St. Kitts Mariott....All-Inclusive Plan or No?

Old Jan 29th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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St. Kitts Mariott....All-Inclusive Plan or No?

We are booking a trip for the summer to the caribbean. We like the Mariott at St. Kitts and there is an all-inclusive option. We have stayed at Beaches T&C 3 times and the all-inclusive has done us well with 2 teenagers (16&18). As I read reviews I am reading there are grocery stores and restaurants off the resort that seem pretty good. We do get our use with drinks with all inclusive though, but I don't want to miss out on the good restaurants. Is the all-inclusive plan really worth it?
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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Honestly, there are so many great dining options in all price ranges on St. Kitts that you'd be doing yourself a disservice to go "all inclusive" at the Marriott.

In 25+ years of travel in the Caribbean (and around the world) one of the most important and constant things I've learned is "all Inclusive" is never "worth it" .

Ask yourself, Why do you want to limit yourself to having all your meals at the same resort day in and day out? Surely, you can't "drink" that much to make the trade off of limited dining options "worth it".
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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It really depends on the Island/destination and your idea of a vacation if an AI is worth it or not. Personally, I like all inclusives as it's easier, convenient and sometimes even less expensive to me.

In my travel experience, I have only found Aruba to not be worth doing an AI. Tons of resturants and bars within easy walking distance of the hotel area. Also, most hotel's AI plans there are way too expensive compared to other destinations.

I have found for us, going AI even if there are some resturants and bars close to the hotel, to still be great for breakfast, snacks and drinks. Many people have the inaccuarte idea that just because you chose an AI hotel it means you have to only eat within that hotel to get your monies worth. It's really not true. We have done many AI's in which we have eaten lunch and dinner off property, so that we can get the full experience.

Check the cost factor of how much adding on the AI plan will cost you. If is was my choice to make, and if the AI plan is less than $800 for 2 people for at least a 7 night stay, I will probably do the AI. We tend to drink a lot on vacation and DH is snacking through out the day.

I can tell you I have done many non AI vacations and so wished there was a good and inexpesive AI option available.

You'll get varied responses to this question as there are many AI haters and AI lovers on this forum. In the end, only you can make the decision if an AI plan is worth it or not.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 04:24 AM
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Yes, it's true that there's nothing that prevents someone staying at an AI (or opting for a full meal plan) from dining "off resort" BUT most people choose AI's because they see it as way of controlling their food costs. That's why they ask "is it worth it". They are trying to determine if by going AI they'll spend less on food and drink than if they went non-AI.

The difficulty in taking that approach is they can only accurately compare food costs at he resort they are staying at since the cost of the AI option is based on the average price of food & drink at that resort and usually assumes people eat complete meals and drink a certain amount. Someone who is a "light eater" or who doesn't drink a lot of alcoholic beverages can often "dine and drink" less expensively (both on or off resort) if they don't go AI. It really depends on your dining style.

Unless you plan on dining at high-end restaurants for every meal my experience has been there is rarely any appreciable savings by going AI. For me, the only time AI makes any sense is when you are staying at a very remote resort where "off resort" dining options are either unavailable or so far away as to be impractical to use.

KVR is correct, there are AI lovers and AI haters and each group has valid points. you have to make up your own mind.

So, for jenna0529 and her question about going AI at the St. Kitts Marriott - if you are big eaters and big drinkers and you would otherwise eat all or most of your meals at the Marriott then you'll probably find the AI option "worth it" as you'll end up spending somewhat less on food and drink than you would if you purchased the same amount of food and drink ala carte.

On the other hand, if you are moderate drinkers and you like the idea of dining around the island for most of your meals you'll probably end spending about the same as you would for the AI option and you will have had the pleasure of eating in a variety of restaurants and settings.

The choice is yours.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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One more thing to consider. I presume you will have a car for your entire stay as you will need one to get around the island to reach the other restaurants. Taxis/ car hire are expensive and would certainly push up the cost of going 'non AI'.
Think about how you intend to spend your time. How much time do you plan on hanging out at the Marriott and how much time you will devote to touring the island?

Personally I'm not a huge AI fan (not a big eater or drinker) and we've never spent a whole week at a resort on an AI plan. For the couple of times we've done AI for 1 or 2 nights it's worked well when traveling with teens.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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And another consideration, check to see exactly what the AI plan includes. I have not stayed at the Marriott but have read reviews where people have said that one of the restaurants has a premium on top of the AI. You'll be going in the summer and, also, from what I've read, every restaurant isn't necessarily open every day in the slower season.

Also ask what liquor is included. You don't want to get there and find you still have to pay for your favorite drink/brand.
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