We stayed at the Marriott Hollywood Beach from 3/19 - 3/23/08. Upon arrival, we actually passed it, because it looked so awful on the outside that I couldn't believe it was the right hotel. The color is awful, and the neighborhood is seedy. We pulled in to the parking ramp that is attached to the hotel, and it's actually nice and convenient to park there, although they charge $10/day for parking.
The lobby is nice enough, with a Caribbean style. The front desk staff was very courteous. We were not very pleased with the room, however, as it was very, very small and difficult to get around in. The bathroom was nice, but there is a glass door, so if you're not staying with family, you probably won't want anyone in the room when you're going to the bathroom! There is no fan in the bathroom, so it gets very steamy when taking a shower. Not convenient if someone is in the shower while you're trying to get ready in the bathroom. The carpeting was old and needs to be replaced. The beds were comfortable. The TV was old and too small for the room. The balcony was tiny, and with 2 chairs and a table out there, you couldn't even move. It is also seemingly dangerous if you have small children. My kids are 14 and 10, and I wasn't comfortable with them being on the balcony.
The main problem with our room was that it was never properly cleaned by our cleaning person. It only appeared that she left clean towels, took the used towels, and emptied the garbage. Nothing else seemed to have been done. The room certainly hadn't been vacuumed nor the beds made.
The beach itself is just okay. There was a lot of seaweed the some dead jellyfish on the beach, but I must add that it was quite windy during our stay. There were also a lot of cigarette butts and garbage. The beach was not well kept. In addition, the beach is flat but then slopes down toward the water. If you are sitting in a cabana or chairs on the beach, and your children are by the water, you can’t see them, so we had to keep getting up to go check on the kids. The hotel’s website says that you can buy drinks from servers on the beach, but we didn’t see anyone. We had to leave the beach and go to the hotel bar to buy drinks. Also, we found out on the first day (the hard way) that you have to rent your cabana and/or chairs by 9:00 am; otherwise, you won’t get any. We also had to help ourselves to beach towels as there was no one by the pool to help us. We waited about 10 minutes, along with some other hotel guests, until we finally decided to go behind the counter and get them ourselves.
Which brings me to the pool. It’s tiny and almost impossible to move around the pool area due to the number of chairs there. Again, you have to “claim” chairs by 9:00 am if you want any. The pool itself is very, very small…far too small for a hotel of this size on the ocean. The pool area is actually very ugly. It looks like it was part of some seedy hotel at one point, and they may have painted the pool area, but it still does not look nice at all. The chairs are old and grungy looking, too.
Another thing that was annoying was the exit/entry out of the hotel to the patio and beach. There was only one exit, and it was also being used by servers at the hotel restaurant. Every time you came through the door, you had to stop and wait for the servers to go by, in many cases with an armful of dirty dishes.
The food at the hotel was good. They even gave us free tea and coffee on our first night because I mentioned that I had a cold. That was very nice. However, the following day, the breakfast server sat us down, and forgot about us for ½ hour. I had to go to the hostess and get our own menus. Then when the server came back, she kept trying to talk us into the expensive buffet. I explained that I don’t order buffet because I don’t eat a lot and just wanted to order a la carte. She stated that a la carte items would take 30 minutes to prepare. I said that was okay. Ten minutes later our food arrived. I think she was trying to sell the buffet, which I did not appreciate.
The “broadwalk” should be called the “freakwalk”. We couldn’t believe the number of strange-looking, and even some scary-looking, people skating and walking by on the broadwalk. I didn’t care for it. You had to walk across it to get to the beach and risk being run over by a wayward inline skater or bicyclist. Also, if you wanted to eat on the patio, you risked the possibility of being stared at by strange people while you ate. I personally prefer a hotel where you are segregated from the public a bit, and you won’t get that here. In fact, the entire beach is full of non-hotel guests.
God forbid you have rain during your stay. We had rain, not heavy, not light, just basic rain the last day of our stay, and the power went out in the entire hotel early in the afternoon. The power came back on after dinnertime; however, we didn’t realize that the air conditioning wasn’t working until I woke up in an oven-like room at 3:00 a.m. Since we were getting up at 5:00 am to check out, I didn’t bother to call the front desk, but I did mention it at checkout. The front desk clerk stated that there was a problem with the air conditioning in many of the rooms because of the earlier power outage.
One last complaint. Every night, and I mean every night, there were police cars all over Ocean Drive. Not sure why, but there appears to be a crime problem in that area. Once we had to detour 5 miles out of the way to get back to the hotel because the street right in front of the hotel was blocked by police cars. I did not feel particularly safe in this hotel. I certainly would not stay in this hotel if I was alone.
Needless to say, it was not a very pleasant stay. I must add that I am a frequent traveler and Marriott customer and am accustomed to staying in nice hotels. I am very picky, but at the same time, not one to complain. I have stayed in this area of Florida before, and there are much nicer places to stay. This Marriott most definitely does not live up the Marriott standard. I will not stay there again. If you are the least bit picky, look elsewhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.