Hotel and Resorts Newest Trend- All-inclusive Pricing

 

Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels
Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels

When we think of all-inclusives, we tend to think of beach resorts in Florida or the Caribbean. However, the newest trend is that hotels are using this “all in one” pricing strategy to attract travelers who are interested in knowing both how much their vacation is going to cost, and the ease of bundling all of the items that they wish to include into one price. Blackberry Farm, has been using this concept for quite some time with favorable results.

When I first went to an all-inclusive in the Caribbean, I recall thinking, why would I want to just stay at this resort; eat all my meals here; drink here? I want to explore and find out what the culture is, and what the island has to offer. Now, since I am forty years older, I just need a lounge chair and a good book, and yes that drink. So the idea of an all-inclusive is right up my alley.

Hotels and resorts have been slow to move in this area. There has been some “package pricing” that hotels and resorts have used to put together the room along with spa treatments or golf. However, today’s vacation traveler is interested in knowing that they can essentially have the same experience as those who travel by sea. They can arrive at their destination and know that all of the expenses are already paid for, and any other monies are just for non-essentials, and entertainment. This approach provides the traveler with a certain degree of freedom and knowledge of knowing that all is “taken care of.” However, some planning is required. Here are 5 tips that you will want to use.

  1. Know What Is Important For You. Be clear on the types of things that you will want to have included in your pricing. Think of a cruise and what is normally included in their pricing, and what is not. Be willing to think “out-side” the box.
  2. Look at Beach, Resort Areas as Location Possibilities. It might be easier to find a hotel that is doing all -inclusive pricing in such an area, than one that is in an urban center. However, if you are committed to going to a larger city, check the hotels that are your favorites, and see what they are already doing in this arena.
  3. Be Willing To Present and Negotiate. The hotel of your choice may not have moved into this one-price market. However, when speaking with the manager, be prepared to have your top items ready to present to them, and ask if they could be “bundled” into a one price for the designated time (i.e. room for x nights, meals at any of their restaurants,   spa treatment, 1 round of golf, theatre tickets). Have a long list, and be prepared to negotiate.
  4. Know Your Budget. It goes without saying that you need to be aware of how much you are willing to pay for these services for the time period that represents your trip. Once again, think of it as “land cruising.” Are you willing to pay $2,500 pp, or more for a couple of days? As you consider your budget, just as in planning a trip on a cruise line, you will want to consider how many activities become part of your all-inclusive experience. You may want to start with simply room and meals and see how that works for you.
  5. Assess How You Like It, and Provide Feedback. This is new territory for you and the hotelier. As you go on this journey, be willing to note how you have enjoyed it, what you would do differently next time, and send those thoughts to the general manager. You will be helping future travelers.

Be bold, find the hotel of your choice and contact them and ask… ” Do you offer all-inclusive rates?” And the process begins. There is nothing better than the ask.

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River Cruising: For Those Who Wish to See The Sights At A More Leisurely Pace

I’ve never been one to take a cruise; however each time I receive a brochure from   Viking River Cruises, the leader of the pack in this industry, I have to admit that it seems enchanting. There is something about the slow pace of it that is remarkable. You can see the sights, and appreciate the beauty of the land, while still staying in generous and luxurious quarters, and having the time to disembark and take tours that provide you with an opportunity to experience the culture, not just see it.

Normal cruising always sounds like so much fun from all of my friends who use it as their preferred vacation mode. They talk about the food, the dancing, the activities. However, much of the time, they admit that they stay aboard because it is a “hassle” to  disembark. Tours are expensive and crowded. With river tours, it is more like being at a luxury hotel with all the services, coupled with immersion cultural experiences that are tied to the locations that you visit, all for an all-inclusive pricing, including the cost of tours.

Travelers who use river cruising come from all over the world. Consider what dinner conversations might be like with your other travelers on the river cruise? Oh, you can still have bar service 24/7, and dancing. Loads of activities, or just sit back, read, enjoy the sites and get ready for another immersion class. Oh, I think I’ll do that cooking class, or go to the wine tasting. Okay, the wine tasting wins.

There are several river cruise companies from which to choose. All of them offer approximately the same services, with travel throughout the rivers of Europe. The following article published in the Huffington Post, provides the details of the companies and their approaches.

So, for those of you who just love cruising… add river cruising to your travel portfolio. I think you might see me on the Danube.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/us-news-travel/why-river-cruising-is-all_b_6949024.html

If You See Tulips, It Must Be Spring

After such a long winter, I think all of us are longing for the first blush a Spring. I looked into my yard and saw daffodils peaking their heads up through the frozen ground. In the article that follows, Laura Pearson, Orbitz Travel Blog  has provided 8 places where you can go to find beautiful reminders that Spring is finally here. The locations are all over the world. They are enchantingly gorgeous this time of year.

If you can’t make it to any of these spots, then try going to your local park to take in the spectacular view of how the landscape changes our view of the world. Or take a trip to Asheville, NC to visit the Biltmore Estate. The gardens there are definitely worth seeing. But if you prefer to start your day with a casual view of what the season may have to offer, then start with these photos and descriptions offered in the article.  It will bring a  smile to your face, and let you know that we have entered a new season. One where the warm glow of the sun shines on your face, filling the air with a sense of newness and possibilities. Oh, how I love Spring.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/orbitzcom/eight-destinations-that-totally-own-spring_b_6897544.html