I want to start out saying that we absolutely love having a get a way on the beach. We originally booked a stay at a nice hotel in Amelia Island; canceled the room several days before our reservation after we saw the forecast regarding weekend long rain. Within the hour though, we decided that it didn't matter in that we just wanted to get out of the house and wouldn't mind spending money because at least we'd be on the beach. However, within that time frame, our original room had already been booked and we had to scramble to find a room on the beach in the area. So, we ended up booking a room at the Best Western in Jacksonville Beach.
This was our first time staying at a Best Western and we have no plans to a room at this hotel again - not because of the location, which was great; not because of the safety precautions in requiring the guests to wear masks, which we appreciated; not because of the front desk staff in that they were really nice/cordial to us (though I would suggest that they never say disparaging remarks about a guest in front of another guest, which I witnessed). I appreciated the way that the complimentary breakfast was handled; there was no open food items; guests were not allowed to make their plates; the hotel staff made to-go containers; the staff member wore gloves and a mask the entire time that the guest indicated what items they wanted. In any case, the hotel did not look nearly as nice as the photo online. We purposefully wanted a room with a balcony and a view of the ocean; we did get what we asked for but the photo was so very deceitful/misleading. Definitely not what we expected. The balcony could barely seat two folks comfortably; there were two steel-like beams on each balcony facing the beach. I am not sure how anyone thought this would be anything other than a complete eyesore! Plus, the balcony floor didn't looked very clean. There was a weird smell in the bathroom, in the hallway, and in the vending/ice machine room area. Fortunately, along with our masks and gloves, we also brought Lysol, clorox wipes, and bleach; we were able to wipe down everything before we got settled. This was the 2nd worst room on the beach I have been in; we happened upon a dud about 10 years ago when we booked a room at a lovely looking resort on the beach in St. Augustine (the online photos were not what we got!). As was the case back then, the money we spent was way off from the room itself; totally overpriced for the look/feel of the place. Next time we spend nearly $1,000, we will be sure to stick with what we know. Of note, the pool is located in the front area of the hotel, basically right next to the street. Certainly not a good idea from my perspective. It may be a good idea to try to make sure the folks who clean the rooms don't feel disenfranchised; I think I received only one return smile the entire three days of our visit though I saw the cleaning staff in the hallway every day, several times during the day. There were some other issues as well, but I choose to specifically contact the hotel/manager regarding those "household issues". In saying all of this, we were grateful that we were able to enjoy the sunset/sunrise on the beach; we enjoyed hearing the waves and the birds; we enjoyed just getting out of the house; sadly our lodging was far from up to par! less