World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

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World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby El Presidente » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:24 pm

Just got back from my second Iberostar vacation in Cancun, this at the Iberostar Lindo/Maya/Paraiso (actually closer to Playa del Carmen than Cancun). I have to say, I really love their places. Free beer, margaritas, good food, on a beach and with a pool. The place is kept PRISTINE, and the customer service is top shelf.

Ten years ago I stayed at Iberostar Tucan outside of Playa, it was maybe one star below this one, the food was pretty mediocre, but still it was a great vacation.

Makes me wonder, has anyone stayed at a nightmare resort? Or better yet, at a dangerous one? :)
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Penta » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:36 pm

I've never understood why anyone would want to stay in an "all-inclusive" resort. Why travel somewhere if you want to be completely insulated from the country you're visiting?

We did once, for 2 or 3 days, in Varadero in Cuba. It was extraordinary, like being in a bubble, with no relation with or connection to Cuba at all (apart from the ever-smiling staff as they watched us gobble up mountains of imported food from the all-you-can-eat buffets, while - since it was the "período especial" - even top Cuban athletes weren't getting enough protein and milk was rationed only to small children and the very old and sick). There was a good band at the bar by the pool, which was the only real attraction, and young people called "animadors" who organized things like ping-pong games for the kids: weird. After 24 hours we were desperate to find something Cuban, and the closest we got was an open-air café that served bad coffee (and no milk, natch) to tired off-duty staff, who would, at least, talk to us a bit about their conditions (much sought after, because of the dollar tips).
Shes never interfered with me. I have no complaints about her.
Same here.
Mega ditto.
I met her once and I found her to be a nice lady. Not kookey in any way.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby El Presidente » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:44 pm

I've never understood why anyone would want to stay in an "all-inclusive" resort. Why travel somewhere if you want to be completely insulated from the country you're visiting?


I agree with you, however the Cancun area is pretty much a "tourist" area with little or no "real Mexico" culture to see, unless you want to hang out in places like Puerto Morales or spend the entire day looking at Mayan ruins (been there, done that). My wife and I went spcifically for the express purpose of relaxing at the beach while drinking margaritas for 4 days, and little else.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Woodsman » Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:08 pm

I went to one in Jamaica years ago and absolutely loved it. Runaway bay - Can't remember the name of the place. Lock your documents away and go play without worry. While the resort was all inclusive in that you could eat, drink and use their facilities for one price - there were just too many things outside the resort to see. I don't care that they cost extra - that's fine...but by dinner or drinks time I was back at the resort for just stellar meals that I already had paid for. I still tipped the people - though I thought it was not suggested. The service was spectacular.

I only did that once - all my other vacations were non-inclusive and that's fine if you can find the good places to eat/drink (which typically isn't a problem). Thing is Penta, that if you really want to go overboard, it's better to pay for it all up front.

Now a cruise is the sort of vacation that I wouldn't go for, because that does pin you to a controlled geographic location - but an all inclusive place is a different story...You're free to go and venture as you want - outside the place just costs you extra - which really isn't that big of deal.

I would really hate to stay at an all inclusive place where the service/food/drinks/amenities sucked. I would demand my money back in such a situation.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Stiv » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:38 am

I wouldn't even know how to answer that. "Yes!" "No!"

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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby rickshaw92 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:09 pm

I stayed at one once in Cuba. Booooooooooring. Middle aged white people are almost as annoing as the izzies.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby theroad2 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:33 pm

I tend to agree with Penta---they're boring. I've only been to one once in Crete. It was for a meeting. The place sucked. The food was terrible and there were pudgy geezers and skanky Russian girls everywhere. Even just 1000 meters away, the rocky beach was far more appealing than the manicured one at the resort. But, the meeting was good and my wife enjoyed the sun.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Penta » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:15 pm

theroad2 wrote:I tend to agree with Penta

Careful now.
Shes never interfered with me. I have no complaints about her.
Same here.
Mega ditto.
I met her once and I found her to be a nice lady. Not kookey in any way.
Penta has always been gracious, kind and very sane in all my interactions with her.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Devlin » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:46 pm

Does Gitmo count ?
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Bronco » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:03 am

Penta said:
I've never understood why anyone would want to stay in an "all-inclusive" resort. Why travel somewhere if you want to be completely insulated from the country you're visiting?

I went to Hawaii for a Friend's remarriage for his 25th anniversary. I was the best man on both occasions and we all stayed at a resort community there. I was ready to break out and escape on the second day. The resort had just about everything they figured anybody would want, but we could have been in almost any sunny location, insulated from local life.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby soulohio » Thu Dec 25, 2008 2:24 am

get your self a job where the americans are at yer throat 24-7 and you may see that an all inclusive that gives you the solitude to think and relax without having to make one decison except where to pass out ain't such a bad thing...
where are you going? why don't you walk the wheel with us? what is the matter my american friend? what has upset you?
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Sri Lanky » Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:20 pm

Any good ones in the D.R.?
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Stiv » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:30 am

Sri Lanky wrote:Any good ones in the D.R.?


The place is crawlin with em just pick one in your price range. I like the South East better than the North I'll be in the North in Feb for a wedding.

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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby friendlyskies » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:29 pm

I stay at a lot of all-inclusives for work and I'm pretty much uniformly disappointed with Barceló. They break every environmental regulation, too. If a property used to be a Club Med, service and cleanliness may vary, but you can bet your ass it will be on the best beach for 50km around. Marriott and Occidental always do a good job. In Mexico, Camino Real is reliable, but sometimes the faux Moorish-Mexican whitewashed architecture, or frilly 1970s decor, starts looking its age.

Honestly, though, for the same price as an all-inclusive (unless you're a big drinker and/or have kids, in which case they really are a great bargain), I prefer to stay at a 5-star boutique hotel with fewer amenities and less private grounds, but with nicer rooms and more personalized service. Sometimes I feel like the industrial five-stars a la Cancún are like being trapped in an endless frat party. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'll usually take [url="http://www.hotelpuntaislita.com/"]Punta Islita[/url] instead.
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Re: World's BEST . . . AND Worst "All-Inclusive" Resorts?

Postby Dr. V » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:18 am

I had the misfortune to work in the first all inclusive resort in Benidorm - the hotel didn't even have a beach just a bar and swimming pool, no amenities like water sports were included just food and drink. There were drunken fights, drunk kids and vomit everywhere - it was a disaster. After about 2 months of hell I passed it onto my much tougher looking / bouncer like colleague who had much better success at controlling the masses.

I'm with FS on the boutique hotel choice over all inclusive.
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