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Tropical Resorts
Tropical Resorts
03.08.12

Rest & relaxation come standard at all-inclusive resorts but to get the most out of your vacation, read our travel tips first.

What’s Included in an All-Inclusive

The traditional all-inclusive concept includes: resort accommodations (with taxes), three daily meals, drinks (alcohol included), tips, daily activities and evening entertainment. Be on the lookout for specifics and restrictions since resorts vary from limited all-inclusive to comprehensive. If any of the following are important, research in advance whether they are included, unlimited or extra:

  • Airport transfers
  • Area shuttle service or transportation
  • Children’s activities
  • Entertainment, live music and themed events
  • Excursions & off-property tours
  • Land activities (ping pong, gym, beach games, tennis, riding, golf, game center, bikes, equipment, instruction, etc.)
  • Water activities (non-motorized boats, scuba, snorkeling, surfing, equipment, instruction)
  • Premium/top-shelf liquor, wine brands, canned/bottled drinks
  • Snacks, food beyond the three daily meals, types of meals (buffet, a la carte or both); number or type of restaurants
  • Spa
  • 24-hour room service

Resort Promotions

Although resorts are pricier by nature given the amenities and activities included, there are still ways to land a deal.

  • Look for newly opened resorts that offer promotional rates to attract clientele.  A soon-to-open resort may also have a little-promoted  “soft opening” or “soft launch” meant to work out the kinks prior to a grand opening. 
  • Off-season rates can be significantly lower and may even come with extras to lure customers during the hotter, cooler or rainier seasons.
  • Look for special promotions following natural disasters, catastrophic events or influenza scares when the travel and tourism industry seeks opportunities to bring travelers back and restore confidence.
  • Check websites like www.smallresortspromotions.com and www.saveonresorts.com for daily deals and packages. With the latter you may have to sit through a timeshare sales pitch on location, but it may be worth the savings and deals offered.

Expect Cultural Differences

A resort in one country does not necessarily equal a resort in another. Cultural norms vary when it comes to standards and pace of life. Often referred to as “island time” or “rubber time,” the flexible outlook on time in tropical locales is part and parcel of a more laid-back approach to life. Schedules may run late, service might be slower and requests could fall through the cracks as locals place a different level of importance on matters. A lower standard of living in some countries may also preface a local’s outlook of what’s normal or critical and lend to a sunnier disposition when things don’t operate perfectly. “It’s all good,” “No worries” and “Relax, Mon” are good phrases to adopt as you settle into your tropical resort.

Resort Attire

Hawaiian shirts and leis no longer define resort wear. Although attire may be more casual at a family resort, business casual with a fun and flirty twist is appropriate at most resorts, particularly in the evenings. Vibrant colors, floral print skirts and bolder accessories go with the nature of the tropics and make it fun. Ladies might think of white linen pants and a blouse with accessories, or a classy black dress with heels and bigger jewelry for evening wear. Men can don navy pants or khakis with a dress shirt for an evening outing. Ties and jackets are usually overly formal, except for special occasions or a resort calls for it (e.g., a particular restaurant). Pack appropriate shoes and attire for water or land activities and any potential outings and adventures.

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