We just spent New Years Eve at the Madison Beach Hotel. I will start out with THE positive. The place is gorgeous, and it is clear that no expense was spared.
Unfortunately, unless you are just going there to look at it, I would recommend passing. The staff is clueless, the food is lack luster, and the service was so comical that we laughed all the way home this morning. When we checked in, we parked our own car as there was no signage for valet, nor was there a valet attendant outside (or anywhere else for that matter). The couple that was staying there with us had to wait 2 hours for the room ready, and it was already 5pm. We spent the time waiting in the restaurant bar, where it took them 20 minutes to tell me they "couldn't find" the wine I had ordered a glass of. As it was a long wait until cocktail hour (8:00 - really?) we had a light snack there. The first item I ordered came out battered - which it did not state on the menu (and I can't eat because of a gluten allergy - FYI - they batter the fries) so I ordered a second item, making sure they were aware of the issue. 30 minutes later - I got my burger (just meat on a plate) and it was raw. So...back it went again. I did eventually get it - and a free glass of wine from the mortified bartender, but it was ridiculous. I needed to ask for everything. A fork, a napkin, a glass of water, a new fork when the took the first item away, a new napkin... you get the idea.
Because of my food allergy I had made 3 calls to the facility since our reservation a month before, and NO ONE ever called back (the final call was the morning of New Years Eve)...so I went there not even knowing what (if anything) I would be able to eat. Finally, at 8:00pm, my friend to the very small and limited New Years menu into the kitchen and grilled the chef - since no one on the staff seemed to be able to handle it. The food was bland, the service was slow, and we were actually asked to move from our table by a stuffy french man with a clipboard IN CASE a party of six showed up. (We were a party of 4 - and all the tables were set for 6 or 8 people... I still don't get that request) By the way - no party of six ever did.
Insult to injury was this morning. Our friends had gone to the restaurant and given a glass of orange juice to take back to the room. When we requested one - we were handed a bill. There are no two people at this place that will ever give you the same answer. We then found out if we wanted coffee we would need to make it ourselves in our room. Try getting the supplies to do that! On our way out - we heard two other guests trying to navigate the ordeal that is getting a morning cup of coffee.
It is sad that the facility is so poorly run. It IS beautiful, and has the bones to be five star. I am by no means a prema-dona, but I would never recommend this as a restaurant, bar, or hotel. Not to anyone I like anyway!
My final statement is this...we have stayed in MANY hotels, The Plaza in NYC, The Old Saybrook Point Inn, The Waters Edge, The Venetian in Las Vegas, and many more. I have never once written a review. I hope someone finds this helpful....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Along a curve of the Connecticut coastline,with a clear view across the widest stretch of Long Island Sound ,stands the Madison Beach Hotel, Connecticut's only hotel, resturant, banquet and coference faciltily located directly on the beach. The Madison Beach Hotel is undergoing a transformation and will re-open as a world class,luxury hotel in 2011,a casually elegant boutique resort with a traditional New England Beach Front Ambiance. ... more less