My partner and I stayed at the beach house suites for a week in November ‘06. Overall, our stay was great. The property is well kept, clean, in a great location and the staff is very accommodating. We loved having the full kitchen so we could cook our own meals, and eat on our private balcony overlooking the Gulf.
The pool area at the Beach House is not nearly as busy and crowded as it is at the main hotel. Most days, there were less than 10 people in total at the pool. We enjoyed the sun deck located behind the pool - very secluded and quiet. There is a bar tender and a pool attendant in the pool area, so there's always a staff person around if you're in need of something. Clevious, the pool attendant, was great. Each day, he remembered where we preferred to sit and set up our seats with chair pads before we asked.
The suites are quite nice. I've posted some pictures of the interior. Others have commented that the decor is a bit dated. True, there are no down duvets, plush armchairs or marble bathrooms as there are at the main hotel. The rooms are decorated with a tropical theme - mostly wicker furniture and tropical pictures, but we felt that it made for a casual, laid back environment - after all, it is a beach house, not the (perhaps stuffy) main hotel. Our suite had two bathrooms which were clean, although slightly dated with baby-blue tile. The bedroom was comfortable, although small - our room only had a queen bed, which took up most of the room, but there were two closets and a dresser, which allowed us to unpack, instead of living out of a suitcase. There is a TV in the bedroom, and another in the living room, which would be great for families, or for couples where one goes to bed earlier than the other.
It's always a bit of a guessing game to determine what to bring when you're going to a hotel with housekeeping/kitchen facilities. This is what you should bring: Salt and pepper - there are none provided. The hotel does provide dish soap and detergent for the dishwasher (although they don't always replenish it, but if you ask at the front desk, they'll deliver more to your room). We really appreciated the washer and dryer (you have to bring or buy your own laundry soap). There are a few pots and a frying pan, but no mixing bowls. There also is no Tupperware in the unit. There were only four place settings, which didn't bother us as we were just 2, but larger groups may find themselves washing dishes frequently to have an adequate supply.
Our only minor issue was with the housekeeping standards. We expressed our concerns (the unit hadn't been vacuumed in 3 days, and the previous guest's garbage was left under the sink) to Shawn at the front desk who dealt with the issue quickly, professionally, and to our satisfaction. The other staff was very friendly, and always spoke when we passed then in the hall or at the pool.
If you're there over a weekend, be sure to try the King Charles Brunch at the main hotel - it's a nice once-in-a-while treat at $90 for two (go after 11am when the champagne is flowing very freely!)
There is a beach-bar located next to the hotel, which seemed to get a bit busy on the weekend nights, so I’d suspect if you were making use of one of the two sofa-beds in the living room, you may have heard some of the noise next door (I realize there’s nothing the hotel can do about that as it’s not their property, but I think it’s something to be aware of especially if you’ll be using the living room as an additional sleeping area.) At the time we were there, there was construction going on next door (on the bedroom side of the building), so we were awakened each morning at 7:30am by the trucks and cranes operating about 20 feet from the bedroom window (again, there’s nothing the hotel can do about that, but it is definitely something to be aware of – go to bed early as sleeping in and daytime napping will not be an option until the construction is completed!)
Overall, I had a wonderful time there, and would definitely go back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.