Redone: June 3, 2019
As someone obsessed with free things and food, you’d think I’d love all-inclusives that are bookable with points…
I’ve become disgruntled by the hit-miss experience (mostly miss). In fact it’s my love of food that has me avoiding cheap all-inclusives at all cost. I can’t last two meals at most all-inclusives.
Think about the business model here. Go to countries with extremely cheap real estate (where you can get a nice hotel for under $100) and even cheaper food (where you can literally eat for $1) and charge people $300+ a night to get both. The best part is, while you have to physically travel to another country, they make it so comfy and like home and put up giant walls to keep the third-worlders from getting near you, that you actually don’t know you’re in a dirt cheap country. So it feels like a “deal”.
Pick up on my cynicism? This is why I start with Hyatt’s resorts and I make sure to give my experiences when relevant.
Reminder: Beyond each brand’s credit cards, if you want to know how to earn any of these points via transfer partners, check out FM’s “Master List of Transfer Partners“.
Another reminder: I now keep a link to this page on our Resource Page.
All-Inclusive Hyatt Rewards Points Hotels
In my opinion, Hyatt has the best all-inclusive options with no real competitors.
I’ve been to many all-inclusives in Mexico and the Caribbean (and Egypt) and by far the best food was at the Hyatt Rose Hall in Jamaica.
I personally thought the one in Cancun was hit-miss, with mostly miss – just a lot of the typical budget cutting food options. However, it was still maybe in my top 3 for food at all-inclusives, Rose Hall being first. That speaks both to Hyatt being great, and my general negative opinion of Hyatt all-inclusives.
Hyatt All-Inclusive Prices:
|Hotel||Standard Room Points Per Night||Suite Points Per Night||
Additional Points Per Person Per Night
|Hyatt Zilara Cancun||25,000||40,000||12,500|
|Hyatt Ziva Cancun||25,000||40,000||12,500|
|Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall||25,000||40,000||12,500|
|Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall||25,000||40,000||12,500|
|Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos||20,000||32,000||10,000|
|Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta||20,000||32,000||10,000|
|Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana||25,000|
Note that the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is just now taking reservations (I believe after Nov 1, 2019) and it isn’t even on their redemption page, so I currently have no info on what their prices are beyond what I found in the search, which is 25k for a regular room.
But I assume that it will be just like the other 25k hotels and will be 40k for a suite and 12.5k per extra person.
Miraval Hotel Awards
If you’re not familiar, Miraval is a luxury “wellness resort” and spa. These are often $1,000 a night places that are healthy, gourmet all-inclusives. And it’s not just an all-inclusive in regards to food, but they really focus on having interesting activities – classes like yoga, climbing, mountain biking, etc…
I was tempted by redeeming my free nights here (back when they gave those as a credit card signup bonus) when they first opened, and I regret not doing so.
From appearance, the food seems to be on an entirely different level, far above anything else in this post.
- Monarch Beach
- St. Kitts
|Hotel||Standard Room Points Per Night1||Suite Points Per Night1||Premium Suite Points Per Night1||Second Person Points Per Night||Standard Room Points + Cash Per Night Single Occupancy||Standard Room Points + Cash Per Night Double Occupancy|
|Standard Room||45,000||75,000||105,000||20,000||22,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||
32,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms
|Standard Suite||37,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||
47,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites
|Premium Suite||52,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites||
62,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites
All-Inclusive IHG Rewards Points Hotels
The following hotels are in order:
- Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Montego Bay, Jamaica = 50,000
- Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos = 40,000
- Holiday Inn Resort : Ixtapa All-Inclusive = 50,000
- Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas, Mexico = 40,000 points
We actually stayed at the Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas once, and it was a dump and the food was absolutely inedible. Worse yet is the location. It’s near a boat port and the water is as dumpy as the hotel.
Now, in all fairness to the other hotels, the Cancun one has the lowest ratings, and it’s the only one on this list that doesn’t get the “Holiday Inn Resort” branding.
All-Inclusive Hilton Honors Points Hotels
I haven’t stayed in any of these 3 hotels, but I have an opinion on each of them. But first I’ll give the prices.
- Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, Mexico – 54,000 to 70,000
- Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Jamaica – 60,000 to 70,000
- Hilton Dalaman Sarigerme Resort & Spa, Turkey – 40,000 to 70,000
Actually, I’m pretty negative on all-inclusive hotels in Puerto Vallarta but I’ll reserve my opinion since I’ve never been to this hotel.
Jamaica knows how to do food. My best all-inclusive food experiences have been in Jamaica.
The one in Turkey has 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor, which is abnormally high in the all-inclusive world.
A note about Egypt’s Hilton hotels:
Oddly enough the Hilton all-Inclusives in Egypt are no longer all-inclusives? Like Marsa Alam. Well, not a loss, the snorkeling is good (maybe worth the stay) but it is literally the worst food I’ve ever had at any hotel ever. However, given how the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, I think staying at the hotel was an empathetic thing to do, as now I know what prison food tastes like.
But this applies to all hotels in Egypt with the one exception being the next hotel I mention. Just know that in Egypt there are many 5,000 point Hilton’s with all-inclusive up-sell options. I’m telling you for fact, it’s not worth it. We stayed and ate at the majority of the Hilton hotels in Egypt (when we did “47 Days in Egypt for $0“).
The “Half-Board” Radisson Blu Hotel
Radisson Blu Resort, El Quseir = 15,000 points
This is a “half-board” hotel, which means breakfast and dinner, and it’s the only inclusive hotel I know.
The good news is that the food is mediocre enough that skipping lunch isn’t a loss.
We stayed there and it was actually a cool resort if you’re going to experience the Red Sea, and the food isn’t prison food like all of the Hilton’s in the area, but it wasn’t good.
The All-Inclusive Marriott Rewards Points Hotels
My friend said the Westin Playa Conchal Costa Rica is his favorite all inclusive… And it sounds great. But it’s a lot of points!
The two Marriott all-inclusive options:
- The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Costa Rica = 85,000
- Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, Panama = 50,000 points
I’ve stayed at one Sheraton that had an all-inclusive up-sell (it was a mistake fare in Mexico) and the food was terrible. Which, only gives me pause because the hotel has a 3.5 Tripadvisor rating (which is the same rating as that terrible Holiday Inn food in Cancun).
The other thing is, I wouldn’t drop 50k Marriott points for a $125/nt hotel. And if I was going to go to the beach in Panama, I’d want to go to the Caribbean islands, for sure.
All-Inclusive Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles Hotels
If you’re not familiar with Frequent Miler’s trip to Richard Branson’s private island, “Necker Island”, then you should see his post “Is Necker Island Really Worth 1.2 Million Miles?“.
These 3 redemptions are more Richard Branson toys than anything else.
I assume the food is beyond great (for that price, it better be!), and the experiences all look amazing.
I’ll start by just giving the prices and facts and then give my opinion.
All-Inclusives with Virgin Atlantic Miles:
- Necker Island
- 1,200,000 miles for a 7 night stay for two people.
- Otherwise it’s $35,000 for a week!
- Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, South Africa (near Kruger National Park!)
- 550,000 miles for a 3 night stay for two people in a Safari Lodge room.
- 800,000 miles for a 5 night stay for two people in a Safari Lodge room.
- Includes: All meals and drinks (“including a top quality wine list”), a stocked mini bar, 2 game drives daily.
- $1,400 / nt value
- More info here.
- 550,000 miles for a 3 night stay for two people in a Safari Lodge room.
- Mahali Mzuri, Kenya
- All-inclusive, plus daily game drives at Olare Motorogi Conservancy
- $1,250 / nt value (often $1,900 a night)
- 600,000 miles for a 3 night stay for two people in a luxury tent.
- 800,000 miles for a 5 night stay for two people in a luxury tent
- Includes: Food and drinks (including alcohol), and “daily game drives and game drives at night in… Olare Motorogi Conservancy”.
- More info here.
Necker is obviously the highest value redemption.
The other two are lower value, more like .7 cents per mile. At that rate it’s better to cash out your points from Amex instead of transferring them. However, if you’re not transferring 1:1 from Amex, I think it could be a decent deal and experience.
In my opinion Hyatt is the best option for all-inclusives with not terrible food.
I thought the food at the Rose Hall in Jamaica hotels was great! Real seafood, real cooking, and not clearly just bringing out the cheapest made things.
Miraval would be the next level up in terms of quality (also Hyatt points).
Then Richard Branson’s luxury hotels would be the next next level up.
Anyone have any good experience I haven’t mentioned? And am I missing ANY all-inclusive that can be booked with points?