Hotels and Resorts
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A resort is sometimes called a destination resort. This is a common usage when the facility provides food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping within the facility so that customers have no need to leave the facility once they arrive. Commonly these facilities are of higher quality then would be expected if one were to stay at a hotel or eat in a town's restaurants.
An all-inclusive resort is a resort that, besides providing all of the common amenities of a resort, charges a fixed price that includes most or all items. At a minimum, most inclusive resorts include lodging, unlimited food, drink, sports activities, and entertainment for the fixed price.
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Hostels (more commonly referred to as "youth hostels") are a loosely-defined form of guesthouse, generally low-budget compared to other places to sleep. Although often used by youth there is usually no upper age limit.
Hotels provide private serviced rooms for guests. They range from very basic budget-style to extremely luxurious accommodation.
If you have planned your trip yourself, which means you have not decided to use a package from a travel agent, sometimes finding accommodation when you arrive is the best option.
If you have not made reservations in advance, this should be your first priority upon arriving. The best and/or cheapest hotels have a tendency to fill up most quickly, and looking for a place to sleep as darkness falls can be an anxious - and even dangerous - experience.
It is sometimes frustrating to be reading a guidebook and looking for the listed recommendations trying to decipher an unfamiliar map having just travelled for several hours. In this case, it is possible to walk around and inquire at the first few places you see. Courage and confidence are required for this type of thing, especially if you are not using your native languages. However, it is sometimes easier to do this rather than tracking down listings, especially for the first night.
Larger cities and popular tourist destinations may have "tourist information offices". These may be operated by the local government, a consortium of local hotels and attractions, or independent parties (of varying trustworthiness). These frequently offer listings of hotels and other lodging options (e.g. hostels, bed-and-breakfasts). Some act as booking agents for hotels, placing visitors in facilities with vacancies (though there may be a fee for this service).
Frequently, the best hotels are those just opened. Beyond being new and modern, they need to attract clientele, and may strive to offer more comfort or services for less money. It often makes sense to inquire locals upon arrival which hotels / pensions etc have opened in the last year or two.
For people looking for a bargain, many hotels discount their unsold rooms and sell them through specialist 'last minute' type consolidators. The reduced rates available from these consolidators are not usually advertised in the hotels themselves (the hotels do not want to advertise these lower rates to guests who are paying full rates). Contacting a consolidator directly can save you money and, especially in larger cities, legwork - the better companies will usually telephone the hotels within your budget to confirm availability, important when you've got tired legs in a large city like London for example. Look for consolidators offering a telephone as well as online booking service so you are not dependent on internet access when trying to find a hotel.
A luxury resort, sometimes referred to as an exclusive resort, is a very expensive vacation facility which is fully staffed and has been rated with five stars. Luxury resorts often boast many visitor activities and attractions such as golf, watersports, spa and beauty facilities, skiing, natural ecology and tranquility. Because of the extent of amenities offered, a luxury resort is also considered a destination resort.
A luxury resort is an elite luxury property which exhibits an exceptionally high degree of customer service and hospitality. A flawless execution of guest services will be the resort staff's and management's main concern. A luxury resort will commonly also feature a superb architectural interior and exterior design as well as an interesting physical location.
The interior design will normally be elegant with stylish bedroom decor, exceptional dining facilities, and manicured landscaping and meticulous grounds. Luxury resorts will often also be in based in exceptionally desirable and strategic worldwide locations, from beautiful tropical islands, to snow caked mountains, to scenic lakes and rivers, to exhilarating cities. The locations will often be famous for featured activities from skiing to golf, water spots, diving, fishing, sailing and nature walks to glamorous shopping and nightlife entertainment.
A luxury resort may vary greatly in character, style and theme from resort to resort. A luxury resort will, however, normally be characterized by a high level of luxury, sophistication and, of course, price. Accommodations are first class, whether they follow a classic and traditional nature or a more minimalist and modern styling. An unmatched level of comfort will be available at a luxury resort, as well as many personalized services and amenities.