Whether you work a lot or even travel a lot, the truth is, you eventually get really tired and that statement holds true for even myself. If you have never done so before, booking an all-inclusive trip is a great way to unwind and let go of responsibility for a short period of time, but if you’re like myself or my husband, you may get a little restless after a couple of days because you’re so used to always being on the go.
Tom and I most recently returned from our week-long wedding anniversary trip and had such a wonderful time. The Hard Rock Hotels has a long list of hotel properties that are more family oriented (the ones you see in the city, like Orlando, Toronto, Miami, etc), and some that are their luxury ones, and we count our blessings to be able to return to one of their top premium luxury properties which happens to be an all-inclusive one, Hard Rock Punta Cana.
While we spent a lot of time on the white sand beaches admiring the blue water from under the star huts and umbrellas, we actually took advantage of a huge amount of activities. On one of the evenings after I had been in the sun for most of the day, I showered and put on my this beautiful scarf print set, inspired by Dolce & Gabbana and went for a quick evening walk around the resort before going for dinner, a latin dance show at the resort theatre, late night karaoke and then a live concert out on the deck!
SHOP THE LOOK
Being at a great all-inclusive hotel usually means there are plenty of activities and events. Below are my best tips on how to take advantage of your all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive facilities as much as possible:
Points & Upgrades
Always be kind and friendly to everyone, but when it comes to hotel front desk and reservations, it’s particularly helpful. Check to see if any hotel rewards offer free upgrades before you complete a booking. At check-in, you are sometimes able to score an upgrade. We’ve been very fortunate to get one on our most recent trip to our all-inclusive resort.
When I first visited Bali 8 years ago, my hotel offered free hotel transfers (even without it being an all-inclusive). Many luxury hotels and resorts offer this as a free service, and if not, they offer pick up for less – it’s certainly usually more convenient and more comfortable, especially in a country whose customs you may not be familiar with yet, so I recommend double checking with your resort.
Get the Activities Schedule
Most websites are not up to date with their weekly list of pool-side, beach and evening activities. Luckily for us, Hard Rock does list quite a few, but it’s always good to send an email to the resort manager in charge of the activities on property. This is how we found out about the foam pool party that so many of you guys loved on my Instagram Stories!
Check Restaurants and Hours of Operations
When your hotel has as many restaurants as ours (we had 9 restaurants and a couple of cafes), the best way to be a foodie on resort is to check the hours online and then reviews. Afterwards, book your reservations for the ones that are highly rated to ensure you have a spot before you leave. On our first trip we realized the restaurant we wanted to visit on our 2nd last day only opened in the evenings, but we already had reservations on the last day, so didn’t get to try out what we wanted. Avoid this mistake and check before you fly, or at least early on into your trip..
Obtain List of Facilities
At our most recent visit, the facilities included spa, nightly theatre shows, casino, night club, karaoke, bars, live concerts, escape room, arcade, gym and more! In the past, the 4 to 5 star resorts I’ve stayed at didn’t actually have nearly this much, but it’s good to check the list to see what things you might want to consider doing. Our theatre shows changed every night from latin dance, magic, acrobatic shows and more. We missed on our first trip due to wedding tasks, but made sure to catch them this time around.
Request the List of Excursions
On our most recent trip, we took a slingshot car out for a drive through Punta Cana. I’ve also done island hopping, ziplining and more at other resorts. Get in touch with one of the sales representatives for excursions and ask for the list of excursions available. This will help you plan your side trips and potentially how much cash or money you may want to budget for this portion of the trip. Some excursions only occur on specific days of the week at some resorts, so this will help you coordinate the nights you want to have that special dinner while being able to partake in the excursion you desire. There is no need to choose immediately. I recommend saving the brochures or emails to your phone or tablet so you can discuss or review while waiting for your flight at the airport or while you’re in the air with your travel partner.
I hope you enjoyed this tips. If you have some of your own, please share them below.
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ