All-inclusive packages are what some of the larger resorts in Cancun offer, where you will pay ONE fee that covers your entire stay. In other words, your room, your meals, your drinks, and all of the hotel amenities are usually included in one flat fee. (Exceptions to that are VIP sections, pools, restaurants at some resorts. More info below.)Why has this concept gotten so popular? Well, it can be very appealing that all the details are taken care of for you and you have very little to worry about! Booking an all-inclusive is a great way to totally unwind if you live a hectic, fast-paced lifestyle.
The following is what is generally included in the All-Inclusive plan:
All-you-can-eat at the buffet(s) [breakfast, lunch, dinner]
All-you-can-eat at any and all snack-bars
Meals at the specialty restaurants
All beverages* at the buffets, hotel bars and entertainment facilities
The following is not generally included in the All-Inclusive plan and has an additional cost:
Vintage wine and “top-shelf” spirits
Scuba diving (certification or two-tank dives)
*Kids Clubs are free while they are open.
Most hotels have more than one restaurant for you to dine in as part of your package; however some hotels also have a “special” restaurant which costs extra if you wish to eat there.
Most specialty restaurants also sell expensive wines if you are not satisfied with the house brands. You can also take your own bottle in with you if you desire.
There are usually different levels of guest packages (example: silver, gold, platinum). Depending on what level you pay for, that will determine the quality of alcohol you are served.
Most 4 and 5-star hotels have small fridges in the room. These are known as the mini-bar! Some hotels stock your mini-bar with soda pop, beer, potato chips and chocolate bars. These items are usually complimentary under the All-Inclusive plan. You can usually have the fridge re-stocked every day and even request specific items.
The way the beach towel system TYPICALLY works at family-friendly resorts is that you are given a towel card at check-in which you exchange for a towel and one of the towel booths (usually located poolside). You may exchange your towel as many times as you wish. When you no longer require a towel, you trade your towel in for the card. At check-out you return the card. If you lose it, there is a fee [usually about $20.00 USD].
That is not always the case though–there are now many “Adults Only” resorts and they usually roll or fold a quantity of towels for easy access. You can grab as many as you need!
We think it’s ridiculous to charge extra for hotel room safes, but some hotels do! If they charge extra, you’ll pay at check-in for X number of days. If you’re checking in with a busload of people, you may want to skip that procedure until you get to your room, because you can get sign up for a room safe at any time during your stay.
There are all kinds of room safe models, ranging from old to new. Some use a lock and key or key-pad while others use the room access card. If you lose a safe key, lock or card, you must pay a fee [$20-$25.00 USD].
ALL-INCLUSIVE PROS & CONS
Trying to decide whether to stay at an all-inclusive or rent a private vacation condo? It all depends on what you’re looking for in your vacation experience.
There are the obvious advantages to an all-inclusive, like not worrying about over-spending or stressing about how much each drink or snack costs! There’s little for you to arrange or organize and the trip budgeting is more streamlined. Another beautiful thing about a resort is that often the service is outstanding. You’ll typically have your own server throughout the day, whether you’re on the beach or by the pool. With that being said, please be generous with your TIPS.
TIPPING–this service is included in your stay. Similar to a restaurant, though, it is customary to make an additional tip. The men and women who tidy your room or bring your drinks and snacks work long hours for low pay, so don’t be stingy.
If you’re looking for privacy, be aware that a large all-inclusive resort falls short in that category. Depending on the time of year you book (holidays and Spring Break are the busiest), it can be very crowded. Maybe you like the party scene and having kids running around and splashing all over the place, or maybe you don’t! Due to the nature of all-inclusives, many guests ever leave the hotel grounds or see anything else that the Mayan Riviera has to offer. If you do decide to go out and explore, you may be grossly overcharged for taxi services from the Hotel Zone.