Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Are All-inclusive Resorts Worth Your Money? (Part 1)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Are All-inclusive Resorts Worth Your Money? (Part 1)

We just completed the first four weeks of a thirteen-week all-inclusive stay at El Cid Resorts’ El Moro Beach Hotel. Bill has long wanted to retire in Mexico and, since I did not want to primarily for health care reasons, we have compromised on this program. I have gained x pounds even with a focused effort to stay slim by exercising daily. It is not really the pounds but it’s where they land. There is a noticeable “baby bump” that I do not like. It makes me not want to don a swimsuit in this beach paradise!

the four El Cid Resorts in Mazatlan
This is what all-inclusive means in El Cid Resorts. It means all-you-can-eat and drink at any of the following food and beverage outlets whenever we stay in any of these vicinities: four Mazatlan hotels (El Moro, La Marina, La Castilla, and La Granada), two Cancun hotels (Ventus and La Marina), La Ceiba in Cozumel, and those that will open in the new Cabo San Lucas facility. This year, we are in El Moro in Mazatlan. 

some of the restaurants in El Cid Resorts
These are all that are available for our use:

1.    9 Restaurants
La Concha-international food
El Patio-Argentinian food
La Marina-international food
El Alcazar-Italian food
Ban Horu-Japanese food
La Pergola-international food
La Cascada-Mexican food
La Alhambra-international food
La Terraza-international food

2.    5 Snack and Drink Bars
La Gruya
El Patio
La Conchinita
Snack Bars at La Marina

3.    2 Lobby Bars
El Moro
La Castilla

4.    4 Exclusive Elite Lounge, one at each hotel

some of the facilities at the El Cid Golf And Country Club

It also means free use of the facilities of the Casa Club (the Mazatlan Golf and Country Club owned by El Cid) such as the swimming pool, tennis courts, the fitness center, and sauna and steam bath. Discounts are available at the golf course and the Spa Garden. There are also huge discounts for boating and fishing at the Mazatlan Marina Yacht Club which is at the La Marina premises. El Cid also owns Pronatours and tours come at sizable discounts there, too.

the beach fronting El Moro

There is a beachfront and two pool complexes with swim-up bars and large hot tubs for resort guests to use at La Granada, La Castilla, and El Moro. In addition, there are three private pool complexes and a private beachfront for the exclusive use of Elite members like us at El Moro and La Marina. Finally, at every hotel, activities are organized targeting various interests of guests. We have taken courses in Spanish, salsa and other Latin dances, cooking, and mixing drinks, for example. There are more.

some of the activities we joined
In addition, Mazatlan is a great Mexican town to visit. With a population of 500,000, it is considered the Shrimp Capital of the World, has the longest Malecon in Mexico, and has, for an icon, the highest lighthouse in the world on a hill by the bay. There is a vibrant downtown center and many short day trips can take you to colonial villages, a few islands, and even the city of Durango up in the mountains.

It really means great vacations with abundant food, adequate facilities, and many adventures at one great location. But there are major drawbacks to this lifestyle, not the least of which are unwanted weight gain and unwarranted expense. Others may set in for those who stay too long (like us). Boredom with the food, activities, and facilities and the increased feeling of isolation even amid plenty of people (due to lack of solid social circles unless you are adept at meeting strangers) may all set in.

But these are negatives that arise only because of the way we use the benefits. If we exercise moderation and balance, then there will be fewer. of them And with better planning, there may be none. I am developing a few Best Practices for All-Inclusive Resort Stays and will post about them after the eighth week as Part 2 of this series. It is a lifestyle that deserves honing because it is the best that one can have. We are giving ourselves the chance to enjoy it before we leave his world permanently. We do believe it is worth the money and an analysis of costs will be in Part 3 after our twelfth week.

pinnable image
pinnable image
pinnable image

I hope you will stay tuned.


  1. I can't wait to read this series. You hear so much about all inclusive resorts from people who only pop in for a short while. I an fascinated to see what it is like as a lifestyle choice. All those restaurants sounds like baby-bump city but I am sure there are ways around that too.

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