry Agua in Punta Cana and it met all of the requirements. Zoetry has another location in Mexico that looks phenomenal...we plan on hitting that location one day.
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Hayden
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Post by Hayden »

yolli71 wrote:
supersharpie wrote:
Hayden wrote:They are all so different, it really depends on what you want to do and the kind of atmosphere you are after. As two extremes, Some people love Zoetry (I do), others love hedonism ( I haven't been there, but know people who love it). Need more info on what you want.
Here are our requirements:

1. Location on a beautiful beach (me)

2. Really nice pool (wife)

3. Good food (both of us)

4. Good drinks that are made with decent liquor (both of us)

5. Modern, air-conditioned rooms (both of us)

We also would much prefer an adults only resort but that is not an absolute requirement.

While we are not prudes I know my wife in particular would not be comfortable at a place like Hedonism. I probably would not be either.
My wife and I have the EXACT same requirements as you and we have stayed at 3 AIs so far. Our favorite was Zoetry Agua in Punta Cana and it met all of the requirements. Zoetry has another location in Mexico that looks phenomenal...we plan on hitting that location one day.
We loved the Zoetry in Cabo. But you need to know that going in the water is strongly discouraged. And it does not have a soft sand beach.

Again, I suggest thinking hard about what you want to do on vacation. Years ago, the ability to sail was important to us. That ruled out a lot of destinations. Quality of the water, water sports available, quality of the spa, proximity to a town, are all things that will vary from property to property.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by Hexdump »

I opened this discussion with my wife, trying to fathom what her preferences are and lo, they are not beaches.
She prefers trail walks with beautiful scenery and stuff to see.
So hiking trails are important, preferably on flat terrain.
Any suggestions ?
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VictoriaF
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by VictoriaF »

Hexdump wrote:I opened this discussion with my wife, trying to fathom what her preferences are and lo, they are not beaches.
She prefers trail walks with beautiful scenery and stuff to see.
So hiking trails are important, preferably on flat terrain.
Any suggestions ?
Several people recommended to me Road Scholar. I have not done it yet, but they seem to offer a variety of hiking vacations.

Victoria
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SGM
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by SGM »

I have run into road scholar groups while vacationing along the Northern California coast. It looks like they are having a good time with a knowledgeable guide. They once were called elder college. New name is for marketing. Just like a local nursing home now calls itself The Village. It seems we baby boomers don't like to be thought of as old. I am a little leery of falling prey to the marketers. I want to invent my own retirement, not what some marketer thinks it ought to be.

We haven't been to many all-inclusive resorts. We did go as a family to Wintergreen in the Virginia mountains and Sveti Stefan in Montenegro in the 1980s (very romantic dining overlooking the Adriatic). What we tended to do a lot of was rent a home in Europe and use it as a base for explorations.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by karpems »

Totally agree. The sister resort, The Beloved, is also amazing.
JonnyDVM wrote:The best we have been to is Excellence playa Mujeres. Lazy river was like an ice bath but that was the only negative I could say about it. Adults only. Little kids are annoying, Yah I said it.

As for your requirements: For an all inclusive the food was as good as it's going to get. The beach was relatively small but very nice. Too shelf liquor available. Rooms were modern clean and air conditioned. Pool was fun. There's a loud obnoxious American/ Canadian side (that's where we hung out) and a quiet Euro side plus numerous hot tubs. We had a great time. Book it through cheap Caribbean to get the best deal.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by The Wizard »

SGM wrote:I have run into road scholar groups while vacationing along the Northern California coast. It looks like they are having a good time with a knowledgeable guide. They once were called elder college...
ElderHOSTEL was the original name, I believe.
A few bus loads of Road Scholars showed up at the Rose Parade venue we were working last December and we put them to work nicely.
Nonetheless, this is OT from All Inclusive Resorts...
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by MSORSA »

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is the world Mecca of All-Inclusive hotels. Over 30 all-inclusives hotels along miles and miles of white sand beaches. You can find any flavor you want along this strech of paradise from very romantic "quiet and IMO boring hotels" to the the mega parties all day long activities chains. I've been more than 10 times to this area and never been dissapointed. Only time me and my wife tried another all-inclusive we did Couples only Sandals Montego Bay and we were bore to death.

http://www.islands.com/gallery/best-all ... punta-cana
yolli71
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by yolli71 »

Agree regarding Punta Cana. The other nice thing is that I read DR and Jamaica give you the best bang for your buck in the Caribbean due to lower labor costs.
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by deanbrew »

I've only been to the Dominican Republic once, at a Riu resort, and the food was not even close to the quality and variety we had at Couples in Jamaica. Not saying I'm an expert, but I've found the food consistently better at Jamaica AI resorts than on other islands.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson
epilnk
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by epilnk »

Go Blue 99 wrote:We have been to multiple luxury AI's in Jamaica and Mexico, and the most luxurious has been Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso in Playa del Carmen. When we did the research, it was the highest-rated AI on Tripadvisor.

http://www.thegrandcollection.com/en/ho ... el-paraiso
We had the great good fortune to score a deep discount here nearly 10 years ago, right after hurricane Wilma devastated the area. The hotel was still recovering; many of the rooms were still damaged, construction was going on here and there, the wave pool wasn't making waves, only a fraction of the little grass shade structures on the beach had been replaced, so they offered a bargain basement price to get bodies in during rebuilding. We had never done an AI before and were just looking for something that would be easy with two toddlers; their deep discount was still a splurge for us and we were unprepared for just how nice it would be. It was our first exposure to what it must be like to be rich and we very quickly decided we would not mind getting used to it. Phenomenal vacation - still the best ever.
DireWolf
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by DireWolf »

Marival Residences and World Spa in Puerto Vallarta was world class in every aspect. And it was "relatively" inexpensive.
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snackdog
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visited?

Post by snackdog »

Which AI resort is the best value for money in terms of beauty, quality, entertainment, food, drink, location, etc?
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midareff
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visited?

Post by midareff »

A Viking Cruise ship.
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Nate79
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visited?

Post by Nate79 »

We really enjoyed The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - All-Inclusive in Costa Rica.
dsmclone
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Re: What is the best all-inclusive resort you have ever visi

Post by dsmclone »

rholt wrote: Wed May 07, 2014 9:44 am My experience is that getting really top quality food at all-inclusives can be a challenge.
Same here. I'm fine with the food but my wife doesn't love it.
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