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“This place is horrible!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sealark Bed and Breakfast

Sealark Bed and Breakfast
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Sealark Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 2 Avalon B&B and Inns
Mystic, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“This place is horrible!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2010

The only way to describe this place is horrible. It is dirty, the hosts are not friendly, the breakfast was awful, and it was expensive. We stayed for two nights as we were visiting friends who rented a house in Avalon. I wish we had done more research but went with "the only bed and breakfast in Avalon". Our room/apt was so moldy and smelled so bad. My children actually asked if we could go stay somewhere else. Our sheets had a stain on them and the place was so antiquated, it was a sin for what they were charging ($230 a night). The breakfast was minimial and quite honestly not that good....they should be embarrassed. Both days we had to go out to breakfast after as we did not find the meal appetizing. The one good thing is the location to the beach, but quite honestly it did make up for all the bad about it.

Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank eastcoasttraveler17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
CT
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2010

Our family has been visiting the Sealark for more than 10 years. Never had a bad experience, and past visits have become incredible memories for our growing children.

While the Sealark can be expensive in the peak of the summer, I expect the expense is a function of the short season, a coveted Avalon location and the extreme cost of local real estate. I am sure it is a labor of love, because the economics seem challenging from my perch.

Pat and John are both warm and exceptional hosts. I was shocked when I happened upon a bad review here. We have had too many visits to count over the years and never had any issue with cleanliness or housekeeping.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travelcd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2010

The Jersey shore is not cheap. Either is the Sea Lark. Yet I continue to happilly stay here because of the location to the beach, the location to shops and restaurants, and the fact that there is nothing comparable at the beach. The location really is unbeatable - and if you embrace that, you will be happy with your stay. The Windrift for example is even more expensive and really feels very Jersey-shore-ish. The Sea Lark is quiet, in a great location, has basically everything you need- just try not to be too picky about cleanliness.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca1469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2010

SeaLark B and B was the only place to stay when I unexpectedly arrived in Avalon with the winter gale. Fortunately it came highly recommended by several "locals" in neighboring Stone Harbor. Located on the quiet streets between the beach and the small town of Avalon, SeaLark, a Victorian mansion, unpretentiously stood amidst new multi-million dollar homes. Pat and John welcomed me warmly.

SeaLark is not a cookie cutter place. All the rooms are unique. I selected a room (w a private bath) and flopped exhausted onto the large comfortable bed. As I sorted through the duvet pillows, comforter, blanket and sheets to figure out which layers I belonged between - I was struck by how much work went into cleaning and making this bed. The bedding was almost a masterpiece of art. (I later read the review where someone had a negative experience with the sheets... cleanliness was not a problem at all in my experience. Moving on...) The room was huge! Plenty of storage area, floor space and a loveseat. I liked the SeaLark so much I soon returned for a week, staying in a room with a private entrance off the main porch. Next time I will stay in the guest suite next: the main room has many windows, a huge comfortable bed, a large tub for soaking, and a private bathroom with a shower: the adjacent small parlor room has a gas fireplace, a nice couch, microwave and refrigerator.
Usually a scrumptious breakfast is served about 8:30 with accomodation made for dietary restrictions, when possible. A refrigerator with freezer is also available elsewhere which anyone can use. Things were all in all in pretty good shape and to keep it that way, the owners were unobtrusively doing off-season renovations and maintenance during my visit. I look forward to coming in warmer weather to enjoy The Victorian wrap around porch - it looks like a great place to sit, rock, read, chat, sip on coffee, lick an ice cream cone and look at your sea shells.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank teacherh2o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2009

This is a proper B&B! So many we have seen in the USA are designer, boutique types. This one has bleached rocking chairs on the verandah, a comfy sitting room with family photos on tables & sideboard. The room we stayed in was on the ground floor. It was roomy, with armchairs in the bay window. The bathroon was adequate and the bed very comfortable. This room is dog friendly, a bonus for some...They also have some small apartments across the road. Breakfast was tasty, the usual cereal, toast etc, with a daily special freshly cooked.
John, our host, was there to welcome us & to help with suggestions for spending our time & eating out! He really did take the time to ensure that our stay was enjoyable.
It was great value for a relaxing stay.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank stephmuil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2009

My husband and I booked a room with the Sealark based on the website's description of the amenities provided, its very close proximity to the beach (about 1 block) and its location relative to a beach house my parents had rented a few blocks away. We did not stay at the beach house because at the same time we were to visit, 11 other family members were also going to be there, so there wasn't "any room at the inn", so to speak.

However, we didn't mourn this development, because we've stayed at many B&B's around the country and have immensely enjoyed these intimate experiences. We assumed staying at the Sealark would be enjoyable as well. Though the $185/night + tax price was steep, we hoped it would be worth the money.

Sadly, we could not have been more wrong... the only redeeming factors that we could find were the comfortable king-sized mattress and a working air conditioner. But these did NOT make up for all of the other unpleasant issues we encountered in our 2 days there, including but not limited to:

(1) An overpowering smell of mold/mildew in the private bathroom (this would be a killer for anyone with allergies).
(2) A shower stall so small we literally couldn't bend over to wash our feet.
(3) A very obvious and large (say, 4" in diameter) stain of "unknown origin" on the white bedspread and a smaller one (in a different color) on the sheets themselves. It made us wonder about all of the stains we couldn't see...
(4) Cobwebs hanging between the pieces of furniture in the bedroom, and next to the sink in the bathroom.
(5) Carpeting which was obviously not vacuumed prior to our arrival. Once during our stay, we interrupted the maid who was cleaning our room, but this process definitely did not include vacuuming the room (we were standing just outside the partially open door at the time), although the carpeting was visibly littered with unidentifiable debris. The only changes we noticed after the maid's departure was that the bed had been made, the bathroom trash can had been emptied and a heavy dose of Febreze had been sprayed to cover up the musty smell.
(6) A front door knob which literally came off in my husband's hand as we tried to exit the building.
(7) A family of very big and active spiders inhabiting the ceiling of the front porch (just above the main front door).
(8) A bathroom floor so dirty that we put down towels and walked on those.
(9) Extra pillows and blankets that were thrown on the floor of a musty closet, right below a sorry collection of wire hangers from a local dry cleaner.
(10) The B&B's website says the Sealark is a "beautifully restored" Victorian with a "light and airy" feeling, but we found this not to be the case. For example, the banister leading to the 2nd floor was not only dirty from many years of use (it actually felt gummy), but the wooden ball sitting on top of the last newel post on the 2nd floor landing was so worn, you could see all the different coats of what looked like old paint poking through. It's hard to believe the owners restored it like that on purpose. And the place generally feels very cluttered; for example, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of framed photos displayed on every possible flat surface... in the check-in area, throughout the living room, on tables in the upstairs hallway, etc. Unfortunately, the photos are of persons unknown to Sealark's guests (presumably, they are of the owner's family members) rather than of local points of interest, Avalon's beaches or other related scenery which guests not familiar with the area would appreciate much more.
(11) Unfriendly hosts... the female host never even attempted to greet, meet or speak to us; the male host also said as little as possible to us. Before we arrived, I was told by someone familiar with the area that many of the B&B's on the Jersey shore offer free beach tags to their guests (these pin-on plastic tags are required to go onto the local beaches between 10 am - 5 pm, and can cost up to $6/day/person, so for a longer vacation, this cost can definitely add up). So I contacted the Sealark to see if it offered free beach tags to its guests. I was told, "Oh, with all the guests we have, we can't possibly do that!". I didn't have a problem with the B&B saying "No", but it was tone in which the message was delivered that should have been a tipoff as to the type of treatment we were about to receive; unfortunately, I didn't pay as much attention to that red flag as I should have (by the way, since I've returned home, I've done some research and discovered that the vast majority of vacation rentals, hotels and motels in the Avalon area DO give free beach tags to their guests, so why stay somewhere where they are not part of the amenities list?). Anyway, when my husband was handling our check-out, the male host never asked him how our stay was, and unthinkably, never even said, "Thank you for your business". He simply told my husband how much we still owed (we had to pay 50% of the cost upfront), and once the bill was settled, the host simply turned, walked into his private residence and closed the door, leaving my husband standing there in the front hallway, speechless.

The Sealark bills itself as the only B&B in Avalon, which may be true for all I know. But it is certainly NOT the only B&B on Seven Mile Island -- the next time, we will try the Risley House B&B in nearby Stone Harbor (http://www.risleyhouse.net/), which is just a few minutes' drive from Avalon and does offer free beach tags. Or perhaps Pebbles Guest House, also in Stone Harbor (http://www.avalonbeach.com/webads/accommodations/pebbles.htm), The Doctor's Inn in Cape May Court House (http://www.doctorsinncmch.com/), or any one of the many hotels/motels available in the area as well, all of which would appreciate your business more than the Sealark appreciated ours.

Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank MyRedSandals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Avalon hotels

Pennsylvania
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2009

My husband and I enjoyed our stay at the Sealark. The place was well-appointed, relaxed and comfortable. The owners Pat and John made us feel at home. Delicious breakfast and a great location. We would definitely stay here again . Would be perfect for family reunions.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank woodstock13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sealark Bed and Breakfast

Property: Sealark Bed and Breakfast
Address: 3018 1st Ave, Avalon, NJ 08202-1738
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May County > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lovely turn of the century building. Tastefully decorated. Daily breakfast buffet with hot and cold dishes. We are new owners and very enthusiastic about our new venture. We are making some improvements, but hoping to preserve the charm of this old house. All rooms are air-conditioned and heated. We are open year round. We are one block from the beach, and one block from the stores and restaurants of Avalon. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sealark Hotel Avalon
Sealark b&b

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