A resort is a place used for relaxation or recreation, attracting visitors for holidays or vacations. Resorts are places, towns or sometimes commercial establishment operated by a single company. Such a self-contained resort attempts to provide for most of a vacationer's wants while remaining on the premises, such as food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping. The term "resort" sometimes is misused to identify a hotel that does not provide the other amenities required of a full resort. However, a hotel is frequently a central feature of a resort, such as the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan. A resort is not merely a commercial establishment operated by a single company, although in the late twentieth century this sort of facility became more common.
Towns that contain resorts—or where tourism or vacationing is a major part of the local activity—are often called resort towns. Towns such as Sochi in Russia, Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, Newport, Rhode Island or St. Moritz, Switzerland, or larger regions, like the Adirondack Mountains or the Italian Riviera are well known resorts. The Walt Disney World Resort is a prominent example of a modern, self-contained commercial resort. Resorts exist throughout the world, increasingly attracting visitors from around the globe. Thailand, for instance, has become a popular destination. Resorts are especially prevalent in Central America and the Caribbean. Closely related to resorts are convention and large meeting sites. Generally these occur in cities where special meeting halls, together with ample accommodations as well as varied dining and entertainment are provided.
An all-inclusive resort is a resort that, besides providing all of the common amenities of a resort, charges a fixed price that includes most or all items. At a minimum, most inclusive resorts include lodging, unlimited food, drink, sports activities, and entertainment for the fixed price. In recent years, the number of resorts offering "all-inclusive" amenities has decreased dramatically; in 1961, over half offered such plans and in 2007, less than ten percent do so.
Another famous historical resort was Monte Ne near Rogers, Arkansas, which was active in the early 20th century. At its peak more than 10,000 people a year visited its hotels. It closed in the 1930s, and was ultimately submerged under Beaver Lake in the 1960s.