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All inclusive - short haul - not buffet style?

(17 Posts)
namechangedtoday15 Sun 21-Aug-16 19:22:59

Having just spent a small fortune on a 2 week holiday we have thought about going all inclusive next year - will have 3 children between 8-12 and so we're ordering 5 X adult meals at lunch and dinner which with the exchange rate was really expensive.

We've done it years ago when children were babies (just for ease) but it was buffet style. It was actually lovely food but missed the feel of a restaurant, being waited on I suppose, choosing something off a menu etc.

Have friends who have been to Mexico / Carribean where there is more of a dining experience / choice of restaurants but wondered if anyone was recommend anything closer to home?

BarbaraofSeville Mon 22-Aug-16 09:44:34

I'm sort of interested in the same thing, but I think to get a la carte service and nice, varied food, it is so expensive that you probably wouldn't save much compared with doing it separately.

We often get hotel B&B (I don't mind and quite like a hotel buffet breakfast, but I like to eat out in outdoor restaurants with table service for other meals) and have a big late breakfast at about 9 or 10 am, lunch quite late (2 to 4 pm, but we normally go to Spain, where this is the normal lunchtime for Spaniards).

After that, I don't want more than a tapa or two in the evening, so aren't buying 2 full restaurant meals a day anyway. We don't eat out all meals and sometimes will just have an ice cream for lunch and have a bigger dinner later on, or buy bits of cheese, ham, bread etc from the supermarket in additon to lots of drinks and some snacks, so that cuts the cost a bit.

Are you eating all the meals you buy - DCs eating all of 2 restaurant meals a day, plus breakfast? If food is being left, maybe another way to cut costs, in addition to the suggestions above, would be to order 3 or 4 meals to share between you all?

Or how about self catering with some eating out, plus easy supermarket food (barbecue, pizza, roast chicken and salad, bread, cheese, olives etc)?

namechangedtoday15 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:35:58

Thanks Barbara - we stayed in 3 places this time, one was a hotel (on a room only basis), one was a B&B (loved the breakfast!) and the last place was self catering. We did similar to you - in that we didn't have 2 restaurant meals every day, but certainly at the hotel where we needed to eat out all the time, it was really expensive. And never any food left (you'd think my children have never been fed!!). I don't mind the odd self catered meal - we did BBQ one night and I cooked one night, but I do all of that at home and really resent having to do it on holiday (I know that makes me sound like a spoilt brat but I hate super market shopping with a passion, so its the whole thinking of something to eat / shopping for it and then cooking it that I really want to avoid). I know I can't have it both ways - either stump up or stop moaning smile.

Anasnake Mon 22-Aug-16 10:38:28

Some of The First choice holiday villages have a mixture of both (though I haven't been to all of them) restaurants and buffet.

KP86 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:39:18


namechangedtoday15 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:46:46

Thank you.

KP someone else has suggested a cruise - do you have any recommendations - don't want it to be overly children oriented (may be just my children but they're certainly out of the "young children" phase) or at the opposite end of the scale where pre-teens etc would be out of place?

Move2yorkshire Mon 22-Aug-16 10:48:54

We have recently been to ikos Olivia. There was a choice of restaurants and room service included in the all inclusive. You can even use some restuarants in the village. And we were able to book a 2 bedroom bungalow with private pool

namechangedtoday15 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:56:41

Ooh sounds lovely! Will investigate!

paap1975 Mon 22-Aug-16 10:57:57

For a cruise with plenty to do for young people (rather than children), I would suggest you take a look at Royal Caribbean

wannabestressfree Mon 22-Aug-16 11:02:29

That sounds lovely move did you book it yourself or through travel agent?

KP86 Mon 22-Aug-16 11:14:00

Norwegian is a good line too.

We cruised on Epic, pre-kids and plenty to keep older ones occupied. Would def recommend!

Move2yorkshire Mon 22-Aug-16 11:21:39

I booked through sovereign which included transfers and flights.
There is also excellent childcare facilities for all ages

mouldycheesefan Tue 23-Aug-16 12:02:35

I looked at ikos Olivia for this year, yes you could go to Mexico for the same price. The hotel looked lovely but there wasn't enough to do in area for me.
Mauritius is also good value for luxury all inclusive with fantastic food.
We are not buffet/first choice/ type people we like Mexico and Mauritius for all inclusive there is plenty to do outside the hotel at both which we like as we enjoy exploring the area. Go to the riviera maya not cancun if considering Mexico.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 23-Aug-16 12:35:32

Thank you!

CaurnieBred Tue 23-Aug-16 22:45:23

Following a recommendation from here, we have booked to go to the Seabank Resort in Malta. This link takes you to the dining information page. You can book direct or First Choice go there too.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 24-Aug-16 14:17:35

Thank you - the Malta link looks like mostly buffet style which I'm trying to avoid. It looks lovely though!

Threesoundslikealot Tue 30-Aug-16 13:59:47

Hotels in central Europe, certainly Germany/Austria/Switzerland, usually do half board accommodation, plus sometimes an afternoon tea, and will let you make up a sandwich lunch from the breakfast buffet too. The dinners are mostly a la carte for adults, and can be more buffet-style for kids.

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