I stayed at an all-inclusive resort….and I liked it

allcinclusiveOkay, actually I didn’t. Candice Walsh did. And on her blog, Candice Does the World, she makes a pretty good case for why that is perfectly okay.

Among many vagabonders and travelers, the term all-inclusive is practically a dirty word. Saying that you traveled to a foreign country and did little more than lounge on the beach and drink frozen cocktails will get you shunned, or least heavily interrogated as to just why you would do such a thing. But, as Candice points out, there are some upsides to staying at an all-inclusive resort – the biggest one being that it’s all about relaxing. The resort route can also be good for families traveling with small children or for honeymooners who really just want to recoup from the stress of the big day.

I’ve never stayed at an AI, but I did once have the luxury of staying at the utterly beautiful Four Seasons hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. While I was anxious to get out and explore the island (and eventually did), I spent the entire first day of my trip completely within the confines of the resort, and I felt not one bit of shame about that. I feasted on the breakfast buffet and played in the surf,  drank mai tais and tanned by the pool. So I can definitely understand the appeal. Sometimes you just want to relax, be pampered and do nothing.

While I don’t travel that way often, and I prefer to mix it in with more authentic experiences, I agree with Candice that there is a place for more “vacation”-style travel. I think that so long as it’s not the only way you travel and you harbor no delusions that staying only on the resort grounds or taking a few guided tours means you’ve really experienced life in a particular place, there’s no reason not to take this route every once in a while. We all need to “get away from it all” sometimes, right?

Have you ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort? Would you?

Photo credit: <3 Amber Marie via Flickr

Posted by | Comments (4)  | January 20, 2010
Category: Travel News

4 Responses to “I stayed at an all-inclusive resort….and I liked it”

  1. Kyle Says:

    I have and probably will do so again (if I had the money, that is). Sometimes, we just need to get away and do nothing. Normally at a place like this, I get bored after about a day or so, but it’s nice for a little while.

  2. Hugh Says:

    I’ve done it and I’ll never do it again. It can be relaxing, but I’ve had just as relaxing vacations that weren’t at all-inclusives. One of the main reasons for me is food. I love food, especially experiencing what other cultures have to offer, so part of the vacation for me is finding great spots to eat great food. With an AI, I get sick of the resort food after a day or so and feel bad spending money outside the AI. Personal preference I guess.

  3. Candice Says:

    Nice, thanks for the shout-out, Katie! I appreciate it. I agree about the delusion bit, it’s probably best for a lot of travellers to test drive the resort vacation experience AFTER having done the whole hostel/backpacking/expat thing, eh? Puts things in a little different perspective.

  4. David Says:

    We just recently stayed at the Riu Negril . It was an all inclusive resort which was awesome!!!! I would definitely go back there if I had the chance. The atmosphere there is so laid back and everyone is so nice.