All inclusive hotels are monstrous buildings of refined machinery that cling to beautiful beaches around the world. But, not all-inclusive hotels are at the beach nor all hotels by the beach are all-inclusive. I was skeptical about visiting one of these in Punta Cana, but my review was very positive. What follows, five reasons to relax at one of these.

I travelled to the DR in June 2016. We went there as a family, which makes the experience much better. First, because we got to spend time together but also because the flexibility of the hotel allowed for independence from each other. We stayed a little less than two weeks at Iberostar Bávaro Hotel. If you haven’t heard of Iberostar (as I hadn’t), let me tell you they are a VERY good option for going on vacation with family. We were four adults, but they are prepared to receive children of all ages.

1. You cannot get bored

The animation team are there to make sure you don’t just sleep all day. Archery, bingo, tennis, football, volleyball, foam party at the pool, beach games,… you name it. You want to read? Just read. You want to play? Play. I did as much as I could in the morning because in the afternoon I liked taking a short nap with the sounds of the waves breaking.

2. It is a safe environment

And I don’t mean this in terms of crime. All-inclusive hotels are safe in the sense that it’s hard for kids to get lost, or for teens to escape to unknown discos. For families, I think it is a great place to relax. I saw huge families enjoying themselves without the concern of losing any member in the vastness of the beach. Further, for seniors it is also a good place to vacation because they don’t need to get very acquainted with local codes, transit rules, laws, and dialects. Finally, I absolutely left my phone and stuff in my beach chair for HOURS and nothing happened.

3. You can eat and drink as much as you want. 

Are you vegetarian? You are covered. Are you vegan? Checked. Are you celiac? Options available in EVERY eating spot. And drinks. OMG, open bar all day!

4. You can’t have the same vacation twice.

These types of hotels are so versatile that whether you go on your honeymoon, with toddlers, with your cousins, or with all your family, you’ll always have a great time. There is no way you will repeat what you did before because there is always something new to try. Even the hotels change!

5. You can live without cash.

When we planned our vacation, a family said that she wanted to actually relax. Renting an apartment, going to the store, figuring among all of us who likes what and how to cook for everyone were super stressful. Hence, the all-inclusive solves this. You don’t need cash for anything. Maybe if you go outside the complex to buy souvenirs or for the cab back to the airport or for tipping the waiter. But overall, you don’t depend on cash for getting a lemonade, eating around, or using equipment. This was -to my surprise- a crucial part of the vacation as we had already paid for everything and did not need anything else to have a good time. (I must say that we did use our credit card for some extras: a champagne for toasting on our first night, a sailing class, and a tour to an island).

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