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All-inclusive resorts aren't just for the Caribbean — Hyatt's heading to Bulgaria

Sept. 18, 2022
4 min read
people on crowded beach
All-inclusive resorts aren't just for the Caribbean — Hyatt's heading to Bulgaria
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For the most part, all-inclusive resorts have always fit into the same mold in the same general destinations. We're talking watered-down drinks and subpar food at resorts dotting the beaches up and down the Caribbean and Mexico.

Lately, though, the tide has been changing for the all-inclusive experience. Major hotel companies — including Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt — have been investing serious cash to break the all-inclusive stereotypes as they collect resorts around the world. It's been almost like a game of Monopoly — but one with unlimited tequila and random breaks to limbo with your mother-in-law.

In this game, Hyatt just made one of the most interesting moves yet: It added five resorts in Bulgaria, along the Black Sea, to The Inclusive Collection.

Hyatt's new additions

Last year, Hyatt closed its roughly $2.7 billion dollar acquisition of Apple Leisure Group, which added about 100 all-inclusive properties to the company's collection. These resorts consist of a series of all-inclusive brands including Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas and Breathless Resorts & Spas.

Now, World of Hyatt members can earn and redeem points for stays at these Apple Leisure Group properties, along with Hyatt's own Hyatt Zilara and Ziva resorts. However, since all-inclusive resorts operate a little differently than other hotels and resorts, Hyatt also decided to introduce a special awards chart exclusively for all-inclusive properties.

Related: 8 lessons I learned from my 1st all-inclusive vacation

While the company already has a few all-inclusive resorts in (or planned for) Greece and Spain, the rebranding of these five all-inclusive resorts in Bulgaria is Hyatt's first venture into the all-inclusive market along the Black Sea.

The five resorts are split across two Bulgarian resort areas, Sunny Beach and Obzor. These are popular destinations for European holiday travelers and are known for being extremely affordable. Here's a complete list of the properties and a brief description:

  • Secrets Resort & Spa: A 335-room, adults-only resort in Sunny Beach.
  • Dreams Resort & Spa: A 597-room, family-friendly resort next to Secrets in Sunny Beach.
  • AluaSun: A 191-room resort in Obzor.
  • Alua Resort: A 318-room resort in Obzor.
  • Breathless Resort & Spa: A 395-room resort in Sunny Beach.

Of the five resorts being rebranded and renovated, all will assume the new branding in 2023 except for Breathless, where it is scheduled for 2024.

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All-new image for all-inclusives

We've said it before and we'll say it again: All-inclusive resorts are getting a new life.

During the pandemic, all-inclusive resorts thrived; they were, in a way, built to provide everything travelers needed during that time, including space, convenience and isolation. That trend seems to be sticking as travelers realize that an all-inclusive vacation can be more than just a trip to a tropical locale.

Accor's Rixos brand serves up luxury all-inclusive experiences at more than two dozen properties in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Croatia and Kazakhstan. In Croatia, at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik, guests can have an all-inclusive experience at a cliffside resort tucked into the Dalmatian Coast and still head out of the resort to explore Dubrovnik's Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

All-inclusive vacations can also be convenient for winter activities such as skiing or snowboarding. Club Med, a defining brand in the all-inclusive movement, has a number of all-inclusive ski resorts that are great for both seasoned pros and newbies to winter sports. You can find these resorts in Europe, Japan, China and even Canada at the new Cub Med Québec Charlevoix. Who needs margaritas and sun when you can have snow and apres-ski?

Or, to really experience something wild, you could take page out of TPG writer Ben Smithson's book and take a trip to the cheapest all-inclusive resort in Egypt; it cost him just $41.46 a night.

The bottom line is whether you love or hate all-inclusive resorts, they're here to stay.

If these properties — from Croatia to the Black Sea to the snowy mountains of Canada — aren't doing it for you yet, give it some time. The new-age story of the all-inclusive resort is just starting to unfold.

Featured image by 500px/Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023