August 30, 2018
Choosing a resort from afar can be a tough choice. What’s even worse is having the opportunity to visit the property and not remembering what you saw! To get the most out of your site visit, we put together a few things you’ll want to note and remember to ask.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
In my opinion, this is one of the most important things—because what’s a vacation without a margarita anyways? Do make sure to check out their restaurants and bars while you’re on property. If you can, plan to have a meal at the resort. It will be a small sample of what they offer, but hopefully you’ll get a (literal) taste of what to expect. If you can do a taste-test of your menu—that’s even better!
Check if the resort requires reservations for their restaurants. For some this can be a deal breaker! Also note the hours of operation for their bars and restaurants. Resorts are usually good about always having something available to eat, but you don’t want your late night cravings to get the best of you without any options. See if they do room service, if it’s complimentary and if it’s available for all room categories.
Additionally, if you enjoy a specific type of beverage, check if the hotel carries it. Some hotels offer premium liquors, while others may only offer it for a specific level of room category or possibly not at all. Also if you are a fan of having liquor or other beverages in your room, check to see if there are liquor dispensers and/or a stocked mini bar. Ask your hotelier if the in-room bar is stocked daily and if you can keep personal items in there (important for breastfeeding mothers, certain medications or anything else you want to stay cold).
LEVELS OF SERVICE
Most resorts offer various levels of service. Reading room descriptions on the internet isn’t always the most helpful, so take advantage of asking what the differences are in the levels of service offered at the resort. Some room categories will include special privileges or exclusive access to areas of the property. Sometimes these upper level categories might even include your own concierge or butler, which I urge you to take advantage of at least once in your life!
If you’re visiting a resort that has sister properties, check out what the exchange privileges are between resorts. Verify what (if any) differences of service exist between the resorts. If you’re interested in a family-friendly property with an adults-only property next door, confirm if your adult guests will have access to facilities at both.
You might be surprised I didn’t mention rooms first as they are almost as important as drinks—kidding! Though you most likely won’t spend a great deal of time in your room, there are a few things that are important to check out. First of all, ask to see a few different room categories if you can. Sometimes the only difference between room categories is their view. Check out how drastic an ocean view category is from an ocean front. There may be a significant price difference but you get to be the judge and see if it’s worth it.
Once you determine the right room category, see what amenities it includes. Does the bathroom have a blow dryer and other toiletries that don’t need to take up room in your luggage? Is there a closet with hangers to keep clothes from wrinkling? What about an ironing board or a safe? Check out the bedding. Does the room have a king bed or two doubles? Also ask what the occupancy of the room is. If you have a family of five or six, a standard category probably won’t do.
Take a look at how well they take care of the room (it could be a sign of how well they will take care of you). Is there a leaky faucet in the bathroom? Is the shower sparkling clean? Take a step outside. Does the room have a balcony or just a railing (Juliet balcony)? You will be bummed if you have expectations of sipping your morning coffee on your balcony when it doesn’t exist (trust me).
Consider the layout of the room. Is there a door on the bathroom? Yes, glass walls and doors are a real thing that exist at resorts! There’s nothing romantic (or private) when there’s no door for the toilet. Even if you and your new spouse are okay with this new level of invasiveness, the family of four traveling for your big day may not be as comfortable. At the end of the day you want to have a great room that will get you well rested for a new day in paradise.
Picking a resort that has something for everyone is usually a must for couples. If you’re looking at a family-friendly property, check out their on-site kids or teens club. See if the resort offers babysitting services, to give those with children a night off. Head down to the beach to see what water activities are included in the stay, and if there are any activities or excursions available at an additional cost.
Try to visit the resort during the day to see what the vibes are like around the pool and on the beach. If you’re looking for somewhere quiet and romantic, you may not want a 10:00am volleyball game going on in your pool. Likewise, if you are looking for something lively, this should give a good feel of what you can expect. If you are looking at joining in on some classes, ask if there is a weekly schedule you can take home. These generally fluctuate by the week, but you can get an idea of things your group may want to take advantage of (or what workout classes you’ll have the best of intentions to go to). Also ask about nightly entertainment. If the resort does a theme party, you’ll want to let your guests know what to pack! Ask where guests go after dinner hours. If you’re looking to venture off the resort, they will be able to give you suggestions for places close to the resort.
Last and certainly not least, check out the wedding venues on property! Ask if the venues are included in the cost of the wedding package, what their occupancy limits are, and if there are time restrictions on when you can use them. Scope out the area surrounding the venue spaces. See how far it is from public areas, high traffic areas and of course, bathrooms. Ask if certain décor is included in the venue space and if not, what décor services are available. Confirm venues that are private and those that are for semi-private events. Take lots of pictures or videos of the venues. This is especially helpful if you don’t do planning until months later or you are checking out multiple properties during your visit.
Most of all – make time to have fun! Not only are you there for the nitty-gritty details, but also to get a feel for the guest experience. Will your closest family and friends have fun here? If the answer is yes, then you already have one of the most important items checked on your list. Contact us to arrange a site inspection at your dream resort with special discounted rates!
Cover Photography: Now Jade Rivera Cancun
Katie’s expertise in destination weddings and vow renewals has resulted in over 60 happy couples. Combining her passion for travel with her love of life’s celebrations, Katie’s work with Weddings by Funjet was a natural fit. Katie believes that the most memorable experiences are the result of travel and has finesse in infusing local culture into her couples’ big days.