How do you know if your resort is all inclusive—or if it should be? Resorts in Fiji, Tahiti, and other South Pacific island destinations are typically half board, full board, or all inclusive. Many people assume that all inclusive is always the best value for money, but it all depends on your location and your travel style!
A half board rate includes 2 meals per day—either breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner. This is perfect if you want to reduce travel costs by having some meals covered, but don’t want to be tied to your resort all the time. For example, if you’re on the main island of Viti Levu in Fiji, we highly recommend that you do some exploring away from the resort, try some of the incredible local restaurants, and mingle with the locals. The Cook Islands are also a great destination if you want to wander around the island and stop at local beach bars at your leisure. Of course, your resort will have one or more fabulous restaurants onsite, and you can choose to enjoy dinner there at additional cost whenever you wish.
Nightlife on Rarotonga, Cook Islands
With full board, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included with your room. Drinks (including water) and snacks will come at an extra cost. The meals at your resort will be absolutely delicious. The seafood is of course top-notch, and most resorts use as much locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and meats as possible. Some non-motorized water sports, like snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking, may be complimentary as well.
Full board is a good option if you want the convenience and value of having these things included, but also want the flexibility to explore outside of your resort—whether that’s a self-guided hike on the island, a cultural tour from a third party, or checking out local nightlife. Full board provides great value in Tahiti if you think you’ll eat a lot, as this will save on meal taxes.
Fresh food delivered to your overwater bungalow at Le Taha’a Island Resort
An all inclusive rate means that all meals, including drinks, come with your room. All inclusive will also cover more activities than full board, such as sailing, village visits, or guided island tours (these vary by resort). This may be your best value if you’re on a tiny, secluded island with nothing else around, or if you simply want to enjoy your resort and don’t plan to spend much time exploring elsewhere. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing that the cost of food, drinks, and activities are all taken care of.
That being said, most resorts in the South Pacific are not truly all inclusive the way you might be used to in the Caribbean or Mexico, with the exception of luxury lodges in Australia and New Zealand. Even with an all inclusive rate, there can be extra costs. The drinks included are usually local brand drinks, so premium beers, wines, and spirits may cost more. Premium activities such as helicopter rides, private beach picnics, and spa treatments will also be at extra cost. Be sure you know what you’re getting with an all inclusive rate!
One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Have more questions about half board, full board, and all inclusive resorts? Want to know which island destination is right for you? Give us a call and connect with your own luxury travel designer!