Costa Rica, and How We Survived the Buffet at an All-Inclusive Resort

This time last week, Vore and I were landing in Costa Rica. Sniff, sniff.

We had the most amazing time! We went rock climbing…

and rafting…

we swung from trees…

and rode horses on the beach…

And back at the resort we ate…

our…

faces…

off…

Have you ever been to an all-inclusive resort? The basic premise is that you pay one price for room + board, then food/drinks are already taken care of when you arrive. That includes booze. Oh baby. You can see how this could easily turn into a smorgasbord of debauchery.

Vore and I love this kind of vacation. We definitely venture off the resort for tours, etc, but we do a lot of our eating on property. It cuts out worries about food safety, and it makes budgeting for the trip a whole lot easier. We’ve stayed at these all-inclusives:

RIU-Negril

Excellence-Playa Mujeres

Westin Playa Conchal

At this point, we are old pros at navigating the food scene. For the most part, buffets are the main features of breakfast and lunch options. At dinnertime, the white tablecloth restaurants open, but honestly…who wants to do fancy food in a bikini? We’re totally cool with hitting the buffet earlier in the day and saving dress-up time for supper.

These buffets are nothing to sneeze at. (Sneeze guard pun totally intended.) This ain’t the Shoney’s breakfast bar, folks. So how do you navigate all that food and keep from having a big old gut in your bathing suit pics? A few tips:

  1. Eat local. Why on earth would you fill up on pancakes and pasta when you could have those at home? It’s liking going to Paris and eating McDonald’s! For shame! I made an effort to stay away from “American” options and choose Costa Rican fare: Fried plantains, guava and black beans for breakfast? Sure, I’ll try it!
  2. Take a small portion. When you are overwhelmed with a ton of news foods, try a little scoop of each. Give yourself time to enjoy each bite–really taste it–then sit for a couple of minutes after you finish your plate. What was your favorite? If you’re still hungry, go back for a little more.
  3. Nix the super-sugary drinks. Bring me…Two pina coladas…One for each hand. It sounds nice and all, but I’d rather chew my calories. Perhaps in the form of dessert!
  4. Don’t beat yourself up. For the love of goodness, you’re on vacation! Don’t whip out your Weight Watcher’s point guide. Unless you have superhuman eating powers, I can’t imagine you undoing a whole year of good habits by splurging a little for one week. Food is a big part of the local culture. Soak it up!

Are you a fan of all inclusive resorts? Do you have any tips to share?

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3 thoughts on “Costa Rica, and How We Survived the Buffet at an All-Inclusive Resort

  1. Pingback: Costa Rican Mixology: The Mojito | The Veggie Vore

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