Not So Memorable All-Inclusive Resorts for Families
If you ask my kids, ages 14 and 12, what their favorite vacations were, they’d no doubt say Alaska, British Colombia, Israel, Paris, Bryce, Zion, and Acadia National Parks, and, of course, New York. Even though we’ve been to over a dozen all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico over the years, all except our last one at the Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica are quickly forgettable. They all featured wonderful beaches and decent food until the 3rd day, when you become tired of seeing the same entrees. But the reason they quickly forget this type of vacation is that it never really gets to the depth necessary to touch them. There were no adventures, no immersion into the local culture, be it food, music or history, no mishaps to look back and laugh about. It was all very pleasant, a warm retreat from the cold winter temps in Boston. How can staying at one hotel all week possibly compare to being surrounded by whales, otters, bald eagles, and sea lions on a zodiac off Sitka? Or listening to music late at night at one of the jazz joints in Paris? Or grabbing plates of hummus and foul with locals in Jaffa? Or seeing where King Henry VIII married his sixth wife at Hampton Court Palace? Or hiking with those odd-shaped hoodoos or an exhilarating cliff walk in Bryce and Zion? Or grabbing a hot pastrami on rye at Katz’s Deli and then going outside to see Shepard Fairey paint his most recent mural on Houston Street? These things my kids remember. All those all-inclusive beaches blur into one big warm embrace, nothing more.