On the 26th of April my wife, son and I had the occasion to stay at the Sea Horse Oceanfront Inn, Neptune Beach, FL.
We booked a Saturday night there several weeks ago but had to cancel because my wife is a nurse and her work schedule had changed. I called their office and spoke to a kind young woman who moved our reservation to the 26th, which also coincided with my son’s birthday. All three of us were looking forward to our stay there. I have stayed at the Sea Horse in my youth with my parents and siblings and have very fond memories of our times there… Now my parents and four separate siblings and their families stay there every so often. None of us has ever experienced an incident like the type I describe.
We went out for dinner on the night of the 26th, Sliders I believe. Nice quiet eve just before the larger crowds later on. We came back to the Sea Horse and discovered a loud and rowdy bunch at a place called the Lemon bar. We assumed that this would calm down somewhat as the evening progressed but discovered that that was not to be the case.
We had some birthday cake with our son and settled in for bed around 11:15.
Some time between 11:30 and 12:30 we were woken by someone hammering on our door. It certainly sounded like a hammer and we thought the door would break down at any minute. Both my wife and I were paralyzed! What was going on? We heard the door crack as the person out side continued to pound on it. We both shouted at the top of our lungs to go away and we were calling the police. The person on the other end of the door drunkenly shouted he was looking for Bruce. “He’s not here”, I said, “this is a family that has nothing to do with you, go now I’m calling the police!” He laughed and pounded on the door once more before leaving. I proceeded to put on some clothing then opened the door cautiously to see two individuals backing out of a parking place directly in front of our room (119). The woman driving the car hit the bushes twice before she finally reversed out then her male friend who was on his cell phone got into the car and they both drove off quickly.
Almost immediately after they pulled out the car park attendant and a person from the Sea Horse office arrived. My wife had called the front desk and they must have hurried down as they arrived very quickly. Several minutes later a policeman arrived too. I was surprised to see him as we had not called the police but were still thinking of doing so. The person from the Sea Horse front desk said they had an off-duty policeman around to handle the crowd at the Lemon Bar as they sometimes became a bit rowdy. The policeman also confirmed this saying that he had just broken up a fight and it may have been one of the individuals involved that was bothering us.
We were astounded. My son was in tears he was so worried, my wife was very upset and I was not very much if at all any better… When we finished speaking to the policeman giving him a description of the couple and then your person from the office who was very apologetic we finally went back to bed. However, in reality we all sat up for the next three hours, as we were all far too nervous and upset to sleep. Added to this was the noise of the clean up from the Lemon bar, clinking glasses and bottles for the next two hours.
The next morning we had a walk on the beach to soothe our nerves before check out time.
We did notice on our way out the door that the door was splintered in several places.
We finished packing then made our way to the office after loading our car. Just before 11:00 all three of us entered the office and spoke to the manager. She was completing other paperwork at first then on the phone then waiting on us. As she retrieved my paperwork and started to complete our bill I then said, “did the night staff tell you what happened last night near the bar?” She said, “oh yes you were in room 119. So sorry about the trouble, I’m taking $20. off your bill.” I then said, “well having a small discount is ok but it doesn’t really make our stay any better.” The manager then said (rather curtly) “sorry, these things sometimes happen.” “I’ve never had them happen to me here, in all the years I’ve stayed in the past.” “Oh well sorry”, she said, rather dismissively. “Do you always put families into the room right next to the bar when you know there will be a large crowd?” I asked.
“Oh, by the way”, I said, “the door needs to be repaired as it was pounded on quite hard and is now cracked in several places.” “Let’s go”, said my wife. The manager said nothing else at all.
I wasn’t pointing out the trouble the next morning to get a discount. I was surprised we weren’t shown a bit more courtesy and sympathy. I dare say business must be very good if this is how repeat customers are handled. I think that’s an appropriate way to word the treatment from the manager. We felt handled, we didn’t feel valued, and we didn’t feel as though our custom mattered at all. We were just part of an awkward situation that needed to be dealt with and summarily dismissed.
To this day, I have sent two copies of this letter to the Sea Horse Inn Owner and management and have received no comment or apology of any kind.
I recommend not staying at the Sea Horse Inn! Both for your own safety as well as a quiet relaxing break. It is a dangerous bar not a family friendly inn.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.