I thought I was going to love this place...but then I didn't. I stayed there for two nights on a stopover between Washington DC and Colombia - I hadn't really planned to stop in Florida, but was relieved to find an affordable hostel that sounded really nice. By the time I left, though, I was rather disappointed (and exhausted from sleep-deprivation).
First off, to mention the positives, the place was pretty and had lots of potential. The night receptionist who checked me in was also kind and friendly, and I liked the guests' common area (the "club house"), which featured a big kitchen, a TV room, and computers on free access.
Now onto the bad points: I had booked myself into a 12-bed dorm as this was the only budget option. Unfortunately, I got zero sleep on my first night, as the whole dorm was kept awake by an overweight, asthmatic snorer, who must have had the best night of his life as he slept non-stop from 4am until the middle of the afternoon (while none of us could). I usually try to be indulgent towards snorers as I know it's beyond their control, but this was off the charts (the man was repeatedly wailing and choking on his own snores, somehow without waking up!).
I reported it during the night and again to the main receptionists in the morning, explaining that this man had kept about 8 people wide awake all night. Even though this was a tricky situation and I wasn't sure what the management could do, I knew that the guy was due to stay a few more nights and I tried to offer a few solutions as I was dreading the prospect of a second sleepless night. I suggested that they move him to a private room, or asked if they could offer me a discount to upgrade to one. The staff just told me that there was absolutely nothing they could do, that snoring is natural (not this type of snoring!), and that this is what you should expect when you decide to stay in a dorm.
I tried to explain that I had been travelling on a budget for 3 years and had had plenty of dorm situations that I had been tolerant of, but this was like nothing I'd experienced before (I mean, if you're a world-class snorer like that guy, there's no way you're not aware of it, and checking yourself into a 12-day dorm is pretty damn selfish!). Regardless, I was kind of treated like a whiny b**** making a fuss about nothing, which added insult to injury. By the end, I asked if I could get a refund for my second night so I could look for another place, but the staff flat-out refused. Needless to say, my second night wasn't much better than the first!
Other than that, there are several things that could be improved at the hostel. I arrived late on my first night and the night guard (the nice one!) showed me to my bed in silence with a lamp torch. That's fine, but he then handed me a pile of linen and left me to make my bed (on the top bunk) in complete darkness. It kind of defeats the purpose to be careful not to make any noise or turn the lights on but then leave the guests to make their bed, which is hard to do discreetly when you have someone sleeping right under you. Also, the mattresses were wrapped in plastic, which feels cheap and uncomfortable (and makes noise whenever you move in your bed) - pretty unpleasant.
Anyway, after that I was a bit underwhelmed by my stay at Hollywood beach but I would have let it all slide if I hadn't discovered afterwards that they had charged an $8 resort fee per night on top of taxes. You have to consider that when booking the hostel, as the cheap dorms end up not being so cheap with all those added - and not very well-advertised - extras.
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