As we live in the midwest, we cannot visit the gulf coast as often as we would like to.... every visit is a pleasure. We have been to the Island View to gamble once before in 2012. From that trip to the casino, they gave us a generous amount of free play on our Player's Cards. And they offered us 3 free nights, so we decided to give it a try. Since we'd never stayed overnight, we were initially surprised that they gave us a room with an ocean view. Ok, so it's not the fanciest hotel on the coast, but it is not a bad alternative. The rooms are spacious, quiet and seemed pretty clean. The mini-refrigerator was a big plus for our family.
As far as the cons, the old-timey looking bedspreads were not very inviting. They were faded from washing had little pills on them from over-use. The beds themselves were not too comfy, but the pillows were good. Next time, I would definitely ask for extra blankets as they were thin and I was afraid to use the bedspread. They provided free WIFI, but it was pretty slow, so we rarely used it. At night, the light from the hallway streamed underneath a huge opening underneath the room door ... so it was hard to block that light out when going to sleep. It was so big, my 9yo would crouch down on the floor and watch people walking in the hallway. The hallways were always somewhat musty smelling, but they seemed to be trying to take care of with the huge fans on the carpets. Now, the main con that I couldn't quite get over was the smell of our room. It smelled somewhat like a cleaning solution, but I later decided that it smelled more like one of those "Lilt Home Permanents" that we got in the 70s. Once I had that thought in my mind, I couldn't really stay in the room while awake for very long. To combat that smell, I tried to use a candle and extra perfumes. I would have asked for another room, but I preferred to just stay out and enjoy our trip rather than spend time at the hotel.
One day, walking though the hall, I did see a maid in another room spraying something into a glass cup with a spay bottle. Then, she wiped out the glass cup with her dust rag. I kept walking, so I don't know the whole story there of what she was doing. But, it bothered me so much that I will never drink from a glass cup in a hotel again if this is the way the cups get cleaned from the previous lodgers. We didn't eat at the buffet. We didn't like the saltwater pool because it was simply too hot to bear on a 98 degree day.
All in all, I think this is a fairly comfortable hotel for the gulf coast. We had a great time at the casino. Like I said, I think this place has real opportunity to be great again if they make a few changes. I would visit again... with my candles.