Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Are upgrades and add-ons worth it?

 I got a very good question on a recent YouTube video: 

I think this is really everyone's question: Is this going to be worth my money and time? 

The most common add-on is upgrading to a Club level room or a suite. The common benefits of an upgrade to a club level or suite are: 
  • Better location or view within the resort 
  • Access to excusive areas of the resort including special pools, restaurants or lounges 
  • Concierge service to help with dining reservations 
  • Reserved bali beds or cabanas around the resort 

I can honestly say this is not worth it at some resorts and a must do at others. 

Many resorts in the Caribbean are U shaped with the opening facing the beach. This means the only rooms with full oceanfront views are those at the top of the U. These buildings are usually allocated to the suites or club level rooms. A good example of this is Xhale Master Suite Oceanfront I feature in the tour of Breathless Riviera Cancun. You can see how the majority of rooms face the interior of the resort. 

Secrets Cap Cana is a great example of the perk of exclusive access. About a 1/3 of the resort is allocated to the Preferred Club. This includes an exclusive pool, restaurant, and beach area. 

Having a concierge or butler to make dining reservations is a big help at Sandals and Beaches all inclusive resorts. If you upgrade to butler level, your butler will even reserve a table for you at the meals that don't have reservations like breakfast or lunch and deliver meals to your lounge chair. This is very helpful at large resorts like Sandals Ochi Beach. 

Live Aqua Cancun and Hyatt Zilara Cancun add a special perk to their suites. Each suite has the ability to use a reserved Bali bed during their stay. 

So, how do I determine if it's worth it? Here's some conditions where I think it's worth it: 
If it's really important to you to have a full oceanfront view - no sign of the resort or a lot of space in your room, then it's worth it. 

If you are traveling during a busy time like the holidays or school breaks, it's worth it have access to the exclusive areas and the concierge's help making dining reservations. 

If you have dietary restrictions, it's worth it to have access to a la carte breakfast and lunch versus having to rely on the buffet. 

If you prefer a quiet pool, the club pools tend to be calmer and more relaxing. 

I personally upgrade if the upgrade includes exclusive access. I like knowing I can go anywhere on the resort. 

What about you? What's worth it to you? 

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