Demystifying Hotel Meeting Packages and Meal Plans

All-inclusive Resort BeachesWhen it comes to meeting and meal packages, one size definitely does not fit all. To be sure that you select the resort and the package that is the best fit for your meeting or corporate event, it is important to know the difference,

For incentive trips that involve no meetings, an all-inclusive resort or meal plan would be the best option.

All-Inclusive Resorts

The all-inclusives (at which guests paid only for beverages) were first introduced at Butlins and Pontins Holiday Camps in Great Britain during the 1930s. Gerard Blitz pioneered the all-inclusive beach resort (with which we are most familiar today) at Club Med in 1950.

All-inclusives were re-designed as beach resorts where everything was covered including airport transfers, meals, snacks, beverages (including alcohol), and all or most activities such as golf, horseback riding, and non-motorized sports.

In 1976, Jamaican hotelier John Issa updated the concept at Negril Beach Village, where guests wore simulated sharks teeth necklaces and used the teeth to pay for everything onsite. The need to carry cash was eliminated and even tips were included.

The concept spread across Jamaica and became closely associated with Sandals and Super Clubs Resorts. Eventually, to spread throughout the Caribbean and to Mexico.

Today, the facilities of many all-inclusive resorts include kid's clubs, teen clubs, spas, and fitness clubs.  A full schedule of activities for all ages and daily evening entertainment are offered at some all-inclusive resorts. Others have upped their game with luxury room categories, suites, and butler class service.

Meal Plans

Some resorts that are not all-inclusive give guests the option of selecting from a variety of packages that bundle accommodation with:

  • EP European Plan - Accommodation Only
  • BP Breakfast Plan - Includes full breakfast
  • CP Continental Plan - Continental Breakfast included
  • MAP Plan Modified American Plan known as Half Board or Half Pension in Europe (includes Breakfast and Dinner)
  • AP American Plan (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • All-Inclusive Plans Include, all meals, snacks, beverages, and some or most activities

Please note some plans include soft drinks with meals but no alcohol or between meal snacks or beverages.

This approach gives guests the option of locking in some, most, or all or their costs according to their preferred lifestyle. For example, groups that plan to participate in a lot of offsite tours and excursions would find the MAP Plan would best their needs. (With a full all-inclusive plan, they would be paying for meals that they miss.)

Resort and Food and Beverage Credits

Some resorts that aren't all-inclusive don't offer meal plans but instead off-set these costs with a resort or food and beverage credit that can range anywhere from $100 to $1000 per room per day.

Meeting Packages

Corporate groups can opt for various meeting packages depending on the type of event they are planning.

  • Day Meeting Packages: Usually include breakfast (continental), lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, meeting room rental, and audio-visual. These are suitable for local meetings when guests will be returning home at night. 
  • Full Meeting Package: Include overnight accommodation, a full breakfast, and all components of the Day Meeting Package and Dinner. This package is perfect for groups that are holding business meetings, executive retreats, or conferences away from home base.

For more information also read, New All Inclusives for 2015 Give Corporate Groups More Options for Business MeetingsU.S. Hotels and Resorts with All-Inclusive Packages and Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts Deliver Value for Corporate Events

Photo Credit: vox efx

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