When we first got to the Waterfront Inn, they told us that our room would be ready in an hour or so and they would call us when it was ready. An hour later, when another guest in our party checked in, I went back and checked-in. I wondered why they forgot to call me. I captured video as I walked in and the card-key didn't work so I had to return and get the key re-coded. http://youtu.be/co-pBbll-n0 The hotel property is perched on the edge of Sumter Lake, the major retail/restaurant area for thousands of pensioneer baby boomers. People my age (i.e., middle-aged) fly into Orlando and drive the fast 70 miles north to visit parents.
Ultimately, for service-related issues, I am not going to recommend that other people stay at the Waterfront Inn, the only hotel on the four-county-wide real estate marketing scheme that is The Villages. The room was fine, clean, and the bed was very comfortable. Other issues, related to missing amenities and sub-par service throughout the property, caused me to have to ask for things and to do follow-up requests I should never have had to make in the first place. Room service and the bar area were both very strong, and only made it more apparent to me that the weak areas were being ignored by management. I should never have had to remind people that the pool-area lacked towels (and was dirty, as was the pool and spa--both dirty), the workout room was not being attended to, and lacked towels (although had good equipment), and the buffet breakfast was only set-up for people who loved carbs, sugars, and salty meats--nothing healthy. I walked out, paying my spouse's part of the bill (and tipping 25 percent, if you want to know) There were no eggs at the buffet table. Later, after we were departing, I was told they would have got me an omelette if I had asked, which was a comment, as I was paying the bill, that only made me silently wonder: "Why didn't anyone come to the table once, and, why didn't anyone tell us that?" I went to Panera Bread, down the street, later and every morning after that. At night, the quiet bar area fills with singles, and there's a lot of pleasant music and dancing. The people working the bar were friendly and very attentive. I enjoyed working out on the elliptical every morning. Nice view and a spacious workout room. It is always nice to imagine that someone in housekeeping is Windexing or wiping down the equipment once in a while. Our room and our party's rooms were always cleaned, even though they showed wear in some spots, like next to the bathtub and along the bathroom floor, and in the nicks and bruises on the walls that should have been touched-up before we were given the room. In fact, in a more competitive ecology, the paint scrapes and knicks would have been touched-up weeks or months ago immediately after they were made. I pointed these things out, and everyone was quick to smile and assure me that something would be done. There's a pleasant ambience to the hotel staff that masks the general managerial indifference.
After the late check-in and the mis-coded keys' situations, and the slightly beat-up room and the breakfast buffet situation, I kept thinking that there wouldn't be anything further that would cause me trouble, but there was one after another.
The intriguing power/media panel on the back of the desk never worked in our room, and when I asked someone at the front desk to have it (and the inoperable table lamp beside it) looked into, I came back to the room a few hours later and found a note from the maintenance staff reading "Light switch is on wall." The table lamp has a functioning switch but one needs to turn on a wall switch across the room to get it going. Me? I like it when the electrical work is to code, but that's just me. The lack of power into the panel was never commented upon or fixed. That panel, on the surface, seemed like a delightful find in my hotel-stays: a place where I could plug in all my devices, and, it looked like, a point into which I could port HDMI cables from my iPad or laptop and stream Netflix into the flat-screen (which had an open HDMI port on its rear, which itself was a delightful find!). But, alas, the panel didn't work and apparently was only there for show. I kept telling myself that the mattress and bedding were very nice and comfortable. I slept great, and I focused on the positive.
The rate, just change under a C-note, was good, and the staff was pleasant. Either way, this isn't a MBA case study in mid-managerial ennui. It's me saying that, if you like to stay at nice places (especially when you are visiting family, not vacationing), then this isn't your best choice in the local area. Ultimately, what I think hurts this hotel the most is its one-of-a-kind location INSIDE the Sumter Lake retail area of The Villages. There are a lot of better hotels just outside The Villages.
The WiFi is very inconsistent poolside
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.