I stayed at the Hotel Rehoboth in July 2008 for two weeknights. It is brand new for 2008 and is a very nice property.
I confess I do not know the true definition of what a "boutique" hotel is, and I even had to look up on line to research what that means. ( Please see later in the review ) So, despite my lack of knowledge in this area, I still offer this review.
I first looked up the hotel on their website and then went ahead and called to make a reservation. I was able to get a wonderful room and one of the best in the hotel- a corner room with a large additional window on the second floor with a huge balcony facing Rehoboth Avenue. The weekend in season rate for this beautiful room was $369 per night before taxes, but because I booked on weekdays and they gave me the AAA 10% discount off the already lower weekday rate, I ended up paying $297 a night, $319 including taxes. In order to get the AAA rate, I had to call to make the reservation. It was not offered on the website. This was not one of their packages.
The night before I had stayed at the Avenue Inn and spent $225
( the weekday rate with no AAA discount available for in season) $243 including taxes for one of their better rooms, ( not the most expensive one) also with a balcony facing Rehoboth Avenue. I found the difference striking between the two hotels for paying a total of $54 a night more to stay at Hotel Rehoboth. I found Hotel Rehoboth to be a GREAT deal.
The balcony at Hotel Rehoboth was at least three times larger than the one at Avenue Inn. The patio furniture was beautiful and much much more high end. This is just the balcony. At Hotel Rehoboth the room itself was a good 50% larger and much more beautiful, laid out so much better with nicer furnishings and better decorating- very nice neutral blues and yellows and lots of light -- a very airy feeling. In fact, many of the rooms at this hotel on the upper floors( while not having balconies ) also have additional windows whether or not they are corner rooms . It is because of the way the building was designed.
The bed was very comfortable with lots of large pillows.
The bathroom was also a big step up in quality from Avenue Inn, including the toiletries, and much larger.
The LARGE breakfast room at the Hotel Rehoboth and the breakfast itself, is much more pleasant. While the counter space was somewhat crowded there is plenty of tables and room to sit for everyone. No, there was not an omelet station like at Embassy Suites, but there was a nice variey of offerings, including fresh fruit and crepe rollups to choose from. While not oustanding and it could be improved, I thought it was pretty good.
The quality of the wine and cheese offered at HR in the evening reception ( there was also fruit ) is much better than the Avenue, bordering on being laughably different. The difference was as extreme as the balcony size.
The public areas at Hotel Rehoboth are striking.
Both hotels have a computer available for guests.
The Avenue Inn is two and a half blocks closer to the beach and has a large indoor pool. Hotel Rehoboth, a four block walk to the beach, is more than twice as far, and the outdoor pool is much smaller than the indoor one at Avenue inn. That did not make any difference to me, but it may to you. It takes at least 5 minutes longer to walk to the beach from Hotel Rehoboth. HR has the beach shuttle service available but not in the morning before 10:00 am and not after 5:00 pm. Those times should be increased. ( I did not use the service. HR--Please correct me if I am wrong about the times. )
I am not trying to "bash" the Avenue Inn. I stayed there and then I stayed here the same week and I am comparing the two properties as I experienced them. My experience tells me why stay at Avenue Inn when I can stay here for $54 more a night?
I notice with these tripadvisor reviews the Avenue Inn only offers a management response when the review is not favorable. At HR, the management responds regardless. I think this is worth noting.
Okay, now about boutique hotels. I have not stayed at the Bellmoor or other boutique hotels so I do not have this comparison and the money I spent to stay at Hotel Rehoboth is, with the exception of the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the most money per night I have ever spent at any hotel. So, the points made in the earlier review about Hotel Rehoboth not being up to the standards of a boutique hotel could be completely justified. That reviewer was pointing out some important points valid to his/her experiences at other boutique properties and I liked the way Hotel Rehoboth responded point by point to what was written. It is obvious HR is willing to read and respond to these tripadvisor reviews and improve to become more of what a boutique hotel is supposed to be.
I find the rates the Bellmoor charges for their better accomodations to be prohibitive for me during the summer. I would/could not pay that, much less the additional 9% service fee that is then added on top of that before taxes. So, if there are some boutique amenities missing from HR with HR's lower rate, then I accept that. It seems like HR is going to try to add some at least some of what the Boutique Hotel reviewer pointed out.
Here are my suggestions to Hotel Rehoboth for improvement.
1. Of course I do not know all the circumstances of the beach shuttle incident during the electrical storm mentioned in the earlier review. I am also going to set the racial allegation aside in my comment. However, this is a very serious safety allegation incident. I know I would have been very upset if my family was not driven all the way back to the hotel and dropped off where the reviewer stated it happened. I also know if I was waiting for the shuttle down by the beach I would have taken shelter and never would have expected a family already on the shuttle to be dropped off as was described in order to come get me or anyone else. If I had been dropped off with young children as was described in that review, you would not have wanted to deal with me that day. I would have been livid.
2. HR is a nonsmoking hotel. I really like that. So, there is no excuse for me having to walk into the reception at the Lake Avenue entrance on two occasions having to inhale cigarette smoke from employees smoking directly outside this door sitting on the shuttle. That was completely disgusting and inexcusable.
3. The breakfast room needs some additional counter space and also a second microwave. This would help prevent waiting and overcrowding at peak times.
4. Checkin in and out was good. I was allowed to check in more than an hour before the standard 3:00 pm. However, when the friendly employee mentioned the turn down service I would receive she made the comment she would not care about the turn down, only getting the chocolates. Okay.
The first night when I was in the room two maids came in the early evening and turned down the bed and left chocolates. The second night they knocked on the door and a bowl of chocolates was put in front of my face like Halloween trick or treating with no turn down service. I guess now I know what the employee meant. Check out was nice, but I did not request a late check out. I think they probably would have let me stay at least an additional hour because at check in one of the staff said to another a number of people were requesting late check outs.
5. I liked how the samll business center was in a separate area in the lobby area. I think a second computer could be added. I never saw children playing on the computer which is very good.
Overall-- I very much enjoyed staying at this beautiful hotel. If it was directly on the ocean and the incredible balcony my room had ( which is nicer than the balcony at the Hilton Cceanfront in Ocean City where I can only afford to stay after Labor day ) was overlooking the ocean and not Rehoboth Avenue HR could charge over $500 a night in season.
Yes, I look forward to returning next year. In the meantime, I will learn more about boutique hotels. Boutique or no boutique, I found the money I spent at Hotel Rehoboth money very well spent.