All Inclusive Food. What To Expect During Your All Inclusive Vacation

Admittedly the attraction to the all inclusive resort is that one price includes all your vacation costs. Our clients tell us the all inclusive food portion of their vacation is the most important part of the equation.

What should you expect at your all inclusive resort as far as food is concerned? Most resorts include a buffet restaurant and at least one or even more sit down ala carte restaurant. Some resorts even include 24 hour room service. Virtually all resorts have a beach or pool side snack bars of some sort. Expect paper plates and plastic forks. Hamburgers and other grill foods. Nothing fancy at the snack bar.

We have found that you really get what your pay for. The more expensive the resort the more variety and choices you will have and corresponding value. The larger the resort, the more upscale the restaurant choices. The more expensive resort the better the food service

At all resorts, regardless of price or stars expect buffet breakfast and lunches. All require you to make reservation at the ala carte restaurant at night. All ala carte restaurants have a dress code. No sandals or shorts. Many resorts duplicate the evening ala carte restaurant choices at their buffet restaurant.

You wouldn’t think this is true but all inclusive resorts have a bigger profit margin on food then other resorts. The reason, is that people tend to pig out and binge the first few days and by day three they are eating figuratively only bananas and water. Because of this pattern in eating choices the hotel will eventually save money in the long run says Chekitan Dev, a marketing professor of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in a recent Forbes magazine article about the economics of all inclusive resorts.

No matter where we stay we like to go local. For example in a recent tour of Jamaica we sampled jerk chicken and conch fritters. Ox tails were served at one resort’s buffet. We enjoyed the Blue Mountain coffee for breakfast. Yet when we went non local...a Jamaican Chinese restaurant at one resort...they missed the mark by a wide margin.

Here is a sample menu from the Sandal’s Montego Bay Oleander Restaurant


Jamaican Salt Beef Terrine. Served with a mango sauce. Smoked Blue Marlin Tartare. Dressed with marinated cucumber and acidulated dressing. Ackee and Bacon Galette. Served on an avocado coulis. Middle Quarter Peppered Shrimp. With a cool herb and lime cream. Stamp and Go. Codfish fritters set on a papaya chutney.

Soups and Salads

Jamaican Pepperpot Soup. Cream of Pumpkin Soup. Medley of St. Elizabeth Greens. With an exotic guava-tamarind dressing

Main Course

Jerk Chicken Roulade. Stuffed with Callaloo and sweet peppers served on a light jerk sauce. Jamaican Steamfish, With ockra, carrot, cho-cho and escallion, garnished with fried bammy Mahi-mahi fillet steamed with onion, sweet pepper, tomato and carrot with fresh herbs. Pork Cutlet. Grilled with Pimento Seeds. Served with rice & peas and candied onion jus. Stew Beef. With local ground provisions and spinners.


Caribbean Cream. With banana rum and raisin. Blue Mountain Delice of Coffee and Chocolate. Enriched with local Tia Maria. Medley of Tropical Fruits Gratin.

All main courses are served with starch and seasonal vegetables.

As the popularity of the all inclusive resort concepts grows, so does the demands of the patrons. Although the sample menu from Sandals doesn’t represent all inclusive resorts food service. Our first hand trip reports from clients shows a trend of better food service and better service across the board at the all inclusive resorts.

The bad news is that because your meals are included travelers have little incentive to venture outside of the resort to sample a local restaurant for a meal.

What to expect during your all inclusive vacation-rooms

What to expect during your all inclusive vacation-kids

What to expect during your all inclusive vacation-the extras

What to expect during your all inclusive vacation-activities

What to expect during your all inclusive vacation-entertainment

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