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“Very happy; great value for off-season”

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Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront)
Ranked #23 of 109 Hotels in Virginia Beach
Kansas
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Very happy; great value for off-season”
Reviewed September 24, 2010

My family of four (with a 3 year old and a 4 month old) was very happy here and would absolutely stay again.

We stayed for four nights in September, just after the busy season ended, so the hotel was not as occupied as it would be during most of the summer. That said, our experience may have been a little different mid-summer.

Here are the details:

The location is fantastic. Right on the boardwalk/beach, with every room having a private balcony overlooking the ocean. Located at 18th street, which is near the center of the boardwalk. Pacific Avenue runs along the non-ocean side of the hotel and is loaded with touristy shops and restaurants. Free parking in the hotel garage. Yes, the garage is tight, but I had no problems getting my SUV around. It probably helped that the hotel was nowhere near capacity and there were ample parking spots available.

The room was good. We stayed in a one bedroom suite, which included a room with a sleeper sofa and a TV. In the main sleeping area there were two queen beds, a sitting chair and ottoman, and a desk with an office chair. The private balcony was the width of the room and about 3 feet deep. It included a couple of plastic patio chairs. My family of four probably would have been okay without the suite, but the extra room was a good place to get our things organized away from the sleeping area. It was also a good place to hang out and watch TV while the kids were sleeping. There was a safe, microwave, and decent sized fridge in the room.

The room had recently been re-done, including most of the bathroom. Everything looked good, with the exception of the shower, which stood out next to the nice finishes elsewhere. The shower walls were basic ceramic tiles that were not installed straight. The shower worked fine, but compared to the rest of the room and bathroom, the shower really felt like a leftover from when this hotel was a Howard Johnson. It was just a little sloppy looking.

The room was mostly clean. I probably wouldn’t have commented on this, but shortly after checking in, my 3 year old handed me a pill that he found somewhere on the carpet. So while the room did seem very clean, it must not have been perfectly cleaned if that detail was missed. I will note that this is a hotel on a beach, so expect a certain amount of sand and grit in the room or bathroom since people tend to track it in and it would be impossible for any hotel to get it all up.

The restaurant/bar looked clean and smelled good, but I did not have a chance to eat there. The menu items seemed pricey, but you pay a premium for eating next to the ocean.

The free breakfast was one of the best free breakfasts I've seen and was a great way to start our day. There were hot items every day and it always included some sort of meat item (bacon, sausage, etc.) as well as cereal, yogurt, danishes, waffles, and more. There were plenty of tables to sit and eat at. I filled up on breakfast every day and wasn't hungry again until late afternoon. I felt like I had retired.

The lobby and common areas were updated and clean. The floors were frequently being cleaned. There were elevators in two different locations and the both worked fine and did not seem slow. There are two washers and dryers available on the second floor. The indoor pool looked fine and seemed clean, but I did not use it.

My wife and I both really appreciated the friendliness of the staff. Every staff member we encountered was very pleasant, from the front desk managers that helped us whenever we needed anything, to the housekeeping staff that cleaned our rooms, to the maintenance man who politely let us go ahead of him onto the elevator when he had a cart of supplies. This great service made us happy that we'd chosen this hotel.

I thought the value was really good. It helped that I stayed after the busy season, so the rates were a lot lower than they had been two weeks before. This hotel was the best combination of reasonably nice hotel and acceptable price that I could find. TIP: The hotel had a 25% off special if you book 28 days in advance, but doing so made it non-refundable. I found that I could book it through one of the travel websites at the same rate, and it was refundable up until a couple of days before the first night.

There were a few hotels along the beach that looked nicer than this one, and a lot that looked worse than this one. I'd say this is much closer to being the nicest hotel than the worst hotel.

The few problems I had during my stay include the shower and less than perfect cleaning mentioned above, plus a slow-draining bathroom sink and a lack of internet in my room. I did not pick up a wi-fi signal in my room, so I tried plugging my laptop into the data port on the desk. It did not work, so I looked at the connection behind the desk to discover that the data cable from the desk was not plugged into anything and there was nowhere on the wall t plug it in. It wasn't a big deal to me since I didn't really need my computer and I had my phone, but internet access was listed as one of the amenities so I feel like it should have worked. There were two computers with internet available near the lobby, but I did not use them.

These inconveniences are the only thing keeping me from giving a 5/5 rating.

Overall, we were very happy to be at this hotel. I would stay here again, and would recommend it to friends and family.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank HikeLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tsgm, General Manager at Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), responded to this review, September 27, 2010
Dear hikelover:

We appreciate you taking the time to write a review regarding your recent stay with us here at the Country Inn and Suites in Virginia Beach.

On behalf of our entire staff here at the Country Inns & Suites we would like to thank you for your business and we hope to see you again when your travels bring you back to the area and I promise the we will and the internet problems fixed. Again thank you for our kind word about the hotel and especially the staff.


Sincerely,

Tony Sierra
General Manager
Hotel Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
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English first
Virginia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2010

We chose this hotel based on it's location, which we thought would be adjacent to the 17th St Pavillion, where the Natchal Blues at the Beach Festival was held September 10-12. There turned out to be 2 hotels in between Country Inn and the Pavillion, but it was easily walkable and actually well located. The rooms were all ocean view with small balconies (big enough for 2 chairs), and our king bed room had a very small sitting/living room area with a small sofa and coffee table. The room was adequately sized for the two of us, but would have been crowded for a family. The furniture was utilitarian and covered with a waterproof/washable type of upholstery, so it was not luxurious but functional for a beachfront hotel. The hotel seemed freshly painted and the carpet was on the newer side - everything was clean. The bed was comfortable but pillows were too soft. Sheets were not changed over our 2 night stay, but we were given fresh towels. The indoor pool was truly indoors - no outside light penetrated at all, as it was on the inside of the hotel. When we saw that, we were not enticed into trying it out at all. The breakfast bar was certainly a highlight - one morning the hot offerings included scrambled eggs, biscuits, and sausage gravy, and the other morning we had scrambled eggs, hash brown patties, and sausage patties. There were also belgian waffle makers available, with other standards such as fruit, yoghurt, bagels, pastries, and juices. Neither I nor my boyfriend liked the sausage gravy - bland, institutional and tasteless - but everything else was great. The breakfast room seemed an adequate size but was very crowded and full both mornings we were there. Our room was clean, but the bathroom fixtures were old and patching jobs were evident on the walls and ceilings. The room doors were difficult to close, both to the outside hall and to the bathroom, and it appeared that this older hotel had settled somewhat. Our safe did not work, but we did not request another and just locked up valuables in the trunk of the car. One nice feature of the hotel was garage parking on the level of our 5th floor room, so that we could unload our car and go directly to our room without having to navigate elevators. Overall a reasonable place to stay, but the price (roughly $200 a night) seems a bit overpriced for what we got.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Merrileigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tsgm, General Manager at Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), responded to this review, September 16, 2010
Dear Merrileigh:

We appreciate you taking the time on posting a comment about your recent stay with us.
I am glad to read that your overall experience was an enjoyable one. I hope that the Natchal Blues Festival was just as enjoyable.
On behalf of our entire staff here at the Country Inns & Suites we would like to thank you for your business and we hope to see you again when your travels bring you back to the area!


Sincerely,
Tony Sierra
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed September 13, 2010

Great staff, very helpful. Room was nice, love the view. The swimming pool was great nice and warm. Breakfast was great. The hotel was always clean, never looked dirty. housekeepers were great they cleaned the room and helped if we needed them.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anvillarreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
Reviewed September 9, 2010

My family and I have spent the last couple years in Virginia Beach and stayed at this hotel when it was a Howard Johnson - we liked it then - it needed some updating but they have done it and we all love it!! The best thing is that the same staff is there even though they changed the name of the hotel! The new look is wonderful and the free breakfast is well worth waiting in line for! We're treated like royalty when we go there and have already contacted the sales girl to rebook for 2011!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank happyfamily1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tsgm, General Manager at Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), responded to this review, September 13, 2010
Dear Happy Family 1990,

Thanks so much for staying with us again during your visit to Virginia Beach. I am glad to hear you like all of the changes that were done to the hotel. I pleased that you took advantage of our free deluxe breakfast and that the breakfast didnt disappoint you . I want to thank you for returning and giving us the opportunity to server you and your family and allowing us to be part of your vacation next next. Thanks again for your kind words

Sincerely
Tony Sierra
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

We have stayed at this hotel for many years and were pleased to hear that they were renovating and "cleaning" things up. The renovations are very nice and will name the good first.
1. Pool is much cleaner
2. New paint and carpeting in the hallways.
3. Rooms have new furniture and TV's
4. The breakfast is an added bonus
5. The business room is very nice and convenient.
6. The lobby has a much better location

Now the "not so good"
1. No air conditioning in the hallway on our floor.
2. Ice machines still not good
3. Elevators are terribly slow and very hot.
4. Renting out the parking garage for beach parking made it very difficut to find parking especially on the weekend.
5. Prices have gone up too much for what you get, yes there are renovations but it's not that improved.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank jrlockport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2010

The hotel use to be a somewhat run down Howard Johnson. When we called in January to reserve a room for July, we were informed that the hotel was under a complete renovation. This was exciting and we looked forward to our stay. Late May we called to confirm the room and were told that they were now known as Country Inn & Suites. The old rates were being held for us since we booked early, this was mentioned because the new rates were now much higher. The night before our 15 hour drive to VB, my wife called to make sure everything was alright and was told yes and that they looked forward to seeing us. We arrive late, around 7:PM, and are promptly told that our reservation had been cancelled. You can imagine our anger and how the next 15 minutes went, so I won't go into detail. For what ever reason they never took the standard one night down payment. By 6:00, when we hadn't shown up, they decided to charge our credit card for one night, something that should have happened months before. They were unable to put the card through ( the same card we used to reserve later) and unable to reach us by phone (they took down the wrong number) , so they cancelled our reservation. So, we call months early to get a good deal, call two months before to make sure everything was fine and once again the night before arrival...not really sure what else we could have done. Again, I won’t bore you with all the new arrangements but will tell you that thankfully to a competent front desk person, the one we weren’t dealing with, she somewhat fixed the problem. The guy we were dealing with was new and useless. Our first night was spent 20 minutes away from the beach in a sister hotel, the next 6 nights were at the original hotel. This is all they could do. We had to take it or pay far more somewhere else. This screw up basically set the mood for the rest of the holiday, we actually left a day early. I forgot to mention that we met with the manager the next morning. She appeared to not understand what the problem was even thought she admitted that procedures had not been followed. Her expression was so numb that it was obvious that she would be not help. She did give us a 10% discount card for the attached restaurant. The obvious attitude was that if you don’t like it here, someone else will. They don’t care if you come, they’re just to big. As for the renovation, it wasn’t very well done at all. Overall, very disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ottawahome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 27, 2010

Our 1st impression of the hotel was nondescript. Figured was like every other hotel at the oceanfront. Once the staff greeted us we were blown away. The front desk person was handling a call when we walked in, and the moment he saw us come in, he placed the phone call on hold in a professional manner and made sure that we were attended to our check in. Once inside the room we were blown away by the cleanliness of the room, the view and the roominess. The location is right in the center of Beach street and very convenient to the highway. We were literally in the middle of everything. The only issue we had with the property was we didn't have more time to enjoy all of the ammenities of the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Azbroncofn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront)

Property: Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront)
Address: 1801 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-3308
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Virginia Beach
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Virginia Beach
#28 Business Hotel in Virginia Beach
#34 Family Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront) 3*
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Country Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel! Located on the beach and just steps away from the world-famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk, our hotel provides easy access to the beach, area dining, souvenir shopping, entertainment and more. Every room features spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean along with a private balcony, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker. With its convenient amenities like complimentary hot breakfast, free high-speed wireless Internet access, heated indoor pool, fitness center, oceanfront restaurant, and on-site parking, our oceanfront hotel in Virginia Beach, VA is sure to please leisure and business travelers alike. Come visit us for a fantastic beach vacation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Country Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel Virginia Beach
Country Inn And Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Howard Johnson Oceanfront Resort
Virginia Beach Howard Johnson Oceanfront
Howard Johnson Virginia Beach

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