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The Waterfront Inn
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All reviewslake sumterretirement communitybreakfast buffetnightly entertainmentbalcony overlooking the lakesales managerrent a golf cartwithin walking distancebalcony roombeautiful hotelwater viewnice place to staynice sizebeds were very comfortableconvenient locationhotel restaurantcoffee maker
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Reviewed June 28, 2012

When we first got to the Waterfront Inn, they told us that our room would be ready in an hour or so and they would call us when it was ready. An hour later, when another guest in our party checked in, I went back and checked-in. I wondered why they forgot to call me. I captured video as I walked in and the card-key didn't work so I had to return and get the key re-coded. http://youtu.be/co-pBbll-n0 The hotel property is perched on the edge of Sumter Lake, the major retail/restaurant area for thousands of pensioneer baby boomers. People my age (i.e., middle-aged) fly into Orlando and drive the fast 70 miles north to visit parents.

Ultimately, for service-related issues, I am not going to recommend that other people stay at the Waterfront Inn, the only hotel on the four-county-wide real estate marketing scheme that is The Villages. The room was fine, clean, and the bed was very comfortable. Other issues, related to missing amenities and sub-par service throughout the property, caused me to have to ask for things and to do follow-up requests I should never have had to make in the first place. Room service and the bar area were both very strong, and only made it more apparent to me that the weak areas were being ignored by management. I should never have had to remind people that the pool-area lacked towels (and was dirty, as was the pool and spa--both dirty), the workout room was not being attended to, and lacked towels (although had good equipment), and the buffet breakfast was only set-up for people who loved carbs, sugars, and salty meats--nothing healthy. I walked out, paying my spouse's part of the bill (and tipping 25 percent, if you want to know) There were no eggs at the buffet table. Later, after we were departing, I was told they would have got me an omelette if I had asked, which was a comment, as I was paying the bill, that only made me silently wonder: "Why didn't anyone come to the table once, and, why didn't anyone tell us that?" I went to Panera Bread, down the street, later and every morning after that. At night, the quiet bar area fills with singles, and there's a lot of pleasant music and dancing. The people working the bar were friendly and very attentive. I enjoyed working out on the elliptical every morning. Nice view and a spacious workout room. It is always nice to imagine that someone in housekeeping is Windexing or wiping down the equipment once in a while. Our room and our party's rooms were always cleaned, even though they showed wear in some spots, like next to the bathtub and along the bathroom floor, and in the nicks and bruises on the walls that should have been touched-up before we were given the room. In fact, in a more competitive ecology, the paint scrapes and knicks would have been touched-up weeks or months ago immediately after they were made. I pointed these things out, and everyone was quick to smile and assure me that something would be done. There's a pleasant ambience to the hotel staff that masks the general managerial indifference.

After the late check-in and the mis-coded keys' situations, and the slightly beat-up room and the breakfast buffet situation, I kept thinking that there wouldn't be anything further that would cause me trouble, but there was one after another.

The intriguing power/media panel on the back of the desk never worked in our room, and when I asked someone at the front desk to have it (and the inoperable table lamp beside it) looked into, I came back to the room a few hours later and found a note from the maintenance staff reading "Light switch is on wall." The table lamp has a functioning switch but one needs to turn on a wall switch across the room to get it going. Me? I like it when the electrical work is to code, but that's just me. The lack of power into the panel was never commented upon or fixed. That panel, on the surface, seemed like a delightful find in my hotel-stays: a place where I could plug in all my devices, and, it looked like, a point into which I could port HDMI cables from my iPad or laptop and stream Netflix into the flat-screen (which had an open HDMI port on its rear, which itself was a delightful find!). But, alas, the panel didn't work and apparently was only there for show. I kept telling myself that the mattress and bedding were very nice and comfortable. I slept great, and I focused on the positive.

The rate, just change under a C-note, was good, and the staff was pleasant. Either way, this isn't a MBA case study in mid-managerial ennui. It's me saying that, if you like to stay at nice places (especially when you are visiting family, not vacationing), then this isn't your best choice in the local area. Ultimately, what I think hurts this hotel the most is its one-of-a-kind location INSIDE the Sumter Lake retail area of The Villages. There are a lot of better hotels just outside The Villages.

Room Tip: The WiFi is very inconsistent poolside
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank MyLifeInYur P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

Just had the pleasure of spending a weekend at the Waterfront end. It is a charming hotel with that true Florida feel. My room was spotless, comfortable beds, and the shower actually had a double shower head (pure bliss). it was a great location within walking distance to lots of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2012

We were in town to visit The Villages and stayed 2 nights. We thought the hotel was priced well and enjoyed its' location in proximity to The Villages. The music was nightly in the lobby and we enjoyed it. The room was well appointed.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BBTNTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2012

Although the postal address of this hotel is Lady Lake, Florida, it is in fact in the heart of the retirement community known as The Villages, which bills itself as "Florida's friendliest home town."
If you are only going to be in the area for a brief stay (under a week in summertime) this is an excellent choice for a place to stay.

The hotel is located on the south bank of Lake Sumter and is only two blocks away from Lake Sumter Landing, one of The Villages' two town squares. (A third is under construction,) At the town square there is outdoor free entertainment every night of the year, weather permitting, as well as numerous restaurants and shops. It is the larger and busier of the two squares. Audience participation in the form of line dancing is usual.

My stay here was in connection with arranging to purchase a house in The Villages. The reservation was made by the seller of the house. As a resident of The Villages he was able to get me a significant discount on the price of the room. A 15% AAA auto club discount can also be obtained by making your reservation on the hotel website http://www.waterfrontinnvillages.com/ .

The Villages is a community of about 86,000 people and it is said there are 50,000 golf carts in use in the area. Golf cart rentals are very inexpensive and using them is a fun way to get around.

As I said earlier, this hotel is a fine place to stay if your visit is for less than a week in summertime. If you are staying for a week you should consider rental of a private home. There are many available for under $1,000 a week, many of which include the use of a golf cart.

You can learn more about The Villages at http://www.thevillages.com/ .

Room Tip: There is a lake view side and a parking lot view side. You might request lake view.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank Carl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

Great place to eat and love eating outside. Restaurant.com coupons were great to use there. Prices were very reasonable and a great place to go. There are stores in The Villages to shop or go to the movies.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Ruth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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