I wanted to cover a topic that that I am seeing a lot more in travel today. That is the situation where a client arrives at a resort only to find that the quality of the resort has been misrepresented on various websites online, including the resort’s own website. This is created by the fact that ratings are so subjective and, once you get outside of the U.S., ratings can be anything the resort wants published and ratings are not regulated.
I know of a number of resort chains that have 3 different levels of resorts yet, they rate all their resorts 5 stars. If there are 3 different levels they can’t all be 5 stars.
The example I use is I can go to Mexico or Caribbean, open a 1 star resort, and legally advertise that resort as a 5 star resort since the rating is so subjective and not regulated.
So, how do you determine if a resort is fudging on their rating? First and foremost, if the price they are offering looks too good to be a 5 star resort, the resort is probably fudging their rating. With All-Inclusive resorts, if they do not serve top shelf alcohol, it is not a 5 star resort. If you are restricted to the number of times you can eat at the specialty restaurants it is not a 5 star resort. If room service is not included it is probably not a 5 star resort. Lastly the greater majority of 5 star resorts will sell out on their own without huge sales. They will have promotions but do not have to drastically cut their prices. If you do last minute travel the majority of deals will be 1 & 2 star resorts masquerading as 5 star resorts. This leads to point number one, if the price looks too good to be true for a 5 star resort, it is probably not a 5 star resort.
The best way to determine if a resort is a true 5 star resort is to work with someone ho has been to the resort and knows it intimately. A true professional specialist can tell you if a resort is 1,2,3,4, or 5 stars and set your expectations correctly. There is certainly nothing wrong with lower rated resorts as long as the expectations are set correctly. If you work with a true professional specialist, they can help set your expectations by using their experience, knowledge, and contacts. They also do not charge a fee and can also find the best price and know if there are any extras offered at that resort. This is why we only specialize in two areas, All-Inclusive Resorts, and Hawaii.
Make sure you know what type of vacation you booked rather than wondering what type of vacation you booked.