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AI Resorts - Newbie

Seattle
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AI Resorts - Newbie

We will be in Zihuatenejo for three or four days at the end of January; planning to book a room at Brisas Del Mar (comments welcome); after that we plan to stay in Ixtapa for two or three nights (hotel suggestions welcome).

We have never stayed at any sort of AI resort. Just what is the A in AI tend to be? Is it just food? Does it include some or unlimited use of water 'toys'? Drinks? I'm sure it varies widely between resorts and even within any given one but would love to hear some input from those who have tried it both ways.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Quilcene, Washington
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1. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

A I means All Inclusive & generally includes unlimited food & drink, limited water sport equipment, & sometimes a show or two thrown in the mix.

Food is generally regular breakfasts -- buffet style, deli type stuff for lunch, buffet style dining at dinner time, alcoholic drinks are usually limited to "national drinks" rum, tequilla, beer. non alcoholic drinks are usually bottled water, orange, apple, & pineapple juice.

Every resort is different so this is just a quick overview.

Our A I while in the D.R. includes a breakfast chef, top shelf alcohol delivered to our villa, seafood BBQ on the deck if we like & the choice of 8-9 different restraunts.

Winnipeg, Canada
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2. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

Once you start to explore some the All Inclusive Hotels, they usually detail what is included. The do vary widely so look for what you want and will use when deciding. You will probably only need money for tips at the hotel. Most include all meals and snacks- buffest & a few a la carte meals , all drinks cocktails,beer,soft drinks, wine etc. If you have a mini fridge it will be stocked with, water,soft drinks and beer which is replenished daily. There are activities and some entertainment daily. Use of non motorized water equipment Kayak, air mattresses etc. There is a cost for jet skies, banana boat rides and so on. The All Inclusive are not as big in ground and pool space as most just started as regular hotels. The only two that I stayed at as All Inclusive were the Barcelo and Sunscape. I liked the Sunscape better.

I am sure there will be a few regulars that will post with other great hotels to stay at. Enjoy, it is a wonderful place Must try to have some meals outside of the hotel, the food is to good to miss. Let the forum know if you want more action and activities or a quieter place in Ixtapa, this will help direct you to better suggestions from a lot of regulars. .Zihuatanejo is wonderful, we love it! Also stayed at the Emporio in Ixtapa many times, but not all inclusive. Really like this hotel it is smaller, quiet and we love to have dinners out in Ixtapa and Ziihuatanejo.

Have a wonderful time!

Saskatoon, Canada
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for Riviera Maya
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3. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

AI usually means all domestic drinks and meals and snacks are included, as well as beach towels, some activities, some water sports. Things like skidoo rentals and diving and upgaded wines, cost extra $$ typically.

"but would love to hear some input from those who have tried it both ways."

We alternate between All Inclusive resort vacations and staying at a condo or non-AI hotel.

We enjoy both types of vacation- there are pros and cons to both.

Pros to AI- great for larger groups, or when travelling with kids. They are often on a nice beach and have multiple pools. You tend to meet more people at an AI if that matters to you. Meals are easier, no dealing with money or deciding where to go eat. Great for a relaxing beach vacation.

Cons of an AI- the towel game can be annoying at some AIs (people 'saving' chairs with towels so by 8 AM there is no empty chairs by the pool). Unlimited food and drinks has some obvious cons. Might inhibit you from getting out and exploring the area. Can be repetitive in terms of the buffet and the nightly shows- which are often cheesy. The (often blaring) music by the pools can be intrusive. You are sharing a pool with sometimes hundreds of people at large AIs.

Condos- more space, more peace and quiet. We have often had the pool all to ourselves when staying at a condo in low season. Full size kitchen is handy even if all you use it for is snacks, drinks, and maybe a couple breakfasts.

Cons of a condo- can be a PITA to book, especially if you need to send $$ to the US (or to Canada, if American). No refunds. No daily maid service is typically included. No room service. If it IS busy, there might not be enough loungers by the pool. Often are not beachfront.

I am sure I forgot quite a few, but that is my take on the AI versus non AI debate.

Quilcene, Washington
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4. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

Rissask is correct, if using an A I resort it is hard for some to get off the property & explore since they have already paid for the meals, drinks, entertainment ect.

Looks like you will be in Zihuat for a few days, there are only few A I s there, on the other hand Ixtapa has only a few resorts that are not A I so you may be able to enjoy both & give us a report when you return.

We will be in both Ixtapa ( A I ) & Zihuat ( non A I ) the next two weeks so will post when we return.

We have done both & where we are vacationing & with whom determines which we choose.

Bonita Springs...
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5. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

Do yourself a big favor, for the couple days you're going to be there, either find a place in Zihua or one of the few non "all reclusives" in Ixtapa. Then get out and about and take in as much of the two areas as you can with respect to eating and culture. Next be prepared to start planning a return trip of a much longer stay.

Seattle
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6. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

sounds right on! We will probably skip the AI and, as most suggest, wander and roam.

Looking at Brisas Del Mar in Zihuatanejo. How much of a walk is that to the beach? And to La Ropa? Based on map it looks like a good compromise between city (town) and swimmable beach. Any thoughts on this appreciated.

And in Ixtapa, we want non-AI on the beach with chairs and towels galore. Water toys a plus (primarily non-motorized) and boat to the island(s)? Once again, suggestions? I've looked at Las Brisas but it seems farther away. What about on the 'strip' without budget breaking?

Thanks; the help on this forum is fabulous.

Maui, Hawaii
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7. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

Im going to be staying at Las Brisas and Emporio soon, non-AI for both. But I have heard, at least at Emporio, that its hard to get a lounge chair/umbrella on the beach and may have to pay a staff person $10 the night before to reserve one. I am also interested in which hotels have ample beach shaded loungers and towels.

Lewiston, California
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8. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

Walk to Beach? About 5 paces unless you are short than 6. LOL

Right on Playa Madera with wonderful views. Great management to make your visit perfect.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

We are at the Presidente Intercontinental which is AI but apparently doesn't have to be. I would say the location is great it's smack in the middle of the hotel zone. The parasail boats are right in front as are beach volleyball which is played with gusto daily. The food here is outstanding, esp the buffet. The ala cartes are meh. Drinks are good, margaritas are good despite being poured from a bottle....the taste is right. The hotel management is pretty unflexible when it came to trying to negotiate an extra room for my friend who is bunking with us but I suppose there's not much we can do about it. 465 rooms, maybe 60 are occupied, but they can't spare a room for my friend without demanding an extortionary price. Oh well we will make the best of it and live and learn. It's a pretty quiet hotel at the moment so good for couples wanting peace and quiet but not so much for a single looking to meet others...

Winnipeg, Canada
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10. Re: AI Resorts - Newbie

OregonJemmy- Regarding lounge chairs with shade at the Emporio

In the past had no problems finding a palapa with lounge chairs on the beach if you arrive early. The pool was another story, enough loungers but very few umbrellas. Hopefully the hotel has purchased more umbrellas. I don't like to play the towel game as some groups would save both pool and beach prime spots (drives me a bit crazy). In a pinch the Posada Real always had spots on the beach and I love their pool. Even last year we walked down ordered a drink sat in a lounger on the beach and swam in the pool. I have to admit last year I did save seats on the beach at Sunscape, people were down before the sunrise,sitting in the dark....Hope all works out have great for your vacation.

Edited: 06 December 2012, 02:10
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