My partner and I have just returned from staying at the Madison for three nights and overall we were very disappointed with the place and very glad we opted to visit just before the price hike after the 4th of July (which, incidentally, is blatant profiteering given our experience).
If you are not a young, cute gay boy who wants to party until dawn and have fresh baked cookies served at midnight (?!) when you have the munchies, give the Madison a wide berth.
The manager, Luke, was very nice when we arrived and gave us a basic rundown on how the place "functioned" such as we could help ourselves to fresh towels whenever, that breakfast (basically bagels and fruit) was served from 830 am and that we could use the kitchen and BBQ to cook if we wanted to. That is a positive aspect if you don't want to eat out all the time.
However, the other staff that were on while we were there, Tim and Michael, were aloof, bordering on rude. That's when they were actually around. The breakfast was never served by 830 am and the morning we were checking out (sometime after 9 am) we didn't get any breakfast because we had to leave before it was ready.
Tim, who was sauntering around making a half-hearted attempt at getting the breakfast out (this entails putting out bagels and fruit and making some coffee - not that hard) at the time we were going, didn't even pick his head up or make any attempt to greet us/ask us how our stay was etc until I said something to him. Hotel service 101! EPIC FAIL.
We went to Fire Island to get to the beach and relax, not to party hard. I've been on the gay scene for years and am not averse to partying per se, but I don't expect the hotel I'm staying at to function solely on the premise that all their guests are going to party all night and then sleep in.
Now to describe the room. We did not get the room we had been promised - downstairs with easy access to outside for our small dog - that was ok except we had to carry her up and down the small spiral staircase - BUT, although the room we got was quite a nice and had a reasonable sized bathroom, the "king size" bed was really short (I'm 5 foot 9 and my feet hung over the end) with a big, uncomfortable hump in the middle (two singles pushed together?) and the sheets were polyester and the pillows lumpy.
We had to empty our garbage bin every day and nobody cleaned or made our room up or checked if we needed/wanted clean linen. I'm all for trying to be energy efficient but would like to have been offered a choice.
As we were paying hotel room rates and the Madison calls itself a hotel, having the room made up should be part of the "service". These rates included a $50 per night surcharge for the dog, apparently for the extra cleaning involved. As there was no cleaning done while we were there this charge is iniquitous.
Another guest confided in me that the place had "gone downhill" from his stay the year before and it was a bit rundown. The pool sides have buckled and there was piece of wood with a nail sticking out from the side near the deep end.
Things were generally a little shabby compared to the images on the Madison's website.
As I said, we were upstairs and noticed that the fire alarm in our room was missing with a few wires hanging down where it should have been. That wasn't a concern to us up until we observed that there isn't any other way down except via the internal and very narrow, spiral staircase. Surely, this a breech of the fire code. Every dwelling in that part of the island is wooden. We were told that the new building near the ferry wharf had replaced one that had burnt down, and the Fire Brigade makes its presence felt every midday by testing the alarm, so the risk of a fire cannot be ruled out.
The Madison doesn't really know what it is. It isn't a hotel because it doesn't offer what most people expect when they stay in a hotel. It's more an expensive, post party crash pad, where you pay a lot to cater for yourself.
Needless to say, we won't be reprising our stay at the Madison.
- Also Known As:
- The Madison Fire Island Pines Hotel
- The Madison Fire Island Pines Hotel Fire Island Pines
- The Madison Fire Island Pines
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fire Island Pines finally has a weekend getaway as chic and as beautiful as the Pines itself. The Madison Fire Island Pines is sixty seconds from the harbor and sixty seconds from the beach. All rooms are beautiful, with private baths, a/c, flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations. There's a huge pool, hot tub and a roof deck with a breathtaking view of the Pines. ... more less