Monday, March 5, 2012

Puerto Rico's Answer to the All Inclusive

One of the more unexpected pronouncements the late Pope John  Paul II made was against all-inclusive resorts. He didn't disapprove of them because he felt that they were dens of vice, or any such thing. Instead, he reasoned--quite logically--that they hurt local economies, and therefor should be avoided. In too many areas where all inclusives have sprung up, local restaurants and shops suffer because the tourists who once roamed far beyond the gates of their hotels now stayed put.

Puerto Rico, trying to safeguard its vibrant culinary scene and the ability of its people to become small business owners has disallowed all inclusives. But, because the officials there understand that this puts them at a disadvantage when competing with cruiseships and such all inclusive-laden destinations as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, they've created a compormise.

Called "Puerto Rico Zest", its a dine around program. Quite simply, visitors can dine in restaurants across the island and know they can get a three-course meal for just $25 at all the participating restaurants (which are listed on the site). So instead of being stuck in a mediocre buffet at some all inclusive, they get sit down service at their choice of eateries. At almost all the eateries kids menus are available. Full info is available here.

Puerto Rico is also the site of the Caribbean's longest running food festival the Saborea, which will be taking place this year on April 21 and 22. Yum!

1 comment:

  1. I noticed many of the meals were $35 not $25 dollars and a few were $45. Still sounded like a good deal but just saying ...