All Inclusive's are coming to the US, But...
It's finally happening. some developers are taking the plunge into the all inclusive resort market here in the US. For years and years, the only real all inclusive resort in the US was a Club Med Resort. It had it's hay day a long time ago and became somewhat of a non-option for vacationers looking to stay with domestic options.
At the time of this writing, most all inclusive options reside in Mexico, Jamaica and Punta Cana. So when someone decides they want to only go to an all inclusive resort, more than likely they will be in one of those three destinations. We have spent many a moment explaining to clients that there really are not any true all inclusive options in the US...until now.
Florida has what I will refer to as a "true all inclusive" resort now in the Keys. The Bungalows of Key Largo offers guests a one price option that includes room as well as all food and beverage on property. And now we are hearing that another new all inclusive resort is soon to open in the Catskills. So yay...they are coming and I expect more to be developed in the next 1-5 years. BUT, let's chat briefly about some of the differences you will most likely notice if you have ever visited an all inclusive outside the US before.
First, while all food and drink will be included in your resort cost, most experienced travelers will notice a huge difference when it comes to gratuities. At almost every all inclusive outside the US, gratuities are also included for bar service as well as in restaurants onsite. US all inclusive resorts will most likely never include gratuities. So plan on getting a bill at each meal showing you how much gratuity is expected.
Second, don't expect to show up before "check in" time and get access to everything that you are paying for. Most will be charging an "early arrival" fee to accommodate guests who want to show up before their room is ready and indulge in the non stop drinking and eating.
And third, don't expect 24/7 eating and drinking. Most will include "three meals per day" but will NOT include 24/7 in-room dining.
And lastly...don't expect Mexico, Jamaica or Punta Cana pricing. As I have touched on in a previous post, o
perating costs here in the US are WAY more costly, especially when it comes to labor costs. My guess is pricing will be double of what many have come to expect in the Caribbean. But if you now have the option of driving to an all inclusive resort vs flying, maybe the extra costs will still be economical and within traveler's budgets.
We are cautiously optimistic when it comes to all inclusive options here in the US and can't wait to see more of what's to come.