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Why All Inclusive?

Lenexa, Kansas
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2,455 posts
203 reviews
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Why All Inclusive?

I need find out why AI is so popular in this area. We always stay at Playa Maya because of the friendly staff, beach location, and rooms. Plus, we like the ability to eat out at different restaurants and be able to visit places on our own. Therefore, the proximity to the ADO bus station and colectivo station is important to us.

Doesn't staying at AI make it more difficult to visit area attractions?

Do you feel that you need to eat most of your meals at the hotel since it is an AI?

Does it become costly to leave your hotel?

Ottawa, Canada
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1,055 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: Why All Inclusive?

I think a lot of people stay at AIs because it is easier.

If you like to eat at different places each night, and only want to deceide that just before you go to eat, you will feel confined with an AI.

It can become costly to leave the hotel, depending on where it is. One AI we stayed at it was easy to walk to the highway to get a collectivo, another one is too far to walk out, so a taxi is your only choice and that can get costly depending on where you want to go.

Persoanlly I feel like I have to eat most meals at the hotel, because I have paid for them already, and don't want to pay somewhere else again.

For those of us coming from Canada and I assume the UK etc, the price of the flight alone is often not much less than the cost of an AI for the week. I believe from the US it is not quite the same.

Portland, Oregon
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233 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: Why All Inclusive?

In my opinion, all inclusive is for people who like to hang around their resort . People like us on the other hand only eat where locals eat. I want to feel like I'm in Mexico, not like I'm at home.

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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23,467 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Why All Inclusive?

I've seen lots of discussions about the cost of AI versus the cost of non-AI but, IMHO, it's more about vacation style than cost. Granted, if you want to drink like a fish all day, every day, AI will probably work out cheaper but that's not what it's about (again, IMHO).

Some of the reason for AIs is geographic; lots of AI resorts are more remotely located which means that access to restaurants is extremely limited. If these resorts didn't offer AI, I suspect they'd have a tough time keeping their rooms filled.

Another huge advantage of AI is budget control. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean cheaper than the alternatives but it does mean a person knows EXACTLY what their vacation is going to cost upfront (other than tips and discretionary spending, both of which are easily quantifiable). This budgetary control goes hand-in-hand with the convenience factor which is a HUGE bonus, especially if you have kids. Everything you could possibly want in the way of food and drink is right there and, best of all, you don't have to constantly have your hand in your pocket for each soda, ice-cream and snack.

And then there's my favourite breed of AI, the adult-only version. Now, I love kids, heck, I have two of my own, but these days, nothing harshes my vacation buzz like the strains of "Marco .............. Polo" drilling into my brain. The vibe at AO AIs is totally different to kid-friendly AI resorts and, IMHO, is perfect for anyone who wants a laid back, chill out, R+R type of vacation and being waited on hand and foot.

Staying at an AI does NOT necessarily make it more difficult to visit area attractions. Yes, you may be more remotely located, so accessing public transportation may take a bit more effort but it's not like you're sequestered - you can come and go as you please.

Another consideration is that non-AI properties are typically referred to as "hotels" whereas AIs are usually (and, IMHO, appropriately) referred to as "resorts". The latter typically offer much more in the way of facilities such as multiple pools, organized activities, entertainment etc. So when you go AI, you're not just getting your food and drink includded, you're also getting all these "extras" as well.

As to whether ot not it's more costly to leave the hotel, that kinda depends upon the location and the mode of transportation. From some (many) AIs, it's easy to get to the highway and pick up a collectivo. If a person staying in town at a non AI chose taxis as their main mode of transportation, I can pretty much guarantee that the collectivo-riding AI guest would spend a lot less on getting around.

As to whether or not a person feels compelled to eat most of their meals at a hotel, that's comes down to individual preferences and it's certainly something that a person needs to consider when making the choice between AI or non.

I always offer the same advice to anyone weighing up the pros and cons - if you plan on being out and about a lot and want to try a plethora of local restaurants and bars, then AI is probably not a good choice for you. If you want more of a "no brainer" type of vacation with lots of activities to keep the kids happy and plan on spending most (but not necessarily ALL) of your vacation at your resort and enjoying all the amenities it offers, then definitely consider AI.

IMHO, it's all about vacation style and what a person wants their holiday to look like. Whilst one or the other may be a better fit for you, I don't think either is "better" than the other; they're just different.

Floyds Knobs...
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810 posts
29 reviews
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4. Re: Why All Inclusive?

We are so busy in our normal day to day life that the ability to just .....stop.... is incredible for us. Attractions aren't a draw for us. Dining out in new places is not a draw for us. We do those things in busy cities constantly. We don't even care about pools because again, we have that at home.

Now, we want high-end quiet and delicious food, a pretty beach and great service.

Vacation wants are very individualistic.

Level Contributor
728 posts
21 reviews
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5. Re: Why All Inclusive?

AI's are not for everyone, but in our case, for medical reasons, eating at a buffet makes far more sense than eating at restaurants since I control how much of certain foods I get (carbs in my case.) Further, if you have a couple of kids, especially teenaged boys, it makes more sense to go to an AI. Otherwise, you will need to shell out a fortune on food. Eating at restaurants in PDC is not cheap for Mexico. Also, in my case, if we were to rent a condo with even a tiny kitchen (a necessity in my case, because I need a refrigerator for my medication), I know I would end up cooking or making sandwiches every night because my husband would push me into it.

Venice, Florida
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1,608 posts
42 reviews
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6. Re: Why All Inclusive?

My first trip was to Riu Palace Mexico, since I'd never been to Playa. Next trip was to Playa Maya, and all consequent trips were to condos or hotels downtown.

Why do AI when Playa has so many great restaurants to enjoy downtown?!

We actually got sick from the AI buffet, but not from downtown restaurants.

We also rented a car for a few days when going to Akumal and Tulum, etc.

Hagerstown, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations
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2,609 posts
75 reviews
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7. Re: Why All Inclusive?

I have done it both ways, and there are pros and cons for both. My favorite vacations have been "deals" that included airfare, airport transfers and all inclusive resorts with such great prices it allowed us to also enjoy the local restaurants and bars. Eating out for every meal can get costly, and who wants to cook on vacation? Not me! :)

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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42,686 posts
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8. Re: Why All Inclusive?

Sitting in my ocean front condo now which 1/2 or less the price than an AI and 4-5 times bigger

Bought a bbq flattened chicken for lunch

For us its cheaper

Savage, Minnesota
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3,324 posts
21 reviews
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9. Re: Why All Inclusive?

We find that AI makes for no worries vacations. No worries about spending money. No worries about anything unless we venture outside the resort, which we do, and we can spend a little more just because we don't have to worry about meals.

So far we have found the good to be very good at everyAI resort we've been to.

Calgary, Canada
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61 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: Why All Inclusive?

After many years of traveling, I definitely prefer a condo to an AI. I love to try local places to eat and the option of cooking in the condo. I absolutely hate buffets and being able to eat a healthy breakfast that I made whenever I get up, is much more relaxing than waiting for a group to go to eat. I agree with anyone that said, AI's are more for people that just like to hangout at their resort. If you have small children, I suppose I see the benefit of the AI, but barring that, the condo is a great way to go.