European plan vs. all-inclusive resorts: which should you book for your destination wedding? And what makes them so different, anyway? As a travel specialist, I’ve visited both, and each experience has had pros and cons. However, when it comes to hosting a destination wedding, all-inclusive resorts are where it’s at! You’ll avoid hidden fees and higher price points for food and beverages, plus you can score some of your rooms for free (more on that later!). Find out what makes this option so cost-effective for you and your guests—so you can book your escape with no regrets!
European Plan vs. All-Inclusive: Breaking It Down
European Plan Resorts At a Glance
You can expect a higher price point overall at a European plan resort. You’ll pay a daily resort fee on top of your nightly room rate, and you’ll pay for all meals and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) separately, excluding breakfast in some cases. However, these resorts often host happy hours with discounted appetizers and beverages to entice vacationers. Moreover, European plan resorts tend to serve better food than all-inclusive resorts. The restaurants are usually owned by individuals instead of the hotel, so you can expect to enjoy gourmet cuisine!
All in all, European plan resorts can make great vacation destinations. They make you want to leave the bubble of the resort and explore your destination! But all the fees associated along the way make the price tag a hard swallow for most wedding guests (and couples, for that matter). Now let’s take a look at all-inclusive resorts.
All-Inclusive Resorts At a Glance
At an all-inclusive resort, guests pay a one-time, “all-in” rate that guarantees no hidden fees. That rate includes all the meals and drinks they’ll consume while there! Plus, there’s no resort fee. Upgrades that require an additional fee may crop up along the way, such as specialty wines or non-motorized activities. However, these are always optional to ensure everyone has the power to stick to their optimal budget range.
All-inclusive resorts also prioritize safety and entertainment. Depending on your destination, you may feel uncomfortable leaving the resort grounds. But with all the activities offered at an all-inclusive resort, you won’t need to! A less stressful and more cost-effective experience awaits you and your guests at these resorts.
How Much Does a Resort Cost?
Maybe you’d like to see an even more detailed breakdown of pricing at European plan vs. all-inclusive resorts. Well, I’m here to give it to you!
When choosing your resort, it’s crucial to consider your guests. If they’re going to travel such a long way to attend your destination wedding, don’t you want to make pricing as transparent as possible for their sake? That is where the all-inclusive model comes in. Let’s see what it looks like in action!
European Plan vs. All-Inclusive Pricing
- Room contract deposits are lower at an all-inclusive resort than at a standard hotel. For example: say you’re holding 40 rooms, and the total contract revenue is $100k. You can expect to pay around $100 per room at an all-inclusive resort. Multiply that by 40 rooms, and you get $4,000. Not so bad, right? Whereas at a standard hotel (or European plan resort), you’ll pay 20% of the contract revenue. 20% of $100k is $20k. Look at that difference alone!
- As discussed, all-inclusive resorts factor all meals and drinks (including alcohol) into their “all-in” rates. No surprises there! In contrast, your guests could spend well over $1,000 in marked-up food and drinks alone at a European plan resort.
- Now is when comps (a.k.a. free rooms!) come in. At an all-inclusive resort, you’ll receive money back in your pocket as an incentive for booking a certain amount of rooms. Let’s say you booked 30 rooms and can expect to receive every 6th room free (up to a maximum of three rooms), per your contract. This figure will likely add up to THOUSANDS of dollars saved when all is said and done! Most European plan resorts do not offer this perk.
- Along similar lines, all-inclusive resorts offer room contract “concessions” (a.k.a. perks you receive for booking a contract with them). Often, this includes free events for your wedding party, such as a welcome dinner or morning-after brunch.
Ultimately, all these benefits make it easy for your guests to say “YES” to attending your wedding at an all-inclusive resort! They’ll see the actual cost of their stay, without any lurking fees, so they can decide if it’s feasible for their budget. I always include this information front and center on my couples’ wedding websites to ensure everyone knows what to expect!
Book with Bridie Travel
It’s plain to see that an all-inclusive resort offers more bang for your buck than a European plan resort. And that’s especially true when it comes to hosting a destination wedding! Ready to investigate to find the venue of your dreams? Check out my favorite all-inclusive destination wedding packages to help you create your ideal escape!
I would also love to chat with you to discuss my services as a travel specialist. I simplify the booking experience for you and your guests so you can jet off to your destination wedding headache-free! Reach out today to learn more.