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“Laid Back Atmosphere”
Review of Surf Motel

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Surf Motel
Ranked #29 of 32 Hotels in South Padre Island
Alvarado, TX
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Laid Back Atmosphere”
Reviewed April 29, 2010

This place is great! If you are looking for a place to just hang out, and not too worried about having the worlds finest, but are looking for a place to kick back with friends, hang outside your room, get to meet other people staying there....This is a great place. We met lots of people, the band members that were playing, danced with other people that were staying there. Right on the beach, you can just get up and walk down off the boardwalk anytime, you are right there. It is a little old and frumpy, but it is like an old pair of shoes, that you love, and keep going back too!!! If you are looking for worlds finest, this is not for you....If you are picky this is not for you....Their is a tiny pool that they clean early mornings, even it is not the lap of luxury...It is what it is...a neat little place on the beach......With a nice little bar that is handy, and a cool shady place to hang out with tables and grills outside the rooms. And even they are not that clean! Let you know up front, Bring your own foil!

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oiculs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
McAllen Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2009

We had read the reviews, but made a reservation anyway since a friend recommended this place. Like us, she had a daughter and grandchildren here from out of state.
After we paid the non-refundable $850 for two rooms for three nights, we went to the room. I was going to just let them have the money and go somewhere else, but was convinced that it would be wrong to just let them have our money. The room was clean - I never saw any roaches or other bugs - but the bedding was stained and the towels were so thin they wouldn't get us dry. You always have to ask for towels. I did note that the maids were taking off dirty sheets and washing them, they were just very old and stained.
I thought we had a Murphy bed, but it was a old stained matress that had been stored in the closet. We pulled it out so we could hang stuff up, so the matress became the focal part of the room. The toilet was unstable and everything was just ancient. Not quaint and charming, just old, stained, and tired. When I asked for a coffee pot, I got an old one without a lid which quit after two days. One bright point was that the window A/C unit was so loud that it drowned out any noise. Another not so bright point was that the parking lot is very small and most of it is taken up either by construction workers who are building a big condo next door, or else by people going to the beach, since there is public beach access between the condo and the motel.
The worst part was that when you opened our door, the bar ice machine and large bags of trash were right there in front of you. Not a great sight at 7 am. Plus a hose that people used to clean off their sand was right outside our window. If you took a right out of our door and took five steps, you would be with the bartender behind the bar. Luckily, we were there during the week and the bar closed at about 9:30. However, no one cleans the bar area after they close, so food such as half-eaten chicken wings and burgers are left on the tables. Plus the drinks and beer cans are left on the tables.
We were having a drink there one night when the bar closed and as soon as the lights went down, a baby possum mosied up to check out the food. Plus early in the morning we saw stray cats, roaches, and even a coyote, all drawn by the food that's left out.
Our friends had adjoining rooms and one door lock never worked so they had to all go in the same door. My friend told me that one woman who had been at the bar all one afternoon got locked out and couldn't reach anyone with the hotel, so she slept outside her door.
We ended up having a good time because it is right on the beach, but will NEVER stay there again. There are too many other, better hotels around. We checked out the Palms, which is also on the beach. It has been beautifully renovated and has a great looking restaurant and bar. Although it is $50 a night more, it would have been well worth the extra money.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank camel03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these South Padre Island hotels

texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2008

We just got back from a great stay at the Surf Motel. For 99 per night we had a very clean room with a kitchenette on the beach. Keep in mind that it's called Surf Motel, not Surf Resort. The building is old, but the owners are obviously working hard to keep it up, there was fresh paint and new lounge furniture. There is a large patio with grills to cook-out, and on-site beach bar & grill. The beach area in front of the motel has volleyball courts and there is a chair/umbrella rental service. The rooms have tile floors and they don't charge extra for pets.

  • Liked — great location, pet friendly, value
  • Disliked — the bathroom could use updating, clean but worn
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank texastravels11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay City, Tx
1 review
Reviewed July 23, 2008

We have stayed at the Surf Motel several times. The rooms are not fancy, but it was nice. We will stay there again, this year, and hopefully SOON.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Sand in the rooms, floors
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cdsound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st. louis
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2008

Not sure where the great reviews are coming from...perhaps the owners, or locals that hang out at the bar day and night.

I will start off with the good things first. It is directly on the beach (but so are 100 other much nicer places for the same amount of money).

It does have one of only three beach bars on the island (two out of three bartenders were great...one was a toatl crab ***). Again if you must have a beach bar...go to one of the other ones. Those are the good points.

Now for the bad. The rooms are so outdated and disgusting (I am sure the mattresses there have been there from day one...bedding too). The mold smell was so overwhelming we had to buy Febreeze and doused everything three times a day at the least. Also we had to get allergy meds from Wal-mart in Port Isabel just to cope with the mold. We had horrible ants in the bathroom, 2-3 inch roaches (or as one person called them Palmetto bugs) infested the place moslty outside at night but a few strayed inside also making it very hard to sleep. The couch used to be leather I think but all of the leather part had worn off and there were rips all in it and I think they expected a person to sleep on it because they said the room slept 6...well it didn't, not even with someone on the nasty couch. Two twin beds and one full bed and the couch...you do the math! The ceiling in the bathroom was caving in, the sink and toilet was stained beyond cleaning, we had to beg for towels everyday, flagging down the maids. The first time we stepped into the bathroom the floor was one large puddle of water. The sheets just looked gross (probably because they have been using the same ones since day one)!

There was so much trash all around the motel too. It was like no one ever picked up the trash! Just nasty!

Yes as soon as we walked into the room we walked out and asked for a refund. But oh no! The manager said we just signed the piece of paper stating no refunds! We ended up making the most of it....never will go back to South Padre Island though. Obviously they don't have strict enough codes for me. I have pictures if any one would like to see for themselves.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — the nasty moldy smell
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank escape-573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2008

The Surf Motel is one of the last vestages of "the way things used to be." It is the true beach side experience. The rooms are nothing to write home about, but they are adequate for a couple of days of just hanging out. The deck is great for sitting around and grilling your own food, or you can walk down to beach side and get some pretty good food from Boomerang Billy's Beach Side Grill and Bar. The owners and staff are very nice and helpful.

Because the motel is situated right on the beach, access to the beach is very easy. You are within walking distance of the other, higher end hotels and restaurants if you want to go a little more upscale for dinner or shopping, yuk!

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ThomasTheBeachCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
reneedyke74
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 24, 2007

This was the worst place i have EVER stayed. We stayed in the 2 bedroom condo's. The first one they put us in was really aweful and the back patio door would not close at all, so we requested another one and thinking for the price we paid for the room it would at least be better. Well it was NOT, infact the back patio door on this one actually fell out when we tried to open it. It was far from a clean room, the front couch that we were told pulled out to a bed had NO sheets or anything just a NASTY worn out mattress. The shower/bathtub looked like it was about to fall apart. The walls and ceiling were falling apart, BIG holes in the wall that were very poorly patched and water stains. Now for the Pool, we did NOT even put a foot in the pool. The water was very nasty and you couldn't even see the bottom of the pool, looked to have NEVER been cleaned at all, and during our stay my husband talked to the pool guy and he was trying to clean it only because someone had decided to Poop in the pool, he told my husband it was the 3rd time this had happened in a week. Did they close the pool to put chemicals and stuff in it? NO!!!! He got the waste out and that's it!!! I would NOT recommend this place to anybody. I am VERY VERY unhappy about our stay here. We only stayed 4 days and pretty much had to because we couldn't get a refund!!!! That's the only reason we didn't leave.

  • Liked — NOTHING
  • Disliked — EVERYTHING
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank reneedyke74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Surf Motel

Property: Surf Motel
Address: 2612 Gulf Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597-6940
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > South Padre Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in South Padre Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Surf Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Surf Motel is a beach motel located directly on the beach with access to a long boardwalk so your feet wont burn walking on the hot sand, definately a bonus during our hot summer months! All of our rooms have two double beds, microwave, fridge, sitting area, phone, cable, free wifi, and air conditioning. We have complimentary grills available on our large sun deck right outside the rooms with mulitple seating areas. Our motel has two floors with a large balcony on the 2nd level with a great view of the Gulf. We also have a full bar and resturaunt located right on site, and live entertainment Saturday and Sunday (wether permitting) Swimming pool and beach volleyball courts located right on the beach and we are walking distance to the Islands Entertainment District (Louies, Laguna Bobs, Tequila Sunset, Coconuts), Dining and Shopping. We are smack dap in the center of the island and every where you want to be. The island also offers free bus rides (The Wave)and there is a bus stop right out front of the motel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Surf Motel South Padre Island
Surf Hotel South Padre Island

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