The truth behind all-inclusive resorts on the Mayan Riviera – what you need to know


The Riviera Maya is one of the hottest vacation spots (not intended for word play) and accounts for 40% of tourist dollars in Mexico. All-inclusive resorts set the shores of the Mayan Riviera to facilitate a massive number of visitors, and these tourists often feel safe staying at a resort in a foreign country like Mexico. But when determining if an all-inclusive resort is right for you, you should consider some little-known facts about such resorts, regarding eating at better restaurants, the type of alcohol you consume, and touring outside the resort when you want to venture out of the property. The aim of this article will be to show you a few difficulties during your stay at the all-inclusive resort and what other options you have on the Mayan Riviera.

If you want more than just buffet food during your stay at the resort, keep in mind that many Riviera Maya resorts have distracting properties so that it is not too easy to eat in their better seating restaurants. Often the resort will ask you for a reservation if you want to eat at a seated restaurant. While this may seem reasonable at first glance, it is actually designed to discourage tourists from eating at better restaurants. First, the resort may often require you to make such reservations the day before. So, at the very least, if your resort requires it, you won’t be able to eat at a sedentary restaurant the first day of your stay!

They may be able to book such restaurants only during certain hours in the morning, which further limits when you can secure a meal at one of their better restaurants. If you slept late the night before or booked a tour outside the resort in the morning, this can be a very inconvenient time. And then the resort will ask you to wait in line for the doorman to make a reservation. It’s just one line, and due to limited booking time the line is often long and requires a long wait, which you might not want to do on vacation. It’s even more frustrating when in the evening, if you stop by one of the restaurants, you may notice that a particular restaurant has a lot of open tables, but won’t let you eat at the restaurant without a reservation. So, when you are researching a stay at any Riviera Maya resort, consider contacting that resort and requesting their dinner reservation policy.

Another concern if you are considering staying at an all-inclusive resort on the Mayan Riviera is the quality of their alcohol. Some resorts will advertise that they serve certain premium alcohol. But keep in mind that some resorts, even though they advertise serving alcohol on the highest shelf, can only offer such alcohol in certain bars. These bars may not always be accessible or easy to reach. So, if alcohol is most important to you, contact the resort before making a reservation to determine if they provide such alcohol in all of their bars or just a select few and how easily these bars are available. A great tool is the Riviera Maya EZ-Locator that will allow you to rent holiday homes instead of owning resorts and locate only those villas or apartments that meet certain requirements, such as whether the restaurants are within walking distance or if the top shelf is alcohol you can get in his holiday apartment on the Maya Riviera.

After all, many tourists don’t realize that Riviera Maya resorts want to keep tourists on the property by spending money at the resort. The resort knows that tourists are locked up, so to speak, so it charges a premium for many services. Tours to explore the Maya Riviera outside the resort are another way resorts like to charge premium prices. For example, in one resort I know a resort charges $ 100 per person for a tour of a nearby ruin. And this is in a crowded bus with other tourists. Now if you want to stay with such a group and not dare to be alone, then this may be for you. But one can simply snatch a private taxi outside the resort, pay $ 25 for a one-way trip to the ruins, and pay $ 5 for entry. The cruise is $ 55 and you get the privacy of your own taxi, you can explore the ruins at your leisure and you didn’t have to wait in line at the resort to book a tour. Consider relaxing outside the resort for better tour offers or explore the Riviera Maya by taxi or rental car.

So you can see that a comprehensive resort can offer barriers to enjoyment, at leisure, in terms of access and digging prices. If the resort seems too restrictive, an alternative option is to stay in holiday apartments on the Maya Riviera, such as villas (holiday homes) or apartments. All-inclusive resorts can provide a worry-free vacation on the Riviera Maya, but renting an apartment by the owner can be a great option that gives you more freedom, choice and value to explore the Riviera Maya at your leisure.