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“Not that great a get-away”

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VISTA Hotel on Lake Tarpon
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Palm Harbor
Keene, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not that great a get-away”
Reviewed April 26, 2014

The best thing about this "resort" was it's location. Rooms are pleasant, balcony was very nice although it is right next to a place that with a loud drunk party going on. We were laying bets as to who was going to fall into the water first, the drunk men roughing around, the woman standing next to the edge while this went on, or the child!

The bed is very much in need of replacement as it sags to the point of not being able to stay on one side. Beds were not made well at all during the weekend, sheets were just kind of thrown on the bed so they'd come totally apart during the night. The second night I remade the bed myself. When the regular person came back on Monday it was much better.

I went to use the hairdryer - after a few minutes I smelled something burning, stopped and checked it, nothing wrong and went back to using it. After another minute or so I saw something sticking out of the blower end of the hairdryer - bug burnt up and being blown out.
The "continental" breakfast consisted of coffee, oj, and day old bagels. Nothing to put on the bagels. Staff say they had mentioned it to the manager quite a few times over the last few days but still did nothing.

Would I stay there again or suggest it to anyone else? NO!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Carrie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
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English first
Hammond, Indiana
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2014 via mobile

Thank God we only stayed over night. The roll away I requested was left outside (Lord knows how long it had been there) one of my daughters was bit up by what looked like a spider and my other daughter caught scabies! The room was musty and humid. AND right before we left in the morning I pulled back the sheets all the way off the bed looking for my son's sock and saw what looked like a blood stain on the sheets! If I could give this a rating it would be 0 n seriously the health Dept should close them down! NEVER AGAIN!

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank babyjewlz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Palm Harbor hotels

Maryland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2014

Sadly, this hotel is declining. It has good bones but is obviously going downhill. There is a general tone of shabbiness to the place. The free continental breakfast is so bad that it would be better to not have one -- stale bagels and cello-wrapped pastries. Pet friendly is great for pet owners but not so great for the occupants who have to listen to loud barking dogs. It's a shame because the site has a lot going for it: a nice view of water in a pleasing outdoor environment. On the plus side, the mattress in our room was as good as I have ever slept on in a hotel. The maid who maintained the room was superb. I get the idea that this was a super hotel at one time but to bring it back as it once was will require an infusion of money. The ownership does not appear willing to do this or they would have already done it. Given the reasonableness of the rates we might stay here again, but then again we might not.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank elgercee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raynham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

because this was mostly a business trip , booked this for the value an location
room was clean , enjoyed the balcony over looking water way
staff was nice an the pool was decent
the only negatives would be some road noise from (rt 19)
old sliders to balcony need to be updated
go out for breakfast , there complimentary breakfast is very lacking
weak coffee, bagel an danish thats it

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank batdave1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grays Thurrock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014

I wanted a quiet, relaxed weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando, where my family and I could meet my old friends from Lakeland FL and have a relaxing time. Boy did we make a mistake in selecting this place.

Quiet? No chance. On all online resources you will see charming waterways leading to a peaceful lake. They forgot to mention the 4 lane (in each direction) highway which fronts the ‘resort’. Our room opened its front door to this race track. More on noise shortly. By the way, it’s not a resort at all, but more a motel. Nothing wrong with motels, but let’s be straight when we describe our offering please.

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, and checked in. The reception team were poor. They were speaking in a very jovial manner amongst themselves – until we showed up. Then they felt obliged (and looked obliged) to help us. The faces of the two women flattened and one said to the other “You can deal with this”, and then moved aside to look sulky that I had spoiled her conversation.

Once this chore was complete we proceeded to our room. It was not bad, although dated in its decor, but one thing was missing – the refrigerator that we had requested. I called Reception. After a five minute battle allegedly with ‘the system’ (excuse from the book of poor customer services clichés #12), I was told that apparently the type of room that I had booked (I hadn’t booked a ‘type’ of room; I had simply specified my requirement) didn’t have a refrigerator in it. I had booked this room in October 2013; no one had said that I couldn’t have a refrigerator. I protested in a civil manner, hoping that something could be done about this. It quickly became apparent that I couldn’t have one of these, and nothing was going to be offered to help me in any way whatsoever. The lady then started to raise her voice, stating that she couldn’t remove people from rooms that had refrigerators (this was pure hysteria – I obviously wouldn’t expect this). I objected to her manner, and then she resorted to the last bastion of the customer service incapable; she played all hurt (like SHE was the customer!) and slammed the phone down on me! Classy. I gave up. Whatever I needed a refrigerator for (supposing I needed this to store medication ....) the management weren’t going to help me, and I wasn’t going to ask for it any further.

My wife later found a discarded false finger nail on the carpet in our room. I don’t think that I need to say any more about this – you can make your own judgement regarding cleanliness.

I met with me my friends and explained my predicament. Well, they hadn’t requested a refrigerator and therefore had brought their own portable refrigerator, so I could use that. Didn’t they need it? No, the management had kindly provided them with one in their room (as well as a microwave). Unbelievable. Although rapidly it was becoming more believable as time went by; this was a really poor place.

We finally settled down for our takeaway pizza (no meal facilities in this place) on the pleasant balcony overlooking the inlet from the lake. However what appeared to be a bachelor party was taking place in the pool area (plenty of bottled beer “glass prohibited from pool area”). Lots of noise ensued, and when the guys got bored with this they proceeded to the dock area and pulled a row boat that I assume didn’t belong to them in to the water and rowed out to the lake, together with their beer and bad language. Absolutely no presence from the management, and as you can imagine from the above I was hardly going to get involved. A fine sight for my two young children I must say.

As for breakfast, well this was again shocking. All that was available was poor coffee (decaf only at that point) and really greasy ‘pastries’. Bagels were out, as was regular coffee or anything else. Horrible.

The price for the room was at least low, and boy was that justified.

In summary:

+ Attractive view once away from the highway
+ Low room price

- Noisy location
- Unable and unwilling to meet requests made 6 months previously, without communication of this prior to arrival, or any sort of apology or attempt to help on arrival
- Appalling management and reception attitude and manners
- Unsuitable for families
- Barely edible breakfast

Key question; would I stay here again?

Not a chance

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anthony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2014

We booked this hotel online and got a great price. The hotel is as pictured on the website. Very relaxing to sit on the balcony and look at the water. Our room was clean and the staff we had contact with was very friendly. Loved the way they folded the towels each day.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KKathyS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OSD, Partner at VISTA Hotel on Lake Tarpon, responded to this review, June 3, 2014
Thank you for your comments your input help us to keep improving for our guests.

Ray
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
248 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2014

If you're looking for a four to five star resort, then you've come to the wrong place. As they say "It is what it is". I booked it through their website, which uses a third party for the actual booking. The cost for three nights was very reasonable.
On arrival you might just be greeted by Jackie, a former New Yorker, who will tell you like it is. Some may not like that, but she added to our experience, because, although of her newly gained local knowledge, likes & dislikes, that she shared with us readily. The rooms are big and most all face an inlet from Tarpon Lake. They are used and a little worn, but maintained diligently by a staff you see everyday. Each has a balcony or patio with a view. The breakfast isn't really a breakfast, it's just juices, coffee and a few pastries, not much else. There is a small pool & Jacuzzi.
It's sets right on the highway, so noise, weekend traffic, at night, could be an issue. It was not, however for us during the week. We used the resort, as a place to explore Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, Howard Beach Park, and it was fine for our needs.
For those that might be cigar affectionardo's, the Cigar Cave is directly across the street. Large seating area, bar, large TV’s, large selection. So the wife or companion can sit by the pool and you can …. well … just saying.

Room Tip: Ask for second floor room, less noise, good view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank undertaker01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about VISTA Hotel on Lake Tarpon

Property: VISTA Hotel on Lake Tarpon
Address: 37611 US Highway 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684-1003 (Formerly Lake Tarpon Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Palm Harbor
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Palm Harbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — VISTA Hotel on Lake Tarpon 2.5*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel is a beautiful, waterfront, Mediterranean style hotel, nestled quaintly around our boat basin, which adjoins Lake Tarpon. Lake Tarpon is a 2500 acre (10 Km) sports & recreation lake. All of our spacious rooms have a beautiful waterfront view of our boat basin. Our rooms consist of standard rooms with 2 double beds or 1 king size bed. Relax around the pool after a fun filled day of fishing, boating, golfing, sunning or sight seeing. When the day is done you will sleep peacefully, in a bed so comfortable you will want to take it home with you. We are confident you will return again and again, to enjoy the pleasure and comfort of our hotel. We are located across from Innisbrook Golf Course & Spa, just minutes from the Historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, Brighthouse Baseball Field & Gulf Beaches. Meeting Rooms, Banquet Rooms also available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lake Tarpon Hotel Palm Harbor
Palm Harbor Best Western

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