Should you pay more for an ocean view? Probably, yes

One of the more frustrating decisions that many travelers have to make when booking a room at a resort is whether to pay more for a room with a view. On one hand it sounds silly, especially if the price difference is great, but on the other hand, if you’ve had a room with an amazing view, you know why it’s so much nicer.

Beach resorts in particular play a bit of a game with the public since they offer cheap rooms to get you to click, and only later do you realize that they are “garden view” or worse. In some cases the cost of the best view isn’t much more than the cheap rooms, but in other cases it’s a big difference. In the end, it’s probably better to find a different resort than accept the non-view rooms on a holiday.

A room with a view adds hours of enjoyment each day

As a cheapskate my first inclination is to book the cheapest room possible wherever I go. I justify it, like so many other people do, by saying that I’m not going there to sit in the hotel room, but to actually spend time on the beach (or whatever) itself. That sounds nice, but is it really the best idea?

When you have a garden room view it seems nice enough, but if you were to get upgraded for free in that same hotel to an ocean view room you’d feel like you were in heaven. Unless you are one of the rare people who leave the room before breakfast and don’t come back until after dark, a lovely view is worth a lot more than some of us are willing to admit.

One of the first times I was reminded of this was when I booked at the famous Hotel Fountainblue in Miami Beach, Florida. We got a room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and I remember staring at the gorgeous water just off the beach for hours each day. It was so relaxing that I honestly didn’t want to leave the room.

If you can see the beach and the ocean from your room, it’s like being IN the place for every waking hour of the day. On the other hand, if you are overlooking the garden or parking lot, it’s like you are resting between short times of being on vacation.

Seriously, the ability to look out on the scenery that you’ve flown hours and spent so much to see, is worth a lot if your overall enjoyment of the place. Whether it’s Cancun or St. Thomas or Negril, an ocean view is nearly priceless.

Pay a bit more or look elsewhere

So what I’ve decided to do from now on is compare the rates at resorts for the standard rooms and the ocean view rooms. If it’s a 10% or 15% difference then I’ll pay for it to get the ocean view. But if it’s more than that, I’ll start checking other resorts. Some hotels just try to charge too much for the best views, and usually you only have to look at one or two more places before you’ll find one where the ocean view rooms cost less than the first place, even if the garden view rooms cost more.