Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jul 22, 2007 07:49 PM

all inclusive resorts

Anyone have any info on all inclusive resorts with good food?? we've read about some salon style all inclusive resorts? we are trying to decide between an all inclusice resort or some other kind of vacation. I just need to relax!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. In general, any I have been to have been, well average. It depends what you mean by "good". If you're looking for "chowish", I don't think you're going to find it. If you're looking for edible, well, you'll probably be fine as long as you stick with one of the more well-known resorts. Since your main reason for vacationing seems to be relaxation - and food second, going to an all inclusive could work for you. We've never found it was a good choice for us, since wherever we travel we prefer to sample local food, and not be stuck with what the hotel is offering. The only exception being when we cruise - where there is no choice.

    1. I imagine that all-inclusives are similar to cruises in that they serve a lot of people and the food is going to be somewhat limited. and, as the above poster mentioned, you will be getting hotel food rather than local food.

      That said, not worrying about how much you're spending on food and drink can help you relax. we've been to two: Sandals in the Bahamas and Dreams in Tulum (in the Mayan Riviera). I chose both because they had a number of a la carte options in addition to a main buffet (which they all seem to have). Also, some of the resorts limit how many times you can eat at the a la cartes, which would not have been a good option for us.

      At both resorts we ate at the buffet for breakfast, and occasionally for lunch. We found it to be fine, and sometimes good, but we tended to choose carefully--salads, fruit, foods easy to hold. We also found the dinners to be fine to good at the restaurants we visited for dinner. None was mind-blowing, but we always found something good to eat. we stuck to dishes that we thought could be done well on a large scale, and if something was less than great, we had enough food and enough courses to enjoy other stuff at the table.

      I wouldn't spend every vacation like that, but I'd gladly do it again.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nc213

        We also went to Sandals (St Lucia) - on our honeymoon. My husband and I LOVE to eat on our vacations - and the food at Sandals never made it above good (and that was the highest honor we awarded). Thank God we also went to St Thomas where we did NOT do AI and the food was excellent. I think I would have been sorely disappointed in my honeymoon if Sandals was the only option. Besides that. Sandals is reallllllllllllly cheesy....

      2. Small private island resorts in Fiji that are all-inclusive are pretty amazing & most food cooked to order per your request. Wakaya Club is the best of the lot - Turtle Island & Vatulele also excellent. Cuisine is limited, but it is fresh and incredible seafood. All very upscale drinks, wines, champagnes, etc. are also included. And one of the most romantic and relaxing settings in the world!

        Some cruises are excellent food-wise - Silversea, Seabourn & somewhat larger, Crystal.

        3 Replies
        1. re: torta basilica

          Second the small resorts in Fiji. Usually they max out at 14-20 guests, making it very personal and relaxing. The food is excellent as well as the service. Also you won't find a crowded beach with jet ski assaults, beachside vendors or boomboxes. Some will assign each couple their own exclusive beach. The diving and snorkeling are world class. The sunsets will melt your heart. Alot of the food - seafood, land protein, vegetables and fruits are grown or caught locally. But probably the best highlight of Fiji are the people. Fijians are some of the most friendly and endearing folks on the planet.

          If you just need some time to yourself in a peaceful and beautiful setting and want some great food and service to match, you should seriously look into the Fijian resorts. Kana vaka levu!

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Bulavinaka -

            You said it so much more beautifully than me - Vinaka!


        2. I went to one in Cuba (I'm Canadian) and while the food was overall kind of mediocre, I managed to find stuff I enjoyed. Now the Cuban AIs are not known for their food. They did have a beachside grill that served a very basic lunch, but the fish & fruit were fresh and that was good enough for me. If you like fresh grilled fish try to find a resort that has beachside option. The a la carte restaurant on the other hand was pretty bad - I preferred the buffet where I had sussed out the decent dishes. The 24-hour pizza and sandwiches were just okay, but my picky eater friend pretty much ate nothing else.

          The AI experience is indeed very relaxing. It's not my preferred way to travel but every ten years or so... why not? Travelling on your own there are hits & misses with the food too. Sometimes you're just hungry and tired and don't have time to find the best place, sometimes there is no great option. Next time (probably Mexico this fall) I plan to budget for some meals away from the resort.

          1. I have been to an AI resort in Cancun last summer and was more than pleasantly surprised and I am going to one in Punta Cana in a couple of weeks and expect the same.
            In Mexico last year, I couldnt believe what was actually offered in that it was more than just buffets. The breakfast was always a buffet but was tremendous- omelette bar and plenty of regional fare that changed on a daily basis.

            When it came to lunchtime, there were a couple of options- you could either sit at the laid back restaurants that they had there which had more than enough options (nothing mindblowing) but always had a full plethera of seafood/veggie/meat options and there was something for everyone which was great given that my wife and I are very different in eating habits.

            Dinner was fantastic. There were 4 different restaurants to choose from so you werent stuck with the same thing every day and there was even 2 restaurants that were truly up-scale containing lobster/frog legs/etc and always always great desserts. There was also a 24 snack bar available for those cravings.

            The best part was that the alcohol was included. They had selection of only about 5 beers but top-shelf drinks (ie Don Julio) were all included!! I couldnt believe it. Highly recommend and i hope I get the same results in Punta Cana next month.

            1 Reply
            1. re: yankeefan

              where in punta cana? we went to one a few years back that was okay. great breakfast buffet with an amazing european cheese, bread, etc. selection and beautiful fresh fruits and juices. there were a number a restaurants to choose from. the trick was not to expect americanized food because it wasn't but the dominican restaurant was really pretty good. and the drinks, etc. were very nice. it was an apple vacations place.
              of course i may be a bad judge of the food since i was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time and SO sick! but i remember thinking i'd like to go back and enjoy it. :)