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“Every GROUPON/Living Social Deal That Glitters Isn’t Gold”

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Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa
Reviewed July 14, 2012

* * * * *
5-ALARM WARNING*: If you purchased a Groupon or Living Social Deal RE-read the promotional offers prior to check-in! Both I and another customer were almost ripped off as the manager ‘forgot’ to include our $25.00 dining credit with our room assignments. Luckily for us (them three hours before my arrival), we realized that something was missing BEFORE we left the counter.
My ‘deal’ was for ONE Sunday-Thursday night stay for up to 5 people, a $25 dining credit and a $25 gamily credit.
* * * * *
I'm a huge fan of ‘deals’. I follow them on social network sites, I signed up for Living Social/Groupon to get notifications of deals in our area. We try to purchase local offers to experience things that we might otherwise overlook.

Needless to say, when I received the Groupon notification, I went immediately online and purchased vouchers as soon as I could. I even called my BFF so that could get in on the ‘deal’, too. So I now know better than to purchase deals BEFORE reading reviews? Except I was somewhat familiar with this property, we eat at Rod n’ Reel at least once a month... and I’ve always wanted to try the spa! Bzzzt. As it turns out, this was the worst mistake I ever made with Groupon.

I should mention that the employees appear to be teenagers and definitely lack the ability to uphold the image that this hotel is trying to attain. Upon arrival, I was barely acknowledged by the front desk clerk (Kelly). I should have known that my check-in process was going downhill when she refused to accept my voucher electronically. I had to be escorted to the hotel’s business center to print it off for her to see. This has never happened to me when I have electronically presented vouchers to other businesses. When I made reservations, I provided the voucher code and was told to bring my photo ID and credit card for check-in. I digress.

While waiting to complete the check-in process the clerk was constantly stopping to answer the telephone, give messages to other staff members and willing to do ANYTHING but complete my check-in process! There is no reason that it takes upwards of 30 minutes to check in to this place.

When we finally arrived to our room it was clean and decorated in a beach/cottage theme. There was a king bed, night table, chair, desk, a small table, several rolling stools and an armoire. The furniture seemed low budget to me. There was CEAN mini fridge hidden inside the armoire but the weight had crushed the platform that it was being stored on. The bathroom was nothing fancy but it was at least clean.

I must also add that my water view reservation included a view of homes on the right and balconies to the left.

The only highlight of the stay was the restaurant— since we live in the area we frequent the Rod n’ Reel restaurant regularly. The food has always been good. So on this stay, we tried Smokey Joe’s Café and fried chicken, shrimp and macaroni n’ cheese were DELICIOUS! However, the string beans were a bit salty for my taste buds.

Of course, the fact that we didn’t have to travel far to experience the Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa was the saving grace! From now on, I’m going to check the reviews on Trip Advisor before committing to purchase. This experience has taught me that everything that glitters isn’t gold!

Potential guest, this is NOT a ‘beachfront’ resort it’s merely a newly built hotel on a marina.

SUMMARY: A waterfront hotel without a beach. A few highlights, water view providing you paid for the upgraded water view, two good tasting restaurants with access to a few non-regulated slot machines-- this is more like a 2 star hotel with a video arcade. You MUST like budget friendly accommodations to appreciate.

Room Tip: Rooms off the main hallway have obstructed views of the marina.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CallMeCassi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 10, 2012

I've been to Chesapeake Beach/Rod & Reel at least 4 times over the last couple years. We tend to come about once per year when we want to get away for a night from the day to day hustle and bustle. A couple times we ended up here on Valentine's Weekend... not realizing and was able to take advantage of Rod & Reel Restaurant Vday dinner specials. We come to relax... enjoy great food at Rod & Reel (breakfast and lunch)... clean & comfortable accomodations... a great Lobby Bar where the drinks are Delic! And though not Atlantic City or Las Vegas... you can scratch your gambling itch on the video slots. We normally go as a couple... but I can also see it being a great place for families with children during the summer months so they could take advantage of the water park, beach up the road.. and if you wanted to rent a boat and fish...

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jonesy20603
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Bought a LivingSocial for this resort and just visited this past weekend (July 7 & 8). Everyone was very nice, the room was very comfortable, and the view great. We got massages at the spa, which was also very nice, relaxing, and clean. We had dinner at Rod 'N Reel, which was also clean and the food was decent.

However, before deciding on Rod 'N Reel, we were going to eat at Smokey Joe's, but as soon as we were seated, we got up and fled! The place was dirty and covered in flies! DO NOT EVEN ENTER SMOKEY JOE'S! It was so gross! Stick to Rod 'N Reel; it is pricier but so much cleaner! Also, the only other problem I had with the resort was that it isn't actually located on a beach, you have to drive ten minutes down the road to North Beach, and then pay $10 a person to use the beach. And it's kind of a crappy beach...not much beach at all. Not having a beach would be OK if the resort had an outdoor pool people could relax by instead, but they don't have one of those either. All in all, this would be a nice resort if you were older, and had a lot of money...so you could enjoy the lack of things to do, and afford the two things there is to do (spending time in the spa or chartering a boat).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank UteMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

We stayed here during the storms and heat waves and really missed actually having a beach that we could use.. they do have a beach but its only set up for the dining and weddings and marina takes up the rest of the waterfront.. pool is indoor.. but the actual facilities of the hotel are really, really nice.
We arrived and they had overbooked so our family had to split up into two rooms.. but they did comp the one room (we had a suite booked)..
But my biggest gripe with this hotel is the management policy of not allowing water for customers even if you are staying in the hotel! My daughter was with us at the beach bar and we were drinking expensive cocktails and she wanted an ice water and was denied it because the "management - straight from the owners told the staff unless people are eating they can't have water".. now this is during a heat wave! The bar and wait staff are great but also afraid as there are camera's everywhere watching them.. including if they give out ice water! PATHETIC..

Room Tip: get a balcony and suite if you can..facing the beach bar is fun if you want to listen to bands and w...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank ValyaR49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

Bought a weekend with a Living Social coupon and then read some of the reviews and was a bit worried about actually staying there! Had some difficulty finding a open weekend [bought the coupon in the fall] but was lucky enough to get one for our anniversary. Was very pleasantly surprised when we arrived...room was nice, LOVED the fireplace, though as another guest noted, they could use some updated linens. Enjoyed the water view, the bottle of wine and the soft robes. I have been to many spas and this one was quite nice...very quiet and relaxing, nice decor...I'd say an 8 out of 10.[would add some reading material and some type of fountain in the waiting area] Food was VERY good and well priced...had both of their crab soups and they were FABULOUS! Not much to do in the area but we were there to relax so that was nice. Very surprised that they do not have an outdoor pool or beach access...that was a disappointment. Staff was young but nice, everyone was pleasant. Prices would be too high to go back without a coupon...it's a nice hotel but certainly not worth the $350+ they charge for that room.

Room Tip: If you want to go to the spa would recommend that you make an appointment when you book your room...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank piscalhomefront
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We had a one night stay/spa voucher/mealvoucher combo package from a GroupOn (or LivingSocial) deal. Our experience was very mixed, though had we read the reviews here we would have been better prepared. The property is largely staffed w/ teenagers - who were the most pleasant staff we encountered. The older staff who seemed permanent were largely clueless (no idea about area amenities, no ability to run front-desk check-in w/ grace, etc...) and frequently surly. One exception was a lady working the front desk who knew nothing about the area ("I've only been here a year and I don't get out much") but was very pleasant. However, when we went back to the "spa" (a word that misrepresents the actual facility) the same woman who just checked us in changed her shirt and then came to get us for our massage. EXTREMELY awkward and unsettling to have staff multi-tasking in that way. Uncomfortable for her and us both.

The guest room was nice sized, and the balcony view was lovely. The hotel could dramatically change the guest's experience by upgrading the bed linens. The sheets are scratchy and the bedspread/blanket was horribly uncomfortable and unpleasant to touch. We did not have the promised robes in our room but everything worked fine.

The service at the restaurants was very slow and sketchy, but the food quality was surprisingly good. (By dinner we had dramatically lowered our expectations so were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the fish at the Rod N Reel.)

The single most disturbing thing was a problem they were having with room keys losing their electronic charge. Twice in our less than 24hr stay we had to have the keys reprogrammed. Each time they asked the room number and just recharged the key, without ever checking to ensure that we belonged in that room, had the same name as on the reservation, etc... I could have handed them the key and given them any room number and they would have handed it back to me fully charged. I find that an unforgiveable and dangerous security breach. It's easily remedied w/ some front desk staff procedures. However, the front desk staff (not teenages) were consistently unprofessional in handling check in, requests, the lines that were forming because they were unprepared for check-in at 3 pm, etc...

There was one man who I presume was probably the manager because he really did seem to care about the guest experience, delivered a bottle of wine to our room personally when it was overdue (and apparently delivered to the wrong room), greeted guests as though he was taking responsibility for the property, had a spotless staff uniform on, etc... If he trained the front desk staff to behave like he does it would elevate the property significantly. But please don't have your front desk person also be your masseuse. And buy softer bedspreads!

We probably wouldn't go back but it was adequate for a brief, low-cost, get-away.

Room Tip: Having a room with a water view and balcony here is pretty important.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank EMBMaryland_DC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2012

My spouse and I stayed for a 3 day weekend for a wedding event. The check-in process was a little shaky after our 4 hour drive....apparently, the front desk staff serving us had only been employed for about 4 weeks. Ok, everyone is a newbie at some point. We got to our room, beautiful view but much to my spouse's chagrin, the tv did not work. We called the desk and the manager came in less than 10 minutes and resolved the problem. He was very friendly and accomodating. We headed to Smoky Joe's for a bite to eat. There was no host, we were unsure if we were to seat ourselves as there was no one attending the host station. We waited for some time for some staff member to appear. However, we got seated finally. Food and service were good. Then, we went to the Boardwalk Cafe to have a drink and see what kind of night life was happening.....there was none. The bartender was tending to the customers inside but seemed to have no intentions of caring for those of us seated outside and a few times she left her post (up to 15 minutes sometimes). She rarely came to check on us and would refer to us as "honey" or "sweetie". Terms of endearment that I use for my spouse not a paying customer or stranger. The next day, we had breakfast at the Rod n' Reel, the hostess was busy but seemed to be cracking under pressure and did not make us feel welcomed and it was confusing as to who she was going to seat when there were multiple individuals waiting to be seated. The wedding reception above the Rod n Reel was again disappointing. Behind the sweetheart table there were holes in the wall and drywall needing to be patched. The wait staff was inexperienced and seemed to not care about their positions or have a work ethic. There was a pat of butter under the table I sat at. Understandably, it may have slipped away from one of the servers when they filled the butter bowl. It was all over the soles of my shoes and under my toes (as I was wearing open toed shoes). I asked the server if she would please get a damp rag and maybe some spray to soak up grease in the butter. She brought over cocktail napkins and no apology from her or an ounce of concern. I still felt slippery when I pushed my chair back to stand up from being seated so I asked her if she would bring a mop. She brought a damp linen napkin. She seemed to be more intrigued with the conversation she was having with another server. While waiting in line for the buffet, a staff member brought out a stack of dirty dishes. :( The last day of our stay we again went to the busy Rod n Reel for brunch. This time they got it right. Tess was the most friendly, professional, attentive and pleasant wait staff member we encountered there (she gets 5 stars). The hostess was quite curt with her as we had arrived a little late to the brunch with our group and apparently, upset the seating arrangements. Tess recovered it quite well and still made us feel welcomed. She took the heat from the cranky hostess. The rest of the staff should take a cue from her. She knows how to do her job and do it well. It's ashame about the rest of the stay. Unfortunately, we will not be back to visit. I have worked in retail doing customer service. I have worked in the food industry as a hostess at an upscale restaurant. I have been in the staff's shoes. Everybody gets overwhelmed but perhaps, better training in coping with stressful times at the resort? I am not a difficult customer but I am not a nobody. Please train your staff better or hire some people that exhibit a better work ethic and hold them to those standards. I am on the one on vacation, not the staff.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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16  Thank Phoenix F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa

Address: 4165 Mears Ave, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732-5116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maryland > Calvert County > Chesapeake Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chesapeake Beach
Price Range: $92 - $305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 72
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Also Known As:
Chesapeake Beach Hotel Chesapeake Beach
Chesapeake Beach Hotel And Spa

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