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Friday, 04 February 2011 15:09

All Inclusive Resorts in the United States Featured

Written by Sarah Conrad

Some travelers who want to visit popular vacation destinations such as Hawaii or Key West, might try searching for all-inclusive resorts in these areas. However, this could be harder to find than you think. Most resorts in the United States that claim to be “all-inclusive,” deserve a closer look into what is included. Are they really "all inclusive"? To examine this question, we must first look at what the term “all-inclusive” means.

The True All Inclusive
It’s commonly understood that all inclusive means that accommodations, a minimum of three meals daily, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), tips and taxes, daily activities and nightly entertainment are ALL included with the price of your stay. In addition, many times airport transfers are also included.

Guests at an all inclusive resort enjoy drinks by the bar.With that said, it’s possible to find vacation destinations in the U.S. that claim to be all inclusive, but when you examine what a hotel or resort offers, you will most likely find that alcohol and hotel taxes and gratuities have not been included. Or there may be other extra costs in the fine print. If you visit one of these vacation spots, you will still be liable for the taxes on your bill.

In addition, you will not want to forget to tip appropriately. For example, you will still want to leave a tip for wait staff at restaurants and for housekeeping staff.

Also, if you plan to consume alcohol, keep in mind that this bill could add up quickly as well. Either way, when purchasing an “all-inclusive” vacation in the U.S., it’s best to ask what is definitely included and what is not included. After all, who wants surprises while on vacation?

Club Med Sandpiper BayHowever, one place you won't get surprised with extra costs that is located in the United States is at the Club Med Sandpiper Bay, which is north of West Palm Beach by about 30 minutes. This family friendly resort does include airport transfers between the airport and the resort (if you choose a Club Med package that includes transport); taxes and gratuities; a Club Room or a Deluxe Room accommodation; activities and amenities for adults and children; a new spa and completely renovated premium tennis, golf, and fitness facilities; world-class instruction from renowned professional coaches at the Club Med Tennis, Golf, and Fitness Academies; gourmet meals in buffet format; a full open bar with premium drinks; new bars, restaurants, and swimming pools; the Club Med Baby Welcome Program®; the new Kidz Village with a water splash park, a teen lounge and art center; and live nightly entertainment. So it is a true all inclusive resort with many great benefits, especially if you are seeking an active vacation that focuses on fitness. 

Club Med Sandpiper BayHowever if you are seeking a vacation where you can lounge on a beach by the ocean, this resort isn’t for you. The Club Med Sandpiper is set on 393 feet of beach along the St. Lucie river. (There is a beach that is 20 minutes away by cab, however sometime swimming conditions are not ideal.)  However, water sports, such as Aqua Zumba®, sailing, paddleboarding, and swimming are still options at the Club Med Sandpiper Bay, just as it would be on an ocean. And as the only true all inclusive in the United States, the location couldn't be better. It is within driving distance of all of the famous Orlando theme parks, Miami attractions, the Kennedy Space Center, and the Florida Everglades. These attractions can be scheduled through the resort, at an additional cost. 

With all that in mind, if you are set on an all inclusive vacation in the United States, All Inclusive Outlet can help, since this resort is in our product line-up. You can read more about the Club Med Sandpiper Bay, or call us at 888-403-2822 to learn more or to book this unique resort

Why the Caribbean and Mexico are Kings of the All Inclusives
When most people think about all inclusive, they picture resorts on white or pink sandy beaches of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. It really does seem like the Caribbean and Mexico are the kings of the all-inclusive vacation destinations. There are several reasons for this.

One of the main reasons why resort chains locate to the Caribbean and Mexico is due to lower operational costs. The cost of labor and supplies needed to run an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean or Mexico is much cheaper than you might find in the United States. This comparison is especially true for somewhere like Hawaii, where the cost of goods is high. By locating an all inclusive resort in the Caribbean or Mexico, this makes the all inclusive vacation more affordable for families, and it also provides a great source of jobs for the local area. It seems to be a win-win for everyone involved: the hotel makes money, the vacationer ends up with an affordable and stress-free stay, and the local economy gets a boost with the added employment.

Another reason that the U.S. is not known for all-inclusives is that the business model currently used by U.S. hotels works. It’s easier for U.S. hotels to make their profits by just including the accommodations, and perhaps a meal, like breakfast. For U.S. travelers, there is so much convenience in regards to food, entertainment, and activities within vacation destinations that the demand for having an all inclusive just isn’t there. Finding a restaurant or some form of entertainment is just a matter of hopping in your own car, a rental car, or a cab to get to what you want. And in many locations, dining and activities might be within walking distance.

This is different in the Caribbean and Mexico however. While a cab ride might be an option, being able to get all of your meals on one property is an enticing perk to vacationing at a Caribbean or Mexican all-inclusive resort, especially when so many all inclusive properties offer a variety of dining experiences.

The same goes for activities. With a number of activities available at an all inclusive resort, or through its tour desk, finding a reputable local business does not have to become part of a vacationer’s to-do list. The work has already been done for you by the resort, which has already chosen reputable tour operators, and/or has taken on the work of hosting certain activities on-site.

In addition, in some areas of the Caribbean, and along the vast Mexican coastlines, there just may not be that many local eateries that could accommodate large traffic from a hotel, or several hotels, which could involve thousands of vacationers. In addition, food preparation, storage, handling and safety are different in other parts of the world than they are in the U.S. However, at all inclusive resorts, especially those that offer fine dining, food quality and safety is paramount, making the all-inclusive concept an even more attractive option than trying to venture out on your own for a meal.

U.S. All Inclusive Vacations
One unique type of all inclusive vacation located in the U.S. is the guest (or dude) ranch experience. For those that love outdoor activities like horseback riding (and lots of it), hiking, swimming, and more, some ranches in the U.S. will offer as close to an all inclusive experience as possible. Since you are often in a more isolated area, it makes sense to have meals included with your accommodations, but Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat Springs, CO, also includes riding, skiing (seasonal), and other activities; beer, wine, and soda; nightly entertainment, excursions to shopping locations and much more. Service charges are not added to your bill, and tipping is not allowed. If a ranch vacation is for you, and you price a vacation at Vista Verde, please note that taxes are added at the time of checkout at 3.9%.

Finding that All Inclusive Deal
While there are just two examples of all inclusive vacations in the United States, there may be others, but a true all inclusive resort that includes accommodations, a minimum of  three meals daily, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), tips and taxes, daily activities and nightly entertainment is definitely hard to find.

“We know that the all inclusive vacation is very popular with our clients and they want to have that same experience in the United States and especially in Florida”, said Tom Carr, President of All Inclusive Outlet. “We now can assist our valued clients by providing this type of all inclusive getaway if the Club Med Sandpiper is a good fit for what they are looking for. If not, there is an abundance of fabulous resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico and select destinations like Panama and Costa Rica. Here is where you will find the greatest deals."

"In addition, many people forget that the U.S. Virgin Islands are still part of the United States,” continued Carr. “They are United States Territories, so U.S. citizens only need a photo ID and a certified birth certificate to travel there. No passport is required. We offer several great all inclusive resort options for the U.S. Virgin Islands for those who would like to stay within a U.S. Territory.”