For many consecutive years, I've treated myself to approximately five days and nights at the Henlopen Hotel for a late-summer vacation in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I most recently stayed at the Henlopen in September 2012, after which I reserved for September 2013. I guess that means I enjoy or at least tolerate the place. But travelers should know what to expect and not to expect at this property.
The Henlopen Hotel sits directly adjacent to the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach; only the boardwalk and beach separate the Hotel from the Atlantic Ocean. Built in 1973, the property actually has two components. The northern half comprises the Henlopen Condominium, the southern side the Henlopen Hotel. The Hotel has eight stories served by two elevators that work reasonably well; the "close door" buttons actually respond. Unsurprisingly, the Hotel's most expensive rooms face east, fronting the ocean. The second most expensive rooms provide ocean views facing either north or south.
Based on my multiple stays here, I can attest that travelers will find a reasonably comfortable room--not modern or luxurious, but obviously updated since 1973. My showers have always worked dependably and adequately, although I've found exhaust fans conspicuously missing from the bathrooms. My room has always included a refrigerator and microwave oven and, more recently, a coffee brewer. In-room televisions, although not large, receive many channels. Unfortunately and inconveniently, the rooms provide no listings of channels. Radio reception unfortunately does not fare as well. Although the rooms include clock radios, I've never been able to tune in any radio stations on them. It would seem that today's technologies easily could enable the rooms to receive radio signals. Even though Rehoboth originated as a religious community, I on my most recent visit was disappointed to find no Bible in my room.
Travelers should not expect any amenities other than a daily continental breakfast; more about it below. For example, the Hotel provides no newspapers other than a local weekly. A third-party contractor provides wireless Internet access that in September 2012 proved expensive and unreliable.
Although the property contains two large spaces once dedicated to restaurants, the Henlopen Hotel provides no meal service other than the continental breakfast. Salero, a restaurant that formerly operated on the top of the Hotel, now merely caters special events such as wedding receptions. Yesterday's, a former disco on the Hotel's ground floor, has been vacant at least since I started staying here many years ago. Given Rehoboth's active restaurant scene, one wonders why the Henlopen Hotel has not attracted one or more restauranteurs to operate these spaces.
The Henlopen provides a self-service "complimentary" continental breakfast daily until 11:00 AM on the Hotel's ground floor. In recent years the food selections have expanded, and the breakfast room has been updated. Adding some whole fruits (for example, bananas, oranges, and apples) and yogurt would enhance the breakfast without busting the Hotel's budget.
During my most recent stay (September 2012), I experienced challenges with my room's HVAC system Guestrooms here are cooled and heated solely by blower units below the windows. The units resemble those typically found in budget motels, except they're older. During the second day of my recent stay, the unit in my room started vibrating, thereby challenging me in trying to sleep. Maintenance at my request promptly replaced the unit with another one. The replacement unit, although it did not vibrate, cut on and off during the night without sufficiently cooling my room. The next day, however, maintenance promptly upon my request adjusted the unit to operate continuously.
I commend the Henlopen Hotel for promptly responding to my requests to service the HVAC units. However, the Hotel could improve guests' experiences and satisfaction by updating the property's HVAC systems.
Were the Henlopen Hotel renovated and updated and its restaurants resuscitated, it easily could become a preferred destination on Rehoboth's boardwalk. But then, the property probably would charge much higher rates beyond many vacationers' budgets. Meanwhile, travelers can expect reasonably comfortable, no-frills oceanfront lodging at manageable although not cheap rates.
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- Also Known As:
- Henlopen Rehoboth Beach