Deep Diver
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

Those seeking a decadent spa getaway will enjoy the Perfectly Pampered package. This package offers three spa treatments per person, which include a massage, facial and a choice of scrub or soak at Half Moon's award-winning Fern Tree. The Perfectly Pampered package starts at $2,200 (double occupancy) for a three-night stay.

Many all-inclusives also offer world-class meeting facilities, and Half moon is no exception. Half Moon's newly refurbished boardroom features a large conference table, plush executive chairs and seats 14. In addition to the boardroom, the adjacent meeting rooms, Montego, St. James and Rose Hall meeting suites, are also available. The suite of rooms totaling 3,675 sq. ft. features retractable air walls allowing the option of one large meeting room that seats 295 theatre-style or three smaller breakout rooms for more intimate gatherings.

In addition to the Montego, St. James and Rose Hall meeting rooms, Half Moon also offers a 12,000-sq. ft. ballroom, a 4,600-sq. ft. conference centre with stage, sound and lighting capabilities and other indoor function and meeting space for a total of 27,000 sq. ft. indoor space. The resort also offers an array of outdoor event locations.

For a true luxury-inclusive getaway, travelers need look no further than Half Moon's Ultimate in Luxury. Created for those wanting a bit of everything in their vacation, this package includes golf daily, water sports such as sailing, snorkeling and glass bottom boat rides, horseback riding and other exclusive amenities. Rates for the Ultimate in Luxury package start at $570 per room per night. The Half Moon Plan is another inclusive option for a memorable vacation. This plan, which starts at $530 per room per night, provides all meals and premium beverage. For more information please visit www.halfmoon.com.

Wendy Cole, vice president of Sales and Marketing at the Almond Beach Resort, states, "Here at the Almond Beach Resorts, we actually have separate package deals for leisure travelers as apposed to the packages that are designed specifically for business group members." Almond Resorts in Barbados and St. Lucia offer five great all-inclusive resorts with one amazing experience.

Almond Resorts is the premier all-inclusive resort of the Caribbean for groups, destination weddings, couples, families and singles. This is a spectacular island paradise for all those seeking a personalized vacation without rules and without worries. From kids programs to the most incredible Caribbean spa, Almond Resorts promises that your vacation will always be "For You. About You." Because this is the type of resort that specializes in providing the ultimate all-inclusive experience for large groups like conferences, family reunions, weddings, etc., the package system is designed a little differently. Unlike a leisure traveler the group traveler uses and will need different amenities during the stay such as usage of meeting space, banquet style meals, A/V equipment for presentations and other group/business related expenditures. Almond Beach is a great option for groups that want to bring their function to an all-inclusive environment. "Essentially the advantage of using our resort is that, unlike a conventional hotel we include all of our water sports and beach activities including instruction into the nightly rate", mentions Cole. For reservations call (407) 872-2220 or you can visit the website at info@almondresorts.

Typically an all-inclusive resort is designed to have everything a guest wants in one place. After all, the reason people choose an all-inclusive is to avoid spending bundles of money upon demand while on vacation. Everything is taken care of and a guest shouldn't have to worry about pulling out their pocket book except for the occasional expenditure that isn't covered in the inclusive price. However, what if a guest wants to experience something that isn't offered at a specific resort? This leads us to other questions. Like, what is the goal of an all-inclusive? Does management prefer to keep their guest onsite, experiencing activities that one already paid for in their package?

Surprisingly, many resorts have different ideas and viewpoints on this matter. For the most part in this industry a guest is not expected to stay onsite for the whole duration of a trip. The activities and services provided can accommodate individuals that want to do so, however. Most all-inclusive resorts are located in tropical, warm climate areas where sight seeing and exploring is a huge part of the vacation. Almond Beach Resorts for example has a chain of five beautiful resorts spread about the Caribbean. "We want our guests to totally experience what each of these islands has to offer," says Cole. Some resorts go as far as providing offsite experiences for their guests and including them in the flat rate. Now a guest can leave the premises and still experience activities that are non-resort related without spending any additional money.

With the shift in the economy and individuals having less money to spend on traveling more and more groups are looking at all-inclusive resorts as options for their conferences and meetings. Meeting planners actually love to refer their clients to these resorts. All-inclusive resorts are designed to provide a simplified cost structure, which is a benefit to a meeting planner. A planner can assure his or her client that there won't be any hidden charges or fees that aren't expected. Everything is taken care of up front. It's great to be able to tell a client that upon arrival they don't have to worry about a thing. And, for a group and its members, it is an incentive to not worry about extra financial responsibility while on a business trip. Conference members can enjoy all the amenities of an all inclusive and just concentrate on their meetings. "I have taken groups to Cancun and we had a set schedule which we stuck to. There were no hiccups or times where I felt that my clients weren't being taken care of," mentions Robert Countryman, president of Countryman Planning Group.

The all-inclusive Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa, located on the Riviera Maya, Mexico, offers a perfect relaxing resort for corporate retreats and conventions with meeting facilities that accommodate groups of 12 to 300 persons. The resort features three meeting spaces comprised of one boardroom and a large convention center, which can be broken down into two smaller rooms. Additional options are available throughout the property. All audio-visual requirements can be met for an add-on fee. The resort can customize dining options for breakfast, coffee breaks, buffets, hors d'oeuvres and bar service as well as arrange for themed parties and special events.

The Sandos Resort staff can coordinate team-building activities, including treasure hunts, Olympic games, sand-castle building contests, moonlight beach volleyball and more. Groups of 30 or more will receive services of a group coordinator, private group check-in, welcome cocktails and VIP treatment free-of-charge. For more information visit online at www.SandosHotels.com.

One might wonder if choosing the right all-inclusive resort is an difficult decision. Some wonder if choosing an all-inclusive as apposed to a traditional resort is the correct decision. Well the truth of the matter is that it's very important to research different all-inclusive resorts around the world as well as conventional resorts and see which is geared to what you and your traveling companions are trying to accomplish. One concern of travelers is that they want to travel with a guarantee of savings in this tight economy, but they aren't sure if it's more economical to go the all-inclusive route or the typical hotel route.


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