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Ysolt Usigan

Ysolt Usigan

Posted: March 11, 2011 02:22 PM

How to Navigate the All-Inclusive Resort


This is not something I'd like to admit, but for the purposes of giving you some valuable info, I'm going to say it: I'm an all-inclusive-resort expert. Okay, it's not something I'm proud of. These days it's cool to "rough it" on vacation -- African safaris, volunteer vacations, historical learnings... For those of you who like to travel that way, I'm not knocking it. One of these days, I will give that a try. But for now, I'm opting to veg' out. Are you like me? Don't be ashamed. Some all-inclusive resorts are pretty awesome.

My boyfriend and I recently went to Sandals in Emerald Bay, which just opened last year, to unwind. I highly recommend it if you're the type to want to do nothing when you go away. If you're going to follow our lead, keep these do's and don'ts in mind:

Do Bring the Phone
They have phones, everybody! We couldn't believe it, too! And here we thought we'd be mobile-free for days. Upon our arrival, our buttler gave us a cellie to call him at practically all hours of the day. You know, in case we needed something. At first, we were hesitant -- we felt strange using it to ask for things, but before we knew it, he was calling us to ask if we wanted anything. We accepted his offer of poolside nachos a couple of times. We couldn't resist!

Don't Be Ashamed to Drink at 11 in the Morning
No one's judging. In fact, everyone's having Bahama mamas and pina coladas immediately after breakfast. I think the rule is, if you have -- at the very least -- a piece of toast in the a.m. it's okay to booze. What else are you going to do on vaca? Luckily, buttlers and other servers are all over the premises (from beachfront to poolside) to get your drink order.

Do Get a Couple's Massage
... but don't get the champagne, fruit and bath to go along with it. We were wrapped in seaweed at first (it helps rid us of toxins). Then, we were given rub-downs. Ahhh! Doh wait... I almost forgot to tell you about what happened in between. (I guess it's a memory I'm trying to forget.) After our seaweed wraps, we were brought to the shower in our birthday suits to rinse off. Awkward! After cleaning ourselves, we were escorted to a bubble bath where we were served champagne and fruit. Awkward! The aestheticians left for a few minutes. Awkward!

Don't Do a Private Dinner
If available, ask for a private lunch. The food was great during our romantic rendezvous -- the service was fantastic. However, unless you want a side of mosquito bites with your meal, I suggest you refrain! I woke up looking like I had a severe skin condition. So not sexy!

Do Strategize Your Consumption
And by that I mean, if the food's good, don't limit yourself. Try each restaurant on the premises once to start. Then, rule out what you're not fond of. That way, you save your tummy for what counts! We were surprised to find intricate dishes and fancy fare. At Emerald Bay, great food was the norm, so if you're going to go there plan accordingly: eat all day long and worry about the weight gain later.

Don't Forget to Tip
Although tip is worked into the price at most all-inclusive resorts, I highly recommend you give extra if the service is outstanding. Our Sandals buttler prepared romantic bubble baths for us almost every night during our stay. Okay, so it's a little weird for them to be encouraging -- well -- sex, we found said baths relaxing after the long day of -- well -- nothing. But still!

If you're planning on going, I hope you found my ins and outs valuable! Happy tripping!

 

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