I love vintage properties and have reasonable expectations, knowing (in fact, hoping) that it will not be like staying at a modern or traditional hotel. My own vintage apartment is a little run down, but that's part of its charm, so I'm usually not one to complain.
Unfortunately, the Vilano Beach Motel demonstrates that there's a big difference between shabby and dirty. It's possible to run a hotel that's old but full of character, while keeping it safe from decline. I think a lot of vintage motels suffer the same problem: most of the public consider these places outdated or an eye sore (not me!), so when the tourist traffic slows down, the proprietors are forced to change their strategy. The motels become long-term/residential properties, often populated by transient people and/or those who don't care about living conditions and what they leave for future tenants or guests. (A big problem for Route 66 era motels, for example.) Vilano Beach Motel appears to have fallen hard to this trend.
Furniture was very obviously broken in my hotel room; there were live cockroaches as well as dead ones (why hadn't anyone removed them?); the bed linens were stained; the carpet was sticky and black with dirt; elements of the motel grounds were in disrepair (like the water damaged wooden staircase); permanent residents loitered outside, many with their doors wide open, TVs blaring.
I was really excited to come stay here, but years later, I still remember the disappointment and discomfort I felt. Like I said, my expectations are tempered by the fact that I value character over condition, so I'm usually very forgiving. I like a place that's rough around the edges, but this was too much. That's just my opinion - the facts are listed in the paragraph above.
Reviews are so mixed here, maybe the room quality varies. My advice would be, if you're interested in staying at the Vilano Beach Motel, take a look at the property and then ask to see your room before you pay. That's the best way to approach it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy a retro experience like no other, with all the modern conveniences.Each cozy room has been completely renovated and updated. Here in beautiful Vilano Beach, we think EVERY DAY should feel like a Vacation. Just a few short steps from the Atlantic Ocean, there is plenty to do, or nothing to do. Located just five minutes from St Augustine historic downtown, Vilano Beach is known for beautiful family friendly beach. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Vilano Beach Hotel Saint Augustine