We were looking to get away from the winter cold and get some golfing in for a week. I took to the internet to find a hotel on the south beach near the airport for convenience. While I was on the main web page for this hotel, I was drawn to their long disclaimer about the type of facility this is, the management of the ammenities, and so on. It's quite detailed, and enlightening. Here we've come to Myrtle Beach for a number of years in the off-season to golf, and we always thought that these big high rise buildings on the beach are all corporate owned hotels. But right there in black and white in a disclaimer section that says NOTE: this big place is described as a condo hotel (which we had never heard of before), and then elaborates on how you can rent a condo from the resort's exclusive management company, or other area rental companies, or from VRBO, which we know stands for Vacation Rental By Owner. A friend of ours told us about Vacation Rental By Owner a few years ago when we were looking to rent a home to stay in near the French Quarter in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and we have since used the website to rent residence types of condos in Orlando, Florida and to rent a log cabin in Sevierville, Tennessee. We had no idea that we could rent beach front in a high rise property, much less that what we thought was a hotel has rooms that are owned by individuals. So, newly educated by Coral Beach Resort & Suite's home page, we turned to Trip Advisor to read some of the many, many reviews from different times of the year as well as different years' reviews. Having a history of respiratory and allergy issues, the thing that struck me personnally were the reviews mentioning visitors getting assigned rooms by the front desk that were supposed to be non-smoking which smelled of recent cigarette smoke odors, and while during some off-season stays after shuffling through two or three different rooms visitors of the resort finally found one that they found acceptable, there were visitors during the summer peak season that could not be moved because of full occupancy, and they were stuck with the assigned room or left in protest and gave the resort a terrible review. This helped us decide that we needed to rent a strictly non-smoking room directly from a room owner using Vacation Rental By Owner to ensure I wouldn't have any respiratory aggravation and that I wouldn't have to room hop through three or four resort management controlled rooms after a long flight to find one that was right for me. The owner I rented from was adamant that the room was completely non-smoking and offered a $250 gaurantee that I would find it smoke-free, very clean and exactly as the pictures represented on the VRBO listing. We were extremely pleased with the room, and the price was competitive with the resort's price for rooms they control as well as with the pricing on the website Expedia. We found the resort to be well kept, and we really enjoyed the indoor pool, hot tubs and sauna. That brings to mind another revelation. The NOTE: section on the resort's home page says that their exclusive management company owns ALL the ammenities and that if you rent from a local off premises rental company or from an owner directly on Vacation Rental By Owner that you have access to nothing, and yet the NOTE: list of ammenities makes no mention of pools being restricted for use. I went to the front desk staff to get a parking pass for our rental car, and they gave me this sheet to complete with personal information and to sign, which basically acknowledged the ammenities addressed in NOTE: on their website home page. I asked the front desk staffer for clarification about the pools and hot tubs. I always thought (as I'm sure most people do) of POOLS as AMMENITIES, but apparently they are NOT. Pools and hot tubs are called COMMON AREAS in this condo-hotel business configuration. I mentioned to the employee that their NOTE: is VERY misleading, as most people (including us) would assume that pools are ammenities, not common areas, and therefore off limits to folks like us who chose to rent using an alternative method. Nothing was said by her in response to this, but she couldn't hold back a smile. It occured to us based on her reaction that whoever made the decision about the wording on the website deliberately used that choice of words to confuse and mislead people on purpose. Also, my wife observed that while the front desk girl was exhuberant when we first came to the desk, her overall tone quickly became much colder and less friendly when we told her we had rented from an owner on VRBO and were simply at the front desk to get a parking pass. My wife said she was made to feel "dirty" through that experience by the front desk, something she felt was unnecessary and uncalled for from someone who was supposed to be professional. The management company staff takes this attitude so far as to exclude you from being able to buy a cup of coffee from their coffee shop in the lobby. You can't pay cash, you can't pay with a debit or credit card, you have to have it billed to your room by your room key, which you can't do if you didn't rent from the resort through the front desk staff. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. I can't imagine true business professionals who would turn away money for their highly profitable goods and services from ammenities for the sake of spite because some room owners chose not to associate their own property with the resort's management company. I'm tryng to envision in my mind's eye what it would be like to be here at a time of the year when their beach bar is open, and being forced to bill mixed liquor drinks to my room if I were renting from the resort controlled rooms. Pity the man who has to explain to his wife at check out time how he spent $80 on drinks on a given night after she went up to the room to turn in for the night. Yikes! And those poor guys slinging drinks must take a hit in their tips. Oh well, if you're rich enough to run an operation like this I suppose you can afford to do things on principal alone. It just seems to us that at some point visitors to the resort would just chose not to stay here at all, regardless of who would rent a room to them. Then again, there are visitors like us, who could care less about the obvious rivalry, and will come back regardless. But on principal alone, for the benefit of the underdog room owners, next time we stay at Coral Beach Resort we will source a room once again using the small, independent business people representing themselves on Vacation Rental By Owner. We have to thank the resort's website maintenance employee for revealing to us the condo-hotel business model. Were it not for our frigid experience at the front desk, we would have rated this resort and our stay as excellent rather than very good. This is a great place to stay for reasonable money, and we loved the location for it's proximity to area highlights and the nice wide open beach.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.