I'll start by saying that any of the issues I read about prior to my stay here were NOT issues at all during my stay.
I had booked through booking.com for a last minute getaway for a few days. I started reading reviews AFTER I reserved my room, as I didnt want to lose what appeared to be one of the last rooms available.
After then reading the many poor past reviews, I saw that the new manager, Jerry Walker had replied to almost every post saying that the issues had been corrected and that they were the new management there. I emailed him off the board with my concerns, and to my surprise, I received a prompt reply later that day. Jerry assured me that my room would be clean and there would be no issues, and if I needed anything, to contact him directly.
Customer Service- Check 1!
I had also inquired about transportation from the airport, as the different sites had different info. Shortly there after, Concierge Bill contacted me to say that they no longer provided pickup due to the many flights and scheduling, etc. He provided me with some options, which was just fine. I had no problem paying for the transport, I was just really curious if it was provided or not due to the conflicting info I had seen. I was also quite surprised that he had contacted me as well.
Customer service, Check 2!
OK, I'll move on to the "Hotel" itself.. as you've seen in the photos, its quite large, and seems to be missing something on the outside.. maybe its the lack of balconies, or maybe it needs some sort of "trim"? It seems as if it could present itself as far more "grand" than it does. It was built in the 1920's, and so it has the typical narrow hallways of the day. Not really an issue, reminded me of some of the hotels in Altlantic City pre-gambling era.
What you may not realize from the pics online, is that the Oceanwalk Mall is also a part of the physical building, located on the ground floor. Its mostly a huge unused space, which is spread out and houses some retail and food establishments. At one point, I believe there was a food court, but that's been reduced to a small bakery stand and a coffee cart. There is a bicycle rental shop, a tee shirt store or 2, a general type store for various sundries, gifts, souvenirs, sodas and cigarettes, etc. There is a little "jewelry" kiosk in the mid mall; when the proprietor is there, he has some Sinatra playing on the radio and burns some of the incense he sells along with the cheap watches and other items.
The "hotel" lobby is at the front entrance, and sort of fades into the mall as you walk past. There is a "private" area through which you must pass by the concierge desk and security desk and swipe in to get to a smaller parlor type area that houses the elevators. This separates the guests/residents from the general public and provides an area to meet up with other guests to head out to dinner and what not.
So far, the public areas were clean, although maybe a bit dated, but it seems to suit the place anyway. The elevators were clean, solid and quick, although one of the 3 was out of service during my stay. There are seven floors, and the 2 elevators seemed to be quite adequate.
I arrived a few hours earlier than check in time. The young lady at the desk was very nice. She took my cell phone number and said she would call as soon as the room was ready. She also offered to hold any of my bags in the office if I wanted to go walk around. Since I only had a backpack, I declined the offer and went off to find the Ocean Pub 101 for a bit of lunch and a cocktail or 2.
I waited about an hour and a half for the room, which I didnt feel was too unreasonable, as it was 11:45 when I arrived, and check in is at 3. I was surprised to find that I had been upgraded to an oceanview room, as opposed to the city view I had booked.
The room was an efficiency, with a good size refrigerator, small gas stove, cabinets and sink/countertop. All were clean, bug free and in great condition. The room was clean, there was a queen or maybe it was a king? bed, with about 8 pillows. The bedding was clean and fresh, and free of any nasty bugs. Floors were ceramic tile, the bathroom was ok, my only complaint was the shower curtain. It had some mildew stains on it and had a slight odor. There were plenty of towels for one person.
Housekeeping... an area for improvement:
While everything was clean, there was some sort of powder on the floor outside room 730. It remained there through out my 3 night stay.
It seemed that everytime I went to take a shower, the housekeeper would show up. The first was the "Towel Exchange" person, who said they would come back in a bit, but never did. To be fair, he also said that I could call the desk if I need any towels. No one came in to clean the room that day.
On Tuesday, like clockwork, housekeeping knocked as I was getting in the shower. I asked if she could give me a few minutes and she agreed. Upon my leaving my room, I saw she was attending to the room next door. I said hello, and went about my day. Later that afternoon, I returned to find my room exactly as I had left it. No housekeeping.
On Wednesday, I reported the powdery substance in the hall to the front desk, seeing that I was checking out and it was still there. I neglected to mention the housekeeping issue, as I was late for my ride to the airport and in a hurry.
They also offered a "continental" breakfast, depending on which site you booked the room through. I was given two coupons per day to use at the coffee cart down the mall. The bakery stand, although listed on the card, apparently no longer accepts the coupons.
The coffee cart opens officially at 8AM, but Maryanne, the woman that opens is usually setting up by 7:30, and if you're nice, she may serve you before 8! She's a sweetheart and I enjoyed my conversations with her as I had my coffee and croissants.
The pool, which is outdoors, was also pretty nice. It was clean, and there were a lot of chaises; if you wanted, you could rent a cushion for a buck. Didn't need it, they were fine with out. My biggest complaint about the pool was the towel situation. You had to get a towel from the front desk. After leaving, you were supposed to bring the wet towel BACK to the desk? How silly is that?
All in all, I would say my experience here was a good one, and judging by the old reviews, has come a long way. I would definitely stay here again, the price is right, its a clean and basic place to stay. Jerry Walker and his team seem to be keeping up with everything and hopefully making improvements as they go along. I never experienced an attitude from any of the staff, all were friendly and helpful if asked a question.
From what I was told, the rooms are actually all condo, and rented out to guests if not used; others live here full time and I think others may be time share- 4th floor maybe?
Either way, it was a good experience overall and would recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Hollywood beachfront hotel voted by Travel & Leisure as one of "America's Best Beach Boardwalks" and Fodor Travel Guide's "Best Beach for Families." ... more less
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