What “exactly” does All Inclusive mean? All Inclusive refers to the hotel-plan that is presently in use by the majority of large Mayan Riviera 4-5 star hotels and resorts. It is based on the early Club-Med concept but taken to new heights.
In essence an All Inclusive plan covers all your food, beverages and towel needs.
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 sometimes included in the All Inclusive plan:
free day tour to local attraction
free use of bicycle [usually one hour per day]
hammock on balcony
The following is not generally included in the All Inclusive plan and must be paid for as an extra
vintage wine and “top-shelf” spirits
*Kids Clubs are free while they are open.
Most hotels have more than one specialty restaurant for you to dine in as part of your All Inclusive plan; however some hotels also have a “special” specialty restaurant which cost 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.
Some hotels do stock top-shelf spirits but may keep them under the counter and only disperse a specific brand if you ask for it. Quite often a good bartender will order a brand you request if they do not have it.
We do not know why room safes are not a standard include. Our experience has been that hotels that use “key” safes charge for the use of the room safe while hotels that use the “key-pad” safe offer them at no-charge.
Hotels on the Mayan Riviera are highly competitive, thus they are all trying to outdo each other when it comes to providing amenities to their guests. Believe it or not, most 5 star hotels carry almost every activity/amenity listed below.
Jogging Paths [usually with distance markers]
Spa [weight-room/exercise room]
Picture Takers [take your picture with classical Mayans, birds, iguanas]
Pool Games [each hotel has their own]
Introductory SCUBA Lesson [in dive pool]
Water Aerobics [in pool]
Water Polo [in pool]
Water Basketball [in pool]
Motorized Water Sports
Banana Boat Rides
All 4-5 star resorts have an Animation staff. This is what they call the group of people who provide daily entertainment for the guests. Many of these staff members provide the evening entertainment as well. Some hotels have names for their Animation staff like the Iberostar “Star Friends”. They have uniforms and there are usually lots of them.
The Animation staff includes people from all over the world so you can always find one from your country. They are a friendly bunch and easily approachable, remember, its their job to make you happy and keep you entertained.
Note: Without a doubt the best Animation crews are in Cuba. Some hotels have over 50 Animation staff who can sing dance, juggle, do magic and a host of other entertaining feats. When Fidel dies and his brother is overthrown these Cubans will no doubt “arrive” on the Mexican hotel scene. The present Mexican Animations crews are good but when the Cubans arrive the Riviera will have entertainment second to none.