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The Travel Industries' Stimulus Plan for Luxury Vacations

When it comes right down to it, you don't need to spend a lot for a luxury vacation getaway. Here I compare two all-inclusive resorts and find that what it really comes down to is price.

Author: Rich Gonzalez
Date: Apr 2, 2009 - 4:19:23 PM

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I’m not a big believer in taking people’s word at face value.  I’m not from Missouri, but their moniker of being the ‘Show Me State’ is pretty much how I view things. 

Luxury is a word that, more times then not, gets thrown around to haphazardly.  How often do you build yourself up to go someplace that is advertised as luxurious, only to find out that the term only refers to the most expensive room; or that luxurious view that you seen in the pamphlet costs more then a lot of your first automobiles?  A simple steadfast rule has always been “Luxury = $$”.  But what about these days when the cost of enjoying any vacation, let alone a luxurious one, is stretching the means that we have? 

Sometimes, the more you expect from a vacation the more disappointed you are when you get there. In researching the new fad of "luxury all inclusives", Excellence Resorts has passed by my desk.
My research shows the chains' philosophy of total wellness – and that sums up these resorts to a tee.

These philosophers of the total wellness philosophy are located in Mexico and Punta Cana.  The Excellence Resorts are all-inclusive, and for those that may not be familiar with the term, ‘all-inclusive’ it means just that…everything is included.  All of the resorts are adults only!

OK, everything? Once you calculate the cost of a luxury hotel room, what meals would cost, drinks, sports - the bill would add it to a lot more than the cost of these all inclusive resorts.
If you are still having a hard time wrapping your head around this all-inclusive term; this is what you receive for one price:

- Food, and not just food like a burger or pizza.  My take on what makes a luxury resort have that title is gourmet restaurants and this place has them.  I’m talking about tantalizing a la carte restaurants that serve up gourmet cuisine from France, Italy, Asia, and Mexico.  They also have a lobster house, serving…lobster!  Of course, if you still want a burger and a pizza, they have that for you as well.  In most cases, just the food alone is worth the price of your stay!

- Drinks, all the drinks you can consume are included.  Want a tropical fruity beverage, step up to one of their 10 different bars around the resort and order it up.  They have mini-bars in each room that are re-stocked daily.  And how about alcohol, you say?  They have premium and domestic of these adult like beverages; and they are all unlimited.

- 24-hour room service to attend to any need you have, like that 3am pizza     craving.

- Pool and beach waiter service so that you don’t let a second of precious sun bathing time go to waste.

Marvelous views of the Caribbean Sea and endless pools to just melt away the thoughts of the stock market.   These adults’ only resorts offer the key to create those moments that will live with you for a lifetime.   Water is all around you here; from the Caribbean Sea to the two giant swimming pools, two Jacuzzi’s, and up to six meandering pools through out the resorts.

There are fully equipped fitness centre to burn off the calories after all your unlimited eating and drinking and free wireless internet, to check up on things back home.  Even horse back riding is also included in your stay (30 minutes per person per day).  Other activities included are aerobics, water aerobics, beach football, dancing lessons, Spanish lessons, air riffle shooting and a ton of more stuff.

Each room is equipped with 4-poster king size or 2 double beds, private and furnished patio or balcony, a jetted whirlpool bath, of course that stocked mini bar are among what await you here.

While all these things are included in the price, there are some items that still cost extra, mainly the spa treatments.  These treatments are engineered to making you reach that state of wellness a little quicker.  Yoga classes, 3 master pedicure stations, 15-person hot-water whirlpool and a few other extras are awaiting you.

This resort far surpasses the cookie-cutter idea of an all-inclusive vacation.   Until recently, to most moneyed travelers, these all-inclusive resorts held little to no appeal, but in speaking with other couples, this resort doesn’t live up to what is written about it, it surpasses it – and I haven’t found any evidence to disagree.

An official 5-diamond rated resort is what the people in the biz call a luxury resort –the crème de la crème.  In trying to discover if Excellence had the same rating, they do not.  I compared this resort to a known 5-diamond resort; name withheld, and found that the similarities far exceeded the differences.   The 5-diamond resort had 7 restaurants and all but 4 of these were a la carte, some of which are highly rated gourmet restaurants.  They had the same ethnicity of flavors and the known luxury resort had some award winning eateries. The accommodations were close to identical with different types of rooms being offered.

The price is more than 50% less with Excellence's current offers!  A week stay for two at the Excellence Resorts Punta Cana runs about $2249 total – while at the 5-Diamond Resort: $4752 total. 

*Please note although Excellence Resorts is not an official 5-Diamond Luxury resort, in researching it did appear that they have amenities that live up to the title.

View all articles by Rich Gonzalez

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