For the most part, all-inclusive resorts have always cast themselves in the same mold at the same general destinations. We’re talking watered down drinks and mediocre food at resorts dotting the beaches of the Caribbean and Mexico.
Lately, however, the tide has changed for the all-inclusive experience. Major hotel companies – including Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt – have invested big money in breaking all-inclusive stereotypes as they collect resorts around the world. It was almost like a game of Monopoly – but one with unlimited tequila and random limbo breaks with your stepmom.
In this game, Hyatt just made one of the most exciting moves yet: it added five resorts in Bulgaria, along the Black Sea, to The Inclusive Collection.
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What’s new at the Hyatt
Last year, Hyatt completed its acquisition of Apple Leisure Group for about $2.7 billion, which added about 100 all-inclusive properties to the company’s collection. These resorts consist of a series of all-inclusive brands, including Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, and Breathless Resorts & Spas.
Now, World of Hyatt members can earn and redeem points for stays at these Apple Leisure Group properties, as well as Hyatt’s Hyatt Zilara and Ziva resorts. However, since all-inclusive resorts operate a little differently than other hotels and resorts, Hyatt has also decided to introduce a special rewards chart exclusively for all-inclusive properties.
Related: 8 Lessons I Learned From My First All-Inclusive Vacation
While the company already has a few all-inclusive resorts in (or planned for) Greece and Spain, the rebranding of these five all-inclusive resorts in Bulgaria is Hyatt’s first venture into the all-inclusive market along the black Sea.
The five resorts are spread over two Bulgarian resort areas, Sunny Beach and Obzor. They are popular destinations for European vacationers and are known to be extremely affordable. Here is a full list of properties and a brief description:
- Secrets Resort & Spa: A 335-room adults-only resort in Sunny Beach.
- Dreams Resort & Spa: A family-friendly 597-room resort next to Secrets in Sunny Beach.
- AluaSun: A 191-room resort in Obzor.
- Alua Resort: A 318-room resort in Obzor.
- Breathless Resort & Spa: A 395-room resort in Sunny Beach.
Of the five stations being rebranded and renovated, all will adopt the new branding in 2023, except for Breathless, where it is scheduled for 2024.
A whole new image for all-inclusives
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: All-inclusive resorts are getting a makeover.
During the pandemic, all-inclusive resorts have flourished; they were, in a way, built to provide everything travelers needed at that time, including space, convenience, and seclusion. This trend appears to be continuing as travelers realize that an all-inclusive vacation can be more than just a trip to a tropical region.
Accor’s Rixos brand offers luxury all-inclusive experiences at more than two dozen properties in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Croatia and Kazakhstan. In Croatia, at Rixos Premium Dubrovnik, guests can enjoy an all-inclusive experience in a cliffside resort nestled on the Dalmatian coast while stepping out of the resort to explore Old Town Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO.
All-inclusive vacations can also be convenient for winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding. Club Med, the flagship brand of the all-inclusive movement, offers a number of all-inclusive ski resorts ideal for seasoned pros and winter sports newbies alike. You can find these resorts in Europe, Japan, China and even Canada at the new Cub Med Québec Charlevoix. Who needs margaritas and sunshine when you can have snow and après-ski?
Or, to really experience something wild, you can take a page from TPG writer Ben Smithson’s book and take a trip to Egypt’s cheapest all-inclusive resort; it only cost him $41.46 a night.
In the end, whether you love or hate all-inclusive resorts, they’re here to stay.
If these properties – from Croatia to the Black Sea to the snow-capped mountains of Canada – aren’t doing it for you yet, give it some time. The new-age story of the all-inclusive resort is just beginning to unfold.