The first thing a guest will notice is that this is not your father’s Best Western. From the moment one walks into the lobby the property says “resort.” The entrance is a bit tricky to find, though – it’s tucked away in a building attached to a restaurant behind a bank (as opposed to fronting North Atlantic Avenue like most properties in the area). Once inside, though, guests are treated to a Nescafe coffee machine and hot popcorn. The staff here is impeccably friendly and professional. Everyone, from the desk clerks to the maintenance and housekeeping staff, goes out of their way to assist in any way possible. I truly felt like an honored guest.
Being more of a “resort,” the property is spread out amongst a number of buildings. Across the street from the lobby building are three lowrise, two-story courtyard structures in the old traditional “outside entrance” style. Rooms here either face a street or courtyard with a fire pit and pool. There’s a larger building towards the main avenue which contains suites, as well as the breakfast room and fitness center. It also has a pool. Finally, there is the Ocean Tower. This is a high rise building which faces the beach and ocean. These are, for me, the most desirable units with balconies and kitchenettes, in many cases. The “price” one pays for the better accommodations, though, is a long walk to get to the nearest pool and a much longer one to get to the lobby and the suites building which houses the fitness center and breafast room. Those with mobility issues might want to take note of this. There is ample parking close to every building (for a small fee, which is new as of this year). The advantage of the Ocean Tower’s distance from the other buildings, though, is its proximity to the beach. There are walkways which lead over the dunes down to the sand on both sides of the Ocean Tower.
I’d stayed here before but last time I was in one of the three courtyard buildings, on the ground level (of two floors), with an outside door to the street. This time I asked for a room in the Ocean Tower and I was on the top floor with a partial ocean and city view, full kitchen, and large balcony. It was like night and day.
My room appeared newly renovated. The foyer, separate vanity, and bathroom have a beautifully patterned tile floor. The bedroom area’s carpeting was also free of stains. Save for some scuffs along the wall near the door, the walls appeared freshly painted. There was a granite countertopped kitchen with cooktop, large microwave, and full size refrigerator, equipped with utensils, dishes, pots and pans, and glassware.
Furnishings are contemporary and eclectic. There were plenty of AC outlets on the walls and lamp bases, with ample workspace and an adjustable desk chair that worked as expected (which is not always the case). There was colorful artwork adorning the walls which was set off nicely by the fresh white paint of the walls and ceiling. The wall unit air conditioner worked well and was quiet.
The bathroom was spotless. All the faucets and fixtures were gleaming and clean. Even the showerhead, often stained from mineral buildup in even the nicest properties, was clean and shiny. Bath amenities leave a bit to be desired but hotels seem to be skimping on that even at higher price points. More important to me are a high pressure shower with hot water, and I was quite impressed. This was one of the most powerful showers I’ve experienced in my many travels.
The balcony was a huge plus with a stunning view of both the ocean and city. Being exposed to the humidity and salt air normally takes its toll on these beachfront hotel balconies but this one did not show it. Even the railings and furnishings were free of stains. The balcony furniture, two chairs and a table, also looked brand new.
I spent quite a bit of time in the pool area. The deck was clean and there were plenty of chairs and lounges to go around. The poolside bar was crowded and everyone seemed to be having a terrific time. The free breakfast was standard hotel fare except for the surprising pancake machines. Waffle makers are ubiquitous at motel breakfasts. Pancakes? Not so much. It was a nice, unexpected touch which both adults and kids enjoyed. At every turn there was something surprising and unexpected to a seasoned road warrior who’s used to cookie cutter hotels with similar layouts and amenities. I’ve stayed at a dozen properties in the vicinity. This is an affordable beach resort that may be the best value for the money in the area. less