For the most part, all-inclusive resorts have always fit the same mold in the same general travel destinations. We’re talking watered-down drinks and subpar food at resorts dotted along the beaches of the Caribbean and Mexico.
Recently, however, the tide has turned for the all-inclusive experience. Big hotel companies — including Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt — have invested big bucks to break all-inclusive stereotypes while amassing resorts around the world. It was almost like a game of Monopoly – but one with unlimited tequila and random breaks in limbo with your mother-in-law.
In this game, Hyatt has just made one of the most interesting moves yet: It has added five resorts in Bulgaria to the Black Sea to The Inclusive Collection.
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Hyatt’s new additions
Last year, Hyatt completed its roughly $2.7 billion acquisition of Apple Leisure Group, adding about 100 all-inclusive properties to the company’s collection. These resorts are made up of a number 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 hotels along with Hyatt’s own Hyatt Zilara and Ziva resorts. However, because all-inclusive resorts operate a little differently than other hotels and resorts, Hyatt has also decided to introduce a special award table exclusive to all-inclusive properties.
Related: 8 Lessons I Learned From My 1st All-Inclusive Vacation
While the company already operates a few all-inclusive resorts in (or planned) Greece and Spain, renaming these five all-inclusive resorts in Bulgaria is Hyatt’s first step into the Black Sea all-inclusive market.
The five resorts are spread over two Bulgarian holiday areas, Sunny Beach and Obzor. These are popular destinations for European holidaymakers 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.
- Dream Resort & Spa: A 597-room, family-friendly resort adjacent 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 resorts being rebranded and renovated, all will adopt the new branding in 2023, with the exception of Breathless, where it is planned for 2024.
Totally new image for all inclusive
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: all-inclusive resorts are getting a new lease of life.
All-inclusive resorts thrived during the pandemic; They were built in a way to provide travelers with everything they 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 location.
Accor’s Rixos brand offers luxury all-inclusive experiences at more than two dozen hotels in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Croatia and Kazakhstan. In Croatia, guests at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik can enjoy an all-inclusive experience at a clifftop resort tucked away on the Dalmatian coast, and still step out of the resort to explore Dubrovnik’s UNESCO-listed Old Town.
All-inclusive vacations can also cater for winter activities like skiing or snowboarding. A defining brand in the all-inclusive movement, Club Med has a number of all-inclusive ski resorts that are great for both seasoned pros and newcomers to winter sports. You’ll find these resorts in Europe, Japan, China and even Canada at the new Cub Med Québec Charlevoix. Who needs margaritas and sun when there’s snow and après ski?
Or, for a truly wild experience, you could take a page out of TPG author Ben Smithson’s book and take a trip to the cheapest all-inclusive resort in Egypt; it only cost him $41.46 a night.
The bottom line is, 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 – don’t already do it for you, give it some time. The new-age history of all-inclusive resorts is just beginning to unfold.