All-inclusive Dining Explained

If you’re new to the all-inclusive vacation concept or have experienced frustration at finding less flexibility with on-property dining during your past all-inclusive vacations, then read on…


The biggest area of complaint received by all-inclusive properties, is in relation to dining. For starters, many travelers have found that all-inclusive resorts simply don’t offer the same quality found at independently owned restaurants. There is truth in this statement and we agree that visitors make a certain level of culinary sacrifice when opting for an all-inclusive vacation. It is important to know that the resorts are aware of this and most have invested millions revamping their dining plans in recent years and we’ve seen vast improvements that leave us wanting to return again and again.

The other source of frustration for guests, is being unable to dine when and where they want. Resorts are aware of this complaint too – but there isn’t an easy solution other than promising that there will be food available 24/7. Usually, this means if you are denied reservations at an al-la-carte restaurant, then there is always the buffet.

Most of the negative feedback we’ve heard from our clients is that they’ve been denied reservations at their restaurant of choice only to walk by that evening and see that only 5-6 of the 12-14 tables are occupied. I know first-hand how frustrating this is. It is important to look at it this way… if you are visiting in low season (April-December) the resort isn’t likely to be at max occupancy, thus the restaurants aren’t staffed to serve a full house because they are not the only restaurant on property and it is understood that guests will be spread among the other dining establishments. Therefore, when you are turned away from a desired reservation, and only see 5-6 tables being served, know that the restaurant is only staffed to accommodate this many tables.

We recommend taking an hour or two to read up on your hotel’s dining options prior to your vacation. Make a list of the restaurants you want to try, then immediately upon arrival at the hotel, make ALL necessary dining reservations for your entire stay. If something you’ve requested is not available, ask if you may be placed on a wait list and be sure to check the messages on your in-room phone throughout your stay in case space is confirmed. Bon Appétit!

{All my own foodie photos – from here}

If you are considering a Destination Wedding at an all-inclusive resort, we’d love to help! Say Hi and share your plans with us today.

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