This is beginning to look like the Raleigh Chronicles. I keep coming back and talking about it.
Since my last stay at the Raleigh in April, there have been a few noticeable changes and there are more coming.
My check in hit a little snag. I do not expect, nor may I demand that the room be ready. I'd rather drop off my bag and jump in the ocean. I do appreciate the fact that I was given a room, however wrong and, perhaps, misguided it was, at the very unreasonable hour before the official 3 pm. Later on, the very pleasant Tiffany, the Guest Services Manager, was able to resolve the issue rather quickly. It really made a difference. I come from a noisy city, and I'd rather have a quieter room. Soundproofing at the Raleigh is an inherent issue. I believe they are looking at addressing it as they begin to refit the rooms, floor by floor, from the top down, next year. As I mentioned before, I hope the fix-up does not eliminate the vintage appeal of this landmark. No beige drapery and furniture, no Fornasetti commonplace, please.
My room wasn't the most desirable (next to the elevator) but it had a small entry way, unlike garden view rooms, where you literally walk into your bed. Tiffany told me that SBE bought the property across Collins Ave. Curious to see how that is developed. I am quite sure it won't have the iconic deco pool. Word to the wise: The Shelborne Hotel next door is being remodeled. It is noisy by the pool.
The restaurant is fully rebranded and it is good (Michael Schwartz is the chef). The Food and Beverage Manager Daniel (?) is out chatting with the guests and buying them drinks (I wasn't that lucky though) and talking about the impending changes, like upgrading the pool furnishings, extending the cabanas, etc.
The menu is great. I had the excellent fish stew, the kale salad, the awesome thin sliced chips, the fish tacos and just about every desert on the menu. Do try the prix fixe in the evening!
The umbrellas at the beach still cost you the tacky $15. Really?? Even with the resort fee??
Lastly, three words: Hillary, Robert and Joan. There's something to be said about seeing familiar faces and being welcomed back. Surprisingly, at the room, I didn't get the always nice handwritten note, nor fruit, nor water this time. Oh, well!