First, the good news. You can believe all the hype; New Smyrna is everything you've heard about and then some...simple, quiet, leisurely, full of old Florida charm without feeling stuffy or secluded. However, as most natives to the Sunshine State will testify, there is a distinct difference between "old Florida" and "dated". Coastal Waters stradles this fine line, albeit unsuccessfully.
On the plus side, the oceanfront location cannot be beat. You are literally within a few feet of New Smyrna's silky white sands (a definite plus considering that peak tides often threaten to swallow up most of the beach on a daily basis, making it impossible to drive upon in many areas). And if cleanliness rates high on your list of priorities, you'll not leave disappointed; Coastal Waters is nothing short of immaculate inside and out.
Sadly, the accolades end there. The old Florida vibe that has become New Smyrna's signature is soon forgotten once inside your room. The layout and decor are in DIRE need of an upgrade, with appliances suffering from rust and decay and an insufficient AC unit that is incapable of cooling both rooms comfortably (leaving our poor daughters frozen to the bone during the night while my wife and I sweated it out under a meager celing fan in the back bedroom). The creaky, uncomfortable pull-out couch certainly didn't help matters; our kids awoke to stiff necks and sore backs every morning. Maintaining a consistent water temperature while showering also proved to be a nightly challenge, as did the simple act of entering and exiting (this one's not for the vertically challenged, folks). A good size TV with all the necessary channels in the front room left me wondering why there was no such animal in the bedroom, especially considering the long stretch of cable tucked neatly along the perimeter wall and tied securely at the end. Outside, we found the pool to be warm and welcoming during the day, as did several other patrons of the Inn at approximately 1am Saturday morning. This puzzled me a bit, considering the laundry list of rules and regulations I was given at check-in, not to mention the staff's reputation for ensuring orderly conduct at all hours (thankfully this incident was not repeated the following morning).
Would we return? Definitely! At check-out we found ourselves already planning our return visit...to the same beach, the same shoreline, the same intoxicating breezes and leisurely pace...and a different address.
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- Also Known As:
- Coastal Waters Hotel New Smyrna Beach