Marriott International is opening a series of new luxury all-inclusive resorts between 2022 and 2025, proving that even wealthy travellers don’t like paying for ‘extras and incidentals’ at the end of their stays. Anthony Pearce reports
The hotel giant will be investing more than US$800 million in the construction of five new properties that will create more than 2,000 new rooms. Marriott says it is responding to consumers’ “growing desire around the world for premium, worry-free vacations”.
The new all-inclusive hotels will be located in the Caribbean and Latin America, and will sit under Marriott International existing brands (it won’t be launching a new dedicated all-inclusive brand). However, it has created an All-inclusive by Marriott portal for the properties. This is what is coming up…
- Autograph Collection Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, 650 rooms (opening 2022)
- Ritz-Carlton, Nia, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, 240 rooms (opening 2023)
- Westin, Nia, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, 400 rooms (opening 2023)
- Autograph Collection, Nia, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, 300 rooms (opening 2025)
- Marriott, Nia, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, 500 rooms (opening 2025)
Marriott says on its website: “Through seven distinctive premium and luxury hotel brands, we offer unprecedented all-inclusive getaways across the most coveted destinations in the world.
“All-Inclusive by Marriott curates experiences based on guests’ prevailing desire for the authentic and inspired. We are redefining the industry with unique concepts for everyone, including health-conscious couples, fun-loving families, and those seeking adults-only escapes.”
Below is a rendering of Nia, Marriott’s planned all-inclusive destination with four hotels.
For adults, all-inclusive amenities may include fitness and spa facilities, reservation-free dining at gourmet restaurants, adult-only pools with swim-up bars, 24-hour room service, on-site nightclubs and unlimited drinks. Family resorts may include water sports and activities, children’s and teen clubs, and entertainment.
Marriott says it will further expand its all-inclusive portfolio in popular leisure destinations worldwide with a mix of new-build hotels and conversions of existing resorts, including those currently in the Marriott International portfolio.
A total of seven Marriott International brands will feature all-inclusive hotels: Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Collection, Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels, W Hotels, Autograph Collection and Delta by Marriott.
The company says guests will enjoy a “distinctive all-inclusive vacation experience,” along with the “design aesthetic, culinary offerings and amenities” that are specific to each brand.
The new platform will provide the company’s 133 million Marriott Bonvoy members the option to earn and redeem points for this convenient, pay-one-price concept.
Tony Capuano, Marriott International’s executive vice-president and global chief development officer, says: “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.”
Marriott says that with its Starwood Hotels & Resorts acquisition in 2016, it gained experience in the all-inclusive segment when it assumed operations of its first all-inclusive property, the 406-room Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal in Costa Rica
Tina Edmundson, global brand officer for Marriott International, says: “By expanding our portfolio with this new offering, we are opening up a new way for travellers to explore through a new all-inclusive lens.”
In the autumn, the company also agreed to buy Elegant Hotels for US$130 million, which will allow it to expand its all-inclusive offering in the Caribbean. (Elegant Hotels owns and operates seven hotels in Barbados.)
What other luxury all-inclusive hotels are out there?
Four Seasons is opening Lanai at Koele, A Sensei Retreat in Hawaii in November. Formerly the Lodge at Koele, Four Seasons renovated it, turning it into a premium wellness resort where everything is included in the price, from dining at Sensei by Nobu to classes, lectures, island excursions, philanthropic activities and treatments.
Then there is Ikos Aria, which opened on the Greek island of Kos in May. What’s included? Meals at seven hotel restaurants, 30 minutes of free beach childcare for kids over the age of four, sports such as tennis and basketball, and even dinners in local restaurants.
Opened in 2018, the ultra-luxury Kudadoo resort in the Maldives has really set the all-inclusive bar high. Although stays start from £2,200 a night, there are unlimited spa treatments and champagne, free minibars, and no extra charges for diving, water sports, meals or excursions.A journalist from The Telegraph reviewed it, saying: “Staff contact guests before their arrival to ensure their minibar is filled with their favourite libations, and room service is included, as are romantic dinners on the beach or on an empty sandbank.
“Rather than offering simplistic 45-minute token gestures, the menu heaves with sinfully sybaritic rituals involving Tibetan singing bowls, the burning of sacred herbs and immersion in a Himalayan salt chamber. Throughout, I’m pampered by highly skilled, genuinely caring therapists, and there’s even a life coach on staff.”
Kudadoo general manager tells The Telegraph how the all-inclusive economics add up: “I’ve found that if you give top-end travellers everything, they tend to be relaxed about their consumption. Even the most active guests are only likely to manage a couple of activities a day, plus three meals, some drinks and perhaps a spa treatment. Others will just hang out in their villas. We’ve taken account of all of that.”