All Inclusive resorts are a great first time place to stay in the Riviera Maya if you just want to sit back, hang on the beach, look at the sea and chill.
But if you want to get out and about and explore, the all inclusive resort could pose a challenge. If you want to have an ocean front room just steps to the beach, this will be a premium price. Why you say? Let us explain the hidden challenges of booking an all inclusive resort for your vacation.
Have you ever booked an all inclusive resort and found your room to be far away from the beach? Did you have to take a bike, golf cart, mini-train or resort transportation to the beach? Did you find that your travel agent said your resort was in Playa del Carmen or Tulum only to find it was a 15 to 20 minute drive to the city center? This is common for many all inclusive vacations and a bit of a disappointment for guests who think they are within walking distance to either the beach or the city center. Properties are huge and not everyone can have beachfront accommodations nor can these large resorts fit into city centers.
Though your travel agent may know the area, they are not be tuned in to the local nuances, exact areas where your resort is located, nor the changes that have occurred since they last visited. If you are looking for local experiences, cool places to eat off site, unique shopping, or city highlights, it is hard for a travel agent to keep on top of what’s new or what is nearby from their desk.
Travel Agents give you the closest city or name the closest area. Many times they are sighting this from a brochure and have never been to the resort. A brochure may say close to Playa del Carmen, or close to Puerto Morelos but the reality is this city is a drive away, or the city is close, but there is no direct access to the city center. The agent is not familiar with the roads, the streets, nor directions to the closest city. It could be farther than you had hoped.
Even if you decide to skip the services of a travel agent and book a resort yourself for an all inclusive, additional resort fees may apply when you arrive. Reading the fine print is not something most of us do. When we see a price, we assume it is the price, little unknown fees can crop up. Take a booking at Christmas or New Years. You may be told to pay a New Years Dinner fee if you want to spend this evening at the resort. Or you could be asked to pay local taxes once your arrive. These little details can be a surprise, and in most cases an unwanted surprise.
I cannot explain this or put any logic to this, but taxi cab rates are far higher when entering or exiting an all inclusive resort. If you want to go off the property be prepared for higher taxi fees. Tours are also a much higher price than if you book direct or through our concierge service. If you can book online for your adventures like Xcaret or Xplor, or email Paulina and get her to help you set up your all day adventure at these local parks. She can not help you with taxi’s that price is set but she can help you with your local attraction prices.
If you are looking for authenticity, the only place you will find it is outside the resort walls. Whether it be shopping, local foods or museums, authenticity is found on the city streets of local Riviera Maya cities and colonial towns.
Why doesn’t anyone tell you this? Travel agents are unaware, and unless they are on the ground, they are not up to date on the whats close by and where to go. That is just the limitations they face when helping people book their vacations.
If you want to explore you need to hook up with explorers. If you want to go local you need to find that person who is willing to share local info. Resorts employees are taught to create a dream, a fantasy. And rightly so. Many of us want that paradise fantasy that whisks us away from your daily life and gets us into the dream of beaches, blue water, and relaxation. But if you want to experience, if you want to really learn, if you love local, then a resort may not be your best choice nor the best price.
Just look at the local information we share, the daily tips we love to put on our blog, the different types of accommodations available in the area. If luxury is part of your vacation, this can happen outside of a resort. If you start at a resort and love what you see, you just might want to get a bit more intimate with the location and try something new next time, with people who know the area better than anyone.