Travel

Nice all-inclusive for couple with 2 year old

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 17th, 2021 6:30 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
3763 posts
2737 upvotes
toronto

Nice all-inclusive for couple with 2 year old

Hello, I do not want to break the bank but want a nice place to stay this coming october/november with my wife and 2 year old. We mainly want a nice beach, pool and better than average food.

We do not have anywhere in mind but have a budget of around $4000 give or take for 5-7 days.
Got that FIDO account!
15 replies
Deal Guru
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Sep 6, 2002
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I’m not a big all inclusive guy but your asking for a lot of research with a vague question and your bumping a thread up less than 24 hours you posted.

All inclusive are listed online and tons of reviews. You’re giving a two month range that includes some pricey times like american thanksgiving and Xmas New Years.

My recommendation is to do some base research. List some potential resorts. Read reviews and then ask a more targeted question

@BrunetteGirl has stayed at many due to her work and often has some very in-depth opinions. However you can’t expect someone to do all your research.

If this type of research is daunting or you’re totally tied up with your 2 year old. An old fashion travel agent might be what you need.
Autocorrect sucks
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22774 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Personally I don’t travel south during the height of Hurricane Season … Mid August to Mid November (with most storms happening in that span between Late August & Late October ). November you are usually out of the worst odds … unless you are heading to Mexico.

So bear that all in mind when you are looking at prices and wondering … WHY so cheap now vs rest of the year

As well … buy Travel Insurances for your trip and health coverage for all of you

If the Airline or Resort let’s you down in anyway cuz of Hurricane issues … travel insurance will usually compensate (like getting stranded in country with no where to stay cuz of the storm )
Deal Guru
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Jul 12, 2003
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Toronto
Not all inclusive but how about Hawaii, Hotels are probably expensive but flight can varies.
There are a lot of cheap eat and Groupon deals in Waikiki
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Jr. Member
Jul 3, 2021
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You do you but are you comfortable putting your 2 year old at risk of catching Covid in a foreign country?
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1265 posts
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Oakville
Rfdinyyc wrote: You do you but are you comfortable putting your 2 year old at risk of catching Covid in a foreign country?
Yeah, we're in a similar situation. Booked to attend a destination wedding in a few months (was booked early in 2020 before things got serious), and now we're trying to get out of it (me my wife and 3 year old).
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Oct 5, 2008
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Toronto
GangStarr wrote: I’m not a big all inclusive guy but your asking for a lot of research with a vague question and your bumping a thread up less than 24 hours you posted.

All inclusive are listed online and tons of reviews. You’re giving a two month range that includes some pricey times like american thanksgiving and Xmas New Years.

My recommendation is to do some base research. List some potential resorts. Read reviews and then ask a more targeted question

@BrunetteGirl has stayed at many due to her work and often has some very in-depth opinions. However you can’t expect someone to do all your research.

If this type of research is daunting or you’re totally tied up with your 2 year old. An old fashion travel agent might be what you need.
agreed to all
Member
Apr 12, 2009
450 posts
107 upvotes
No idea what the situation is right now in Dominican with Covid but before Covid I stayed with a 3 year old and 1.5 year old at the Barcelo Bavaro. This is huge resort (might be a couple together) located at the southern end of Bavaro beach (one of the nicest in DR in my opinion).

We stayed in the section closest to the south east beach in a beachfront 1 bedroom on premium level. Has 2 full bathrooms with 2 showers, small kitchen area with table to eat, living room, bedroom, walk through closet area between bedroom and 2nd washroom and huge balcony with hot tub.

I believe we stayed in Bavaro Palace but not 100% sure.

Nice beach with no sales people. Never had any trouble getting space on the beach. Beach is guarded and it is the last resort on this strip so limits the amount of people. It also has a huge beach area compared to other resorts. Just look at google maps to see the difference.
Resort has multiple children's swimming areas with three main ones.

First being a small one near the entrance to Buffet Bohio. Our room was very close to this and made it super easy to hang out there as its near the beach, food and multiple bars. Waterpark was also good for the younger kids.

2nd large one was more towards the back of the resort and surrounded by multi level townhouses filled with vacationing families (seemed that way). Was a little intense for my 3 year old and I was not allowed to go down the slides with my kids. Security screaming at me and multiple people in spanish like we are killing someone for doing that. Maybe put up signs in English and have someone who speaks English enforcing?

There is also a third one all the way in the back called Pirates Island Water Park. This one had large slides and I believe cost extra if you are not Premium. Kids could not go on most of the slides due to being too small.

There is also a Kids club with daycare (did not use) and kids game room with bowling alley from what I remember.

Lastly there is a huge theater that puts on kids shows at nigh. Pretty cool. Premium bar right behind so you can drink while kids watch.

Depends on what you plan on doing but we thought the larger kids parks were far from the beach and we are beach people so mostly stuck to the small front park. Kids could also go in in the multiple pools near the ocean except for the small one directly in front of my room (adults only).

Resort was pretty nice. Not brand new but pretty good condition. Adults only section looked much older and rooms smaller.

A couple things you may want to know.

I dont remember how much Premium level was but seemed like it was good deal considering I did not have to wait in line ever and could book any restaurant at any time (seemed like that).
Room service is awesome with the kids. Go back to room and order a fillet mignon for lunch while kids get ready and order a couple different options for them plus dessert (why not we are on vacation!).

24 hour buffet/sports bar is good for when the family goes to bed and you want to catch your team on tv. Chat with randoms and smoke some cigars.

I was very happy to have a 1 bedroom 2 bath room so I could put the kids down and still be able to relax in the living room with tv on. Could also go in the hot tub on the balcony without leaving room. When they go to bed at 7:30 very limiting if you have a one room setup and have to have light out and cant make noise (a lot of the nicer resorts had tiny 1 bedrooms with weird dividers they tried to pass off as walls). 2nd shower off entrance was also good to not wake the kids up.

This resort has a golf course and on resort stores. There is a small market just outside at the north end past the adults only section but you need to cross the adults only section to get there and it is very frowned upon to pass through this section with children. Prices were cheaper than on resort and lots of variety.

One thing to note was how many Russians were there. I never really noticed this until I came to Punta Cana but my impression was that you need to be very rich in Russian to go to DR and with that comes a different attitude. Seems like a lot them are extremely image conscious and think they are gods gift to the world. Being rude to other guests and resort employees is also acceptable, even better if you are completely wasted. Lol not all of them were like that, and I have seen the same from Canadians and Americans, but just seemed to be more noticeable with them. Even at the airport (long flight to Paris for first leg) I noticed this. My coworker who is Russian tells me that she often embarrassed when she goes down south and avoids speaking Russian to her children so she does not get lumped in with them. Not a deal breaker but something to keep in mind.

There seemed to also be a decent amount of local Dominicans on the resort. Something I have never seen before. Not sure if it was because it was slower season (early Dec) but seemed that some were maybe not staying overnight but just for the day enjoying the resort? They seemed to come in waves so maybe they had some events but I did notice a bit of preferential treatment from the staff for those spanish speaking clients at the bars. Resort is huge so not really a big deal.

Sorry if this response was all over the place but some info for you.

Perhaps as others mentioned you can tell us where you have been in the past and what your price range is would help. I believe this trip was under 8k for 4 of us as we went in low season.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17991 posts
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Baigle wrote: No idea what the situation is right now in Dominican with Covid but before Covid I stayed with a 3 year old and 1.5 year old at the Barcelo Bavaro. This is huge resort (might be a couple together) located at the southern end of Bavaro beach (one of the nicest in DR in my opinion).
I do not like all inclusives. But your amazing review had me actually look up their website and go through more details. You did an amazing job outlining the pro's and con's. Thank you!
Member
Aug 19, 2015
340 posts
260 upvotes
Ajax, ON
riseagainstthemachine wrote: Hello, I do not want to break the bank but want a nice place to stay this coming october/november with my wife and 2 year old. We mainly want a nice beach, pool and better than average food.

We do not have anywhere in mind but have a budget of around $4000 give or take for 5-7 days.
We did Barcelo Maya Colonial in Mexico 3 years in a row with our kids,
I love Mexico, the resort was nice and price was solid. but with COVID, i dont know if I would go to there. I'd rather be in USA, because worst case, you can always DRIVE back to Canada if you get covid.
Sr. Member
Jun 3, 2007
868 posts
425 upvotes
Toronto
Baigle wrote: No idea what the situation is right now in Dominican with Covid but before Covid I stayed with a 3 year old and 1.5 year old at the Barcelo Bavaro. This is huge resort (might be a couple together) located at the southern end of Bavaro beach (one of the nicest in DR in my opinion).

Nice detailed write -up, the resort should give you a discount to advertise for them...

I have also been looking for an all inclusive, something that I would not normally consider. I have worked throughout the lockdowns and need a break but I imagine that any "travel" vacations will be difficult and complicated.

I have visited a number of different travel sites for booking purposes, best thing is to find one not affiliated only with 1 airline such as SunWing or Air Canada because you'll because you will be very restricted.

There are resorts available in Cuba at the lower end of the price range but Cuba is presently in a terrible situation with their Covid numbers still at their worst since the start of the pandemic.

Mexico and DR have a large selection, with a mix of kids and adults available, with varied activities at each resort.

If you look around and find something that suits your budget and has the amenities that you want then just check some reviews on recent vacations because things will have changed since before Covid. Any reviews before Covid may not show the true picture of what the situation is now.

I don't usually care for the high end hotels but this time I don't want to go with anything less than 5 star because I definitely want to enjoy after being after being cooped up for a year and a 1/2.

I saw a resort that I like in Costa Rica but it's almost $4000 for 2 weeks I don't know that you can get an extra $2000 squeezed out of a hotel compared to other countries costing about $2000 so I will also have to do a little bit more research myself.
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Mar 5, 2006
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Murica
MP3_SKY wrote: Not all inclusive but how about Hawaii, Hotels are probably expensive but flight can varies.
There are a lot of cheap eat and Groupon deals in Waikiki
Just came back from Oahu.
Forget groupon, it’s so trashy.
Do an Airbnb with a parking spot. Royal Aloha tower has assigned parking stalls. So don’t worry about losing spot.
Or pay $16 per day parking there.

As for eating, check out YouTube channel Felix and Amanda eats.

From plate lunches, poke, fine dining at Roy’s.

Wanna save money in food. Hit Costco and bring back to home base fridge. There’s a reason why there’s 4 Costco’s in Oahu. Or is it 5 now? I hit 2 of them on my trip.

Flights are seasonal. There’s very low chance of hurricane and tsunamis but they treat it seriously.

I say for good time budget $4500 cad for 7 days including flight and PCR tests for going and flying back. Daniel Inouye HNL Airport does PCR tests at just outside of baggage 36. 8 hour turnaround time email results. They have lab on site in parking lot. So time the 72 hour correctly. $140 USD, make sure to have USD credit card. No cash accept for registration for processing. Have to register online when you get there, they will give you a QR to scan to link to registration site.

As for going to Hawaii, make sure register Hawaii Safe Travels with State of Hawaii. Gotta provide your trip stay info such as flight # and day arrival and departure and stay address. Op your child is exempt as PCR test requirement is for 5 year +. Also have to upload your PCR test from life labs if from Ontario. $199+tax per person. Check your airline, AC or WS. Once PCR test result is emailed you download the letter to Safe Travels then they email you the QR code for you to use once you land in Hawaii. Without that you will go through complicated verification process or worse forced to quarantine in Hawaii. They take it seriously there, google it. Fines and arrests.

I believe Hawaii has now implemented starting Sept 13th Safe Access which is vaccine passport to access restaurants and services. Without that you will be denied. Not sure what’s needed but should be similar to Safe Travel process.
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Mar 5, 2006
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Murica
Yes when I went to Mexico, there were lots of Russians and Albertans. Not many from Ontario. At least at my resort I went.
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maniacshopper wrote: Just came back from Oahu.
Forget groupon, it’s so trashy.
LOL, just check the Foodie Groupon at Waikiki and the good one I went are gone.

A lot of Good Japanese restaurant around and they offer Tea time (from 2:30 to 5) and after hours special (after 10om), offers are 50% off menu price.
Make sure to try the Taro Pie at Mcdonald's.

I scored the flight ticket from YYZ to Waikiki for only $600CAD all incl in September (stopped at Denver, came back stopped at Chicago), but there was few years back.
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Murica
Yes lots of good Japanese restaurants. During covid I didn’t see many great deals. Did stop at musubi cafe and used 7-eleven for quick snacks like musubi, slushies.

Some ABC stores had Dole Whip, so I get them whenever I see them. Gotta pay first to get bowl or tray, I was able to make a tall one as I was sharing with little one

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