Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

The Sims 3 Island Paradise: Requirements

Essential Tips for Raising Star Rating and Getting Better Reviews

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack
Scuba DivingResortsMermaidsDiscovering IslandsMap Fragments & BottlesLifeguard

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack Resorts Guide
Starting a Resort  |  Resort Ownership  |  Guest Towers & VIP Rooms  |  Buffets & Food Stands
Staff & Maintenance  |  Star Ratings & Guest Reviews  |  Example Tutorial  |  Resorts in Isla Paradiso

Bad Resort Reviews in The Sims 3 Island Paradise
Learn from your Bad Reviews to Raise Star Rating

This guide focuses on what I learned from reading guests' reviews and investigating the game code to determine what makes a Resort's Star Rating go up. There are many things a Resort is expected to have. I'll share them here, and provide tips to making your Resort's Star Rating increase, which will let you raise the price to stay at your Resort and increase income.

Having Staff
Having at least 3 maintenance on staff will raise your Star Rating. After all, they'll take care of the lot and make sure everything is clean and in good repair. This reflects well on your Resort and helps your rating.

Ocean Proximity
Lots that are near the Ocean will do better in general - Sims get to play in the sand, and may even see Mermaids which makes them happy.

Buffet Tables
There are eight types of food that are served. You will want at least six of them, and that is if you will micromanage changing a table from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner at the appropriate times. I put down eight buffet tables with all types of food available at the highest quality. One large restaurant area will cover even the biggest Resort, and the food choices will keep guests raving in their Reviews. They'll complain for low quality food, no food for the kids, or disappointment that they didn't get to try some delicious dim sum or sushi.

Food Stands
Not Buffets, food stands - these will give guests access to quick meals to keep them moving on to the next fun attraction at your Resort. You will want 1-3 of them depending on the size of your Resort.

Pool Bars are a new feature with Island Paradise
A Pool Bar can let you Hire a Mixologist even without the Late Night Expansion

Mixologist on Staff - Pool Bars and Mixology Stations
Even without Late Night, you can hire a Mixologist to work at your Resort with the $4100 Pool Bar, which must of course be placed in a pool. Late Night owners can hire mixologists to work bars on land, and this has the same positive effect on your guests at a much lower initial investment with the best Mixology bars costing about $1500

Decor: Paintings, Statues, and House Plants
Decorations like scupltures and artwork are expected at a resort to beautify the lot. In fact, to get a perfect score and raise your Star Rating this way, you need at least 10 pieces on the lot. More is better, to keep guests happy throughout various areas of the Resort. I did some testing under the Decor tab in Buy Mode and found that most wall art, house plants, and sculptures will count toward this. Toilet paper rolls and small miscellanea do not, although other and more expensive miscellaneous decor does count. If you are shopping specifically to fill this requirement for the first time, just look for the blue plus to indicate you've added a qualifying piece of Decor. If that piece doesn't trigger the plus, look again. Curtains, Mirrors, Rugs, and Roof Decorations to not affect this. I was able to confirm you'll see the blue plus exactly ten times when installing the first decorations on a Resort lot, even if they are all the same item and only a $5 flower pot.

Landscaping: Trees, Bushes, and Flowers
You will want a least a dozen individual pieces of landscaping from Build mode on your Resort lot to help your Star Rating. Anything beyond that will stop bringing it up. Guests will complain that they didn't have a 'tropical feel' during their stay if you lack enough landscaping. Just as above, during testing I was able to see the blue plus each time I added a plant, up to the bonus minimum of 12 landscaping objects. The landscaping plants are distinct from house plants with the latter counting as Art-style Decoration. Trees, Bushes, and Flowers all count toward this bonus, while only the rocks from the Island Paradise Expansion Pack will have an effect.

Gym Equipment
Sims expect to get to work out and get a tan on vacation. The Sun will provide the second part, but you need at least four pieces of gym equipment at your Resort to get a max score.

Having a pool is a big plus, but not absolutely required, though guests will still complain. You need a bigger pool the more guests you have, otherwise you will be told it is too crowded, which means it's time for an expansion. A small pool is way better than no pool.

Having a few fountains, either in the pool or ocean will help raise your rating. They're a big boost to the beauty of the lot and thankfully rather cheap to add.

Sims getting married at a Resort in Isla Paradiso
Sims will get Married at your Resort if you have a Wedding Arch

Wedding Arch
On a large Resort, having a wedding arch will mean that at least one couple will get married every day at the Resort. This is a big perk, and will attract engaged couples to your Resort to tie the not.

Hot Tub
Sims love Hot Tubs, and adding them to your resort is a plus. You can even have a few of them and see the rating go up from each addition, after all, they can only serve so many Sims at once. Be sure to pay the higher maintenance cost ($60 vs $25 per tub) and turn the Hot Tub up to Hot so that Sims will enjoy it and not complain it's lukewarm.

Firewalk Pit
Sims want these, and with a larger Resort may complain that there was a line to use it, prompting you to buy a second to please them. It's part of the Isla Paradiso experience after all, so make sure you incorporate one of these into your design.

Final Thoughts on Star Ratings and Reviews
Reviews are kind of buggy, and a Sim may have major complaints but still give you a good rating simply because of all the other good things about the Resort, I suppose. You do not need all of this to raise your star rating to maximum. I did it without gym equipment, 3 on staff, nor a pool which gave me a penalty and I did it with Hobart's Hideaway. This gives you flexibility in the design of your Resort. Hope this list helped, do share your own tips for pleasing guests in the comments section.

The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion Pack Resorts Guide
Starting a Resort  |  Resort Ownership  |  Guest Towers & VIP Rooms  |  Buffets & Food Stands
Staff & Maintenance  |  Star Ratings & Guest Reviews  |  Example Tutorial  |  Resorts in Isla Paradiso

Share your tips for managing resorts in The Sims 3 Island Paradise Expansion here. You may also ask questions for problems you may have, but our Sims 3 Forum may be a better choice if you need a faster response.

Comments (20)

Gina says...
I was wondering if you could actually see the guests like doing things and whatever, it says I have guest staying but I never see them?
14th February 2014 5:32pm
Emily says...
Hi. I keep getting complaints on all of my resorts that the pool is filthy, yet it is chlorinated. What am I doing wrong??
18th January 2014 2:28pm
Little Pea says...
Nice wedding pic!
7th July 2013 7:55am
Lilli says...
I had my resort at five stars. It's landscaped. There's a pool with a slide, waterfall, bar, and diving board. I had VIP suites (3) and a hot tub. I had all the food types at high quality and lots of seating. I had the wedding arch. I had the food stand. I had decor out my ears. I had max maintenance at high level. I had my tower upgraded to max. I had a firewalk pit, games, and four pieces of gym equipment. It's next to the ocean. About the only thing I haven't done to the place is add fountains.

However, a few "days" ago, the star rating started dropping. The actual reviews themselves were still reading well (rave reviews on everything). I found and fixed the cleanliness issue (forgot you could use flat roofs like another floor, so garbage was spawning in an unreachable area until I added stairs).

Is there a bug? Do you know why this might happen or how to fix it?
19th January 2014 9:16pm
Anonomyous says...
I bought the Sparkling Sands resort and I keep having the issue where they reviews says its a mess, yet I have 3 maintenance workers. Any ideas on how to fix this?
4th January 2014 5:00pm
RandeshaH says...
The wedding arch at my resort is creating townies with the same last name as sims residing in the neighborhood. The first few I saw I thought were coincidence but then a couple by name of Canis got married with my werewolf (who has no family) in attendance, has this happen to anyone else?
29th December 2013 11:52pm
Jaipal says...
Will my star rating go up if I add entertainment like pool tables, bowling alleys etc?
21st September 2013 3:13pm
Jayjay says...
Yes it will! Depending on the amount of money you spend and quality it is will improve your rating.
6th January 2014 7:03pm
Javren says...
My 5-star resort keeps getting complaints about cockroaches. This is the only negative complaint my resort has. The cockroaches didn't show up until after I had a 5 star rating for a sim-week or two. but it's occurring almost every sim-day now. Do you know how to get rid of them?


ps you have yet another fan of your site here.
16th September 2013 12:06pm
Jayjay says...
It mainly has to do with your hotel being clean or not. I keep it clean do it yourself or hire maintenance crew members. I suggest hiring all 3 high level just in case. They should be taking care of that.
6th January 2014 7:28pm
Thomas says...
Do you get a bonus if you decorate your resort with your own brillant and masterpiece paintings and sculptures?
They sure should count as art on the lot!
24th August 2013 2:31pm
AllieKat says...
The "at least one couple marrying a day" thing is absolutley true. Every day, I see two people get married. I am pretty sure the game just chooses two random people, because there can't be that many couples in Isla Paradiso. I have had the wedding arch for more than 10 days! Lol
30th July 2013 11:32pm
KerriLove says...
Why is my mixologist at my resort bar so bad? How do I make them better?
22nd July 2013 12:35am
Danielle says...
Have you tried upgrading the "set drinks specials" option to the top one "fresh n fruity"?
3rd August 2013 5:33pm
Loeka says...
Hi Carl! I got a tiny (maybe stupid) question, but if I look at your resort pictures, I can see the guest walking around. Is this normal and should it be that way? Because in my resort (I designed my own on an empty lot after registering as an owner) , I can't see any of them, just 1 or 2 once in a few days. It's not about the occupation of my resort as every room is occupated when I look at the finances.. Have you got any idea how to fix this (if it ain't normal at all, haha)?

PS. Just as Sara, I absolutely love your site, I've been using it for several months now and it's really helpful! Thanks!
Not Carl but I can say I saw a few guests every day to two days and more on the days there were weddings. However, it may be the location of your resort or it could be your own Story Progression. Do you have a really good machine?
15th July 2013 5:42am
Sara says...
Hey Carl - Love your site, it's immensely helpful for me, I practically use it every time I play. Now for the question: Will any item under the "Decor" tab give your resort a better Star Rating, or will it have to be certain kinds of decoration?
9th July 2013 9:34am
Sara says...
Hey Carl. I'm trying to decorate my resort in order to gain more stars. Will any 10 objects from the Decor tab count as "Art", or will they have to be of a certain value or kind? Is it only paintings and sculptures that count as art for example, or will curtains give the "Nicely Decorated" moodlet as well?

PS: Great work on the site btw, I've been lurking around here for a really long time and your guides have really helped my gameplay.
8th July 2013 8:23am
Carl says...
This is a really good question I think plenty of people will want to know the answer to. I did some testing and ended up editing the page as a result of my findings. Curtains do not count, as you can see in the new version of the page. I got it figured out what does/doesn't work as well. Press F5 if you do not see the latest update to the page. Both the Art and Landscaping section have been edited for you :)
10th July 2013 1:17am
Sara says...
I totally forgot to thank you for doing some extra research for me =) It's very helpful!
20th January 2014 5:13am
Samantha says...
Hi, I've hired 3 top quality maintance staff but I've never seen them?! What can I do?
13th July 2014 3:50pm
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