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Rmarino222

All inclusive or not? Which is more cost-effective?

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We are timeshare owners at an AI resort in the Riviera Maya.  We negotiated several corporate weeks (which are free weeks) when we  bought the timeshare a year ago thinking we might want to get married there. Even if we decided on another place for the wedding we would have the corporate weeks for ourselves to use in the future.  We ended up deciding to get married there.  So now we can let our close friends and family use our corporate weeks to stay the week for free, they just need to pay their mandatory per person AI fee of $99/day. Some resorts have an AI option, but this resort doesn't...it is mandatory. However, I've been there before and can assure all my guests that the food is delicious.  There are 7 or 8 restaurants to choose from.  Not to mention the bars have great variety, not just wells like many of the other AI resorts.  So for us and our guests, the AI is way more cost effective.     

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As others have said, it depends on the length of stay, your budget and your guests. I personally chose a completely different route. Since my DW will be in the Caribbean, where many of my relatives are from, I have chosen to rent villas. These villas have 3-6 bedrooms, daily maid service and swimming pool. Yes, guests have the option of cooking their own food or going out to eat. The beauty of staying in a villa is that you are not restricted to certain times (e.g. use of pool) and for those guests who like to drink or store other items to be refrigerated (snacks), having a large kitchen, refrigerator, etc. is more convenient. It's also a great way for guests to just hang out together. It's more of a family/home setting, which we prefer. I am totally not into resorts as I like being among locals rather than as a tourist, but that's just my opinion. I will give guests the option of staying in a hotel, but again, not an all inclusive because I want to keep the cost low. I'm also keeping in mind the fact that guests are already spending at least $500 just to get to the wedding. 

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Your choice of either All Inclusive or non All Inclusive will have different implications on how you and your guest experience the hotel. While in all inclusive hotels the room rate is typically higher for attending guests the Bride and Groom end paying less for food and beverages (or even nothing) for the banquet service as nowadays most high end All Inclusive resorts only charge a fixed rate for service and setup but not for food as itâ€s included anyways.

Non All Inclusive hotels end to be more cost effective for attending guests as the room rate is typically more affordable, however this option requires the higher investment from B&Gâ€s as they will be paying for the full banquet reception. 

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I am SO glad to see someone else went this route. My FI and I are planning on renting a couple of 3-6 bedroom villas for our budget-minded guests to stay in. I've looked into these, and many are less than $150 per night which can come to about $20 per guest/per night. Our friends and family are certainly not rich, and paying $500 for hotel rooms ON TOP of $500 or so for a flight would mean that many of our loved ones would not be able to attend. I plan on finding all the most affordable options and providing guests with many choices. This may make it harder to round everybody up for the wedding, but I think it will be worth it in the end. 
 

 

 

Originally Posted by koseefowokan View Post

As others have said, it depends on the length of stay, your budget and your guests. I personally chose a completely different route. Since my DW will be in the Caribbean, where many of my relatives are from, I have chosen to rent villas. These villas have 3-6 bedrooms, daily maid service and swimming pool. Yes, guests have the option of cooking their own food or going out to eat. The beauty of staying in a villa is that you are not restricted to certain times (e.g. use of pool) and for those guests who like to drink or store other items to be refrigerated (snacks), having a large kitchen, refrigerator, etc. is more convenient. It's also a great way for guests to just hang out together. It's more of a family/home setting, which we prefer. I am totally not into resorts as I like being among locals rather than as a tourist, but that's just my opinion. I will give guests the option of staying in a hotel, but again, not an all inclusive because I want to keep the cost low. I'm also keeping in mind the fact that guests are already spending at least $500 just to get to the wedding. 



 

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We actually changed to an AI resort, but since I was already in the process of planning with the Westin, we stayed at the RIU and had the wedding at the Westin. We ended up getting such a great deal, it worked out less than if we didn't go AI.

 

Originally Posted by traceysteve View Post

we decided against it also because we wanted to get married in Aruba, where the difference in price for all inclusive was much more than not. I have been told that the town is nearby though, so we plan to spend evenings out.

 

I think it all depends on where you are planning on getting married, and whether your guest will drink/eat that much over the week. we figured we would only drink, that way we can save money!!



 

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We are doing all inclusive as for us it is most cost effective and didn't want to have to worry about how much we will spend on food and especially on alcohol (that adds up very quickly for us haha).  The only cash we will need is for tipping or excursions. 

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We did AI but I think it would depend on where you want to go. I think Mexico you can great rates either way. I just prefer not to worry about getting groceries, alcohol etc since in AI it's all provided already :)

 

Places like Hawaii though I would definitley think it would be more cost efficient to do it yourself plus there isn't any AI that I'm aware of (other than some resorts offer breakfast). Good topic. 

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