All Inclusive Vs. Non AI

Comments, tips, questions on Puerto & Nuevo Vallarta hotels, resorts, lodging and others.

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benito
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Post by benito » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm

probably around 3 hours on a winding slow going road.

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The Big Question

Post by smitty » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:15 pm

This is the topic that always brings out the debate on the board . For me and Laurie it is no contest - AI is the way to go . The deals out of Toronto are great - how can we resist ? :) We love exploring PV and staying at an AI doesn't preclude that - just gives us more pesos to spend .

Hope the surf is high when you are in town . :)

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Post by marcos » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:58 pm

How can you say that AI gives you more pesos to spend? That would presume that AI is the exact same cost as non-AI. And I know it isn't ... there's a cost for AI in terms of per person per day. I will grant that many times the cost pp/pd is pretty reasonable, maybe $40 to $50. And if one doesn't drink that much, I GUARANTEE that I can feed myself in PV for less than $40 pp/pd.

And I don't buy the argument that if you don't go AI you'll run out of money before you run out of vacation. It takes a little budgeting for expenses but we have never run out of money and we're always on a strict budget ... $100 USD per day for 2 people.


Consider this from our recent trip. We ate breakfast in the condo every day (cereal and fruit and once in a while a pastry from a nearby bakery). The cost for a week for breakfast for 2 was less than $15 USD.

I made sandwiches for lunch every day. We had some fruit and chips as well. The ham for the sandwiches cost about $6 USD for the week and the cheese was a little less, maybe $4 and the bolillos cost about $4 USD for the week as well. So for around $20 USD we had decent lunches all week.

What that means is that for breakfast and lunch for 2, we're talking a total of less than $40 for a week ... less than $3 USD per person per day.

Of course, what we do might be considered "roughing it" for some folks. Restaurant breakfasts will be more like $4 USD to 7 USD per person with lunch being more in the $6 USD to $10 USD range

As to dinner, we rarely spent more than $30 USD for dinner for 2 and several evenings we spent waaaaaaay less (Takos Panchos one evening, a street stand or 2, etc.). Of course, we're not eating at the Vista Grill or Trios but we're getting great meals at a reasonable cost.

So out of our $100 per day for 2 budget, we're spending less than $40 per day for food. That leaves lots of extra money for CyC's at happy hour and Andales after that.

All in all, AI is a matter of personal choice. I might consider AI of I were in the Dominican Republic or some other place where it might not be safe to venture off property at night.

But in PV, where you could literally eat at a different restaurant every evening and NEVER duplicate a restaurant as long as you lived, AI doesn't make much sense to me personally.

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Post by condor » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:14 pm

Marcos I can't argue with your costs for eating if you are staying in a condo or non- AI. However most AI packages that I have gotten tend to be cheaper then if I book my own flights and line up my own condo. At least where I fly out of I wait and buy last minute deals Like the one I just booked $1505 tax and fees for two. That's air, hotel, meals and drinks. Add another $100 a day for 7 days that's $2205. I don't have to spend my vacation time shopping for food, running back for things we didn't remember, and preparing the food to help save money. In the early days we did do non-AI's and and thought we were saving money then one year we tried AI's and started comparing back to the four previous years and found we enjoyed more for about the same amount or less. Add to that the fact that it is vacation for my wife as well as me and I don't think I would be married to the same woman for 29 years if I had her making meals and not truely relaxing when on a vacation. To me it comes down to Value of the vacation versus cost. But with that said it is a free world and to each his own that is why you have the various options for people to choose. Just my humble opinion.

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Post by pvgemini » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:30 pm

How much do AI's cost, per person, per day? Obviously there is a range, but what is that range?

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Post by Plus4 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:57 pm

My humble opinion on going AI vs non AI is that if you are going to be staying in the same place more than 2 weeks it would be better to go non AI but for those going for a week or 2 you just cannot beat the AI deals
also :lol:
There is no way when on vacation for only a week or 2 that I am going to cook ..wash dishes Image shop for groceries etc... Give me a 3rd or 4th week I might consider it...

I have seen Resorts in PV go for as low as 498.00 plus 269.00 taxes for one week...2 weeks 898.00 plus taxes..
The past 2 years we have stayed a the same resort...I have been lucky to get the resort for 698.00 plus tax for one person 1 week..
Same resort in April is going for 1600.00 and at Christmas goes for 2500.00 for 1 week 1 person...


Curious...What are the costs of Air fair to PV... :?
What are the costs of renting a condo or a Hotel room for one week
Now add in transfers
ALL drinks one consumes in a day ..That includes coffee juice bottled water etc.
All food including snacks.. No offense :) but not thinking ham sandwiches for lunch and cereal for breakfast..

We are never tied to the resort unless we want to be and somedays I want to just have a lazy in the sun beach day...Other days we enjoy exploring the area we are in
The variety of very good food that is offered at an AI is amazing.. :)
I wish my tummy was way bigger so I could try more of the yummy foods offered...
Some of the Ala Carte restaurants make you feel like you are dining in a 5 star restaurant...

Just a note...
If you are a single person travelling you would have to pay a bit but not a lot more for your AI room.. Most AI rooms are booked on double occupancy..

To each is own I guess... :)

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Post by condor » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:08 pm

pvgemini wrote:How much do AI's cost, per person, per day? Obviously there is a range, but what is that range?

Sally
Depends on where you are flying out of. I haven't stayed at an AI that gives you the option so it is hard to compare. I think one of the biggest savings is if you can fly a charter flight. Most tour operators offer charter flight combined with AI and non-AI this is where you will find a great deal either way. I use Apple Vacations and Funjet in my area they may operate out of your area or check with a travel agent to see what is offered then shop around and see what you can find

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Post by fanlynne » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:20 am

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

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Post by chrisnick » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:15 am

We were two families at Christmas, 6 kids ranging from 20 - 27. We booked our own flights and stayed at Hotel Palmeras in Bucerias. Our family of four spent less then when we stayed at the Royal Decameron 3 years ago. We ate dinner and mosts breakfasts out every day and we like to have the odd beverage.... :lol: When we stay at an AI we go out anyway for dinners and excursions. ALL of the kids commented how they preferred this way more then the AI as they met many locals that either lived here or were on vacation from other mexican cities. They all felt they had way more of a mexican experience. They loved going to little grocery stores and out to restaurants. To be honest....it might of cut back on the drinking a bit as we bought our own booze and thats ok! I agree that AI are great at some locations but I think its a waste to stay at one in PV. PLUS......the economy needs our dollars in the restaurants, bars, etc.....Often when you stay at an AI you stay on the resort because for one...you have paid to eat and drink there and they are beautiful so you don't really want to leave....

That my two cents worth.... :)

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Post by shawnie » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:57 am

Hi, I have been going to PV now for 9 years and LOVE the meals down town. We eat at all the street vendors and never spend enough to compare to the AI. We do have a condo with a kitchenette tho and so we can eat breakfast in and then go to town for lunch and/or dinner. We love the town and can not get enough of it so I would not ever go AI as I am not ever at the condo long enough.
I know ppl give rave reviews and say it is the only way to go but I love the experience of the town and ppl. Would not ever just stick to a resort for food!

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Post by mykul » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:02 pm

We have done both in Vallarta and will probably never go all inclusive again. We just prefer the little hotels in old town and wandering the streets in search of interesting places to eat, drink & relax.

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Post by oneistwo » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:01 pm

San Blas is a trek. Sayulita's on the coast and a little closer. We were there about eight years ago and planning to go again. There are plenty of places to explore. Go to the Off the Beaten Path section. If you do stay in Mismaloya, it' a short bus ride -- or for three people a cab might be reasonable --to the botanical gardens.

http://www.vallartabotanicalgardensac.org/

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Post by chrisnick » Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:41 pm

Just got back from another perfect holiday in PV. Stayed at the Tropicana....prefer the condo even though we had a suite here....Missing the food and bevvies of PV already!!

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Post by JuneC » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:06 pm

I've done both and I like both depending on where you go. For Puerto Vallarta, there is plenty of places to eat and things to see and do there that you don't need an all-inclusive. But many time the all-inclusive really isn't that much more and it's nice being able to order some food or drinks without carrying around money at the resorts. I've also been to some all-inclusive resorts that have award-winning restaurants that are definitely worth going all-inclusive.

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Post by chrisnick » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:17 pm

Going back on the 13th of April....think I'll stay at Hotel Rio or Posada del Roger...both pretty cheap. Do believe this is going to be a cheap holiday. Plan on eating "street meat" most nights...

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Post by Professional Speaker » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:24 am

Hi there, new also here. Is there some local directory listings that I can call on for motels, I don't like being total stranger on the place that I haven't got into yet. Well, planning to go there. Thanks!!!

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Post by chrisnick » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:51 pm

I have used several websites...I just google Puerto Vallara cheap hotels...lol...Stayed at Hotel Rio Centro (close to the Rio Cuale and just 1/2 block from the malecon). Great location and found a 15% coupon so it ended up being around 52/night for two of us.

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Post by catlee » Thu May 05, 2011 2:36 pm

We've done both AI and otherwise but usually stay at Hotel Playa Los Arcos where we can buy all-inclusive breakfast when we check in. Then we can sample the town's wonderful restaurants in Old Town for lunch and dinner. The hotel's location is wonderful and we are able to walk everywhere.

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Post by Karen_O » Fri May 20, 2011 8:45 pm

Ah, another fan of Playa Los Arcos! We've stayed there seven times in the past 6 and a half years. Up until our last trip we always took the AI option, largely because, although we aren't party people, we like to sit in the restaurant in the evenings listening to the water, watching the people pass, and drinking way too much beer. The cost of a couple of evening's beer covers what we pay for AI for the week. We eat many evening meals elsewhere and snack on the beach in the afternoons.

Getting older though and don't drink as much any more. The last trip we spent the evenings in our ocean front room and drank less beer that we bought at the corner store. Works out about evenly.

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