By Rosanne Coloccia
“Partial” versus “Full,” “Run of House” versus “Standard.” When you deal with hotels and tour operators as much as I do, you tend to throw around terms like “Golf/Mountain” without a second thought. But what does that mean for you?
When planning your next vacation, look carefully at the type of room you’re booking in with your package - you just might see some terms that won’t mean much to you, but could affect what you’ll see out your picture window. For some folks, their view is critical - if they’ve flown hours to a beach destination, they want to see water! For others, a garden view will work just as well - they’re just glad to be there!
Room category names will vary from hotel chain to hotel chain, which can be a bit of a challenge - one hotels’ “ocean view” will be another’s “partial ocean” - while other terms are pretty self-explanatory. “Golf,” “tennis” or “pool” views are usually just that. Let’s go over some of the most common room category names so you’ll know what you can expect.
City View - this could come under the “self-explanatory” section, but not always. Usually means something above the first few floors of a city hotel, where you’ll have an unobstructed view of buildings – and not just the one across the alley or street from your hotel. This will vary, depending on the location of, and height of, your hotel.
Garden View - this is really a catch-all name for most resort hotels. Depending on the property, this can mean a view of the landscaped grounds or a view of the parking lot. Among the least expensive of the room categories.
Partial Ocean View - again, this one will vary widely. For most chains, this view means you can see the ocean when you’re standing on your balcony or terrace and when you’re just inside your window.
Ocean View - this one is more straight-forward. If you have an ocean view room, you should be able to stand in the middle of your room, look out your window and see water. Hotels will often offer more than one ocean view category – perhaps deluxe or premium ocean view - relating to where you are in the resort. Many times you’ll have the grounds of the hotel as part of your view in the standard ocean view category, while deluxe or premium will be closer to the water.
Ocean Front - you should be able to step in your room, close the door behind you, look out your window and see water. Depending on how the resort is situated, you may have the beach right outside, or you could be on a bluff overlooking the sea. Either way, water – and only water – should be your view.
Run of House - this category is found often in the Caribbean and Mexico. It means no guaranteed view. You could be looking at the ocean, you could be looking at the pool or the garden. For most the hotels using this category, it means they’ll give you the nicest view available when you check in.
Bottom line? The closer you get to the water, the more expensive the room. Make sure you check out your property with your travel consultant or go to the hotel web site and look for a “resort map.” They will usually have a color-coded key to help you determine the location of the various room types. Keep in mind that most “sale” or “special” packages will include a garden view room, but not always. You’ll want to ask before you buy.
You may remember Rosanne Coloccia as "the travel lady" on KTVK's top-rated Good Morning Arizona, where she brought you travel tips and destination information for more than 14 years. She is delighted to once again be part of the travel industry that she loves, and Preferred Travel Services is more than delighted to have her on our team.