What isn’t included?
It’s important to read the list of inclusions carefully and look out for these common exclusions: child care, water sports, golf, tennis, beach towels, alcohol outside of mealtimes, gratuities, excursions and cover charges at nightclubs and entertainment venues. Regardless of whether airport transfers are included, find out how long it takes to reach the resort and the type of transportation available.
Who are the other guests?
A kids’ club signals a family resort. But what does no kids’ club indicate? A disdain for families? Some kind of Hedonism II offshoot? Or simply one less feature? Some properties also cater to specific nationalities, which can create a language barrier. Ask a travel agent whether a resort is appropriate for you and yours – and for supporting examples: babysitting services for families, adjoining accommodations for large groups, social events for solo travellers and so on.
Where will my room be located?
An oceanfront suite may sound sublime, but it could turn out to be anything but if a throbbing beachside nightclub is next door. Then again, being peacefully tucked away could mean having to hike to the sand. Depending on your preferences, you may want to be within easy walking distance of a kids’ club or golf clubhouse. So ask for full disclosure on your room’s surroundings, along with a detailed map.
How do the food and drink options work?
Beyond the number and type of venues, several questions remain: Are reservations required? Is there a dress code? Are there any off-property restaurants worth trying? What liquor brands and wines are available? What are the hours of operation? In short, don’t assume that all-inclusive means anything you want whenever you want it.
What about health, security and safety?
It’s always smart to ask about in-house doctors and nurses, as well as the extent and quality of local health services. Inquiring about a resort’s emergency medical procedures and employee-training practices can also provide a good indication of its preparedness. The same goes for safety and security. Asking about the resort’s safety record, and the level and types of crime in the area can help ease your mind or raise red flags.