Over the past several years, culinary-focused tourism has been a trending travel topic and one with mass appeal across a wide variety of demographics. In years past, all-inclusive resorts have received a bad rap, with travelers labeling their food options as nothing more than boring buffets. To attract these foodie-travelers, clients must be informed that all-inclusive resorts have upped the ante when it comes to food and beverage options. All-inclusive resorts have reinvented the F&B experience and the destinations that are doing it right are now offering an array of fine dining choices, bars for every mood, local flair, and experiential activities.
The modern all-inclusive resort goes far beyond the buffet of days passed. AMResorts® branded properties have not only an incredible range of restaurants, but also additional unique options that help create each location’s distinct personality and provide a one-of-a-kind experience for guests. At Zoëtry® Montego Bay Jamaica organic, fresh and locally grown ingredients are incorporated alongside gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options in keeping with the resort’s health-conscious atmosphere. A luxury boutique brand, it’s not surprising that other Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts feature high-end dining options including the private dining room with a 5,000 bottle wine cellar at Zoëtry® Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya and the seven-course tasting menu at Le Metissage, serving French-Mexican fusion cuisine at Zoëtry® Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun.
When selling to potential guests, taking note of the F&B options that meet their needs is key. For example, couples looking to book a getaway may be interested in a romantic rooftop dinner like the lounge offering sushi and cocktails at Secrets® Aura Cozumel. Also an option at all Secrets® properties is the “Secrets Box” that allows for private in-room dining without interruption. Alternatively, families looking for a fun and relaxing meal under the sun may be drawn to the Snack Machine food truck at Sunscape® Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa.
The Snack Machine food truck at Sunscape® Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa
Alongside the rise in culinary-focused travel is an increase in travelers looking to immerse themselves in the culture of their destination. A misconception about all-inclusive resorts is that they are insular, not allowing guests to absorb enough of the local culture, so it is key that agents show clients that isn’t the case. Properties are blending the food and cultural immersion trends in new and interesting ways and truly bringing the local flavor to their guests. For example, at both the Dreams® and Secrets® properties in Huatulco there are on-site Mezcalerias where guests can taste test and purchase authentic Mezcal, a smoky Mexican liquor derived from the agave plant native to the Oaxaca region. That same Secrets® property also hosts a summer wine festival featuring tastings and pairing dinners all highlighting Mexico’s finest wines. At Secrets® St. James Montego Bay, Jamaican jerk chicken and beef patty carts serve up delicious, authentic bites to beach goers and pool loungers alike. Another localized experience is the Heart of Mexico Food & Wine Festival. Put on annually by several AMResorts® branded properties, this event highlights an array of Mexican cuisine as well as local wine.
The experience of a meal on vacation is so much more than simply eating due to hunger. Experiential travel is what clients want, and innovative F&B can bring that to them. Exciting opportunities like chef-hosted cooking classes, mixology lessons, sommelier-led wine tastings and even taco-making classes are available at various AMResorts® branded properties and are a major draw for guests. “Dinner and a show” has come to mean more than ever, and clients are no longer satisfied with the usual options. Linking up more adventurous guests with interesting opportunities for their taste buds, like a sushi-making class at the Himitsu Restaurant, featuring a sushi conveyor belt, at Secrets® Silversands Riviera Cancun, is a perfect pairing.
Finally, clients do not want to be put in a box when they travel – more, in this case, is better. One way AMResorts® offers more is through the Sip, Savor & See program. Guests staying at participating resorts can ‘sip, savor & see’ nearby AMResorts® participating resorts where they are able to sip artful cocktails at the bar or lounge of their choosing, savor complimentary cuisine at any of those resorts’ restaurants, and see that property’s evening entertainment.
Guests looking for that local touch or unique experience may be pleasantly surprised to learn they can find greater selection and more elevated experiences at an all-inclusive resort, along with the beautiful beaches and stellar customer service that they expect. Agents can attract that widening demographic of foodie-travelers if they make sure to present all-inclusive travel opportunities as flavorful opportunities to experience new and exciting concepts.
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