All-Inclusive vs. Room Only

We are planning a trip to the Cancun area and wondering if the AI is really worth the diff in $s. We are a family of 2 adults and an 8 yr old child. We would not be "fine-dining" much at all...just normal fare. And how much do drinks cost at any of the lounges in hotels and off site.


We stayed at a hotel, and dined in town. Lots of suggestions from fellow hotel guests. Amazinly we found the best meal deals in one of the large shopping center area´s in the central hotel district. To save more money, we took the bus around - cheaper than the taxi. Best trip was to Ik Kil Cenote (have a swim suit on or available). Overpriced was Xcaret (okay but expensive). We liked the freedom of a hotel, not the restrictions of all inclusive.

We normally travel using room-only and have only once done the "all inclusive" thing. I swore I´d never do it again. However, now we have two children who are picky eaters and have to go to bed fairly early and we decided that we could stand mediocre food for a week since all-inclusives always offer a buffet (which I hate, but always has options for the kids) and snack bars on premisis. We will probably spring for a couple of day trips that mean that we will not eat at the hotel and therefore lose that money, but I think, at least in our case, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We are working (feverishly) to get our kids to like a wider array of foods, but at 3 1/2, they are not receptive as yet. If your child is not picky, I´d go room-only.

My husbans and I have never gone to an AI and are planning to go to Dreams Tulum in June. The price for a week including hotel will come to a little over 3,000. US dollars. If we were to go hotel room only, how much more or less will it come out to? We like the idea of ordering drinks and snacks whenever we want while lounging at the beach.

I think the "room only" is a far better option....if you consider the nice rooms you can get along the beach in Playa Del carmen, for more or less $ 100.00 usd per would have the balance of $ 1300 dollars to eat, drink and be VERY merry. on the change. I think eating at different places is a much better option, you experience the "CULTURE" of the area. Unlike the AI atmoshere..where everything is sort of GENRIC !!!!

I traveled to cancun last April and I really enjoyed the AI package. I got all I can eat and drink for 24 hours at the hotel. I would not travel to Mexico again unless I get an AI deal. I paid $1100. This included airfare, transfers, food, drinks including alchol, and 1 room for 9 nights. I highly recommend it.

The AI deal at the Palace resorts in Cancun and surrounding areas is a really great deal because you can use the amenities at all the resorts (I think there are seven of them now) from the Mayan Riviera to all over Cancun, so no matter where you are at whatever time of day you can always find something to eat or a bar to wet your whistle.

We stayed at the Iberostar Tucan 2 yr. ago all inclusive, 1st time for us, we liked it so much that we are doing it again this summer. Highly recommend ai, the food was GREAT too! The selection was good also. If you are drinkers it is the only way to go:)

All Inclusive is the way to go. Once u try it ur hooked!!!


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