Peter Greenberg is the
winning travel editor
for CBS News and host
of The Travel Detective
on public television
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I’VE BEEN A fan of the all-inclusive resort concept since it was introduced ;; years ago by the
folks at Club Med—they pioneered the idea in
Europe. Soon, single travelers around the world
embraced the notion of a shared experience at
one set price. Over the years that concept has
blossomed into hundreds of different shared
experiences. Today, resorts offer all-inclusive
packages targeted to families, adults only, foodies, golfers, scuba divers, would-be cowboys, yoga
devotees and even circus lovers.
It’s such a simple concept: You pay one price
and then never pull out your wallet. And the lure
of a holiday where you can actually budget in
advance has become even more popular in the
world of airline nickel-and-dime pricing and
But before you sign up for this type of
travel, be aware that there are often limitations or different levels of all-inclusive. Do
your homework. Be honest about your vacation
goals—from activities to food and drink—and
make sure that what you want is what the all-inclusive resort offers.
At some resorts, only the basics, like food
and some activities, are included in that one-
size-fits-all fee. At others, drinks and transpor-
tation to and from the airport are included.
Some resorts include various amenities in
the price. The BodyHoliday, a luxury wellness
retreat in St. Lucia in the Caribbean, offers one
of the more complete amenity lists: a daily spa
treatment, sailing school, even scuba diving.
Want gourmet food? At Le Blanc Spa Resort
in Cancún, the menu is nothing short of top
class—and all-inclusive. You choose whatever
you want (and as much as you want). What about
connectivity? Not only is the internet free, but so
are every single one of your international phone
calls—as many as you want.
The real key to all-inclusive vacation pleasure is having a conversation with your reservation agent to get to a mutually agreed-upon
definition of terms so your trip can truly be a
hassle-free, wallet-free experience. Here are
some questions to get you started:
Meals. Is it sit-down dinners or just buffets?
À la carte or a set menu? Does the meal plan
include that drink and sandwich you order pool-side? Is room service included?
Alcohol. If drinks are included, are they
top-shelf name brands? Is the minibar in your
Kids. Does the resort feature kids-stay-free
options, daycare or a children’s concierge?
Rooms. What kind of room is included?
What is the difference in amenities for various
rooms? Does the room have an “oceanfront” or
a “beachfront” view? Also, each property has
different classifications as to what is oceanfront
Gratuities. Are tips included? If not, factor
All these questions can be answered quickly
and definitively. Then, when you get to your all-inclusive resort, toast yourself on doing your
homework. The drink should be included! C
All-inclusive resorts continue to evolve
Costco Travel offers all-inclusive
packages to multiple destinations, including the two resorts
mentioned in this article.
Costco Executive Members can
now earn a 2% Reward when
they book vacation packages,
cruises and rental cars through
Costco Travel. To learn more,
click “Travel” at Costco.com or
All-inclusive amenities can
include spa services, water
activities and beverages. L E