Kate’s Take: All-Inclusive Resorts for Meeting Planners

In the past several years all-inclusive properties have grown tremendously in variety and scope.  They are fast becoming a serious choice among meeting planners. The reasons are numerous, but the ones that make them an obvious alternative for planners are:

  • Working with smaller budgets and shorter lead times makes the process far easier to manage. In other words, more value for your dollars and no surprises at the end of a meeting or incentive trip.

  • Getting a flat rate that includes food, beverage, meeting space, entertainment, gratuities and taxes.  In other words peace of mind.

  • Meeting attendees appreciate the relaxation that comes with this concept. There are numerous complimentary activity options. From non-motorized water sports activities to evening entertainment to complimentary 24-hour room service and stocked complimentary mini-bars.  What you may not know is that major chains such as Marriott, Starwood and Westin are beginning to add all-inclusive plans to their portfolio of properties.  The reason?  They are losing business to the plethora of exclusive all-inclusive resorts popping up at an incredibly rapid rate.

  • Numerous dining outlets are a big plus.  Many resorts offer upwards of 8-10 different restaurants, allowing the planner to create a dine-around program without the incurred costs of leaving the property.  Choices vary from French to Italian, Japanese and Seafood.  There is also usually a country based option as well, such as Mexican in Mexico.

Mexico is widely accepted as the all-inclusive capitol of the world.  Literally every major resort destination offers Four-Star and Five-Diamond options.  Other destinations are primarily off-shore including, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Aruba, Antigua and Jamaica, to name a few.

So the next time you’re planning a meeting or incentive, don’t overlook the wonderful world of all-inclusive properties.  Or, ask if your EP hotel can offer you an all-inclusive rate.  You just might be pleasantly surprised!

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