Q&A: What’s a resort?

What is a resort, anyway?

There are many, many types of resorts. Two of the most popular ones that people talk about are tropical resorts and ski resorts. I’m sure you could even name at least one ski resort near where you live.

Tropical resorts are not as often known by name but they happen to be our specialty, so we’re here to explain a little bit about them! Let’s get started!

Resorts vs. Hotels

A resort differs from a hotel in some very important ways, and although the first thought is in size. Typically resorts are thought of as larger, though this is not always true. Resorts, like hotels, can be small and boutique-style or they can be large with hundreds of rooms.

The distinction between resorts and hotels is a focus on the experience. Hotels have space available for conferences, they have a bar and a restaurant and they may even have a live show every so often. The guests at a hotel stay there to visit around the local area and they return to the hotel to sleep.

Resorts, on the other hand, generally offer a wide variety of dining options, entertainment at night and in the daytime, and various opportunities to relax. Everything someone can want is offered on-site at the resort, and guests often stay on the resort for the duration of their stay without going off of the property at all.

Sandals Whitehouse Resort
Some resorts have an arrangement of buildings like hotel blocks, with each building housing an array of rooms and suites. The buildings are arranged for convenient access to pools, beaches, restaurants, and more.

Service is the Standard

The goal for these establishments is to give opportunity for professionals to hit the reset button, destress, and rejuvenate. Because of this, the best resorts are designed around facilitating relaxation for their guests. The staff at these premium resorts will go out of their way to make your experience more enjoyable. They think of every detail to ensure your vacation is top of the line.

The types of offerings and services that are available on resorts vary widely based on the type of resort, and we’ll address some of them here now.

Types of Resorts

Here at Travel Time – TPI we recommend what we enjoy most, and what our clients enjoy most: seaside resorts! Lovely beaches are often a major attraction for the resorts. The quality of the beach is one of the many reasons for a resort to receive its designated rating. For those who prefer freshwater, it’s possible to get a beautiful cabana by the pool and go for a quick dip before relaxing on a deckchair, reading a good book.

Usually resorts cater to one audience, such as families or couples. The resorts focused on children may have a water park with waterslides, a kids’ activities group, a daycare, and sometimes you might even meet some of the Sesame Street or Disney characters wandering around your resort! The daycare involves games, arts and crafts, fun activities, and supervised time in a play area. This gives the parents some adult time while relaxing near the pool or sharing a hammock on the beach. It’s nice to have these moments and enjoying them with the peace of mind that someone is watching the kids is really amazing!

In contrast, adult-only couples resorts could offer such features as more quiet areas, a spa, more variety in late-night entertainment (including shows, contests, live music, theatre, etc), and even cosmetic treatments. The average restaurant on a couples resort will be more elegant and sophisticated, while some restaurants on a family resort will emphasize being friendly and entertaining.

Things to do

One thing you can count on: every resort will have something to enjoy. There are places to relax, excellent food, wonderful service, and did we talk about fun yet??

Most resorts on the beach will offer the option to experience snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, boat tours, and sometimes parasailing and catamaran rentals. The private beach can be exclusively for guests of the resort, and the activities are there to serve guests at the resort only, which is nice. The personnel are all wonderfully trained and fully qualified, and everything is in place for you to safely enjoy the activities without worry.

Sandals is a golf lover’s paradise
Golf is a featured offering on some resorts.

Other organized activities commonly on a resort include pool deck aerobics activities, lessons, and competitions, yoga classes, dance classes, informal pool volleyball contests, trivia, and the list goes on!

There are sometimes interesting activities for you to organize on your own, such as beach volleyball courts, beach soccer, absurdly-sized chess boards, horseshoes, lawn bowling, shuffleboard, ping pong, and more!

Off the resort

Sometimes, despite the many offerings on site at the resort, there are some guests who aren’t interested in staying on the resort property for the duration of their stay. We promised that there is something for everyone.

Luckily, day trips are to visit areas around the resort are easy to arrange!

In the resort lobby (or sometimes as part of an information package found in your room) you’ll find brochures and pamphlets giving you information about the area around the resort. Sometimes you can learn about the history of the island you’re visiting, some information about the demographics, and some information on things to do and interesting sites to see in the area.

The shopping district, museums, historic sites, and more will all be included, and you can have a taxi arranged for you to go and visit whichever places you like.

While there may be shopping districts nearyby, many resorts throughout the Caribbean will have a small area of shops with local souvenirs being sold. Alternatively, sometimes it’s possible to walk a short distance off of the property to where a group of locals sell their specialty wares in a market-type environment.

There are plenty of ways to get your souvenirs!

What do first-time visitors think about resorts?

Sometimes it’s hard for experienced resort visitors to explain what’s best about a resort, so we did some searching for how people describe their first impressions after returning from their very first trip to a resort.

On an internet forum (found here), there are several comments that explain what people thought of their first stay at a resort:

JulieS wrote:

“My husband and I visited a Sandals couples resort for our 10th wedding anniversary. This is the first time we had done something like this, so didn’t really know what to expect.
From the moment we arrived, we felt like we were treated like royalty. It seemed like all of your needs were taken care of before you even thought about them.
It was the perfect way to relax and spend a few days not worrying about work, schedules, appointments and telephones. This is one vacation where we felt truly relaxed when it was over.
Although it can be hard to come back to reality when you get back home, it was well worth the time and money spent.
I have three kids and am used to having kids around all the time, but it was nice having a place to go without kids for a few days.”

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

User SauteePan says:

“I think that vacation resorts are great because aside from being relaxing there is usually a number of things you can do for entertainment. A lot of them offer spa treatments, golf, and activities like snorkeling and sailing.Some even have options to swim with dolphins or participate in a zip line or go mountain biking. It really depends on where you go because different resorts specialize in different activities. [cont…]”

For anybody who visits a resort, it really is the highlight of their year. Visiting a resort is the trip of a lifetime, and every time we hear back from another happy resort visitor we can’t help but be happy for them. A trip to a resort results in wonderful memories with friends and family. That’s why our clients keep going back, some of them year after year!

We would love to answer any further questions you have about resorts, or if you’re interested in knowing about your options for a resort, please contact us so we can give you some more information about a resort that would suit your interests!

Our new Q&A Campaign

Recently we’ve decided to start up a blogging campaign, so we’ll be writing more articles to address questions we receive from clients.

If you have any questions about resorts, cruises, honeymoons, destination weddings, events or our business, please write to us or use the Contact Us form!

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