Resort Hotels

Do you like spending a lot of unnecessary money? Do you like walling yourself off from local cultures and populations and instead prefer to be surrounded by obnoxiously wealthy and miserable families that spend significant amounts of time yelling at eachother? Do you like having a manufactured experience while being waited upon by a demeaned staff, creating tensions and an unhealthy power balance. If so, you'll probably like resort hotels. And if so, please get off this site now. But if you think all that stuff is absurd, please read the following rant and enjoy!

Personally, I despise resort hotels. You pay significantly more to avoid experiencing any authentic part of the actual culture or place to which you are travelling to. You're gated off along with a few other wealthy individuals who decided to either escape their families or their work for a few days (aka, the people who throw fits if their cocktails aren't mixed just right). There may be some parts of the resort set up to resemble something different and exotic, like a pool surrounded by tropical looking decorations, but all of that is manufactured. It is all set up to create a false perception. And in that circumstance, you are not traveling. You're taking a trip to the zoo. It does not make sense, it's not real and it's not worth it.

And this whole manufactured experience is, as I see it, completely destroying culture and the characteristics that make a place unique and interesting. It turns it all into a stereotypical characteristic that, most likely, doesn't really exist in the first place. Let me break it down this way. You are traveling to a country, and instead of seeing and feeling what it is actually like, you spend a fortune to have someone create your idea of it. It isn't something special and you'd be better off staying home. There's plenty of people there who can put on the act and you won't have to buy the plane ticket.

Which brings me to my next point, and probably the thing that pisses me off most of all about resorts. If you go there, the only local people you'll meet will probably be the wait staff, and instead of having a genuine interaction with any of them, they'll be too busy having to serve you and the other gusts while simultaneously putting on an act, just so everyone can get the 'cultural experience.' It is a terrible relationship of inequality. You'll be dependent on their service and they'll be dependent on you for their salary. No interaction will be spontaneous or meaningful. It will be structured and artificial. Sure, it may seem enjoyable if you're the type who likes to assert power over others, but no matter what, you can't deny that it will be superficial.

Why don't you try something different instead. How about next time you go to a country, try your best to interact with what's around you and be a part of it. Challenge yourself and push you're comfort zone. Observe, explore and take part in what is around you. Who knows, maybe you'll even learn a new perspective and even, dare I say, make a friend or two along the way. At the very least, you'll be able to get a drink for $2 instead of $15, and that in and of itself should be worth it.