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Accommodation
Accommodating your Sims

In this part of the review, we have a look at the different forms of accommodation that are available for your sims when they go on vacation. We will firstly start at the bottom end of the pay scale which best suits those sims who would like to rough it.

Camping grounds

Setting Up Camp

The Action Traveler's Action Tent is essential for any camping ground and can accommodate up to 4 sims. After all, your sims cannot be expected to go camping if they have nowhere to camp in. Your sims can buy their own tent for use at home, especially useful if there is a shortage of bedrooms. It costs §650 per tent, but like other inventory items cannot be taken on vacation if you were thinking of cutting costs even further except if you were to buy real estate on your vacation resort.

The camping grounds that we have already seen were based in the Mountain Resort of Three Lakes, but there is no reason why there cannot be a camping ground in any other of the resorts, especially with the broad choice of themed décor.

Then we have to accommodate the needs of the different sims. There needs to be at least one toilet and shower on the camping ground, although I would personally recommend more than one of each, suitably housed in a shower and toilet block. As well as this, there needs to be a way for your sims to eat. Food stalls, which sell the appropriate foodstuffs of the region, are one choice as is the reliable old BBQ, table and chairs.

Providing a means of entertainment is optional. After all, your sims can probably make their own entertainment. Even after the patch, they are still waterbombing each other quite regularly so they are finding some way to amuse themselves.

Camping grounds need to be set up properly as camping grounds in order to function properly. There is a section further down that details how to do this.

Camping grounds are free to stay at but your sims will more than likely be asleep longer than if they were in a hotel or a vacation home. The amenities might not be as plush as other places to stay, but for sims on a budget and a long vacation, it is a perfect choice.

A Home from Home

If your sims have simoleons to spare, why not buy a holiday home? Yes, this might be at the top of the range but it is the easiest to describe in a short space.

For those who have "Open For Business", "Real Estate" is not a new concept. However, for those who do not have it, I will explain. A new option on the computer or on the telephone appears marked "Real Estate". This allows your sim to preview holiday homes and if they like them and have enough simoleons, they can buy them. I'm sorry, there is no option for Timeshare homes available yet. Either you buy it outright or not at all.

Having your own holiday home in TS2 is a nice change from where your sims live ... if you can afford it. You don't have to buy one of those available. You can also build your own. This can range from a small lot with a tent on it to a large beachfront mansion. Again, you are limited to your imagination.

Living in a holiday home does not preclude your sims going to hotels while they are on vacation, but they will have to book in and pay if they expect to stay there.

Which brings us to the new property type.

Hotels

The mechanics of hotels have been explained previously. You click on as many suites or rooms as you require for your party and the total cost of these suites becomes your daily rate. You get all of the amenities of the hotel with room service as an extra charge until you check out and pay your bill.

As pointed out earlier, you are billed for a complete day at midday. Even if you check in at 11.30am, you will be charged for another day at 12 noon. It is a bit like buying annual membership of an organisation in December, being charged for the whole year and then finding you have to renew your membership in January. Therefore, don't book into a hotel on the morning. Hang around and use their facilities until after 12 noon and then sign in.

Hotels are in general are very luxurious places. You do not have to stay in a hotel in order to visit it when you are on vacation. However, if you are booked into another hotel or camping ground, you cannot save your game there. As just mentioned, you can book into a hotel even if you have a holiday home in the resort

Also, which may disappoint the more entrepreneurial player, sims cannot own hotels and run them as businesses. Again, we're waiting for some enterprising player to create a mod or perhaps EA might do something for us. Personally, I think I've got more chance of seeing Ctrl+S as a hotkey for "Save".

In the lot bin, you will find a couple of hotels and of course you can build your own. Again, you are limited by your imagination but also in that your hotel needs to fit into one of the three main locales. Hotels are not dissimilar to dormitories in University in that once you have set it as a hotel, it is not so easy to change anything.

Let's look at what hotels need in order to function.

What every Hotel needs

Whether it is the Crossroads Motel. Fawlty Towers or the Boston Tipton that you are intending to build, you will need a front desk. Without one of these, the hotel will not function and you will not have your bellhop or the housekeeper. However, from what I have found, placing this desk on the lot is not easy and is only possible to place when the lot type has been set aside to "Hotel".

These desks are where your sims have to book in and book out of the hotel. It is also this desk that answers the call for room service and somehow from under this magical desk, the bellhop is able to produce platters of food that he delivers and serves up in the rooms.

Hotel suites need one way in and out and you have to use the special "solidity" door that comes with this EP, which must be facing outwards. Again, going back to University, it is not dissimilar to the university bedroom doors. They even look somewhat similar. The mechanics have been mentioned before whereby you book one or more suite doors depending upon the size of your party. If you intend to order room service at some time or other, that hotel suite needs room for a table and chair and also must have a telephone in order to call the reception desk in order to book that meal.

A hotel needs to have a communal bathroom that everyone can use. Not everyone is staying there and even for some people who are, it is advantageous to have access to at least a toilet. Having an "en suite" bathroom with toilet and at least a shower is optional in order to help your sims top up their bladder and hygiene.

The cost your sims will have to pay for a suite for a day is dependant upon the floor space and the value of the objects contained inside that suite. Therefore a small room with spartan amenities will cost a lot less than a massive suite with "en suite" bathroom, plasma screen and hot tub.

Apart from the rooms and the front desk, a hotel can be built in any way that you wish. "Bon Voyage" comes with a lot of themed objects in the different resort styles so there should be no difficulty running out of ideas.

Written at 22:35 on Saturday 8 September 2007 by Andy.

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