During August 17-25, 2013, my husband and I vacationed for the first time at North Beach Plantation (NBP) and stayed in the Jasmine Tower. We are not new to Myrtle Beach, SC, having vacationed there over the past two decades and staying various hotels. In my quest to find the ultimate Myrtle Beach hotel, I came across NBP which is rated #1 on Trip Advisor in North Myrtle Beach. Upon viewing the NBP website, the hotel seemed spectacular, albeit pricey. So, despite the exorbitant rate for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath oceanfront suite, I decided to bite the bullet and booked our summer vacation at NBP. There are pros and cons of this property which I shall detail in this review.
The most glaring problem with NBP is housekeeping, which will ultimately be the demise of this spectacular hotel. The most conspicuous problem was the filthy hallway carpeting which was appalling. The carpeting itself was plush, colorful and stately, but you could barely tell from all the dirt. First, I thought surely the housekeepers just swept dirt from the hotel rooms and elevator lobbies onto the hallway carpeting and would return to vacuum. That never happened. I saw the same dirt on the carpeting during our entire eight-night stay. It did not appear that housekeeping ever vacuumed the hallway carpeting. Such a shame because all that dirt and grime will become embedded in the fine carpeting.
Should you decide to book a stay at NBP, be advised that daily housekeeping services are not provided. What you receive is a daily exchange of towels, emptying the trash cans and replenishment of laundry and dishwasher detergent. Housekeeping never replenished the toilet paper or bathroom soap during our entire stay. If you want clean sheets, you call the Front Desk and bed linens will be delivered. You make the bed(s) yourself. The counters, floors or bathroom(s) are not wiped down. A vacuum is provided in the closet.
In theory, the way housekeeping works is that you place your dirty towels on the bathroom floor which will be replaced. Unfortunately, there were major problems with such simple housekeeping services. On more than one occasion, the housekeeper would just dump a pile of bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths and bathmats on the kitchen counter and then remove the dirty towels on the floor. There was no inventory to see what towels actually needed to be replaced. The housekeeping system should work the other way around. Remove the dirty towels first and see what needs to be replaced.
We had one housekeeper who placed 14 bath towels, 16 hand towels and 18 wash cloths (but no bathmats) on the kitchen counter. She basically emptied out her maid cart. There were only two of us staying in this hotel room. As usual, this housekeeper didn’t first remove the wet towels on both on bathroom floors to see what needed to be replaced. After she placed a huge mound of towels on the kitchen counter, she then went into the Master bathroom to remove the wet towels on the floor. Here’s the kicker. This housekeeper left one wet bath towel on the floor. I mean, she must have stepped on the towel when leaving the bathroom. How do you not see a big wet towel in the middle of the bathroom the floor?
When this housekeeper removed the trash bag in the kitchen, she just placed the new trash can liner on the side of the trash can. She didn’t even bother to put the trash bag inside the trash can. I noted this housekeeper had several bandages on her forearm where she had been carrying the clean towels. This gave the appearance that this housekeeper had an infectious lesion or sore on her arm which was disgusting. I didn’t even want to touch the new towels she had left. This didn’t instill a lot of confidence that the housekeeper was healthy and the bandages grossed me out.
In the best interests of NBP, I called the Front Desk advising that this housekeeper left an enormous number of towels in our room. Later, the housekeeping supervisor came to our hotel room and we had a discussion. Apparently this housekeeper was new. I commented that it costs the hotel time and money having to wash all these extra towels brought to our room which is also detrimental to the environment. I told the supervisor that this housekeeper first left the huge mound of towels and then removed the dirty towels (all but one) on the floor, which was par for the course with other housekeepers. According to the supervisor, it’s supposed to be the other way around. Remove the dirty towels first and take inventory to see what needs to be replaced.
I also made mention about the bandages on this housekeeper’s arm and was told the hotel has a policy that all housekeeper tattoos have to be covered with bandages. Seriously? I also mentioned that this housekeeper just placed the trash liner on the side of the trash can and I was told they are supposed to put the liner inside the trash can as a courtesy to the guests. I guess it’s the least housekeeping can do.
Speaking of housekeeping, the wall-to-wall carpeting in our suite was dirty. Visible dirt was present all around the dining room table. It looked as though the carpeting had never been cleaned since this hotel first opened in 2008. Luckily, I brought some cleaning supplies and upon check-in, proceeded to wipe down the entire hotel room, as the kitchen and bathroom counters, glass dining room table, coffee table, end tables, dresser drawers, glass balcony doors, etc., had visible signs of dirt and fingerprints.
In addition, the next morning when we went to make a pot of coffee, the brew basket had a used coffee filter and coffee grounds left from the previous guests! The coffee pot itself had residual coffee stains. How disgusting! It is unfathomable to me that when housekeeping serviced the room after the previous guests checked out, that the coffee maker was never cleaned. Given the low-caliber of housekeepers at NBP, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
Now that we’ve got housekeeping (or lack thereof) out of the way, I’d like to address the parking garages. When you check-in at the hotel you do so in a building about 1/4-mile from NBP. If you think you’re going to get good information about parking from the gatekeeper upon entrance, think again. You’re basically on your own meandering through the parking garage and looking for the archway that leads to Jasmine Tower. There is no signage outside or inside the parking garage, so you learn your way by trial and error. If you’re staying at Indigo Tower, from what I understand parking and accessing your hotel room is not as challenging.
What we found is that on the third floor parking garage level, there is a barely visible entranceway that takes you to a walkway and over the archway by way of walking through the café and around to the elevators. We even tried asking a security guard where to park at the parking garage entrance in order to access Jasmine Tower and he gave us poor directions. It was very frustrating having just driven 450 miles and 11 hours on the road. It was only the next day that we found the walkway to the archway quite by accident. The first night, we dragged our gear on a luggage cart up/down a steep incline through the laundry room area to access the elevators. This was way out of the way from the shortcut we never found the first night. Learn from our mistakes!
With housekeeping and parking behind us, let’s move on to the hotel room itself (which are all privately-owned condominiums). The hotel room entrance is comprised of two large, wooden French doors (with doorbell), and opens to a foyer with chandelier and end table with lamp. The furnishings in our condominium were regal and fit for a King and Queen! Never have I seen such magnificent furniture and decorative items in any hotel in which I’ve stayed in all my travels. The room was fit for royalty, so much so that I actually felt a bit uncomfortable (but got over that quickly).
There was a huge walnut coffee table with drawers on both sides and deep cabinets Same is true with the two end tables. The 52-inch plasma TV and Blu-ray player were situated upon a majestic and massive walnut sideboard with lots of drawers and cabinets. Inside there were several games for children and adults, along with travel magazines. There was a large, comfortable sofa, love seat and what I preferred was a pine rocking chair with matching stool and comfy cushions. The wall-to-wall curtains were functional and appeared clean. An IPod docking station with speakers was placed on a table in the living room.
The lighting in the living room could have been a bit better with the addition of a pole lamp, in addition to the table lamps. Ceiling fans were present in all rooms of the condominium, except the kitchen and bathrooms. The sliding glass doors opened up to a massive size oceanfront balcony with round patio table and at least eight padded chairs and a few smaller tables. The view was spectacular, as below you see the gigantic pool facilities and Atlantic Ocean. NBP is situated on an island of sorts with White Point Swash inlet meandering around the grounds.
The dining room comprised a glass dining table and heavy iron chairs. The kitchen was grand with tile floor and a long granite counter separating the dining room (no bar stools). The kitchen counters were also granite with a double-sink and garbage disposal. There was a very large stainless-steel two-door refrigerator with icemaker and water dispenser on the front. The stove was professional grade with, in addition to the round burners, a separate large square burner/warmer in the middle of the stove. There was cabinetry galore and the kitchen was furnished with every kind of gadget and cooking utensil you could think of, along with a large inventory of dishware, glassware, silverware and cookware. Small appliances were also furnished such as a 4-slice toaster, blender and so much more.
The Master Bedroom was large, with walk-in closet and shelving. The King bed was comfortable and with nice bed linens. The pillows were just so-so. Plenty of dresser drawers also with cabinets and same is true with the smaller night stands. High-tech radio alarm clocks with IPod docking stations are furnished in both bedrooms. The wall-to-wall glass Master bedroom doors open to the oceanfront balcony. As with the living room, the drapes were functional and clean.
The Master Bathroom was large with tile floor, granite counter, double sinks, Jacuzzi and walk-in shower with rainfall water head and Waterpik shower massage mounted in the shower. The plumbing in this condominium was fully functional (strong water pressure, hot water on demand). The toilet didn’t flush too well and sometimes took several tries.
The second bathroom had tile floor, granite counter, one sink, tub and walk-in shower. The second bedroom comprised two Queen beds, large dresser and end table, but with only a small window to the hallway. There is plenty of closet space through this condominium with one utility closet, coat closet, linen closet and closets in both bedrooms.
The decorum throughout our condominium was first-rate. Beautiful paintings on the wall, decorative porcelain, glass and wooden knick-knacks, and artificial flowers galore (although the decorator got carried away), plus many more warm and classy decorative items throughout each room.
What can I saw about the massive pool facility at NBP except is was the finest of any hotel I’ve ever stayed. There are several outdoor swimming pools and Jacuzzi’s, plus a world-class swim-up bar. You can rent a pool-side Cabana, but beware it will cost you the big bucks. There is also an indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and Lazy River. Plenty of lawn chairs surround the pool and towels were available.
One complaint I have is that guests tend to “trash” the pool area. By this I mean leaving beverage cups lined up along the edges of the pools and Jacuzzi’s. Trash was also visible throughout the pool facility. One thing that really irked me was that guests didn’t have the decency to place their wet towels in the dispensers. Instead, they just left their dirty, wet towels on the lounge chairs, by the pools, Jacuzzi’s and any place else except where they belonged. Yes, I picked up all the towels one evening the first time we used the pool. You would think I have better things to do during my vacation, but I felt compelled.
Just a few tidbits. Don’t expect to fall asleep until Midnight because people shoot off loud fireworks on the beach every single night. Sometimes fireworks awakened me at 2:30 a.m. The beach is public domain, so I don’t think there is anything NBP management can do about the fireworks. The elevators at NBP were reliable and speedy. The HVAC in our condominium was quiet and totally functional, providing the perfect indoor climate. There was also a piggy-back washer/dryer in a closet in the condominium hallway. We washed four loads and the washer/dryer worked fine.
The spa is located near the check-in building. For my birthday during vacation, my husband’s gift to me was the spa treatment. I received an upgraded mani/pedi and therapeutic massage. You can read my review of Cinzia Spa on Trip Advisor (“EarthyBarbara”). The services were a par below what I had expected.
21 Main at North Beach (Prime Steakhouse):
We dined at 21 Main located near the check-in building and were very impressed with the food, service and decorum. The restaurant is expensive, but we worked with the menu and didn’t spend a fortune. Be advised that there is no view of the ocean at this restaurant.
We never tried the café, because we’re not big on a buffet breakfast or lunch. Dinner is not served. The café had no ambiance or view and was quite small. The café is very family oriented and geared towards large families. The café might work if you want to eat at the hotel or grab a cup of coffee and pastry.
NBP is conveniently located, just across Highway 17 from Barefoot Landing with shopping, dining, entertainment and much more! Vacationers have everything at their fingertips just by driving a short distance in either direction.
The question is, would I stay again at NBP? You bet! It is my hope that in addition to prospective new guests, that condominium owners and NBP management read these Trip Advisor reviews and will take appropriate action to correct the problems set forth in these reviews. Hence, that’s why I wrote such a comprehensive review to address and hopefully fix some of the problems cited in my review – especially with housekeeping – for future guests, including myself. So, now you know the long of it. Be willing to pay a high price for condominium rental at NBP, bring your own cleaning supplies/cloths, and be prepared to clean your own suite on a daily basis, and all will be good at North Beach Plantation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on a 7 1/2 acre "island" between the Atlantic Ocean and White Point Swash North Beach Plantation provides a magnificent oceanfront experience. With a Caribbean themed pool-scape, South Carolina largest swim up pool bar, award winning Cinzia Spa, and much more, you will know why we've earned the title #1 resort in North Myrtle Beach year after year. Choose from an array of luxury accommodation, from the 1-5 bedroom oceanfront condos in the towers or one of our 1-5 bedroom cottages. Each unit is uniquely designed with the finest of décor elements and top of the line appliances. Come experience the beach in luxury when booking your next trip to Myrtle Beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- North Beach Plantation Hotel North Myrtle Beach