The hotel and the room were tremendous, really tremendous.
I have never stayed at a hotel as good as this, and quite honestly don't expect to be able to again.
I believe this was a one-off for me - the hotel was brand new (open less than 2 months) when I stayed there, and I expect the rates to increase beyond my budget in the near future.
I found the hotel using the website http://www.golfcoast.com/golf-for-the-gulf/ . I did not realize but by accepting the default selections (and entering my details) I had selected not just the first hotel on the list but the first "Condominium" on the list, which was this hotel, the South Beach Biloxi Hotel. I was contacted by someone from the hotel a few days later, and after using google maps and street view to check out the hotel I accepted the offer to stay.
This is the only hotel (as of December 2010) right on the beach in Biloxi, bar the casino hotel, which does not have the connection to the beach and the surroundings that this hotel does (IMHO). In particular, the South Beach Biloxi Hotel has balconies for every room, and it is right on the beach, so other than a very few rooms that face the road (which I believe are much cheaper), I think you are on the beach in every room. You can use Google maps and street view to verify this impression. If you don't get absolute beachfront I think the east side of the hotel might be better for the beach view, although of course the sunsets are on the west side.
I think the design of the hotel is very clever - the first two levels are parking. They are betting that the next big storm to come ashore will not have the 30 foot surge of Katrina, but if it does, it will only take out the bottom floor of rooms, which are on the 3rd level (strictly speaking the hotel is above sea level by several feet so maybe even the first level of rooms would be ok). I didn't ask but I'm pretty sure they have made the hotel very strong, since they obviously thought about future storm surge in the design. And this is not a hotel that smacks of being cheap.
My rate was $139/night (in December 2010). This rate included golf each day, so I do not know what the rate would be less golf. I strongly suspect this was an introductory rate since the hotel was new and it was right at the winter solstice (this was the week containing the night of the total lunar eclipse on the solstice, not to be repeated for 475 years).
My room was 700 square feet. Properly speaking I would say it was not a room, it was an apartment. There was an entrance hall, past a powder room, a washer/dryer, an electric cupboard and a closet and a good sized entrance table. So, 20 feet later I walked into the main room, which contained a full kitchen (stove, cabinets, dishwasher, full fridge/freezer, large kitchen sink, full complement of knives, utensils and a chopping board), and a couch and separate chair in front of a big TV. Outside the floor to ceiling windows and sliding door was an approximately 8x4 balcony (I don't know the size exactly because I forgot to measure it) with two patio chairs and a small table. Behind the walk-in way was the bedroom with a California King bed, and a large en-suite, with a 5+ foot shower/bath.
There is high-speed WIFI for internet access plus an ethernet cable port. There is a good selection of TV channels - I don't like waiting to see what's on by using the channel guide channel - but using my laptop I found a website with a local channel guide that was much faster and more complete to consult for seeing what was on the TV.
I really think the place was luxurious. Perhaps my small town upbringing was overwhelmed by it all, but that's what I think.
I did not go to any of the nearby restaurants, because I bought several nights worth of catfish at the local store and cooked those for my dinners while I was there, but there was a seafood restaurant 100 yards away on the beach and there were other restaurants nearby (walking distance) too. This despite this area being completely removed from any very nearby (walking distance) locality, unless you count the Keesler air force base (about a mile away). Occasionally the aircraft from the base land and take off on a flight path nearly right over the hotel - the noise from these flights is minimal, and if you are on the balcony on the right side of the building you can feel like you are at an airshow, at least momentarily.
Cons: There is very little public transit on the Gulf Coast of MS. It is essentially totally car-centric. This is not the fault of the hotel, it is just my observation of the area. I don't like it; I think the world needs to move towards a more community oriented and less car oriented setup. For example, the main street from the beach at Gulfport going north is US49 and it's 3 lanes each way, often with service roads either side. For a town of less than one hundred thousand people, that seems too much to me. I don't see people exploring the coast using public transport. You could walk around small parts of it, but that's all.
The only other thing worth mentioning for people who are not familiar with the Mississippi Gulf Coast is that there are no waves from the sea - the beach is protected from the open sea by barrier islands, so although there is a small (about 3 foot) tide; all that happens is the low-tide part of the beach is covered and then exposed every 12 hours. The sandy beach is always available; I believe it may be a slightly artificial situation but in any case it's always there.
I think there are less golf courses than in Florida or Myrtle Beach, but I enjoyed them. Check out the Grand Bear golf course (and make sure you know how to get to it before the day); it has a 6 mile driveway.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Biloxi, Mississippi's only beachfront hotel located directly on the sandy shores of the Gulf Coast. Close to Casino Row and popular Biloxi attractions, South Beach Biloxi Hotel & Suites is a one of a kind ultra luxury all-suite hotel. Expect the best in guest suite amenities, the best in scenic views, and personalized service beyond your imagination. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- South Beach Biloxi Hotel Biloxi
- South Beach Biloxi Hotel And Suites