The more travelling I do based on the reviews from TripAdvisor, the more I realize that everything is relative. My expectations can get disproportional to reality if I put too much weight on reviews from people with less travelling experience or those that posess more tolerance to conditions I may consider below standard or discomforting. I can only compare with other places I have visited and with each travel experience my perception of the perfect vacation destination is forever altered. For me, the fun of traveling lies in discovering the unknown and sharing these truths honestly with fellow travelers.
From April 15 - 18, 2012, my wife and I along with our new dog stayed at The Barefoot Mailman Motel in Ocean City , Md. This was our dogs first trip to the beach and we were lucky to have found a place so welcoming of pets. We stayed in room 205, which is the first floor, elevated over the parking area on ground level, and overlooking the pool.
Upon arrival our dog was given a bag of treats which was very nice of then to provide. Check-in was slowed down by some computer glitches but we were in our room within 10 minutes of arrival. The folks at the desk were very friendly and made us seem very welcome with our slightly nervous dog in the lobby area. Covered parking beneath the building provided easy access for unloading the luggage from the car. There is also an elevator, but we just used the steps for the extra exercise. They also provide poopy bags near the alley where dogs can walk and do their business.
The room had 1 king bed and one double bed and was slightly more spacious than a standard motel room. The kitchenette area was well equipped with what appeared to be new appliances, large refrigerator, 2-burner cooktop, toaster, coffee pot, dishes, utensils, sink with soap and towels. There was an additional sink/mirror/vanity top next to the bed which functioned as an after-shower, get-ready to go out preparation area required by most women. Since the bathroom was too small and lacked any counter or storage space, this was a suitable alternative and allowed one person to get ready while the other showered. The new tv was small but did the job and the remote worked well. I liked the fact that they printed out station guides and had them laminated so you can figure out what station you want to watch without just searching until you find something. I wish all hotels did this because its really annoying trying to figure out a new cable system when your brain has been programmed to the one at your home. I was informed that since they allow pets, they have to wash the comforters each time an occupant leaves which is not customary in the hotel industry. My wife actually oberved a large pile of comforters in the laundry room awaiting washing which supported their claim. The hotel is the third building back from the beach, and its just a short 2-3 minutes from room to beach.
...... which now leads to the cons: The rooms actually face Coastal Hwy with nothing except a few pine trees to block all the noise from the traffic. If you are used to this it wont bother you at all. Since it is situated fronting the Hwy, it does not have an ocean view. At night with the doors closed and the a/c running it was relatively quiet with the exception of a few loud motorcycles, sirens from emergency vehicles, and the occassional thumping from room above. The a/c itself was another issue; every time the compressor cycled on or off it made a loud pop, which woke me and the dog up numerous times. Ou dog got so frightened by the sound that she crawled under the bed for safety. I eventually had to turn it off because the room got too cold if I tried to turn it all the way up to keep it from cycling on/off every five minutes. Advice:bring earplugs to sleep. The first night of "sleep" was very restless due to intermittent awakenings and the harder than usual mattresses that gave both my wife and I stiff backs in the morning. I really like firm mattresses and sleep on a firm Tempurpedic, but this was beyond firm without relieving any pressure points.
We did not use the cook top so I cannot comment but I did notice that any counter space needed for any cooking must have been an afterthought. One little nook, with a toaster and coffee pot and a cutting board with maybe one square foot of space would challenge any Iron Chef. The dish rack that would be used to allow clean dishes to dry was stored under the sink, but if you wanted to put it somewhere to actually perform its intended purpose, you'd be out of luck. There was NO lighting in the kitchenette area aside from the small light on the microwave.
The light fixture above the nook was missing, with just bare wires exposed. The light from the window with the blinds open helped during daylight or you could open the bathroom door and let the light shine into the kitchen area. Not very well thought out. Overall the place seemed dark and lacked sufficient, modern lighting. The only other issue worth mentioning has to do with other pet owners and not the hotel itself. Every morning around 6:30 am we were awoken by two yapping dogs which I assumed were the twin Dachsunds that let everyone know of their presence by yapping at everything. Lets face it, all dogs bark, thats what they do. But for an owner to let it go on and on and not provide any discipline is beyond inconsiderate when your sharing a living area with other pets and owners. This is not the hotels fault although they might step in and remind the early risers that some people like to sleep past 6:30 on their vacation and try to keep pets quiet until a more reasonable 8 am or so.
Overall, the stay at The Barefoot Mailman with our dog was worth the price since a three night stay with the $10/nt dog fee and taxes came to just over $200. I've stayed at hotels in OC where that will barely get you one night. It was the off season, but the weather was decent and we enjoyed the time with our dog. PS, there is Bayside Park at 127th street that is a great place to walk dogs and walk out on the pier to catch sunsets and take pictures. Go in the evenings when fewer people are out. If we came back with our dog, I would probably stay here again. If we travel without the dog, I would look for an Oceanfront hotel like the Quality Inn at 54th St, only because I'm a beach person and like to be as close to the water as possible and away from the noise and traffic of the streets. Although the hotel is in the process of remodeling ( I was told the bathrooms come next year ) it still has the look and feel of an older hotel. Many of the hotels in OC are just run down by years of tourist traffic and some are just simply disgusting. This hotel would rank slightly above average. The owners/operators seem to have an honest desire and are making an effort to improve the quality of the rooms. In some ways they have made progress but they still have more work ahead. Take your dog and enjoy the trip, I'd love to hear from everyone who reads this and goes to stay here. Until then, live well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Barefoot Mailman Motel. Our ideal oceanside location is conveniently located just 5 blocks from the Convention Center and eight blocks from Ocean City's famous boardwalk. Our rooms are clean and inviting, and the staff is warm and friendly. We are pet friendly. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barefoot Mailman Hotel