Room Categories: Which One Will It Be?

So…you’ve picked the destination and the resort. And now you’re faced with  slew of room categories to choose from. So how do you choose?

For me, the answer is usually quite obvious: the one I can afford. But let’s say you’re lucky enough to afford more than the lowest-level category. So how do you choose?

Choosing Room Categories: 6 Things to Consider

Just like when you picked your destination and your resort, you had to take a few things into consideration before you made your decision. Well, it’s no different when it comes to choosing the right room category for you. Here are a few things I take into consideration.

Proximity to amenities

This is usually one of the most important factors for me. We like being close to the main amenities such as restaurants, pools, and bars. If I forget something in the room while I’m heading to dinner, it’s a quick jaunt back to get it before I’m on my merry way again. I’ve stayed at larger resorts that required a very long walk or even a shuttle bus back to the room when I forgot something. That just isn’t my thing. Other people, however, like to be in a secluded section of the resort and don’t mind the long haul to get to the amenities. There are benefits to both. Once you decide which you’d prefer, look at a a resort map and find out which buildings on the resort are right for you. That may narrow down room categories, as certain buildings house specific room categories only.


I think most of us dream of having a room directly on the beach or at least one that offers a beautiful beach view. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of crashing waves and the sight of a tranquil turquoise ocean. It’s absolutely magical. So if this is an absolute must for you and you can afford it….lucky you!

Tip: A beach view or even a beachfront room may not get you directly on the beach. It may get you close but maybe not close enough. Or it may offer obstructed views of the ocean (those damn palm trees). Be sure to comb through reviews and ask fellow travelers which buildings/room numbers offer the best view of the beach. You can then request those specific buildings/room numbers.

Also consider that many resorts have the most beautiful and lush gardens and plantation. Having the chance to sit and stare at such beauty can be very therapeutic. Consider this as an alternative if you can’t afford the beach views.


A good resort website will give you an exact description of its room categories and explain what’s included in each. The inclusions can include anything from a fully stocked fridge, including alcohol, to butler service. Some resorts, like Sandals, don’t include a stocked bar in the room or in the fridge in the basic rooms. Often they require you book a room that offers concierge service in order to get this amenity, while resorts, like Excellence, offer the stocked fridge and bar with the lowest-level room category. A balcony or patio is an absolute must for us – we love sitting on our patio having a pre-dinner drink or our morning omelets – but not all room categories have them. So be sure to study each room category description on your resort’s website to find out which amenities and features are included.

Room size

If you need your space, find out the square footage of each room by category or at least look at pictures of each of the room categories to get an idea of what each room offers. I would personally request the square footage from the resort (if the resort doesn’t list it in the room descriptions) because it can be difficult to judge in the photos.

Want to Join the Club?

Many resorts these days are offering elite club services for guests who pay a little extra. These elite services usually provide a few extra inclusions in the room and on the resort (such as premium liquor in the room or a free spa service). They also provide a ‘club only’ section of the beach where guests receive extra pampering, such as wait service. If your resort offers this feature, find out which room categories offer it as an inclusion.


Before you pick the room, think about how much time you’ll actually spend in it and what you’ll use it for. Will you be there to just to sleep and shower, or do you plan to actually use it as living quarters on your vacation. That could be the difference between choosing a small room or one that offers extra living space such as a living room and a bar room or kitchenette area.


In sum, just because you can afford the top level room, it doesn’t always mean you’ll want it. It may be located far from amenities or it may come with unobstructed views of the ocean. Think about what’s most important to you in a room, research which rooms suit your tastes, and choose accordingly.

Hope this helped.

What other things do you consider when trying to deciding between room categories? Let me know in the comments section below :)

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One Love.
Jody, The Tropical Tourist


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