Great potential if more work goes into everything. We have been disappointed every time we have gone since Hurricane Charley's opening. We were surprised that we didn't love it because we have been going to Dean's South of the Border regularly for years. I'll categorize my review based on 3 basics in no particular order because I would rate all three as average: 1) Ambiance 2) Food and 3) Service. 1) The place remains shabby even though it had been going through months of supposed renovations. Nothing that may have been done to fix up the place is obvious. It needs serious remodeling. I doubt that this hotel will be able to get a major franchise as supposedly coming according to our local paper. 2) Food is average based on our visits; however, I expect it to improve because the owners have the experience to deliver better than average food. The kitchen needs to ask that salt be used with a less heavy hand because salt shakers are available for customers to suit their preference. I had extremely salty shrimp that may have been a one time problem because the fried grouper was excellent on a later visit. My husband recommends the Cajun jambalaya. Punta Gorda has a more mature population so are more likely to prefer healthier choices. 3) The service is average with some really good staff interspersed with some I would call tired and borderline grumpy. My husband does not want to return under any circumstances because stinky cigarettes are permitted on the outside deck (as appropriate by Florida law) but if he wants to enjoy an expensive cigar that is not allowed anywhere! At least Deans continues to permit cigars at umbrella tables on the outside walkway/driveway (maybe that's actually right of way owned by the city!).
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