To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?
It’s safe to say that nearly every all-inclusive resort has a wide variety of rooms to choose from. The most common upgrades that come to mind are either room size or view; however, in addition to these main two types, there is also a third type of upgrade: the club level. Which upgrade style is right for your taste and budget?
Room Size & View Upgrades
At most all-inclusive resorts, the base-level room is usually named something like “Standard Room” or “Junior Suite,” and since all-inclusive resorts are typically located on some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, each room type comes with several different options for views. The base level view is normally a “Resort View” or “Garden View.” But as the saying goes “you get what you pay for.” If you want to have the Ocean View, you’re going to have to pay a little more for it.
It’s important to note that when you think back on vacations you’ve taken in the past, you seldom remember how much the trip cost, let alone how much you paid for an upgrade, but you always remember the EXPERIENCE. Imagine waking up on a pristine morning and stepping out onto your ocean-front suite enjoying a cup of coffee while listening to the waves roll in, or checking into a room with your family and seeing their excitement over your own private pool and hammock. These are incredible, one-of-a-kind experiences that stay with you, perhaps for the rest of your life.
If faced with the question, “Should I spring for the upgrade?” The answer is generally yes. Granted, if you’re attending a conference at the Hyatt and staying by yourself for the night, a standard room is more than sufficient, but when you’re taking your spouse and children to an all-inclusive resort, spending hard earned dollars on the resort and airfare, and traveling thousands of miles from home to be near a beach… it’s safe to say you should probably consider an upgrade. Why? Because choosing to upgrade means choosing to get the absolute most out of your vacation. That’s the whole reason you’re taking the vacation to begin with, right?
Okay, so you’re ready to upgrade – right?! Not so fast. This is where the simple part ends. Most all-inclusive resorts, particularly upscale ones, often feature not just room sizes and views, but also something generally referred to as “clubs” or “club levels.” These components can really add a level of complexity to making this decision. Since the difference between a “club level” room and a “non-club” room isn’t always readily apparent (other than additional cost,) we’ve included a list of common amenities that go along with a “club-level” upgrade.
But be Forewarned…
Staying in a “club-level” room is a premium experience like drinking a fine wine, or a gourmet coffee, or flying first class. Once you do it, it may be very difficult to go back to the basics.
Here are some common amenities that go along with a “club” upgrade:
An upgrade to club-level will almost always include an upgraded room. This may be upgraded furnishings, location, more square footage or other upgrades. An upgraded view can be included or an additional option.
Butlers can attend to things such as getting towels for you, reserving your beach chair for the day, making your dinner reservations, and other helpful services.
Many times the best pool with the nicest cabanas are off-limits unless you are staying in a club level room.
Preferred Beach Areas
Many resorts have designated beach areas with upgraded services and amenities – again, off-limits for non club-level guests.
Exclusive Restaurants/Dining Options
It is common for all inclusive resorts to have at least one premium restaurant option (typically an upscale steak or seafood restaurant) or a preferred menu or wine list.
Club-level rooms and suites are typically grouped together in a building that has a preferred location. Many times the building has convenient amenities such as a lounge with espresso, snacks replenished throughout the day, and sometimes even light meals, especially hors d’oeuvres or desserts. And of course, there is usually a nice selection of premium liquor, wine, champagne, and beer.
These amenities sound nice, right? (They are!) So, be sure to research your options thoroughly when planning your all-inclusive getaway. The right room can really take your vacation from memorable to unforgettable.