Top 5 Things to Look for When Booking a Weekend Resort
Booking a weekend resort sight unseen can be expensive and tricky. In this article, Randy and I discuss the top 5 things to look for when booking a weekend resort.
Randy’s (Always shorter) Advice:
Look for beautiful grounds, quality restaurants in the area, and fun things to do nearby.
When life is beating you up, there is no better way to reenergize than treating yourself to a weekend get-a-way. Who doesn’t love sleeping-in, strolling along an uncrowded path, or indulging in a mid-afternoon decadent desert? Nothing lightens the load like throwing away your normal routine and escaping on a mini-holiday.
Randy and I love resorts that exude a sense of unhurried, low key indulgence. We like places that are in a beautiful natural setting with plenty of onsite amenities. Once we arrive, we want the resort to be comfortable enough, and affordable enough, that we don’t have to leave the grounds unless we want to.
It’s a wonderful phrase that we rarely allow ourselves to live. Except on weekend get-a-ways when we are less concerned with doing, than being! We so appreciate those delightful little blocks of time when we concentrate only on recharging and reconnecting with each other.
Once a location is decided, the first thing Randy and I do when planning a weekend get-a-way is to set a budget. Next, we decide what is needed for accommodations (beds, bathrooms, and kitchen facilities), and get to work researching. Here are the top 5 things Randy we explore when booking a weekend resort:
1. The Drive. How far away is the resort? How scenic is the drive? No matter how outstanding a resort is, if the drive is too long, expensive, or boring your mood will likely be no better when you arrive back home than when you left. Before booking, investigate the route you will take in terms of time, expense and the sights you will see. BTW: this advice holds true when applied to all types of transportation; planes, trains, and automobiles.
2. Grounds/Amenities. This is key. Your overall impression of the resort will probably be closely tied to how satisfied you are with the grounds and amenities. Make sure your expectations match what you will be greeted with upon arrival.
On get-a-way weekends, Randy and I like when we can park the car after check-in and not fire it up again until we head home. High priorities for us are an onsite restaurant, beautiful grounds, and the availability (hopefully free) of things to keep us occupied like a pool/hot tub, bikes, and other sports/games. It’s a wonderful bonus when the resort also offers free transportation to nearby towns or attractions. Whether it’s a bus, trolley car, or antique boat, the feeling of being chauffeured from place to place can’t be beat.
3. Fun Things to Do Nearby. Hopefully, the resort will be so great that you will never want to leave. But it is nice to have options if you decide to wander. Do not lessen your chill-time by having to drive a long distance to arrive at a must-see destination. It’s just a waste.
4. Reviews. Do not solely rely on the resort’s website to guide your decision-making. Read reviews of the resort on multiple websites. Randy and I do not put a lot of stock in either good or bad comments as everyone’s value system is different. Instead, we look for trends. Then, we examine the pictures people have posted of the property. Put all together, it is usually possible to form an accurate picture of the facilities.
5. Cost. Set a budget, research resorts within your price range, and then don’t think about money again until you have worked through the list outlined above. The truth is, much of what you are paying for when you book into a weekend resort is a feeling, not a physical amenity. And the question becomes, how much are you willing to pay for that feeling or state of mind? If you work though the topics outlined above and stay within your budget; the answer should come to you. The right resort will make itself known and whatever you decide to pay, it won’t feel like too much once you and your family are enjoying it together.
Enjoy! Laura and Randy
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