Different types of resorts and their key features

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Different types of resorts and their key features

This article aims to explore different types of resorts and their key features. The term ‘resort’ refers to ‘a place visited for holidays or recreation’ (Soanes, 2002, p.769). There are different types of resorts available for holiday makers to choose from; however, this article aims to explore the main four types i.e. ski, spa, beach, and golf resorts.

Ski resorts and their key features

A ski resort is a place where people can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. They can rent necessary equipment and enjoy the beauty of snow all day long. Ski resorts have very professionally managed runs that are categorised in line with the experience of the skiers e.g. beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Some ski resorts e.g. Chamonix in France also have cable cars that can take people to a great height.

The vast majority of the ski resorts have been developed in the open air, and adjacent to mountains, and villages. However, there are many indoor ski resorts e.g. Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort in China that have drawn international attention (Aspden, 2017). Likewise, Ski Dubai is also a popular indoor ski resort. Interestingly, some of the indoor ski resorts have the potential to banish the need for people to visit the mountains altogether!

Certainly, ski resorts attract international tourists; and therefore, make a good contribution to the local and national economies. However, many critics argue that that the development of ski resorts impact on the natural ecosystem and have contributed to the urbanisation of mountainous areas in many parts of the world.

Spa resorts and their key features

According to Soanes (2002) a spa is a place with a mineral spring. Spa resorts offer people professionally administered spa services, spa cuisine, and others. They are very popular for health and personal care treatments as bathing in warm water has a therapeutic effect as an aid to relaxation. Many of the popular spas in the United States and Europe are those with thermal springs (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2019).

Over the years, many spas have moved on from providing just traditional bathing activities, to cuisine, physical exercise, and recreational programs to keep pace with the demands and needs of consumers. Spas are of many different types e.g. day spa, stay spa, health spa, hotel spa, medical spa, and many more. Golden Door (USA), Hotel Palacio Estoril (Portugal), Preidlhof (Italy), The Nam Hai (Vietnam), Clinique la Prairie (Switzerland), Thermae Bath Spa (England), and Spa at One (Scotland) are some of the most widely known spas in the world.

Beach resorts and their key features

Beach resorts are often called seaside resorts, particularly, when beaches become the central focus for tourists. People can enjoy their own activities and rent beach equipment e.g. cabanas, umbrellas, and catamarans. Sometimes, beach attendants organise group activities as well. Like all other resorts, beach resorts often employ local people and contribute to the local economy.

Some of the best beach resorts in the world are in Philippines, the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, French Polynesia, Turks and Caicos, the Seychelles, the Maldives, and Thailand. It is worth mentioning that noisy environment, overpriced foods, drinks, and recreational activities, and environmental damages are some of the downsides of beach resorts.

Golf resorts and their key features

Golf resorts are full-service lodging facilities that cater to the needs and desires of people to play golf. Golf course/s, accommodation, drink, entertainment, and shopping facilities are some of the key features of golf resorts. Picturesque lakes, forest and waterfalls often add to the beauty of the resorts. However, many people argue that the development of golf resorts lead to wildlife and habitat displacement and loss of biodiversity.

According to Dwyer (2017) the finest golf resorts in the world are Laucala (Fiji), The Broadmoor (Colorado), Terre Blanche (France), The Ritz-Carlton (Grand Cayman), Banyan Tree (Thailand), Abaco Club (Bahamas), One&Only Palmilla (Mexico), Kauri Cliffs (New Zealand), Fancourt (South Africa), Grand Resort Bad Ragaz (Switzerland), Velaa Private Island (Maldives), and La Manga (Spain).

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Last update: 21 September 2019


Aspden, L. (2017) The world’s biggest indoor ski resort has opened in China, available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ski/news/biggest-indoor-ski-resort-in-the-world-has-opened-in-china/ (accessed 18 September 2019)

Dwyer (2017) Play and stay: The world’s finest golf resorts, available at: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/best-luxury-golf-resorts/index.html (accessed 19 September 2019)

Encyclopaedia Britannica (2019) Spa: health resort, available at: https://www.britannica.com/science/family-practice (accessed 19 September 2019)

Soanes, K. (2002) Pocket Oxford English Dictionary, 9th edition, New York: OUP

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.