Yesterday, I surprised my husband for his 65th birthday by taking him to the Seaview,Marriott, in Absecon, New Jersey...At least I thought that was where I was taking him.. this hotel holds the fondest memories for my family, my children, my parents for over 20 years..We first went there to play the most wonderful round of golf overlooking the water and the outline of the Atlantic City skyline..
The Seaview, is an old Victorian style mansion on sprawling acres of lawn and gorgeous flowers.. our favorite time was at Christmas, it was magical and memories my children will recant to their children.
However, when I went to the hotel yesterday, leaving this morning, I realized I should have kept my memories safe in my mind and remember it as we all had. It is no longer Marriott Seaview, it is now called Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, and now interestingly enough it is in Galloway, New Jersey.. still don't know how they could change it from Absecon
.. but i digress...
I realized we arrived on Monday, Labor Day, but my husband's birthday is today, September 3..I should have gotten the idea that there were very few people there when my car was parked in the front of the hotel??.. we paid $10 for valet parking. We went to the desk, albeit, early, but we were told very graciously, by Matthew, a lovely young man, that they could rush it to be ready, someone had just checked out, and then offers an upgrade!!! WOW, right??.. they were very sympathetic because we had just gone through treacherous weather to get there experiencing warning about flash floods on the road we were on..
We were very appreciative and that much more excited being a surprise for my husband.. we ate in the lovely restaurant, rustic and remembered it well.. we ordered sandwiches which were good, but after two cups of coffee, I gave up trying to get a hot, good cup of coffee.. we were told our room, our upgrade was ready.. I was going to ask for the old wing.but did not..it was always like " Somewhere In Time".. transformed early into the last century, the 1930's maybe.. charm, charm, charm.. NOT~!!
Instead, like the unusual scent we immediately perceived as we entered the front lobby, the mold and mildewy smell followed us to our room.. a maze of hallways I remember, but as we passed the "old" rooms, we used to stay in for years..we must have walked a 1/4 mile to our room.. room 150.. only way to get to it was to walk all the way around the hotel on the first floor, unable to go down to the pool area, except to go to the front desk again..
Okay, we're here!!!!.. I was so happy to be back, except, we walked into a room that had a horrid damp odor, and sparse furniture, chair and ottoman in the middle of the room, a beautiful bed with high dark wood headboard and big pillows and looked like a wonderfully comfortable bed..well we both kind of slid to the center after awhile..
There was also a big white elephant in the room.. ???? a big square frig, that was plugged in with a wire running away from it into the wall..inches from the foot of the bed, not in the big dresser that should house something like this.. not a blessed thing in it.. I did not order it, not did I want it..and there is a charge to rent it I later found out..
That moldy smell was distracting but I felt it was humid out and the air conditioner would help later.. I then went into a very modernized bathroom, complete with tub and glass enclosed shower stall with state of the art recepticals for shampoo, conditioner, shower gel. I was so excited to use this and tried this morning, I put on the main faucet and the water only came out of the main nozzle, which was kind of scummy..and the 4 jets did not work..what made it worse they would not shut off, when I shut off the main faucet.. my husband tried to turn one and water came out forcefully and we could not shut it off and a piece fell off..
Our toilet kept running.. I was excited because it is silent flushing.. NOT, it kept running, like mine at home..we went to use the sink faucets and they are not turning the right way, the right one turns off the opposite way... the huge mirror in front of me is very worn around the edges and the gold fixtures were in need of a good cleaner.. I went to hang my robe on the back of the door and there is a broken hook...missing hook.
before we left the room to go enjoy our stay..I need clothes from the suitcases in the walk in.. kind of old world but not.. but I couldnt see, there was a 20 watt bulb in the socket..
We only had one hand towel only two bath towels and two wash clothes.. I have always had at least two each all over the bathrooms of hotels.. we did not know about the shampoo holder in the shower stall, so sought the girl with the housekeeping cart outside our room, for shampoo and said they did not give shampoo out, its in the shower...ohhhhh okay..can I get a shower cap??, you have to go to housekeeping?? arent you housekeeping??
We left out room for our treck back to the front lobby, and met two girls with the carts asking for a shower cap.. oh, we'll put it in your room.. still waiting..
This really hurts, because I did read the accounts of wonderful experiences on this site, but this was not one of them..and this was the upgrade.. when we went back to the desk, no one we had seen was there, like I'd imagined it all..
We left, and waited for my car to be driven backwards to us from 100 feet away in the front.
We came home after celebrating with show and dinner on the strip and go back at 1:30am.. I know late, but no one was at the valet station. My husband had to go all the way into the hotel to the desk and ask about the valet??? He came out to join me outside and we both waited for a valet to appear.. it took too long for him to emerge from ???? and again tipped him to park my car feet away..
We went in and again hit with the God awful scent throughout the hotel.. no one I recognized, of course was there, the person on grave duty was the only one there..
We woke early to get out of this place I had so looked forward to embrace once again.. NOT.. we did have a comp for breakfast because we are AARP members..we know what once was, now we wondered what we would find..
We went to the desk to report the shower and all the other things we were so dissappointed about, and told them about our uncomfortable and underwhelming experience.. knowing we were leaving, offered a different room.. seems great confusion at the front desk..?? too late now, we had to go home.. this was my husband birthday..we would go into the dining room for our gratis breakfast.. known to us as magnificent in the past.. sooo disappointing.. they have it till 11am, it was 9am, there were very ordinary breakfast foods, yogurt, no summer fruits, not a berry.. was this because we were there on a tuesday and not playing golf??? Golfers are royalty here, I know, we have played here..and again.. the coffee was cold and oily.. I do believe, it is their equipment, and maybe the water?? I don't know..
We went out pulling our own luggage, which was to be put in the storage room until we were done eating, it was standing in the lobby, and my husband took it outside and down the ramp, where someone finally took it from him and brought it to the car feet away, in the front of the hotel
I'm not sorry we went, because it did hold bitter sweet memories of the places we stood for pictures with my deceased dad and our kids.. my mom's face, who was so excited we were coming back..
The mold and mildew scent in this building comes from the rugs.. it is -pretty barren, no history of the building, the elegant home, on the wall, we had come to know.. and staff who looked very disinterested and not very happy.. it was empty, we were the only ones in the dining room.. not their fault.. it was the end of the summer, it was time to leave.. but as for this wonderful old place, which will forever be special to all of us, I now know, "You can never go home again"!!!
I do wish it had been some of what I remember... driving up that magnificent front entrance, it was 20 years ago, with the magic.. I hope someone embraces the history peppered with the present and future.. it is us little people not the Golf Open or Conference goers, that made the Seaview the wonderful old girl she once was.. Thanks for the memories...
try to get one close enough not to be tired when you get there..
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.