Secrets All Inclusive Resorts

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Secrets resorts are upscale luxury resorts with large suites, gourmet dining, premium beverages and 24 hour room service for adults. Secrets is perfect for honeymooners and adult couples looking for a relaxing vacation.

Secrets resorts are located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Dominican Republic location is in Cap Cana which is a new development near Punta Cana with two Jack Nicklaus golf courses. The two locations in Montego Bay, Jamaica are the newest resorts.

The gourmet dinner restaurants are not buffets. The options include Asian, Italian, French, Seafood and Caribbean restaurants. There is no complicated reservation system. If there is a wait, you get a buzzer and a drink. If you order room service, there is a “privacy box” so the food is delivered with no need for someone to enter your room.

Overall, Secrets all inclusive resorts are highly ranked and reviewed. Each resort has unique qualities, but in general, these are very nice resorts with lots of luxurious touches.

Secrets is part of the AMResorts all inclusive resort company that operates the Secrets Resorts for adults, the family friendly Dreams Resorts, the Zoetry wellness resorts, Now Resorts, and Generations Resorts.

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Best All Inclusive Resorts For Families With Teenagers

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All inclusive resorts are great vacation options for families with teenagers. All inclusive resorts offer a safe environment with lots of activities and no need to spend your day cooking for them.

Most family all inclusive resorts have special kids clubs for children ages 4 – 12, but a few of them also offer specialized programs for teenagers.

Beaches Resorts have gone the furthest in creating a specialized program just for teenagers. Most Beaches resorts have their own designated hangout areas for teenagers.along with their own nightclub. Pizza bars, campfires on the beach, tennis clinics, talent shows and soda bars all highlight the offerings for teens at Beaches.

Club Med Resorts have great options for teenagers. Many of the resorts have Passworld areas designed for teenagers with lounges and high tech entertainment options. Teenager Clubs provide group activites, movie nights, roller hockey on the tennis courts, and numerous other activities.

If you have found a favorite all inclusive resort for families with teenagers, please share your experiences in the comment section.

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I Might Be A Travel Addict

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I might be a travel addict.

I’ve always loved to travel, but now it’s getting to the addiction level.

Hours have been spent with increasing amounts of travel videos, pictures, review sites, etc….

I’m neglecting other duties.

If someone asked me what my favorite thing to do is, I would have to admit that I enjoy sitting on the computer doing travel research.

Being a detail freak doesn’t help.  I will spend days trying to track down the difference in wine selection between Sandals and Secrets.

Another thought is that the addiction is seasonal.  Even with a warm December and little snow, it is like a bell starts going off in my head.  I start to imagine a warm beach and some cool breezes.  Some Caribbean music and an ice cold drink. …..   very long pause.

Of course, I can handle it.  My rehab comes when I finally get to that beach I have been dreaming of.

That week is always awesome.

Then comes the depression when I come down from my vacation high.  Seriously though.  Who can be expected to jump right back into reality after a whirlwind of sun, sand and ….  another long pause.

Don’t worry about me though.  I’ll start planning the next one and start to feel better again.

It’s not so bad being a travel addict.

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How To Find All Inclusive Resort Deals

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There are three main ways to find all inclusive resort travel deals:

1. Book early.  Most resorts offer deals in the fall.  You will get a good price and you will have an easier time choosing a specific room type or location.

2. Be First.  Some of the best deals each season are for new resorts.  These introductory rates used to be a gamble, but online review sites give us a huge new advantage.  The ability to hear from someone who just stayed at the resort gives a much clearer look into the value of a deal.  Also, I can’t afford to go to a Zoetry resort, but I might if the promo rates for their new resorts are good.

3.  Call a travel agent.  Why not?  Give a couple a call and see what they come up with.

Please share your own tips for finding all inclusive resort deals.

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Dear Hard Rock All Inclusive Resorts, Please Rock!

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Dear Hard Rock Resorts,

Please have great bands come to your all inclusive resorts.

It would be awesome to lounge in an all inclusive resort all day and then see a great well known band at night.

Themed weekends would be even better.  I would arrange my schedule to be at your resort if you had a weekend with my favorite bands.

My friends go on cruises all the time where they see numerous bands.  They see band members hanging out all day and then see them put on great shows each night.

Even if the big names are hard to get, I’m sure there are a ton bands around the world who would love to rock your stage.

I remember hearing about some bands during your opening weekend in Punta Cana.  I hope you continue to invite bands to your resorts to put on shows.

If you rock…   well…  that would be awesome.

Signed,

A potential future customer

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Traveling To All Inclusive Resorts With Kids

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Can someone tell me wonderful things about taking kids to an all inclusive resort?

I have a eight year old and a six year old.

We’re planning a vacation for next winter.  I keep thinking about the logistics of the kids.  All inclusive would really help feed and entertain the kids while helping the parents relax.

We wimped out on taking the kids with us on our last trip.

After years of pregnancy, birthing, and keeping track of toddlers, my wife and I really wanted a break. Instead of taking the kids, we left them with the grandparents.  We went to the other side of the planet.  We really wanted to get away.  Bali, Indonesia was a fun adventure.   We went on an Intrepid Tour that was intended to be an active vacation with a Volcano climb, snorkeling, hiking, and a bike ride from one city to the next through rice paddies and monkey filled parks.

It was a great trip, but I think I enjoyed traveling without the kids a little too much.

This family vacation will be fine… I keep telling myself.

All inclusive option will help… I need a break from food preparation!

Maybe the grandparents want a week with the kids again : )

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All Inclusive Family Cruise Options

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I’m looking into family all inclusive resort options for a family vacation next winter.  We plan to go somewhere in the Caribbean.

I found some good all inclusive resort options, but then I saw an ad for an all inclusive cruise and that caught my interest.

The problem is the all inclusive cruise was only for adults.

Does anyone know if there are all inclusive cruise options for families?

Do Disney cruise lines have all inclusive plans similar to Disneyworld food & drink plans?

It would also be nice to find a cruise line that allows kids to travel for free with adults.  There’s a few all inclusive resorts that greatly discount the price of kids and sometimes include in the price of the adult.

There’s a European cruise company that doesn’t charge for kids, but they don’t have an all inclusive plan.

Most of the all inclusive cruise options are on luxury cruise lines with only a few allowing children.  The nicest option for an all inclusive cruise with our kids is out of our price league.

The new Nickelodeon all inclusive resort in Punta Cana had an early bird special for kids staying free, but the luxury resort was still on the high side of our budget.

If anyone hears of good deals at Caribbean family all inclusive resorts or cruise lines, please share in the comments.  Thanks.

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Do Your Travel Research

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I should probably keep track of how much time I spend on travel research.

I really enjoy doing it and I do it all the time.

A friend told me I could save time by just contacting a travel agent.

That was a very good idea.  I found some great resorts and a good deal I hadn’t seen before.

I still did the same amount of online research.  The travel agent gave me new places and ideas to research.  Any hotel or resort she mentioned led me to reading 20 – 30 reviews for each place.

Not only do I find some great places and deals, but I also have some inside knowledge before I get there.  Not everyone knows to make a reservation at the most popular restaurant as soon as soon as you check in.  Not everyone knows about the snorkeling area half a mile south.  Those are the things contained in the internet that are waiting to be found.

Do your travel research – it’s worth it.

The more you do, the better your vacation will be and the more accurate your expectations will be.

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Do You Trust All Inclusive Resort Reviews?

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The Frugal Traveler from the New York Times is not a fan of review sites.

 

A recent article admits many of the great things about review sites, but ends with the idea that we should ignore review sites in favor of asking locals when we arrive at our destinations.

 

That is simply wrong.

 

I still ask locals when I get there, but I’m not about to abandon review sites.

 

Most of us work all year for that week or two of vacation and many of us will do a lot of vacation research to make sure we get it right.

 

Yes, there are always complainers on review sites and in life in general.  Any experience in life will inform you that some people will complain no matter what.

 

Most of us know to read lots of reviews so the complainers and the “I want a free trip” happy reviews get put into context.

 

You take the good with the bad, but overall, travel review sites are a great resource.

 

..and yes, if I got paid by the New York Times to travel 180 days per year, I would enjoy some trips without doing research for the simple sense of adventure, but most of us don’t have that type of life.

 

We will research our vacation because it’s the only one we have.

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All Inclusive Resort Timeshare Investments?

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Most of us start by looking for the perfect all inclusive vacation and end up getting pitched at some point to join a timeshare or vacation club.  The worst part is the pitch often comes while we are on vacation in a three hour tour many of us take in exchange for some type of perk or free gift.

 

My basic philosophy is that no major investments should be made after a three hour sales pitch.  The rushed sales process is your first clue that you are being asked to make a major investment with limited information.  I wouldn’t even reserve a $100 hotel room for a night without taking the time to check online review sites.

 

If you are interested in doing some sort of timeshare or vacation club, do your research before you go on a tour.  The sales process is designed to get you emotionally involved with both the idea and the sales person you are speaking with.  Then you are hit hard with a buy now or forever lose this deal sales tactic.  The entire process is designed to get your money with very little interest in allowing you to make a well thought out investment decision.

 

The first thing to understand is the difference between a timeshare and a vacation club.  In a timeshare, you are usually buying a stake in resort property with ownership rights and responsibilities.  In a vacation club, you sometimes get ownership rights, but sometimes you are just prepaying for vacation club points that can be used for a range of discounted vacation options.

 

The ownership rights do not automatically mean it is a good investment.  Similar to buying a car, the investment will continue to depreciate in value from the moment you buy it.  The resort will get older and will not be seen as a good investment option when you try to sell it in a few years.  Many timeshares do not have caps on maintenance fees so your fees will most likely go up as the building needs more repairs over the years.

 

If you do the math, the value of a timeshare goes up the longer you are involved with it.  To make the up front investment and yearly maintenance fees worth it, you need to use the property for 15 to 30 years to start seeing the financial benefits of the purchase.  Are you really willing to lock yourself into a 15 to 30 year vacation plan?  Why?  What if your tastes change and you prefer to go on yacht charter vacations or spend all your time and money following your grandson’s baseball team?  What happens if the management of the resort changes?  What if a nightclub is built next door and you have to endure loud techno music each night until well past midnight?

 

If you end up not using the timeshare or vacation club property rights, do you really want to spend your time as a sales person for the resort?  I see many posts on the internet with people trying to sell their timeshares, vacation club discounts or trying to generate referrals for their own discount purposes.

 

I know that some people don’t mind being locked into the same resort company for many years.  The rise of exchanges that allow people to try different resorts and destinations certainly helps reduce the negative point of being locked into the same destination.

 

I would love to read some comments about this issue.  Is there someone out there who will defend timeshares?

 

Does anyone know if there are stats or surveys showing the percentage of people who are satisfied versus disappointed with their timeshare and vacation club purchase?

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