All-Inclusive Luxury? You Bet.
by Diane McDavitt
Luxury Link President
It’s been a long time since the term “all-inclusive luxury” was considered an oxymoron. And the benefits of an all-inclusive holiday – convenience, value – are obvious. That said, there are still some uninitiated travelers out there. This blog is for you.
Let’s take cruises. There are enough options for every type of traveler, but when it comes to “luxury” and “cruising” you’ve got the best combination since caviar and blini. Crystal, Silversea, and Seabourn are a few of our favorites, in addition to Holland America and the river cruise specialists. And any vacation that includes all your meals and activities and gets you from Point A to Point B while you’re relaxing on a deck chair has my vote.
Back on land, it won’t surprise most to know Club Med was the first to introduce the “all-inclusive” resort concept when the company launched in 1950. But today’s Club Med is not at all what you might hazily recall from that post-college graduation trip. A massive reinvention after 9/11 focused the brand on exclusive, upscale experiences for families and it has paid off with substantial growth and multiple awards: Club Med Ixtapa was recently named the #1 hotel in Mexico for families by TripAdvisor, as one example. Pssst: there’s a sale for Club Med Columbus Isle in the Bahamas live on Vacationist through February 18. Unheard of rates, air included. But you didn’t hear it from me!
For something completely different, what about an exquisitely restored ghost town just across the mountain from Telluride, that also happens to be one of the most extraordinary all-inclusive resorts in the U.S.? Dunton Hot Springs is worth a look.
And when it comes to pure, unadulterated pampering, there are some terrific all-inclusive options available in the traditional luxury resort category. Spend a week at Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, Riviera Maya (well, any Zoetry property, for that matter). It starts with private chauffeured airport transfers, ocean front suites, daily gourmet dining (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and unlimited cocktails. They even include a sunset Catamaran sail and daily shopping excursions by boat. They call it Endless Privileges®. (Why didn’t I think of that?) Of course, I must give a shout out to my personal “go to”, Miraval Resort & Spa. There’s always a zip line, a hot stone massage and a kaffir lime cocktail waiting.
And a final thought. Even though a resort may not be branded “all-inclusive”, the option to include all meals is often available. So if you’re planning to spend a week on the beach at a fabulous resort in the Caribbean and don’t intend to get up for anything other than a dip in the sea and a rum punch, be sure to ask about meal plans and other options to bundle your costs. It could be the best vacation decision you’ve ever made.