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What is all inclusive in a European resort REALLY like?

(35 Posts)
Millionprammiles Mon 16-May-16 15:18:34

We've yet to go abroad on holiday with dd (in-laws live near the sea in UK so tend to go there) but dp is fed up of the UK weather. Personally I can't stand the heat/beach/sitting in the sun but dd is nearly 4 so am feeling a bit guilty for the rain soaked holidays.
I don't want to spend the week cooking or camping and would like there to be other kids/activities. Dd isn't a strong swimmer so something more than just the beach/pool.

Depending on what day of the week it is my view of all inclusive is either:

Dd plays happily with other children from like minded families.
Dd can't get enough of the creative kids club run by enthusiastic staff.
Clean, safe beaches and clean, safe hotel pools and general air of peaceful calm.
Healthy fresh meals.
On site reliable babysitting means dp and I can have dinner in peace.

Dd miserable as site is overrun by unsupervised older kids.
Kids club is dire.
We're exhausted as everyone else stays up drinking half the night listening to full blast Europop.
Babysitting is scarce/unreliable/not suitable for a hamster.

Please tell me which is closer to the truth?

FeckinCrutches Mon 16-May-16 15:20:23

Would you consider a cruise? Our 4yo had a blast on one last year!

Millionprammiles Mon 16-May-16 15:26:21

FC: I think I'd go stir crazy and dp not keen either. He def wants a beach/sea.

BaronessEllaSaturday Mon 16-May-16 15:27:37

It can be either or, it's down to the actual place you book rather than being because it's all inclusive. Check reviews carefully but with an overview of common sense ie if a review complains about the food because they didn't have egg and chips then it is only relevant to you if that is the food you want.

FeckinCrutches Mon 16-May-16 15:28:15

Oh that's a shame, there was so much to do and a different port everyday, 3 with beaches.

learnermummy Mon 16-May-16 15:30:48

definitely depends on the place you book. would really recommend hotel el paso at portaventura resort near Salou in Spain. Loved it there but can't go back as we're now a family of 5 and they can't fit us in.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 16-May-16 15:31:31

In my experience, you get what you pay for. Too many people with champagne tastes and lemonade budgets booking a 2* all inclusive fortnight in Spain for £200 and then complaining when it's crap.

Millionprammiles Mon 16-May-16 15:36:49

learner: would that be v hot in July? I can't take 30 degrees and dd isn't great in that kind of temp either.

Luna: agree and we'd be willing to pay but just have no idea if what I'm looking for even exists.

ErgonomicallyUnsound Mon 16-May-16 16:27:10

I've done a few. The DC love them, I really can't bear them. Last time I insisted we hire a car for at least half the time and sod the prepaid stuff, we were eating out.

The DC loved the freedom, made loads of friends and DS even ate his meals with his friends and not with us! He was 11 when we went last. The facilities are great, the on tap drinks are good, kids loved the buffet. We stayed in 5 star ones so the quality was good.

Downsides are the sheer arseing Groundhog Dayness of it. Esp if you go for 2 weeks. Also the evenings where the kids want to play with their friends/watch the hideous "entertainment" etc.

I'm done with them. Great when the kids were younger - even though mine never did kids clubs, but now - no way!

Millionprammiles Mon 16-May-16 16:35:13

Ergo - we'd def only go for a week. Dd is only just 4 so not sure how much she'd run off with kids she doesn't know and she generally struggles to stay up beyond 8-9pm, no matter what time she gets up (always 7-8am anyway).

Ideally I think we need something for younger kids that's relatively peaceful later in evenings...

Avebury Mon 16-May-16 16:39:46

What about just renting a villa if you are not desperate for other children and worried about noise?

LMGTFY Mon 16-May-16 16:40:54

I'd recommend a first choice or Thomson all inclusive, they have UK trained nursery assistants. We've never had a bad holiday with them, no 'I'm bored' from the dcs or dh! I could read in peace!

theredjellybean Mon 16-May-16 16:43:21

do you like doing activites ?
Look at Neilson holidays....been going since youngest dd was 5 and she is now 18.

There is lots of stuff to do if you so wish but resort is always quiet and peaceful during morning and afternoons as all the sporty types are off being sporty and the kids clubs are second to none in my opinion..i had very very anti-kids clubs children and step children until we hit on Neilson.

Evenings again are pleasant as in similar minded families/adults to converse with and kids looked after.

cannot recommend enough, even the year i was post major surgery and all i did was gentle relaxing yoga and lay by pool was lovely

exLtEveDallas Mon 16-May-16 16:48:44

First Choice Holiday Villages. You can do as much or as little as you want. The reps are brilliant, childcare excellent and very safe. Cheesy entertainment, but lovely for little kids and not bad for adults. They are all 4 star. Food is generally good and great in some places (Loved Tunisia, put on 6lbs!). If you don't want it too hot in July then I'd go for Majorca, Menorca, Belamadena. Rhodes is fabulous but will be hotter, same with Kos.

guiltynetter Mon 16-May-16 18:49:28

I definitely think it exists, you just have to go somewhere brilliant! how about one of the Thomson sensatori resorts, we just returned from the one in Cyprus and it as brilliant x

PutDownThatLaptop Mon 16-May-16 18:54:03

Look at First Choice, then when you have performed your search, filter out the ones that get four stars and above on Trip Advisor (I also filter out less than 4 star accommodation). As your child is 4, avoid school holiday dates.

LittleBearPad Mon 16-May-16 18:58:06

We went to the Thomson Sensatori in Tenerife. Avoided the evening entertainment like the plague. But Kidsclub was ok for the two sessions the kids went to. Went for a week - a fortnight would be too long.

Does it have to be July, if she's only 4 can't you go in June. Not so hot and quieter.

learnermummy Mon 16-May-16 19:33:32

Yes Salou would be quite hot in July I would think, but quite probably most European all inclusive resorts would be. What I liked about AI was not having to think/plan food, there was always something available! It probably would have been a bit much for more than a week. Can you go earlier than July?

LunaLoveg00d Mon 16-May-16 22:56:26

My sister is booked to go here in Crete which appears to be good by Trip Advisor reports.

Millionprammiles Tue 17-May-16 08:24:57

Thanks everyone for the recs, really appreciate it. Have had recs for Thomson and First Choice from others too so might look at those. Def think Majorca/Menorca rather than Greece or Cyprus.
Struggling to get time off work in June at moment...even July might be a struggle.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 17-May-16 15:43:13

You could stay in a hotel that has activities but only have B+B not AI.

If you get a room/apartment with a kitchenette, you will be able to store drinks and food from the supermarket and prepare sandwiches, breakfasts etc. Your DD will be able to go in the kids club if she wants to.

You will be able to go for a wander to local restaurants for lunch and/or dinner or go off on trips without the 'we must eat in the hotel because we have paid for it' mentality.

There's often lots to do that doesn't involve sitting on a beach or by a pool, such as walks of varying distances and terrains, bike hire, castles and ruins, caves, volcano national park in Lanzarote, theme parks, water parks, slides and swings, crazy golf, zoos, mini trains.

Somewhere like Club Marthas in Cala D'Or Mallorca or other hotels in Playa Blanca Lanzarote.

Have a look at the 'what to do' sections of for ideas of what is available that is not sitting on a beach or by a pool. There's usually absolutely loads to do.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 17-May-16 15:44:34

First Choice only does All Inclusive. If you are looking to fly from northern England, Scotland or possibly Belfast, Jet2holidays usually has good value packages.

RockMeMomma Tue 17-May-16 15:49:46

If you don't like the heat, request accommodation with air conditioning.

shovetheholly Tue 17-May-16 15:57:58

I went to Crete last year and it was LOVELY! We booked our own place (an absolutely perfect Airbnb overlooking the mountains), organised our own flights on a cheap airline, and rented a car.

It all cost no more per person than my friend's all-inclusive trip to a hotel resort where she had a really noisy and tiny room! In so many places, you pay LOADS for food and booze that is cheaply available in non-touristy local cafes that are open all the time anyway. And you get a real flavour of the place. Those Sfakians are mad, MAD I TELL YOU!

Of course, this may not be true of other places where food is more expensive!

Millionprammiles Tue 17-May-16 16:41:25

Thanks all. I've been looking at Thomson and First Choice websites and I can't convince myself to want to go!

Dd would love it (tho she can't yet ride a bike or swim properly so would only really be using beach/pool/kids club/playground I guess) am sure and dp would be happy enough too but I hate, hate, hate hot weather (I get hives) and get eczema if I spend much time in the water.
Even walks to ruins, theme parks etc would be in the hot sunshine.

Maybe I can convince dp to take dd with his mum instead confused

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