Marriott Introducing Luxury All Inclusive Resorts

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

In case you were worried that Marriott didn’t already have enough brands and concepts, there’s good news — there’s more on the way!

Marriott is introducing all-inclusive hotels

Marriott has announced that they’re launching an all-inclusive platform, giving their 133 million Marriott Bonvoy members new options for earning and redeeming points.

To kick this off, Marriott has signed management contracts with hotel developers who plan to build five new all-inclusive resorts, expected to open between 2022 and 2025, at the cost of over $800 million.

Initially Marriott’s plan is to leverage Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Collection, Marriott, Westin, W, Autograph Collection, and Delta by Marriott, for these concepts. Later on we could see more Marriott brands offer all-inclusive experiences as well.

Marriott’s EVP and Global Chief Development Officer, Tony Capuano, had the following to say:

“Our new all-inclusive resort platform is a natural progression for Marriott International. It will provide the ownership community a game-changing value proposition for their luxury and premium resort projects around the world, while providing guests a new vacation option with brands they trust.”

Note that currently Marriott does already have a couple of all-inclusives, but it’s not something they’ve emphasized up until now. These are just some random Westins that seemingly decided to be all-inclusives, but no focus has otherwise been put on the concept.

Marriott’s five all-inclusive resorts in the works

Contracts have been signed for over 2,000 rooms under Marriott’s new concept, spread across several brands in the Caribbean and Latin America.

In Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Marriott plans on opening the following resort:

  • A 650-room Autograph Collection property, expected to open in 2022

In Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, Marriott plans on opening four resorts:

  • A 240-room Ritz-Carlton property, expected to open in 2023
  • A 400-room Westin property, expected to open in 2023
  • A 300-room Autograph Collection property, expected to open in 2025
  • A 500-room Marriott property, expected to open in 2025

Beyond the initial resorts they’re targeting, they hope to expand through a mix of new-build properties as well as conversions of existing properties. This could include existing Marriott properties being converted into all inclusives, and could also include non-Marriott properties joining Marriott.

Bottom line

I don’t think I’ve been to an all-inclusive in nearly 20 years. The last one I remember was when I went to Club Med when I was a kid. Historically the concept hasn’t had much appeal to me, though I’d certainly try one of these out.

I’m surprised it has taken Marriott so long to get into this segment. Hyatt and Hilton both have all-inclusives, yet Marriott, the world’s largest hotel group, hasn’t.

What’s your take on all-inclusives, and are you happy to see Marriott getting into this segment?

Comments
  1. SO you will pay for an all inclusive holiday, and at check-in, will they ask for an additional resort fee?

  2. I usually do all-inclusive when I do Mexico or the Caribbean. My last one was El Dorado Royal in Playa Del Carmen. When I’m staying a week or so I like the idea of eating when I want, and drinking whenever and not having to worry about cash. But some are much better than others. I do think the companies that focus on all inclusive vacations do it better than the large chains.

    FYI I worked for Club Med early in my career in their North American Sales offices.

  3. As AIs are in other countries, I prefer them to be non Marriott/Hyatt/Hilton branded. Loyalty perks are typically minimal or non-existent. Customers are more likely to complain as it’s “The Marriott” and they’re Unobtanium – all chill is gone. The last thing I want to see on my Mexican vacation is Hilton or Bonvoy branding. Hilton took over The Royal in Playa del Carmen and it’s been nothing but awful downgrades

  4. I enjoy a good AI every now and then when I just want a beach vacation. The catch is always the quality of the food & drink. I’ll be very interested to see if Marriott can match the quality that one would expect from those brands and at what price point. The reality is though that in those markets, Riviera Maya specifically, you almost have to be an AI to stay competitive in that market.

  5. The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal in Costa Rica is an All-Inclusive Resort…so all major brands have it…

  6. Single best way to use Citi Prestige 4th night here. Get them to pay for one day of your meals and earn points on all. We will see if it works going forward.

  7. I fail to see how this is a new concept. We stayed at Westin Playa Conchal about a year ago (after it was already part of Marriott), and the resort is all-inclusive (including all meals, alcoholic beverages and most activities). All in all the food we were served was delicious (dinners were served at our table rather than making us stand in a buffet line, though lunch/breakfast was traditional buffet but still great), the bar staff at the pool did a great job of keeping our cups full of booze, we had an amazing experience there and would love to go back again in the future.

  8. Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica’s (Autograph Collection) rates include daily breakfast & free activities and experiences like zip-lining, horseback riding, cooking lessons, etc.

  9. The Westin Cancun and Costa Rica has had an all inclusive rate for years (all though it’s optional), so they’ve had the concept for some properties for some time now. Interesting why they don’t add the rate to more of their other existing resorts instead of building all new ones.

  10. So what’s the point of elite status (and free breakfast!) to say nothing of the up-charge for non-complimentary club lounges at resorts if everything is included?

  11. They must be looking at the Hyatt Ziva/Zilara model and see something that’s working.

    By the time Marriott stands up these properties, Hyatt will likely have double the properties if they maintain the growth rate.

  12. I love the Sandals all inclusives. Especially the newer ones like Barbados, where you have access to ~20 solid restaurants, great rooms, pools, ocean, etc (and even bowling). They even include free scuba diving among other things. Liquor is pretty solid as well. Lower end AI? I could pass. Club Med would be at the lower end of the AI scheme.

  13. As somebody with dietary restrictions who also does not drink, I find all-inclusive properties a huge waste of money. For many people though, there is value.

  14. @Michael, that’s what I was thinking too. An absolutely AMAZING experience from the beginning to the end.

  15. Given my pedestrian tastes, the Hyatt Ziva in Cabo , with the Prestige 4th night free (including tax since they have no way of separating it out) has been a good choice. They have a lounge for
    elites that has bottles of real liquor , as opposed to the stuff at the bars.
    This Ziva is also good with upgrades, and it’s cheap enough that half the time I’ll eat outside the hotel but use room service in the middle of the night.

    Sad to see the Prestige deal go. The double tier credit right now is helpful to get status re-upped.

  16. I’ve stayed at The Royal at Playa del Carmen in one of their presidential suites. This hotel has 9 restaurants on site that is all inclusive! Looking forward to seeing what Marriott has to offer since going to Mexico is all about an all inclusive resort!

  17. Genius!

    The issue with Ziva and Zilara is having one price point. Doing some research, Cancun and DR AIs can run from $200 to +1,000 a night. Z&Z’s run $600ish. So mid range.

    And while I had a great time at the Ziva and Zilara Cancun, I’d be willing to pay +$100 more per night for better food.

    The Marriott concept will offer multiple price points. You want a quick beach getaway for a reasonable price – Marriott All Inclusive. You and your spouse want to do something a little nicer for a special occasion – Ritz All Inclusive.

  18. So what’s the point of elite status (and free breakfast!) to say nothing of the up-charge for non-complimentary club lounges at resorts if everything is included?

    If you staying enough to have elite status then the primary point is having enough points to stay for a few days for free. Free including all you can eat and drink. Sure you can go to non AI properties and get free nights and free breakfast but then after a few days you have a few grand in F&B charges. And while that can be amazing, sometimes you just want a few days on a beach where you don’t want to worry how much anything costs.

    Alternatively it looks like they are offering elites room upgrades, premium f&b and free spa services. So that adds value as well.

  19. Hi Lucky,

    This post was so easy to read because you dived straight into the new content, without first rehashing Marriott’s existing offerings and giving background that people familiar with have to skim over. I recall other journalists commenting on this before, and suggesting that you summarize the new thing that you’re writing about at the start of every post, instead of hiding it somewhere down the middle.

    Thank you!

  20. @Lucky: You just need to go to the right level for (true) All inclusive to be appealing. Just wait for your upcoming stay at Singita.

    All inclusive should really mean ALL inclusive. So including all excursions, laundry, minibar etc. It‘s one of the things that make Singita so amazing!

    Also the lack thereof is one of the major reasons why Aman for my taste can never be the worlds best hotels. When they try to upsell you outrageously priced excursions – like an 800$ picknick lunch – at breakfast, they ruin the experience.

  21. All inclusive brings nothing to the local economy. Skip and go to a local hotel and enjoy the culture.

  22. Contrary to how it’s being portrayed in their press releases and the media, this is not something Marriott initially wanted. Current hotel owners in asked Marriott to create an all inclusive brand, and Marriott considered that first (because the company hates disappointing its owners, but not so much customers). But they didn’t want a new brand and they decided not to rededicate an existing brand to just all inclusive so this was the compromise to avoid the hotels going to another brand.

    This is entirely driven by the development team, like everything in the company.

  23. HI, I stayed at Hyatt Ziva Cancun with family recently and was blown overall by AI experience that it offered and in addition, the service at this property was also remarkable. The fact that the family could have fantastic time without having to break the bank was notable. Also, my observation was that AI experience at beach properties will be handy, since families will end up spending more time at the resort and can enjoy facilities in entirety.

    I was exactly wondering then as to why Marriott or Hilton don’t seem to have enough AI properties in their portfolio. This inclusion of AI properties by Marriott will be welcome addition.

  24. Just got back from the Westin Costa Rica all inclusive. Was great, and no resort fees. I paid with points and no charges upon check out! Now golf was extra, zip lining extra, etc. but that was expected. And as Marriott titanium member, the upgrade was incredible. Presidential Suite was fantastic!

  25. My idea of an AI is when Aman has offers that throw in meals, transport, spa and cocktails.

    Most other AI’s are designed to keep you there, keep you away from any real culture of where you’re visiting and keep you drunk. Meh.

    Sandals are overpriced garbage. The ‘shuck and jive’ mentality of some of their resorts makes me cringe.

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