All-Inclusive is a popular tag word, but what exactly does that actually mean? The simplest term is a resort that includes all food and beverage, but with the ever-changing all-inclusive resort options, there are now options from budget to luxury. With so many options – how do you narrow down the list? Honeymoon Specialist and St. Lucia expert Linda Dancer shared her Five tips to consider as you plan your honeymoon.
Family-Friendly vs Adults-Only Resorts
The majority of my honeymoon couples want to book an adults-only resort but if availability or budget requires you look at a family-friendly resort – then consider the time of year, if kids are in school, does the resort go all out for children providing water-parks and kids camp, which would result in more families with children, does the resort offer any adults only pools, restaurants or kid-free zones?
Adults-only resorts – you need to think about the atmosphere you wish to have during your vacation – more boutique and romantic, large resort with lots of options and known for partying. Keep in mind these large resorts may offer lots of amenities, but you will spend a great deal of time waiting for the shuttle to take you from place to place or planning on walking alot. For many of my clients, boutique luxury has been the trend for resort choice.
You will not starve at any all-inclusive resort, but if you are foodies and want to experience fine dining options with food pairings, then you will need to pay attention to restaurant and dining options at the resort, some will have one maybe two restaurants and then a buffet for the remainder of meals, are you expecting top-shelf alcohol? again you will be able to have adult beverages during your vacation but based upon the resort, probably will not be made from top-shelf alcohol. Are you expecting room service? Especially now with covid more than ever, not all resorts or room categories include room service – so to have the best vacation experience think about your expectations for food and beverage. Top tier resorts like Sandals Resorts through their global gourmet concept offer lots of choices at every resort, food allergies are no problem and farm to table is a growing concept with locally sourced ingredients.
All About the View? Service Level?
One of the mistakes many make is assuming if they book a cheaper room category, the resorts are empty and they will upgrade you to a room with a view, that simply is not the case at all. Even before the pandemic began, the best rooms at most every resort are the first to book, so if you want to see the ocean from your room, want a room category with a true balcony then you need to confirm that in advance. Does in room service matter to you? Do you want room service, daily maid service, minibar refurbished, nightly turn down service, concierge or butler service? Then you need to book a resort and room category that offers these amenities. Are you expecting beach and pool wait staff service where you raise your red flag to indicate you are ready for another drink? Not all all-inclusive resorts offer these upgraded services so choose wisely.
Your Idea of a Dream Honeymoon Suite? Reality check emotions vs budget
The majority of my honeymoon clients spend a lot of time on Instagram and Pinterest searching for honeymoon ideas- but be careful to not set your sights on one of those lovely overwater bungalows if you have a tight budget as they are very pricey. Instead, decide together on your most important emotional must have items, for instance, If you are from a land locked city do you dream of waking up to an ocean view? heart set on a plunge pool? Your experienced romance travel advisor should be able to help you navigate these destinations and resorts that might be able to help you have your wish list in budget.
Do You Prefer the Beach or Pool?
Believe it or not all beaches are not created equal, some resorts that say beachfront might only have a tiny patch of sand that they claim so they can say they are beach front, some beaches are very busy with lots of transient foot traffic walking past your resort, some beaches have soft powder sugar sand for long walks barefoot on the beach while others have course grainy sand or rocky so not really good for going barefoot in the sand. Same with Pools – some hotels have a basic concrete pool – checks the box of having a pool, but very few if any pool chairs or services at all and certainly no tropical romantic atmosphere, are you looking forward to meeting new friends at one of those swim-up pool bars you have seen so many photos of, dreaming of spending time in a pool cabana by one of those meandering lagoon pools with palm trees and firepits in the middle? Again, choosing the right all-inclusive resort that has the amenities you are dreaming about is so important to avoid disappointment when you finally arrive.
As you can see, all-inclusive resort offerings are very diverse, working with an experienced romance travel planner will encourage you and offer you a wealth of knowledge gained by their many visits to these popular resorts and destinations to make sure you are equipped with proper knowledge to know how to choose an all-inclusive resort for your honeymoon. Keeping in budget is important, but so is managing expectations and preventing disappointment, most of which can be prevented if careful attention is paid to the resort details during your planning process.
If you are looking for help finding a wedding or honeymoon destination Linda Dancer is the perfect person to assist! Linda is an award winning romance travel agent. She specializes in helping clients plan the perfect honeymoon, intimate elopement for two, destination wedding, vow renewal or other romantic getaways. She is also a Sandals Resorts Chairman’s Royal Club Specialist, as well as a Sandals Resorts Platinum Wedding Specialist.