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“Unique” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Surf Hotel Block Island

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Surf Hotel Block Island
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32 Dodge Street, PO Box 1888, Block Island, RI 02807   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Block Island
vermont
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unique”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

The Surf Hotel is like a trip back in time. The very pleasant lobby is furnished in antigues. We had a drink at the lobby bar and sat outside on the rocking chairs on the porch overloooking the beach. The rooms are small but clean and all rooms share a bath. There are no televisions and we didn't need a/c b/c of the ocean breeze. The location can't be beat. It is minutes to the ferry, shops, and restaurants. It was a unique experience and we enjoyed it.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room. However, island view rooms have a smal locean view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    13
    8
    8
    2
    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
blockisland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

When you step onto the porch of the Surf, just inches from curbside, it feels llike a step back in time. Sitting on the porch to enjoy dinner overlooking the ocean is divine. Our service was eager to please and very friendly. You can tell everyone is happy to be there. While the menu is small the food is good, utilizing fresh ingredients. I love Clam Chowder and I live out here and their chowder is the best I have had.
They seem to be slowly re-opening, making good choices and taking their time and it shows. Kim, the owner, is professional, friendly and accomodating. A great place to get away from it all!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire, CT
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

This past spring, my girlfriend and I heard that the Surf Hotel on Block Island was reopening. We had heard that some changes to the hotel were afoot; new ownership, a restaurant and bar had replaced the old family kitchen and so on and so forth. It was with some intrepidation that we signed up for a weeks stay. We were not disappointed. Kim, the new owner, along with her staff couldn't have been more friendly and accommodating. They were really sweet. Some of the "old" Surf was still there e.g. the 2nd floor balcony overlooking the beach and rocking chairs on one side of the front porch yet, the "new" Surf was also present. We ate at the restaurant and ordered drinks from the bar. We loved everything. Yes, some things are different but then, nothing in life remains the same forever. For those who can only talk about what use to be, it is your choice to stay in your rooms watching re-runs of the Andy Griffith show. For my money, I suggest you embrace the change, otherwise you'll run the risk of missing out on wonderful times at a very special place. Vive la différence! See you there next summer.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My stay at the Surf was while she was in full swing and had just recently re-opened after 5 years . Walk through the front doors and you will go back in time the feel of old world charm with her amazing antiques and decor , the lovely staff was at full attention and helped me with all my needs.As I sat on the back deck over looking the ocean I had the most amazing steamers I have ever eaten and a glorious melt in your mouth warm lobster roll all prepared by Chef Gerry a very charming and very talented Chef at that, ask for him by name! You will want to go back and for that matter you will never want to leave, I will be going back to stay there in a few weeks!

Room Tip: get an ocean side room the breeze and the sound of the ocean will lull you to sleep
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Connecticut
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

I've been going to the Surf for 30 years with my family and after many wonderful stays with the Cyr family I was a little apprehensive about returning with my wife and two boys. We were all amazed and very happy with our stay. Of course there are memories and features about the former establishment that are irreplaceable, but the new operators have done a truly remarkable job in such a short period of time. Unless you have personally run a business such as this, it is impossible to understand how difficult it is to get everything perfect on the first year. Kim (the new person in charge), is warm and very eager to please and she is diligent in her ongoing training of her new staff, who by the way, are learning very quickly. The hotel is clean and well kept, the rooms promptly picked up, and the head chef Jerry does a fantastic job with great dishes including a terrific breakfast (and he is gregarious and always interested in friendly conversation and a good laugh), and the entire atmosphere remains family oriented and genuinely upbeat.

The bottom line is this hotel is about as good as you can ever expect it to be at this early stage with new management. If you want a private bath or A/C or television, this type of vacation may not be for you, but the old charm far outweighs any typical canned luxury in my opinion. Of all the possible scenarios that could have materialized when the Cyr family decided to change hands, this one is by far the best. The rooms would have to rent at at least double the current price if the lobby and porches were to remain as they had once been.The hotel could have easily been converted to a group of private condos or something completely unrecognizable. Give it a try and let the mangaement know your concerns. I could clearly see they truly care about the old Surf and will make it better every year! Loved it!

Room Tip: leave ceiling fan on all night
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plainville, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

The hotel has recently re-opened their restaurant and we did not have the best experience. We went for dinner the other night because of the live music. When we arrived they were not overally busy but our waiter did not seem to have much time to tend to our table. Throughout the night he was more interested in talking the the drunk guys who were seated near us and high fiving them.

We placed an order for our meals and an appetizer only to have the appetizer arrive at the same time as our meals. I also have some food allergies and wanted to see if the kitchen could make some changes to a couple of the meals. When we asked if he could go check he was quick to respond that it could not be done without even checking.

The meals were good but not the best that we had on the island, there are much better places. With the service we received I do not plan on going back in the future for dinner. Maybe next time a drink at the end of the night to listen to the music on the deck. That was the best part and also will save us a lot of money when we eat somewhere else.

This was something we had heard after from other travellers also. You may want to ask around before going there. It will not be the first place on my list.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saugerties, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

Our family has been going to the Surf for many years. We went back this summer after they re-opened and were very disappointed. We were hoping the things we loved about The Surf hadn't changed. Too much has changed. We miss the fascinating summer community of guests, we miss the games in the parlor ( the chess set is tucked away in a corner & there are no more scrabble games), we miss the rockers & comfy cushioned wicker loveseats on the porches, replaced now by restaurant tables... We miss listening to guests play the piano, because there's a "no playing piano" sign now.. We miss the cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the parakeet & the fish in the fishtank. We miss the taxidermy! We miss the lace tablecloths & flowers in the breakfast room. We miss quiet spaces to read books, because there is always music blaring now. We miss interesting/ fascinating! people to talk to who stay the whole week.. They don't rake the seaweed off the beach anymore. We miss the convenience of having a kitchen & grill we can use--so we can save a little money & not have to eat out every meal. We miss the swingset so kids have something to do. We miss being able to borrow beach chairs & umbrellas & beach towels from the hotel. We miss the good natured charm of Mr. & Mrs. Cyr. We miss Lorraine-- because she kept order-- and made sure the hotel was secure & clean. Carpets were dirty & full of sand because there is no outside shower anymore. We miss the morning cake with cinnamon sugar on top. They leave the doors open now- even at night!! and people come in off the street or from the restaurant/bar & go upstairs to use the bathroom. We miss the rules that make staying at the Surf a happy experience. We miss the quiet sound of the ocean waves - the music in the lobby drowns out the ocean. We miss being able to get kids to bed at a reasonable time-- the loud live music on the porch goes on till nearly midnight! The location of the new bar blocks the view of the ocean from the parlor. The bright energy saver lightbulbs in the rooms are way too bright. The love is missing. It's just a hotel now.

Room Tip: no air conditioning -- our room had an old hard mattress and was really hot.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf Hotel Block Island

Address: 32 Dodge Street, PO Box 1888, Block Island, RI 02807
Location: United States > Rhode Island > Block Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Block Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Surf Hotel which reopened July 2012 is a true Victorian gem sitting on the corner of Water and Dodge Streets. The only Oceanfront hotel on Block Island with its own private beach! Located in the heart of Old Harbor, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails. ... more   less 

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