In sea-and-sun destinations animation services are playing an important role in service experience provided by resort hotels. These services constitute a significant function in resorts considered as being a business asset capable to offer direct and indirect benefits and to attain competitive advantage. The aim of this study is to explore management and operational issues related to the successful design and offering of animation and entertainment services. A literature review is performed in the first section, revealing that this topic constitutes a research theme not sufficiently investigated. This is followed by a synoptic presentation of international experience. The main part of the study is dedicated to four case studies of Greek resort and all-inclusive hotels; focusing on the main management and operational issues. The paper concludes by identifying the factors crucial to the successful offering of animation services, and providing some recommendations in order to improve effectiveness and business performance of this hotel function.