Why I’ll Never Visit An All-In Resort Again. Ever.

Posted on August 27, 2012

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After all the commotion of the past year finally ended, I couldn’t find inspiration anywhere. I stopped writing songs, lost the urge to play guitar and had a hard time dragging my ass out of bed. I was utterly exhausted and most of all, just needed to get away from everything for a while. Suddenly, those overpriced all-inclusive resorts seemed very appealing… The idea of having to do absolutely nothing seemed like nirvana to me, so without a second thought I booked the cheapest trip I could find, to a country that still boasts a pleasant climate end of January; 8 days all-clusive to Makadi Bay, Egypt.

To be honest, this was not the first all-in resort I’ve been to. A couple years prior there was a short, not that inspiring trip to a similar resort in Tunesia. I should have known…

Well, at first glance it all seemed great. It was nice to have everything arranged in advance, for a change. A coach pick-up from the airport and all the information I needed just handed to me as soon as I got there. The hotel was pretty, the sea was calming and it was nice to be away from everything and everyone. I loved the huge all you can eat buffet, the clean rooms and gardens and the 3 swimming pools including bar.

But after, say, a day, I was already getting sick of it. I was annoyed by the touts who were not only on the beach, but made a deal with the hotel and bothered you even on the resort grounds. I hated the 2005 German hit cd they played at every poolbar, I despised the chock-full “restaurants” and I absolutely loathed the evening animation programme. But the most unpleasant of all… The people.

Of course, I was as much of a tourist as anyone else there, yet there still seemed to be a big difference. I noticed that most of the hotel guests didn’t seem to mind moving from beach to poolside, from restaurant to restaurant, stuffing their faces with the same food every evening, not really inspired to do anything else. While for some that’s the idea of the perfect vacation, for me it felt like an all-inclusive limbo.

I did get a chance to visit the temples of Luxor, the highlight of my week. Seeing the ruins was something high up on my list and I’m glad I finally got the opportunity. There was some civil unrest across Egypt at the time and tourists weren’t allowed to just go anywhere without a guide or tourgroup. Even though I didn’t enjoy the group nor the tour they planned out for us (stops at tacky papyrus shops, you know the drill…), the touringcar made sure I got everywhere safe and unharmed, and I was back before curfew.

I love doing nothing. I can enjoy laying around in the sunshine with a drink and a good book all day, if I want. I just can’t enjoy it 8 days in a row. After a day or two, I need to go explore, see things, meet people, taste strange food and immerse myself into another culture and while all of that sounds exhausting, it relaxes me just as much, if not more, than laying around suntanning all day. An all-inclusive resort will never give you that experience because it not only caters to the western luxury tourist, the resorts are often located far away from the cities and towns. When you really need to get away from home, it can be a pleasant experience for a day or two, but after that it’s downright boring. Verdicht? Never again.

Have you ever stayed in a resort before? What did you think?

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