Dear Cheryl I am curious about all inclusive options within the US. Are all inclusive options more affordable than planning trip ala carte (EP or European Plan, also known as).
Shannon M. – Orlando, FL
Good and thank you Shannon, for submitting your question to me.
The easy answer is, there is one true all inclusive resort here in the United States by the standards of what one is or isn’t. Which is Clubmed Sandpiper Bay, located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We have been there a number of times and we have a video posted below here in the blog. It is a nice getaway to relax and includes food, drinks, golf, tennis, volleyball, and all entertainment.
The resort of the all inclusive resorts across the USA are mostly Spa Resorts, Dude Ranches, etc. many people when they think all inclusive are looking are in the Caribbean, Mexico and now across the World.
A little bit of planning your travel preferences there are 2 kinds of clients, At least with Nelson and myself; the pay as you go client, or the client that wants to include as much already paid off on there trip, so they don’t have to dig into their pockets once they are on their vacation.
This can be a cruise, all inclusive destination, tour or Italy etc.
All inclusive vs. Ala Carte comparison
In the beginning, originated in the French Club Med resorts, which were founded by the Belgian Gérard Blitz in 1950, where mediocre resorts which included all your food, alcohol, room and more. Even today Clubmed, has the most all inclusive resorts around the world, not just in the Caribbean. Focusing in on the area highlights, and mostly for those people who love and enjoy sports, 90% are family friendly and like in the French Alps include skiing with ski rentals, lifts and more, and many people who ski know this is a cost saver. That being said most Europeans do not do the all inclusive resorts, 90% are Americans traveling the world and want that option for their families.
The all inclusive resort options we know today, was created by a great man and family that we have met over the years and enjoy learning and visiting these resorts. Is Mr. Gordon “Butch” Steward, who back in 1981 a self made enterpreneur born in Jamaica. Created what we know as Sandals and Beaches Resorts.
Many other resorts have taken the ideas and run with there own options.
Sandals is for Couples in love and Beaches was created later after the couples had families and wanted friends to attend.
What is included at either options is:
- Various room and location options (from luxury standard to butler rooms
- Food – buffer, restaurant 5 star quality and can have 5-20 different options depending on the location of the resort
- Drinks – all non-alcoholic to your wines, coffees, beers, top liquor
- Entertainment from parties each resort is different so you need to know are you a wallflower and want alone time to high rocking resorts. Know which one is right for you.
- Tips – Unless you have a butler room tips are included in your stay no out of pocket giving to people like bartenders, etc.
- Transportation from airport to resort and returning
- All motorized and non-motorized water sports (big difference between Sandals and other resorts is that other resorts do not include motorized sports, these are boating, waterskiing, diving, etc.)
- Spas – Yes you can get a massage which you will have to pay for but you can use the hot tubsa, cold baths, and other options in the spas. Once you decide you want a treatment there are options to choose from
- If you are going to Beaches resorts you have activities for the whole family for all difference ages. These are also babysitting services available.
Some people think, that all inclusive resorts were created to be on an Island like Jamaica; The Bahamas: St. Lucia; Antigua; Barbados; Grenada; Turks and Caicos, and more because these destinations were not safe. Which is totally not true at all. These destinations are beautiful, safe and full of history and many of have great excursions to do during the day and then come home at night to a wonderful resort as part of the whole experience.
Shannon, I know this was a long and confusing explanation, but we hope you will reach out and let us discuss your own personal ideas with you and we will give you are many years of experience planning your vacation.