When you pay for an All-Inclusive resort, you might expect everything to be included. And while there is a lot that’s covered (or at least part-covered) by an all-inclusive rate – food, drinks, accommodation, facilities – there are some extra charges you might not be aware of.
Next time you’re planning a trip to one of the many Cancun All-Inclusive resorts, as well as using these tips to help you decide where to stay, make sure you also check what’s included. Otherwise, your trip could end up being a lot more expensive than you expect.
One of the quickest ways to see costs spiral on your All-Inclusive vacation is when resort fees aren’t included in the rate. This type of fee – a sneaky way for resorts to charge extra for services you may or may not use – can easily cost upwards of $25 per room per night. Although they’ve not traditionally been seen in Cancun, they are now becoming more common, especially in some of the international chain resorts.
To avoid a nasty surprise, make sure you check the resort’s fine print before confirming your booking.
Although it’s unusual for All-Inclusive rates not to include some alcoholic drinks, you may find that your rate only includes domestic beers, spirits, and wines. If you want premium brands – Absolut or Jack Daniels, for example – you may have to part with some extra dollars.
If you’re not fussed about premium brands, you’ll be fine, but if the type of alcohol you drink is important, and especially if you’re staying in one of Cancun’s legendary party hotels, make sure premium brands are included in your chosen rate.
You’ll always be able to eat in the resort buffets at your All-Inclusive, but if there are specialty restaurants – a fancy steakhouse or sushi joint – these might not be included, or you may have to pay a supplement to dine in them.
Again, this is a case of checking the fine print before booking.
Although not an extra charge, it’s worth noting that many specialty restaurants don’t operate a walk-in policy, so you need to reserve a table, usually the morning of the day you wish to dine there.
Activities and Trips
Many of the resorts in Cancun boast outstanding facilities and activities. These are often highlighted on websites and social media. So, you might be surprised to learn that they aren’t always included in your All-Inclusive rate. For example, motorized watersports are often add-ons, as are spa treatments.
Check out what’s included and what’s not before booking. If your chosen activities have an additional charge, knowing in advance will help you plan your vacation budget.
With the internet forming such an essential part of our daily lives, it’s hard to believe that some All-Inclusives still don’t include wifi access in their rates. Most do these days, but if you’re staying somewhere that wifi is chargeable, it can increase your daily costs significantly, so be aware.
Tips and Gratuities
Tips and gratuities are probably one of the most expensive extras during a Cancun All-Inclusive vacation. Strictly speaking, they’re not necessary – and there are now some cash-free resorts that don’t allow tipping – but for the most part, in-resort tipping is expected.
Add on a couple of dollars for daily room service, a few rounds at the bar, plus bellhops, concierges, and restaurant staff, and you can easily add on several hundred dollars over a week or two of vacation.
However, because Mexican workers are often poorly paid, tips can form an essential part of their income, meaning your vacation dollars are well spent.
These days, hotels in Cancun need to offer prime services to stand out in the saturated resort market, and airport transportation is a popular way for some to entice tourists. However, in many hotels this service is still chargeable.
If your hotel rate includes free transportation to and from Cancun airport, you’re in luck, as this can save you some serious dollars. But, if your resorts charges for transfers to and from the airport, check the specifics as this often comes at eye-watering cost.
In summary, there may be some extra charges to pay on top of your All-Inclusive rate, but as long as you have done your research, none should come as a surprise. Check for an FAQ page on your resort’s website – like this one from Sandals – as they’re a really useful way to find out what is and isn’t included in your All-Inclusive resort.
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