Is an all inclusive resort right for your vacation?

Sandals Grande Riviera Soy Sushi Bar

Found a interesting article about all-inclusive resorts on another travel blog (Chris Around the World).  The author, Chris Gray Faust, won a 2010 Lowell Thomas writing award for travel blogging,  is the former travel editor at USA Today.  To briefly summarize her article, an all-inclusive resort is recommended if you want to go on a vacation mainly to relax, if you like luxurious landscaping and amenities, don’t want to have to think about transportation issues, you are traveling with a group, and if you like knowing what your final bill will be before you even leave home.  Chris writes that an independent hotel might be a better choice for your vacation if you mainly want to explore your destination, if you prefer to have your own car or walk around, you’re a foodie, you prefer to pay only for activities, food, and drink that you actually use, and if you want to experience more personal interaction and local flavor.  Although the focus of her article is all-inclusive beach resorts in Riviera Maya, I believe most points made apply to Jamaica as well.

Not sure I agree with Chris about the food comment…while a buffet was often the only choice in many earlier all-inclusive resorts, almost all top-notch ones now have a wide variety of a la carte dining options.  For example, the recently-renovated Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios has 15 restaurants, everything from a beachside grill serving traditional Jamaican jerk to restaurants serving Italian, Chinese, Mediterranean seafood, sushi, and pizza. The dining experience (food quality, choices, options) at all-inclusive resorts has come a long way in the last ten years in my opinion.  On my recent trip to a Secrets resort, and while dining at their Hibachi grill, I had one of the best meals I’d ever had.  I’ve been to a lot of Japanese Hibachi grill type of restaurants on all my travels as well as here in Columbus, and this one ranked near the top, especially a seemingly simple thing as their fried rice, believe it or not.

Read her full post here, but also be sure to read my post about all-inclusives here.

Related: The 2010 Editor’s Choice for the Best All-Inclusive Resorts –

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