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All Inclusive Resorts – Are they a good option for meetings?

Posted by Nathalie Whitton on Mon, Jan 12, 2015


All inclusive resorts are located all over the world.  They specialize in the ultimate vacation experience.  Basically pay one price and you don’t have to worry about anything.  Everything is included; all meals, drinks (including alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages) guestroom (taxes, including mini-bar) and many activities.  But how do they fare for meetings? 

resort

 

All inclusive resorts are located all over the world.  They specialize in the ultimate vacation experience.  Basically pay one price and you don’t have to worry about anything.  Everything is included; all meals, drinks (including alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages) guestroom (taxes, including mini-bar) and many activities.  But how do they fare for meetings? 

I recently spent time in Cancun at the all inclusive resort – Secrets.  This is an adult only property which lends well to meeting environments.  Service was spectacular.  If you choose to use an all inclusive resort for a meeting you most definitely will experience top notch service.  This they do very well. 

Their meeting space was very limited, as in most all inclusive resorts; One large room that could fit approximately 300 people.  So, plan on a program that basically keeps everyone together without any break outs.  Not out of the question especially if all that you are thinking of is an incentive trip with an opening session to kick it off.  For more educational type conferences, this could be a bit of a challenge.    

If you plan off-site excursions, they clearly are prepared to help as they do this all day long.  These, of course, typically cost additional money, so budgeting properly is critical.  Your average per person cost (without audio visual needs) could be in the range of $150 -$500 per person / night.  Beware that many of them offer flight discounts, but this is included in the per person per night negotiated.  They typically do not provide you with an actual airline coupon.

I also want to include that if you are considering one of these locations to really investigate the airport that people will be flying into.  As an example, the Cancun airport is extremely confusing upon arrival.  The flow of people traffic is horrible.  From picking up your luggage, to finding where you should pick up your transportation to the hotel, much frustration is had.  Provide your attendees with explicit directions and instructions before they arrive at the airport to help minimize their frustration and confusion.

Overall, this may be a viable option as long as you do your homework and you negotiate based on a group visit and not individual cost. 


 

 

Topics: Site Selection