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“All we could get last minute”
Review of Bal Harbour Hotels

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Bal Harbour Hotels
Ranked #32 of 67 Hotels in Wildwood Crest
Montclair, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“All we could get last minute”
Reviewed August 6, 2006

After staying with family who rented a new condo across from the Bal Harbour we needed a hotel for the last night. It was convenient and looked decent from the outside so we were happy they had something available. We were not as happy after they told us the price though! Desperate, hot and weary after finding no other vacancies in WC and seeing a few horrible motels further into Wildwood, we decided to take the only room they had left, a 2 bedroom efficiency which had two bedroom areas, a kitchenette/seating area with a pull out couch and one bathroom. It was very nice compared to what we saw in Wildwood but not in line with what they are charging.

Pros - Family friendly quiet location, nice pool area with snack bar and multiple kiddie pools. Restaurant on premises (it really does need better AC though). Balcony with unobstructed ocean view. The room and appliances were basic but clean. The room AC worked well, we were actually cold and it was 100 degrees out. The bathroom was small but it was clean, no mildew or musty smell. I should also say we had no problems with staff as others did, everyone we encountered was pretty pleasant.

Cons - OVERPRICED. Furniture had some stains and one of the kitchen chairs had a burn mark. Definitely not in line with what you would expect from a beachfront "resort" as they bill themselves. Small toilet with no cover, kind of like something you would find in an elementary school. We figured this is probably due to older construction. It actually was perfect for our little ones. Elevators were small, very slow and had no AC. Hallways were hot also. Did I mention it was overpriced.....

I think for a place that prices itself as a luxury resort, the expectation should be a little higher than some of the other beach front motels that charge less. I think for $100 less a night it would have been worth it. That said, the pool was great, the balcony overlooking the beach was heaven and most importantly we had fun. I might consider going back but would definitely not want to pay peak season prices again. After our experience though I think if we had a full week we would do a condo next time.

  • Liked — Location, pool area
  • Disliked — Overpriced for the quality of the accomodations
  • Tips/Secrets — Ask for room with ocean view
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TimesTwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
NJ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2006

The hotel staff is by far the rudest I've encountered in my 25 years of vacationing. The rooms could have been much cleaner. We asked for a bottle of disinfectant so we could wipe everything down. Also, The ventilation system releases this constant smell of mold. Do yourself a favor and stay at a smaller family hotel where the owners actually work there and everyone is treated well.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
4 Thank littlelilygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Wildwood Crest hotels

Freehold, NJ
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2006

Okay, this is a hotel with a great deal of potential but falls short in all areas. My travels range from 5 star hotels to Motel Six, but I'm not a snob. Clean, safe, nice and I'm happy, just to give you background on me.

Also, I'm writing this from a laptop computer and am still in the hotel.

First, the good.

About a mile from the strip, great beach, nice pool, great balcony, good sized room, good efficiency appliances (minimum utensils), good housekeeping services (and patient), nice arcade if you're into that, and 3 kitty pools.

The housekeeper on our floor waited almost a half hour to do our room because it took a while to get the kids ready. I thought she would be gone, but she waited. I was very impressed.

Now, the not-so-good.

The check-in personnel were very matter of fact as if they were ringing up your order in the food store. It's hard to know who works there since there doesn't seem to be any uniforms.

The restaurant closes in the afternoon, but you can order food outside which we did. $27.00 for a cheesesteak, grilled chicken sandwich and chicken fingers that were all horrible, I mean horrible.

If you stay in the Dolpin and have little ones, there is no way to get a stroller down to the pool without having to carry it down some stairs. (Ridiculous for a family hotel!) There is only 1 elevator that is very slow and sometimes opens at floors with no one there.

The parking is horrible. The spaces are so close together that you can pretty much guarantee a nick on your car from someone opening their door if you stay long enough.

On day 3 someone had stolen my parking pass out of my car. (My fault, not the hotel's as I left the sunroof open) I went to the desk to ask for another one, and you would have thought I was asking for someone's first born. This opportunity for the hotel to show how they treat their guests turned into a 5 minute lecture on how because of me there might not be enough spots for the guests that night. I really should have said something.

They don't give nearly enough kitchen utensils. No measuring cups, large bowls, etc. Simply, 4 cups, 4 coffee cups (none match), 4 plates, 4 small bowls, and a couple of pots and pans. Besides the four butter knives, there was only one other which was like a steak knife. (It was almost funny)

Other things that are often provided in hotels but not here... No hairdryer in the room, iron, room safe, no minibar, extra pillows, sheets, or blankets. The toilet seat is wedged so far under the sink counter that the seat will not stay up.

The hangers in the room were all those metal ones right from a dry cleaner, some with that plastic thing still attached, some bent.

The air conditioning works well but blows a draft right over both beds.

That's it. If anything changes while I'm still here either good or bad, I will edit this post.

  • Liked — The Location
  • Disliked — Poorly run, poorly managed
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Buzliteyear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2006

Having read the reviews on Bal Harbour, my wife and I decided that the complaints regarding staff were really not an issue with us, though I can certainly understand being turned off by some of those reviews.
That being said, the Bal Harbour has its faults...many of them in fact.
You cannot reserve your room via telephone with a Visa, only hold it...and no one seems to know why. You may be able to pay for your room with a "Diners Club or Master Card" but being as I had neither, I can't be sure.
Our room, for $238 per night consisted of two double beds that I likened to trampolines, a kitchenette with three plates and five glasses and a bathroom that...well, more to come on that.
Check in was easy and we got into our room early which is obviously a plus.
The pools were very nice and there is a food stand which while pricey, is convenient. There are tables for eating alongside the pool but you have to start a full scale riot to get some of the all day sitters to give up on their Yahtzee games so someone else can sit. Not really sure why you go to the beach to sit under an umbrella poolside, but to each his own.
The hotel consists of two buildings one of which also houses the lobby. The restaurant and game room are in the same building as the lobby.
The game room was actually pretty good, with good games and reasonable prices. We opted not to eat in the restaurant so nothing to add regarding the fare. The lobby is clean and modern and looks like it took up the main portion of any monies recently put into the resort.
The hotel sits right on the beach but be forewarned: The walk for those of you unfamiliar with the Wildwood beaches, is long to the shore itself.
As for the room...for $238 per night I was expecting more. The kitchenette was not adequate for a family of four with two children. The beds were nearly as uncomfortable as fathomable. The remote control was a chintzy channel up/down version which makes for great difficulty with children trying to get from Sponge Bob to Animal Planet without driving adults insane...and lastly the bathroom...I am sure that keeping a bathroom up to snuff is dificult but could we put a toilet in that has a lid? Two days worth of prescription pills made there demise in the depths of the bowl. The shower pressure was adequate, though the shower head dripped. The water faucet was reversed with cold left and hot right on a single handle (could make for an interesting face splash) and the tissue paper may have been produced for a correctional facility...or it may have been sand paper..not really sure.
So are we disapointed? Well, I suppose if the room were $175 a night we would not be. The weather was wonderful, the beach great, the hotels outer areas very nice, but for the price I would certainly expect more.
The Bal Harbour is adequate...less than average but not horrendous by any means. Just know that for your money, what you see on the web site is not what you get. Despite all the pretty pictures.

  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank NY_traveller_41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erie, PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2006

We just got back from our vacation to Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. I had looked at many, many places on the Web and thought the Bal Harbour would be exactly what I've always wanted...a large hotel/resort right on the beach with swimming pools as well! I found out that they did not take reservations until the February prior to that year's summer season as they are only operational a certain number of months during the year. So my family saved and saved. I looked at all the pictorials on the Bal Harbour's website and found E3-Contemporary Oceanfront Efficiency room to be what we wanted. It was $194.00 a night!!! Quite a lot more than I'm used to paying but I wanted my family to have a perfect vacation.

We arrived there and liked the lobby and the pool area...we were excited that it looked so nice from the outside...and it was indeed right on the ocean! Yea!

We went up to our room on the 4th floor, opened the door and was immediately disappointed. It was not that big at all! When you first walk in, there's a bed immediately to your right...the "living room" area had one couch. No chairs...well there was a table with 4 chairs as the efficiency had the kitchenette included....fridge, stove, sink, microwave, cupboards...but the table and chairs were right there.... A LOT smaller than we had anticipated. There was a separate bedroom which was nice for my daughter and it had a TV in it but the window that overlooked the ocean was...FILTHY. You literally couldn't see out of it. I'm not sure if it was from sand and saltwater or what.

There was a sink/vanity in the hallway and another sink in the bathroom....oh man, the bathroom! To say that it needs updated would be an understatement! The toilet was made for preschoolers and you had to use your foot to flush the toilet as you couldn't push it by hand. You had to be double-jointed to reach the toilet paper, which by the way, was of the same consistancy as cheap generic tissues...the kind that tears your nose up when you have a cold. For $194 a night, they can't afford something halfway decent? There was no hook on the bathroom door to hang anything and the door stuck when you opened it. There were rust marks on the ceiling and the water pressure, forget about it. And to my dismay, there was no hair dryer... I know it's a dumb thing to be mad about, but when we stayed at the $65.00 a night Ramada that has a hairdryer and an ironing board, you assume an "ocean resort" would have the same thing. Nope! Neither! Wire hangers in the closet as well...linens smelled odd according to my daughter. I asked the desk person where the hairdryers were, or if any of the rooms had hairdryers. She said, "None of our rooms have hairdryers, we want you to feel like you live at the beach." Ohhhhhh! So the $194.00 a night I paid was for being on the oceanfront, for the view?

Which by the way, brings me to the sliding door/screen. The sliding screen door fell off the first time we opened it and the glass sliding door banged/rattled everytime the wind blew...which as you know, we were ON THE OCEAN so it was windy ALL THE TIME.

We chose to eat in the hotel's restaurant for dinner one night. The hostess sat us at a nice table looking out to the pool area.....when we sat down, we realized we must be in the greenhouse room because there was no air conditioning at all and it was like 95 degrees in the restaurant. They had ceiling fans on but there was no way we could sit there. We sat a different table directly under a fan which was better. The food was pretty good but unfortunately, we chose to eat our dinner the same time our waiter was eating...we watched him plop himself up to the counter and eat. He turned around once to look at us and we asked him for more beverages. He was nice enough but geez, sorry to interrupt your dinner buddy!

We wanted to go to the pool so we got ready and went down there about 4:30 or so. It was really nice but wait, what's this? A sign that read "POOL CLOSES AT 6:00 P.M." Are you kidding me???? And the oceanfront resort does not provide towels for pool use...another lesson learned.

I think it was the second night we went up to our room and after getting off the elevator (which by the way was also not air conditioned) we got to the 4th floor...the entire hall was dark. We literally couldn't see to find our room! There was a maid/employee sitting in the linen room or whatever and I asked her what happened to the lights. She said (in very broken English which all the employees had), "Um, lights broke...we wait for fix, yes?"
Well yeah, we wait for fix but if you hear us falling down, send somebody to check on us, okay? Sheesh.

Any anybody who has had to park in their garage beneath the hotel...yes, convenient that there is a garage...but to park in it, you need a Master's Degree in angles and parking. How we managed not to scrape our car on other cars or poles is beyond me.

So I've learned that "efficiency rooms" mean you have a kitchenette...convenient yes...the rest of the room is old and crappy....and the exorbitant price you pay to stay at the Bal Harbour Ocean Front Resort is for the view....just watch out for the sliding screen door in the rooms so that they don't fall on you.

All in all, our vacation was nice...we had a blast at the boardwalk and the Cold Spring Village tour...it was just a bummer about the room. Will I stay at the Bal Harbour again? Not on your life.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank anniedroz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Bal Harbor in June. We had read poor reviews for the hotel and actually had stayed here for one night in 2005 and agree that this is not a hotel I would ever stay at again. The first time we stayed we encountered a rude woman at the check-in desk, and the service at the restaurant was appalling. This trip we were unable to reserve a room at the last minute for any other hotel we thought might be nice so we decided to give Bal Harbor another try. What a mistake! The hotel room had not been vacuumed. The air conditioning wasn't working. When we inquired at the front desk they said they had turned it off because the senior citizens from the tour complained it was to cold, but it would be turned on again. Each room is individually controlled so this made no sense. We had to keep our balcony door open. The pool was dirty so we couldn't swim. We received no soap, shampoo etc. The maid said their supplies hadn't arrived for the season yet. This is June and they have no soap for guests! The gift shop was never open. The staff at the front desk are not very friendly at all. We decided to spend the rest of our vacation at the Congress Hall in Cape May, which is only a short drive. This is the best hotel ever. We will be spending all of our vacations here from now on.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank charlie444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 14, 2006

I am a mother of 2, I called & spoke with Steve the manager to upgrade my room. He asked why, I said this other room looked nicer on the website. He took offense b/c he created the website (what does that have to do with anything??) then said that when he gets my deposit he will return it to me & that my business was not wanted at this hotel. I have never been treated with such disrespect in my entire life. I will tell everyone I know how horrible the service is at this hotel.

Stayed March 2006
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bal Harbour Hotels

Property: Bal Harbour Hotels
Address: 508 E Stanton Rd, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260-3768
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May County > Wildwood Crest
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Wildwood Crest
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bal Harbour is the most complete family resort complex in the Wildwoods. Spanning a full block right on the beach, it is a luxurious hotel with its own private entrance to the beautiful beaches of Wildwood Crest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bal Harbour Oceanfront
Bal Harbour Oceanfront Wildwood Crest
Bal Harbour Hotel Wildwood Crest

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