All-Inclusive Resorts Enhance Services to Attract Upscale Travelers

The trend of all-inclusive hotels catering to luxury travelers has been gaining momentum, especially in the wake of the pandemic. According to a report by JLL Research Hotels & Hospitality, there has been a surge in demand for all-inclusive resorts as travelers seek stress-free and easy-to-plan vacations with a focus on wellness.

One of the key drivers of this shift is the transformation of all-inclusive resorts into upscale and luxurious destinations. In destinations like the Dominican Republic and Mexico, the percentage of “upper upscale” and luxury resorts in the all-inclusive sector has been steadily increasing. In 2022, 47% of all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic were classified as upper upscale or luxury, a significant increase from 31% in 1990. Similarly, in Mexico, over half (55%) of all-inclusive resorts belong to the upper upscale and luxury categories.

Not only are the resorts themselves becoming more luxurious, but rates at all-inclusive properties have also seen a significant uptick, surpassing 2019 levels. Major hotel brands like Marriott and Hilton have even entered the all-inclusive sector, offering a range of upscale options under their renowned brands.

The all-inclusive experience has been elevated with the introduction of exclusive amenities and services. For example, guests at the Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort Spa & Casino in the Dominican Republic can opt for a “Unique” room, which includes upgrades, a personal butler, and access to a private beach. Club Med has introduced Exclusive Collection Spaces in select resorts, offering additional benefits like private transfers, Champagne in the evenings, and access to exclusive resort areas.

Resort operators like Sandals are also upping the luxury factor with services like butler service for premium suites. Sandals Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, for instance, offers a new room category—the Vincy overwater two-story villa, complete with butler service. Guests can enjoy a high-end experience for a premium price.

In response to the criticism that all-inclusive guests stay on-site, resorts like Sandals Royal Curacao and Sandals Royal Bahamian are providing incentives for guests to explore beyond the property. With a $250 dining voucher and access to a convertible Mini Cooper, guests can venture out and experience the local cuisine and culture.

Additionally, luxury lodges in remote destinations are also embracing the all-inclusive model. Properties like Rosewood Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand and Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge in British Columbia offer all-inclusive packages that include meals, drinks, and guided activities, providing a seamless and luxurious experience for guests.

In conclusion, the all-inclusive sector is evolving to cater to the demands of luxury travelers, offering a mix of high-end amenities, exclusive services, and unique experiences that elevate the vacation experience. Whether it’s a beachfront resort in the Caribbean or a wilderness lodge in a remote location, all-inclusive properties are redefining luxury travel for the modern discerning traveler.

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