Are All-Inclusive Hotel Deals Good Value?

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Have you ever seen a hotel deal which looks almost too good to be true? All-inclusive hotel deals promise cheap getaways. Not only is accommodation included, but as the name suggests, other things are included as well. The idea is that once you are at the hotel, you won’t need to put your hand in your pocket again to pay for items such as meals, drinks or entertainment. Undoubtedly that can sound like good value and in many cases that is what it will turn out to be. But some people also get back from an all-inclusive hotel holiday complaining that it was a bad idea to go and they would never return. There are some leading indicators of whether an all-inclusive hotel deal will turn out to be good value or not. Below we share some questions you should ask which will help you answer that question.

Do You Want to Stay at the Hotel?

This may sound like a very basic question, but it is one that a lot of people regret not asking in advance. Whether a hotel deal is good value always depends on whether or not you would like to stray in that hotel in the first place. A hotel deal may be very cheap, but if it to stay in a hotel which you do not want to be in, then it is never going to be good value. So the first question you need to answer for any all-inclusive hotel deal when assessing its value is whether or not you would be happy to stay at that hotel

How Convenient is the Hotel Location?

Next, it is important to look at the location of the hotel. Some all-inclusive hotel deals are only inclusive of what is in the hotel. You still need to organise your own transport to get there and back. If the hotel is conveniently located and transportation is cheap, that might not be a big factor. But if the hotel is remotely located as many resort hotels are, and transportation is either expensive or worse yet unavailable, then this can become a significant drain on the holiday as well as pushing up the cost. Even if the hotel does offer some form of inclusive transport, the convenience of the location is still important. All-inclusive holidays often include defined benefits, not actually everything you might want. For example, they may include three meals a day, but if one of your party eats more regularly than that, they will need to pay extra for it. If a hotel is in an isolated location with limited or no other restaurants nearby, their prices for things not included in your package can be based on exploiting their virtual monopoly – and add a lot to the bill by the end of your stay.

Will You Use What is Included?

One of the key questions in deciding whether a deal is good value is looking not at what you could use at the hotel, but what you actually will use. For example, where meals are included, people tend to assign a value to every meal. But if breakfast turns out to be the same limp buffet every morning and you end up skipping it or paying to eat off an a la carte menu instead, then it does not make sense to include its perceived cost when weighing up the value of the all-inclusive holiday.

What Facilities Will be Open?

There is a big difference between staying at a hotel with a swimming pool, and staying at a hotel with a swimming pool that you cannot swim in. A lot of people forget that hotel facilities are not open year round. Some of them are not even open in high season if it is a certain day of the week, if there is a local festival or public holiday, or for any other of a host of different reasons. When you are looking at an all-inclusive hotel deal, the question you need to ask is not what facilities the hotel has, but which ones it will actually have open during the dates and times of your proposed stay.

Are there Hidden Extras?

You could be forgiven for thinking that all-inclusive means everything is included – frustratingly, sometimes it does not. There are lots of things which might not be covered by an all-inclusive price, An example is tips or staff gratuities. That alone could add ten or fifteen per cent to the headline price of an all-inclusive deal in some countries, if it is not included. There are other hidden extras too. Some rooms can attract a supplementary charge, for example if they have a good view. There may be seasonal surcharges too. Drinks may not be included in the price. Only once you know what is actually included can you decide whether an all-inclusive hotel deal is as good as it may first seem. Everyone loves a good deal and most people love a good vacation. So all-inclusive hotel deals can work out as great value and great experiences. However, they are no always what they seem. Before signing up for one, use our checklist to assess whether the deal you are eyeing is actually good value.