We sort of "fell" into Driftwood as we got rooked in to touring a time share for a free week of vacation through RCI. . . prior to trying to book that free week, we had no idea that Driftwood Resort, or Vero Beach for that matter, existed. We consider ourselves very lucky to have found both.
We arrived Saturday afternoon, the day before the big Christmas in July party/charity event and were nervous because the parking was very limited, however, we were lucky enough to find a space without too much trouble. Our first day there, Sunday / Christmas in July, was a bit crowded. . .the beach was packed and you couldn't get near the main pool. However, Sunday afternoon-the rest of the week were amazing as far as people were concerned. Not overcrowded at all.
We had a fantastic little studio room with a partial kitchen (Room 407). It was very small, but worked well for my husband, myself, and our two year old. The room says that it sleeps 4, however, I would not recommend it for any more than two adults and maybe two toddlers. With older kids, teenagers, or more than two adults, the studio we stayed in would be WAY too small, in my opinion. The location of the room was perfect. We were up high enough that we could see the beach from our window and rocking chairs on the balcony. Our room was also on the Waldo's side so we could sit in our chairs and enjoy the live band (with our much less pricey drinks) from our room with our two year old safely playing beside us.
The room was nice, but a bit dated. The refrigerator and inside of the microwave both had rusty spots which felt a bit dirty to me. The two small windows on the side of the large one were both filthy. The bed was definitely firm which was fine for me, but my husband didn't enjoy it so much. The partial kitchen was tiny, but I expected as much and was able to work in it just fine for our week long stay.
If you choose to use the laundry room, I would definitely suggest purchasing your own soap/dryer sheets. After charging you $1.50 per token (so $3 to wash and dry one load) the resort will also charge you $1 each for soap and single dryer sheets. Also, be prepared to get there early as there is only 2 washers and 2 dryers so it's hard to find them available. Also, you will find that there is no laundry basket so be prepared to use a bag or tote.
As far as the staff, they seemed helpful, but most were not overly friendly. Check-in was fine and everyone was friendly during the process. However, I later had to call down because our clothes iron was broken. Someone brought one to my door within 5 minutes (GREAT service) but the person who I spoke with at the front desk never apologized or anything, just dryly said, "we'll send one to you" as if it were a bother to take my call. Overall, though, I could deal with the staff. They, for the most part, just weren't people who I was interested in starting a friendly conversation with.
We spent most of our time at the beach, however, we did spend some time at the pool. We tried out the main pool that is located at Waldos and did not feel comfortable there, right smack in the middle of a bar, with our two year old so we then decided to only use the pool at the breakers buildings even though we weren't technically supposed to. It was a much more relaxed environment and I felt comfortable that it was kids running around rather than people with their drinks in hand.
During our time at the beach, we were blessed to be able to witness a shark feeding on "bait fish" as well as an abundance of sea turtles.
Some negatives: The wifi is AWFUL!! If I was lucky, I could sit outside and get a enough signal to get my email to load. I'm not sure that this is all that terrible though, since it definitely doesn't permit any working via the resorts wifi. Also, the entire little town shuts down at 5pm. We decided to go for a walk after dinner at Waldos Monday night and nothing but a couple little restaurants was open. Turns out that it didn't matter as the shops in the area were extremely pricey.
All in all, we really enjoyed our stay and would definitely consider a return stay. Just don't expect anything touristy. There is very little to do outside of partying at Waldos and enjoying the pool and beach which was just what we wanted for this particular vacation with just our toddler.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Funky, eclectic oceanfront resort with two of its buildings listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. 100 rooms and suites of varying sizes all with some kitchen facilities. Old Florida at its best, rocking chairs in front of every unit to gaze at the ocean while enjoying a beverage from the on site restaurant, Waldo's, the last of the Great American Hangouts! With 9 buildings on the property, there is something to please nearly every taste. Located right in the heart of the beach business district there are more than a dozen restaurants and lounges within walking distance and a newly renovated city park right next door with wonderful playground equipment for the kids. Join us for fun and relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Driftwood Hotel Vero Beach
- Driftwood Resort Vero Beach