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

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Glockenspiel
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:20 pm

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

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:19 pm

The RIU Cancun when I was a 22-year old freshly-graduated college kid, back in 2007. My then-girlfriend, now wife, and I enjoyed the variety of restaurants, free drinks (though a tiny bit watered down), and great beaches for a low cost.

tydas
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 2:28 pm

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

Post by tydas » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:22 pm

Since you mention having a nice beach one bit of research you need to do is for seaweed. Many resorts in Mexico and the Carribean are plagued by sargassum seaweed, in some areas of Cancun the seaweed is so thick it makes going in the water unenjoyable and the seaweed is very smelly.

IMO, Mexico has the best food, drink, and facilities. The other Caribbean islands can be good but will tend to be much more expensive than a similar Mexico resort. Also, Cancun airfare seems to be much more reasonable than other islands. My go-to resort in Mexico is Valentin Imperial Maya, however, the beach can be hit or miss depending on the levels of seaweed.

User avatar
oldcomputerguy
Moderator
Posts: 6440
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:50 am
Location: In the middle of five acres of woods in East Tennessee

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

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:25 pm

midareff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:26 pm
A Viking Cruise ship.
Viking is not quite "all-inclusive", but they're close. Alcoholic beverages are only "included" with meals, otherwise they're extra.

My wife and I are fans of Sandals, and consider the South Coast resort our "go-to" beach destination. YMMV.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

User avatar
oldcomputerguy
Moderator
Posts: 6440
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:50 am
Location: In the middle of five acres of woods in East Tennessee

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

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:28 pm

supersharpie wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 9:17 am
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.
Sandals South Coast meets all these criteria. Couples-only so no children, food and drinks included, largest resort pool in Jamaica, rooms are air-conditioned (and the rooms in the Italian building are all brand-new from ground up as of about two years ago).
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 6464
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

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

Post by midareff » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:15 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:25 pm
midareff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:26 pm
A Viking Cruise ship.
Viking is not quite "all-inclusive", but they're close. Alcoholic beverages are only "included" with meals, otherwise they're extra.

My wife and I are fans of Sandals, and consider the South Coast resort our "go-to" beach destination. YMMV.
Last ground based "All Inclusive" I went too, in fact the last several, all charged extra for top shelf spirits. I don't know about you but I'm not drinking a meaningful amount of adult beverages in the afternoon.

User avatar
serbeer
Posts: 1238
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:09 pm

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

Post by serbeer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:30 pm

dsmclone wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:17 pm
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.
If you want top quality food at all times, you should try Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Riviera Maya.

GmanJeff
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:12 am

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

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:34 pm

midareff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:26 pm
A Viking Cruise ship.
I'd echo this, and would further suggest other so-called 6-star cruise lines, like Regent Seven Seas, which include shore excursions and air fare. You need never open your wallet, after the initial pain of paying up front for the cruise. Food is outstanding, top-shelf alcohol is included, few children aboard, no safety, security, or infrastructure concerns as may exist with land resorts in 3rd-world countries, the view changes constantly, and you'll be among generally congenial, well-traveled, and accomplished fellow travelers. You'd be on the younger end of the typical demographic for the 6-star cruise lines, but would not feel out of place on that account.

brianH
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:21 pm

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

Post by brianH » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:40 pm

For the resorts that offer it (probably most of them), my wife and I always found the 'premium package'/VIP to be well-worth the slight bump in day rates. At least at the resorts we visited, it was more like an exclusive resort-within-a-resort with a private clubhouse, pool, beach area, and waitstaff that brings drinks directly to your lounger.

These VIP exclusive areas are typically adults-only, and way more laid back than the (sometimes rowdy) main common areas. They also have easier access to amenities without lines or insufficient chairs. To sweeten the pot even more, they usually guarantee dinner reservations at the popular restaurants, which can be a problem with the standard packages.

We usually go with a lower-priced room, since if you're doing it right, you're not in there very much anyway.

User avatar
midareff
Posts: 6464
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

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

Post by midareff » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:13 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:34 pm
midareff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:26 pm
A Viking Cruise ship.
I'd echo this, and would further suggest other so-called 6-star cruise lines, like Regent Seven Seas, which include shore excursions and air fare. You need never open your wallet, after the initial pain of paying up front for the cruise. Food is outstanding, top-shelf alcohol is included, few children aboard, no safety, security, or infrastructure concerns as may exist with land resorts in 3rd-world countries, the view changes constantly, and you'll be among generally congenial, well-traveled, and accomplished fellow travelers. You'd be on the younger end of the typical demographic for the 6-star cruise lines, but would not feel out of place on that account.
Fully agreed Gman. We have been on the new Viking Ocean ships last September and again December through January this year. The food is really special (IMHO) and the service is fabulous. The house wines and beers at lunch and dinner are quite good, no complaints here. The ground excursions are well done and properly executed. We've been on 5 so far and have quite a few reserved. See the world like a Viking, LOL.

User avatar
WestUniversity
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:27 am

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

Post by WestUniversity » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:08 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:11 pm
We really enjoyed The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal - All-Inclusive in Costa Rica.
Another vote for Playa Conchal. We were there several years ago and simply loved it. The restaurants were very good. The room was really nice. The resort itself was really beautiful. I would absolutely go again...

stlrick
Posts: 454
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:37 pm

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

Post by stlrick » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:17 pm

midareff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:13 pm
GmanJeff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:34 pm
midareff wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:26 pm
A Viking Cruise ship.
I'd echo this, and would further suggest other so-called 6-star cruise lines, like Regent Seven Seas, which include shore excursions and air fare. You need never open your wallet, after the initial pain of paying up front for the cruise. Food is outstanding, top-shelf alcohol is included, few children aboard, no safety, security, or infrastructure concerns as may exist with land resorts in 3rd-world countries, the view changes constantly, and you'll be among generally congenial, well-traveled, and accomplished fellow travelers. You'd be on the younger end of the typical demographic for the 6-star cruise lines, but would not feel out of place on that account.
Fully agreed Gman. We have been on the new Viking Ocean ships last September and again December through January this year. The food is really special (IMHO) and the service is fabulous. The house wines and beers at lunch and dinner are quite good, no complaints here. The ground excursions are well done and properly executed. We've been on 5 so far and have quite a few reserved. See the world like a Viking, LOL.
Another vote for Viking Ocean. We've done 4 and have the 5th booked. We add 3-4 days on our own in the embarkation and disembarkation cities. It's the only kind of major vacation we'll consider now. Even the luxury and near-luxury (Viking) have some differences to consider carefully. When Viking describes "what we are not" they list No Children, No casino and No drinks with umbrellas. Also, No formal nights, No white gloves, No butlers. Utterly, completely relaxed.

Exterous
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:34 pm

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

Post by Exterous » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:09 pm

We've only been to a few like Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic and Moon Palace in Cancun but the best one by far was Live Aqua in Cancun. Strong drinks, nice rooms, great pool, nice beach, good atmosphere and the food was phenomenal. I would often have 2nd breakfast and 3rd lunch which was grilled to perfection poolside

A440
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:46 am
Location: NJ

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

Post by A440 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:29 pm

Wherever and whenever we can treat grandparents to join us and see the joy in their eyes (both grandparents and grand kids) :happy
The food and the resort come in as a distant second.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

amindu
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:59 am

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

Post by amindu » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:49 pm

As others have mentioned Iberostar Grand Paraiso hands down the best resort and we have stayed at a few in playa del Carmen. A 2nd runner up is Royal Hideaway Playacar.

travelspot
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:40 pm

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

Post by travelspot » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:53 pm

Highly recommend the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta near Puerto Vallarta. Took my family there and everyone loved it. Other friends who have done many AI’s (including the other Grand Velas which I think may be near Cancun - I am not recommending that one) agree that nothing beats it and you absolutely get your money’s worth. Top notch food, drinks, service etc. unlike any other AI we’ve heard of.
If you don't do stuff, then you don't do stuff.

User avatar
yatesd
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:19 am
Location: MD

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

Post by yatesd » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:55 pm

mw1739 wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 11:58 am
Peter Island Resort - British Virgin Islands

Beautiful location, top notch food. I think alcoholic drinks were billed separately however.
We did Peter's island about 26 years ago for our honeymoon and still have great memories.

Last year we enjoyed Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen using their inclusive package and enjoyed it. A few years ago I had a chance to go on an incentive trip to Grand Velas in Puerto Vallarta and really appreciated the resort...they also have other locations.

For our 25th anniversary we did a Silver Sea's cruise and can also highly endorse the experience. Good luck on your choice!

User avatar
JonnyDVM
Posts: 1755
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:51 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

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

Post by JonnyDVM » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:03 pm

toumata wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 4:14 pm
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.

I would second this as being the best all inclusive I have been to.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 6705
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

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

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:05 pm

travelspot wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:53 pm
Highly recommend the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta near Puerto Vallarta. Took my family there and everyone loved it. Other friends who have done many AI’s (including the other Grand Velas which I think may be near Cancun - I am not recommending that one) agree that nothing beats it and you absolutely get your money’s worth. Top notch food, drinks, service etc. unlike any other AI we’ve heard of.
Username checks out.

SeaEngineer
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:11 am
Location: Seattle

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

Post by SeaEngineer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:48 pm

dpm321 wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 6:31 pm
1 - Beaches at Turks and Caicos
2 - Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach at Cabo San Lucas
We recently stayed at Pueblo Sunset - food options are not that great compared to other all inclusive ones we stayed at before. You have to sign receipts for everything - super annoying.

BusterMcTaco
Posts: 336
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:36 pm

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

Post by BusterMcTaco » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:28 pm

travelspot wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:53 pm
Highly recommend the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta near Puerto Vallarta. Took my family there and everyone loved it. Other friends who have done many AI’s (including the other Grand Velas which I think may be near Cancun - I am not recommending that one) agree that nothing beats it and you absolutely get your money’s worth. Top notch food, drinks, service etc. unlike any other AI we’ve heard of.
Glad to hear it as we booked a trip there for next week just this last weekend! We really enjoyed the GV Los Cabos last year. If you have any must do/see/eat tips, please share!

User avatar
Chan_va
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:15 pm

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

Post by Chan_va » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:38 pm

Check out Grand Velas in Los Cabos. Food is top notch. They have 4-5 really good restaurants on site - 2 to 3 cuts above your usual fare and one of them is Michelin rated. Only con is that while the beach is beautiful, it is not swim able due to rip tides.

Sandi_k
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 11:55 am
Location: SF Bay Area

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

Post by Sandi_k » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:19 pm

yatesd wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:55 pm
mw1739 wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 11:58 am
Peter Island Resort - British Virgin Islands

Beautiful location, top notch food. I think alcoholic drinks were billed separately however.
We did Peter's island about 26 years ago for our honeymoon and still have great memories.

... A few years ago I had a chance to go on an incentive trip to Grand Velas in Puerto Vallarta and really appreciated the resort...they also have other locations.
We've been to both Grand Velas Nuevo Vallarta and Peter Island.

My DH liked Grand Velas (great pool, top shelf liquor (1 bottle per day) available, and amazing room!). I preferred Peter Island, as the beach was nicer, BVI feels much safer than Mexico, and we enjoyed the day trip to St. Thomas to shop one afternoon. Rooms were weird - small, and outdated - but everything else was spectacular. As another poster noted - Peter Island made us feel like we were skirting the edge of wealthy. Surreal, but fun for a week. ;)

Our favorite was Biras Creek in the British Virgin Islands. Went there twice and loved it. We had a "shared" condo/townhouse. Single story, one common wall, yet you never saw your "condo neighbor" because they had privacy walls and thoughtful design. We had a patio, you could hear the surf at night, the resort had bicycles for use, three different restaurants, a Boston Whaler you could check out at any time, and three different beaches. Only 75 rooms or so, so intimate. Fantastic site, near Bitter End Yacht Club. Last time we were there, Richard Branson had come over for dinner (he owns nearby Necker Island), so as you can imagine, the food was excellent. ;)

Sadly, Biras Creek closed a couple of years ago. We're hopeful it will get bought up, and re-faced for guests.

GreenGrowTheDollars
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:09 pm

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

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:38 pm

Lizard Island. (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

Pretty heavenly.

SQRT
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:44 am

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

Post by SQRT » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:47 am

Probably “best” was a private Canal Barge in Burgundy. Fleur-de-Lis operated by Belmond. 4 of us with 6 crew including fabulous chef. They treated us like we owned it.

travelspot
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 11:40 pm

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

Post by travelspot » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:55 am

BusterMcTaco wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:28 pm
travelspot wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:53 pm
Highly recommend the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta near Puerto Vallarta. Took my family there and everyone loved it. Other friends who have done many AI’s (including the other Grand Velas which I think may be near Cancun - I am not recommending that one) agree that nothing beats it and you absolutely get your money’s worth. Top notch food, drinks, service etc. unlike any other AI we’ve heard of.
Glad to hear it as we booked a trip there for next week just this last weekend! We really enjoyed the GV Los Cabos last year. If you have any must do/see/eat tips, please share!
Great! A few suggestions:

1. When you get to your room, call right away and ask them to put together a plate of cheeses and deliver to your room. Also ask for them to bring a bottle of wine and a bottle of booze (or whatever you like - we had them bring a bottle of Cabernet which was quite good, and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black). “Right away sir.” Then you can enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while you unpack.

2. Or, don’t open the bottles. They don’t open them... We ordered these bottles every day.

3. These are suites with balconies overlooking the pool and beach. I had them put together sleeping arrangements on the bed on the balcony and slept out there. Waves crashing, no bugs or humidity!

4. They have a decent exercise facility that was not crowded.

5. They have nightly events including music and great drinks, check out the daily newsletters for those.

6. Check out all the restaurants of course, but be sure to get a reservation for the French restaurant when you check in - it is awesome.

7. We preferred not to go to the restaurants for breakfast; instead you can call for them to deliver room service and enjoy breakfast in your suite.

Have fun!
If you don't do stuff, then you don't do stuff.

Sandi_k
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 11:55 am
Location: SF Bay Area

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

Post by Sandi_k » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:26 pm

travelspot wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:55 am


1. When you get to your room, call right away and ask them to put together a plate of cheeses and deliver to your room. Also ask for them to bring a bottle of wine and a bottle of booze (or whatever you like - we had them bring a bottle of Cabernet which was quite good, and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black). “Right away sir.” Then you can enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while you unpack.

2. Or, don’t open the bottles. They don’t open them... We ordered these bottles every day.
LOL - I packed bubble wrap in my suitcase, because I knew we'd never get through all the bottles. We ended up using one bottle each of the whisky and rum, and I then packed the 4 remaining bottles in bubble wrap to bring home.

My husband scoffed at me for packing it, but he sure was happy for several months once we got home. :-)

corysold
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

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

Post by corysold » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:13 pm

My wife and I enjoyed El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya for our honeymoon. Adults only, fairly small, one section of private, beach front bungalows. Food was great, service was excellent and the beach was adequate for our needs.

User avatar
Artful Dodger
Posts: 782
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:56 pm

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

Post by Artful Dodger » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:34 pm

toumata wrote:
Wed May 07, 2014 4:14 pm
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.
I’ll second EPM. We stayed there about five years ago and it was top notch. Better food than most, better brands of liquor.

We did stay in a “club” room, so that makes a difference. You get a separate beach area, more attentive staff, etc. But, the rest of the resort was great. AWESOME SPA! :D

User avatar
stemikger
Posts: 4950
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:02 am

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

Post by stemikger » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:55 pm

I love the Woodloch Pines Resort in Hawley, PA. It is expensive, but really nice. It always wins top resort in Forbes Magazine every year. However, I get it for free because my brother-in-law owns a time share there.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

User avatar
wander
Posts: 2789
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

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

Post by wander » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:05 am

I would recommend this place to anyone: Iberostar Cancun All Inclusive, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Post Reply