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What Should I Consider When Choosing a Beach Resort?

By L. Burgoon
Updated May 23, 2024
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Planning the perfect beach vacation starts with choosing the best resort. There are numerous types of resort accommodations to choose from, including beach hotels, small seaside bungalows within a resort, and everything in between. The key to choosing the best beach resort is to weigh needs against what is available. It helps to identify which factors are most important, which may include location, convenience, and amenities, and give those the most weight when making the final decision.

The most important factor for some will be location. Shore vacation resorts exist in all types of climates, and narrowing down preferred locations should be the first step. If a tropical resort is preferred, begin the search accordingly. Others may prefer rockier, chillier coastal getaways. Remember to consider the seasonal weather in location searches; some resorts will be undesirable during hurricane season or extreme weather months.

Proximity to transportation options also is vital when weighing the right location. It helps to consider whether the beach resort is near major transit options such as an airport or train station. Find out whether taxis or shuttles are available to get to and from the airport. Other resorts might be within driving distance, so consider self-transportation or look into whether there is a nearby rental car agency.

Think about the desired amenities at the ideal beach resort too. These may include private versus public beaches, a pool, a clubhouse, bars, childcare, and a fitness room. Consider whether there are on-site activities, such as horseback riding, parasailing, or snorkeling. Also decide whether it is important if the resort has organized social events. Some resorts offer themed family nights, games, movie screenings, and other activities.

Vacationers should also learn what is included in the beach resort package before choosing a final destination. Some vacation resorts include meals as part of the package but others don't. Additional services range from free towels to credits at an affiliated spa or golf course.

Also think about the desired type of beach resort room. Some vacationers may prefer a large hotel where it is easy to mingle with other guests. Others may seek a more private vacation experience and look for individual chalets along the beach. Different room configurations add beach views, balconies, and sitting areas into the mix, so consider whether these features are important to you.

Finally, consider the policies of different resorts. Some require prepayment that may be nonrefundable. Others have total refund protection or only charge a percentage of the total fee if a vacationer must cancel the trip. Learning about the policies of each resort can protect travelers and help avoid unnecessary charges should the vacation be called off.

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Discussion Comments
By Grivusangel — On Jan 28, 2014

Well, my most important consideration is what I can afford. I've found that looking for the smaller, family-owned places is usually the most budget friendly way to go to the beach.

There are always plenty of real estate companies that are willing to rent a condo at a plush resort -- for a plush price. These are usually beach front and very nice, but they're way, way out of my price range.

I like the low-rise condos or smaller hotels that may not be right on the beach. These places are usually clean and well kept, but are much cheaper than their high rise companions.

If I have access to the beach and great seafood, I have enough amenities.

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