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The Rise of the All-Inclusive

Discover getaways where inclusive deals meet exclusive travel

By Becca Bergman

ShermansTravel.com

December 21st, 2007

More than half a century ago, a former Belgian water-polo champion named Gerard Blitz constructed a small village of canvas army tents on a quiet beach in Mallorca, Spain. Dubbing it “Club Méditerranée,” he invited like-minded vacationers to share in his egalitarian vision while they washed dishes together under a thatched roof. Fast-forward several decades and witness a new era for the all-inclusive resort. The latest breed has shrugged off the party-hardy image and stepped up with luxury amenities, top-notch service, and fine dining, all while still emphasizing value. Gone are the days of plastic beads and pool parties. In with the yoga classes, private butlers, and WiFi cabanas—often all for the price of a room at a comparable resort. Now even certain traditional hotels and resorts are offering all-inclusive packages to meet the demand. How come? The all-inclusives are able to sell an invaluable amenity all their own: ease of experience. It means less planning, more choices, and no sticker shock at check-out time. It also means not carrying a wallet for a week, because we think nothing says luxury like not waiting around for a check. To help streamline your choices, we've reviewed seven independent resorts across two price points—under $2,100 (value) and over $4,500 (smart splurge) based on a five-night stay— and highlighted what’s new at the major all-inclusive players that pioneered the genre.

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