TTG – Features – The best all-inclusives for a gourmet experience

As they grew in popularity, the proliferation of all-inclusives saw the market develop a bad reputation for poor quality buffets and repetitive dining choices. More recently, many of the top all-inclusive resorts have used food and beverage to differentiate themselves.

Some now include several à la carte and specialty restaurants in the tariff. Others offer upscale dining and celebrity chef participation. The “ghettoization” of tourism is even addressed by some all-inclusive packages, which strengthen community engagement by incorporating local restaurants into dining programs.

Here are some suggestions for resorts that excel with their food and drink offerings in an all-inclusive rate.

To dine under the sea

“There are some great all-inclusive dining deals out there right now, but the one that always stands out is OZEN Life Maadhoo in the Maldives, where all-inclusive dining even includes one dinner per stay in their fabulous underwater restaurant, with no additional costs,” says Zoe Saunders, Senior Product Manager, Inspiring Travel Company, Indian Ocean.

She calls the experience ‘a vacation memory to treasure’, adding: ‘The resort also excels with its beverage offering. For example, ‘Gin Is In’ is an adults-only bar with over 18 kinds of gin brands rare and delicious.”

To book: Inspiring Travel Company is offering a 15% discount for OZEN Life Maadhoo for travel by September 30, 2022. Prices are from £4,349 pp (saving up to £500 pp) for seven nights all inclusive with two people sharing an Earth Villa plus Heathrow flights and shared boat transfers.

Ouzo is a Greek specialty restaurant in Ikos Andalusia

Ouzo is a Greek specialty restaurant in Ikos Andalusia

For a top-of-the-range à la carte and local dinner

Seven restaurants, an external catering program, top chefs and Tattinger make Ikos Andalusia a winner of the Classic Collection.

Alex Callahan, Product and Purchasing Director for Spain, says: “Ikos Andalucía is truly redefining the concept of all-inclusive holidays in every aspect, and no more than food and drink. There are very high-end dining options across several a la carte restaurants, menus from Michelin-starred chefs, and an extensive selection of premium drinks, including Tattinger Champagne, all included in the ultra all-inclusive option.

He adds: “Guests can also dine at a selection of restaurants outside the hotel, including one of the best in neighboring Estepona.”

To book: Classic Collection Holidays is offering seven nights at Ikos Andalucia in a Superior Double Room with Garden View from £2,039 pp all-inclusive, with return flights with luggage and private transfers, based on 24 September 2022 departure .

For a wide choice among the twinned stations

A starter in one restaurant, a main course in another and a dessert in a third is possible at the Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, thanks to unlimited access and without reservation to its seven restaurants, which include French dishes, Mexican and seafood and a grill.

“What’s great about this hotel is that you can also freely use the facilities at its neighboring sister property – the five-star Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana – which adds seven more dining options, as well as 11 additional bars,” explains Ashley Pilkington. , Gold Medal Caribbean and Mexico Destination Director. “So between them, guests at the two properties can choose from nearly 30 different places to grab a drink or a bite to eat!”

To book: Gold Medal is offering seven nights all-inclusive at Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana in a Tropical View Junior Suite from £1,589, with BA flights from Gatwick, based on two sharing.

Picnic platform at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

Picnic platform at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains

For regional specialties paired with the wines

Many luxury lodges in Australia and New Zealand excel in quality catering with an all-inclusive rate. The produce that graces the table at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, has been grown in its organic vegetable garden, picked from the wider reserve or sourced from specialist farmers in the area. Lunches are served on a veranda overlooking the valley, and in the evenings guests can linger over three-course a la carte meals with matching wines in the farmhouse dining room.

At Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania, part of the Luxury Lodges of Australia group, multi-course tasting menus paired with local wines are included and designed around what’s available each day.

To book: A two-night getaway to the Wolgan Valley costs from AU$2,290 pp (approximately £1,290 pp) in February 2023. The package (available until 31 March 2023) covers all meals, with a selection of regional wines and beers and two daily on-site activities such as guided horseback riding, biking or wildlife viewing.

Oliver's Restaurant at Spice Island Beach Resort offers evening tasting menus

Oliver’s Restaurant at Spice Island Beach Resort offers evening tasting menus

For afternoon teas and evening tasting menus

Local ingredients and an upscale flair combine at Spice Island Beach Resort on Grenada’s famed Grand Anse Beach.

“Oliver’s Restaurant emphasizes farm-to-table, serving Creole and international cuisine with a seven-course menu that changes daily, allowing guests to sample new flavors and authentic local specialties in a beautiful setting. by the sea,” said the head of Caribtours. Sales Rebecca Bryson.

Along with multi-course dinners, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea as part of their all-inclusive rate.

To book: Caribtours is offering seven nights all-inclusive at Spice Island Beach Resort from £3,499 pp sharing a Superior/Garden Suite based on September 10 departure. This includes flights and a current 10% discount (plus $200 resort credit), available on stays through December 15.

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