I apologize in advance for the length, but hope that the review will be helpful to those on the fence about staying at Oceanaire.
I am a very frequent traveler to Virginia Beach (15-20 times per year) and ALWAYS stay at the Hilton Oceanfront. I had wanted to try Oceanaire but was extremely nervous about doing so given the consistently bad reviews. The room that I wanted at Hilton was booked, so I decided to bite the bullet and give OceanAire a try.
A few days before my trip, I decided to call the manager to discuss a few concerns in advance. Herein lies the negative part of my review. I made no less than 20 phone calls each resulting in being either sent to a recording, transferred to the wrong department, and 4 times disconnected completely. It was a complete run around. I asked to speak with a manager (any manager) and it was like asking to speak with the President of the United States. Very offputting. After several more calls working my way through recordings and uninformed telephone staff, I was told I was being connected to the "General Manager." I left a message and to this day have never received a call. I finally got through to another member of management, and I will say he left me a voicemail 2 days later, but at that point, I was already at the resort.
Service is of the utmost importance to me and if dealing with the receptionist was this hard, I shuddered to think what the rest of the trip would be like. Truthfully, based on that experience alone, I would have cancelled but for the fact that I missed the cancellation window. However, I am SO pleased that I did not cancel.
I arrived at the front desk before 11:00 a.m. noting that I had requested early check in. Realizing this was a long shot, I was floored when the very nice lady at the front desk proceeded to check me in. *OCEANAIRE - if you are reading this, there is NOTHING better than a hotel striving to accommodate an early check-in. Greatly appreciated!!!!** It allowed me to get a nice jump start on my vacation.
My room was exactly as ordered. Oceanfront 1 Bedroom Suite. Gorgeous, clean, and extremely spacious. Just as nice as any one bedroom apartment. The floor to ceiling windows directly overlooking the ocean were amazing. The balcony off of the bedroom was plenty spacious with 2 chairs & two small table stands. Yes, there are a few design flaws that I would have done differently (the loud vent on the balcony, the ridiculously small so called "queen" size bed when the room is more than big enough for a King, the glazed glass door between the bedroom and bathroom which is a little distracting to the person trying to sleep) but I can live with all of this. No big deal :)
The grounds are beaufiful and I LOVED the pools. The property has the indoor pool (adult only which was great) and 3 pools at the adjoining Ocean Beach Club (2 outdoor) (1 indoor). Some say the pools were small but I thought they were more than adequate. Granted, I was there in September. I'm not sure I would want to go during peak season as this complex is HUGE and I could see there being more people than facilities to handle the volume. For this stay though, plenty of lounge chairs and awesome service at the Tiki Bar (nothing like enjoying an adult beverage by the pool). The drinks and food at the Tiki were very good!
As other reviewers have said, it is very true that the pool and lounge area are COMPLETELY shaded by 2:00 or so which is pretty dissapointing. But knowing that ahead of time, I made sure to get to the pool early for plenty of sun. Only somewhat negative I had about the pool was the towel check out. My party of two asked for 4 towels and I felt a little like I was being grilled by the towel policy "okay, 4 towels for 2 people? - I guess that's okay". Don't most people want to use a towel to cover the lounger and one to use to get out of the pool? When you leave the pool, you then have to go back to the desk and have them check your name off the list as having returned. I don't know - perhaps I am just not accustomed to having to check out towels. Hilton does not do that poolside nor do any of the other resorts I have stayed out. I guess their concern is losing towels to those who take them down to the beach only to never return them. Again, just a personal preference and minor issue completely. It certainly beats having to bring your own :)
Everyone I encountered at the hotel from the bellmen, to housekeeping, to just random employees in the elevator were pleasant, friendly, and helpful.
I had heard the horror stories of housekeeping but my room had extras of everything and while it was a little later than I personally prefer, I did have housekeeping daily around 3:00 p.m. As a matter of fact, I stopped one of the housekeepers upon my arrival to ask if they routinely do daily service since so many of the reviews say otherwise. She assured me that daily housekeeping was provided and from my own experience, she was correct.
My one problem with housekeeping, and this is a BIG one is I returned to my room about 3:30 in the afternoon to find the door completely open. It was not a situation where the door accidentally did not close tightly behind her, rather, the deadbolt was turned in an effort to prop the door open. Before coming to my room, I ran into two housekeepers in the hallway laughing and joking. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but perhaps there was too much socializing and not enough paying attention. My initial reaction was perhaps housekeeping was not quite finished with my room and just stepped away to grab something, but no one ever returned so the door would have been left open for what could have been hours with my belongings at risk. I should have reported the incident but could never catch one of the managers at the front desk. Fortunately, nothing was taken, but I hope the hotel will address this matter as a reminder to the cleaning staff.
At the end of my stay, I honestly did not want to leave. It really was a wonderful trip . I am heading back again in the next week or two and am thinking very seriously about OceanAire over Hilton as my new "home away from home" while in the area. I know first impressions can often be deceiving, so I just hope stay #2 is as nice as my first time around.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.