My husband had to use a few vacation days before the fiscal year ends on October 1. Since I really enjoy beaches, I suggested we take a trip to the Myrtle Beach area. A quick search online led me to book four nights at the Mar Vista Grande in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
I chose to book at Mar Vista Grande for several reasons. It got very good reviews on TripAdvisor. It's located right next to the beach. It was reasonably priced. And it appeared to offer somewhat luxurious accommodations. Another nice thing about Mar Vista Grande is that instead of hotel rooms, you're actually renting a condo. Each of the condos at Mar Vista Grande have three or four bedrooms. We got a discount for renting a "one room" condo. What that meant is that the two extra bedrooms and hall bathroom were locked. We were provided a key that could open the condo and, I assume, the bedrooms, we were advised that if we did open those rooms, we would be charged for them.
We pulled into Mar Vista Grande's garage and went to the fifth floor, which is where the rental/real estate office is located. A friendly woman took our information, issued us keys, and put a $100 hold on a credit card for incidentals. She explained that the regular key could be used if, after hours, we were locked out of our condo. She warned us not to lose the key, since if we lost it, it would cost $80. She gave us a handout that explained the policies and procedures at Mar Vista Grande as well as a parking pass and a coupon good for $10 off a massage at the spa.
We were assigned 810. I prepaid four nights. Check in starts at 3:00pm and check out is at 10:00am; these times are rigidly enforced.
Our first impressions of 810 were pretty favorable. The first thing we saw when we opened the door was the hallway area where the two locked bedrooms and spare bathroom were. Walking past that, we were in the kitchen/living room area. A closet contains a washer and dryer.
The condo has a nicely appointed kitchen with a full sized refrigerator, range, dishwasher, trash disposal, and granite countertops. The kitchen has a bar with several bar stools, pleasant lighting, and a tile floor. The kitchen was stocked was plates, glasses, and silverware.
The carpeted living area had a large table and chairs, a leather fold out couch, a a large chair with ottoman, and a large flat screen television equipped with cable. The master bedroom and living room both having sliding doors that open to a large balcony which overlooks the ocean and the very pleasant beach.
The master bedroom had a king sized bed that was very high off the floor. There was a mirror, a dresser, two nightstands, and a smaller flat screen TV. A walk in closet had some extra pillows and blankets.
The master bathroom was outfitted with a large shower and a jetted tub. There was a small bottle of shampoo/conditioner and lotion.
There are two slimline telephones in the unit.
Impressions start to slip
Though we were initially somewhat impressed with the condo, our impressions started to sink when we noticed that one of the lamps hanging over the bar area needed a new lightbulb. The carpet was visibly very dirty and stained, though it did appear that someone had vacummed in the unit recently. When I happened to look at the top of the refrigerator, I noticed someone had left a disposable cup, lid, and straw up there. Who knows how long it's been there?
When it came time to go to bed, I noticed the pillows were full of polyfill and didn't smell good. The furniture was also a bit worn, stained, and in some cases, a bit beat up looking.
It's important to know that housekeeping staff members do not enter the condos to clean while the condo is rented. Instead, they replace towels. I suppose if we had gone to complain, someone would have done something, but we were too eager to go to the beach.
Mar Vista Grande has a very nice pool area with a tiki bar. The tiki bar was not open at all during our visit and we didn't use the pools. Nevertheless, there's an indoor and outdoor hot tub, an indoor and outdoor pool, and a lazy river. The pool area has plenty of lawn chairs. There's also a private entrance to the beach and a place to rinse your feet and legs before you enter the pool area.
There is also a fitness center and a spa, but we didn't use them.
North Myrtle Beach is famous for being the place where Vanna White grew up. It's also famous for shagging... that is, the dance, not the sex act. There are plenty of bars and restaurants within walking distance of Mar Vista Grande. There are also a couple of grocery stores very within a couple of minute's drive of Mar Vista Grande.
Despite the lack of cleanliness in our condo, we had a really great time on our trip to the Myrtle Beach area. The people in that area are very nice, and friendly.
North Myrtle Beach is wonderful. We have decided this time of year is a great time to go to North Myrtle Beach because the weather during our visit was perfect; not too hot, not too cold, and not too crowded. The water was really nice, too-- clean, deep green, and full of fish!
The minor cleaning issues we experienced at Mar Vista Grande prevent me from awarding five stars even though we had a great time. However, I definitely think this property rates four stars for its reasonable rates and many conveniences. It was great to be able to wash our clothes, cook our own meals, and eat breakfast on a balcony overlooking the magnificent Atlantic Ocean.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.