from Jacksonville, FL
Submitted on 06-11-2016
Well, how best to describe this place? As we approached, the word "Luxury" met us at the driveway entry, on a sign as in something like "Oceanfront Luxury". Of course, we were not expecting The Daytona Mandarin or even Trump Daytona, I mean, let's face it, this is a destination for folks with luggage carriers on top of their minivans and, of course, legions of Bikers and RV owners. Still, there it was, looming over us painted up gaudy as a cruise ship and when we entered the circular drive we we...
Well, how best to describe this place? As we approached, the word "Luxury" met us at the driveway entry, on a sign as in something like "Oceanfront Luxury". Of course, we were not expecting The Daytona Mandarin or even Trump Daytona, I mean, let's face it, this is a destination for folks with luggage carriers on top of their minivans and, of course, legions of Bikers and RV owners. Still, there it was, looming over us painted up gaudy as a cruise ship and when we entered the circular drive we were met by the first member of the very friendly and accommodating staff who directed us to park on the ramp and unloaded our car while we checked in.
The lobby area is spacious and newly decorated. Oddly a guest is expected to bypass the fist "Reception" desk (which is apparently a "Checkout" desk") and to head to a larger check-in area deeper into the lobby, but although this seems a logical anomaly, I wouldn't mark the place down for this peculiarity of design.
Check in was very organized and polite. In fact I began to feel like I was in a Senior Living facility, everyone was so super-nice. Until midway through the process when the nice-young-man began to hit me up hard to sign up for a 90-minute sales pitch to buy into this time-share property. He did, however, desist after a second or third rebuke. But it left an ugly taste in my mouth. I was here for a few days of vacation and was paying to be there, I felt no need to be badgered about attending a sales session.
Water is the sell here. There are a full array of pools, this pool, that pool, indoor pools, outdoor pools, a "Lazy River" (where you cavort around a flowing circuit on inner tubes), water slides, everything a rug rat or Esther Williams could possibly desire. If you want to entertain a bunch of kids and wear them out, have at it. Next door is some kind of "Shoppes" but it ain't the Bal Harbour Shoppes or Rodeo Drive. Just some schlocky restaurants of which the standout might be Bubba Gump's. Noisy events emanate from the beautiful Arts and Crafts era band-shell that has been embedded into this awful project.
Anyway, the lobby area is very spacious and pleasant, with a snack bar and floor-to-ceiling views of the spectacular direct-oceanfront property. And boy, does this place have oceanfront property, sited "long-wise" on a vast tract, unlike many older hotels of this period which were built on narrower lots so only the end of the building faces the sea directly. The way this place is constructed, a full half the rooms face directly on the ocean with no excuses needed. And we had reserved one of those. So up we went.
Our room was on the top floor of the "South Tower" and was a "One Bedroom" meaning a living room with open kitchen arrangement with a modest bedroom. The bedroom window opened onto a corridor, not to the outside, which gave it a claustrophobic atmosphere. So perhaps a "Giant studio" might have been a better description. But let us not split hairs. A decent balcony and direct ocean views from the living room added up to a lot of value.
On the other hand, it was pretty clapped out as far as finishes and style went. Not-so-hot carpet of the 1970s dental office style, with the kitchen and bath tiled in Home Depot white ceramic tile from a low-end condo from the same era to round it out. Think Century Village, and not one of the newer sections either. The kitchen was fairly well equipped functionally, dishwasher, 18 cu ft GE fridge with internal ice maker (turned "off" on arrival "for your safety!), a decent collection of utensils, a miniature bottle of dish soap and a packet or two of dishwasher detergent. Pretty good for a hotel room.
The bathroom was another story, a nasty acrylic tub-fitter, moldy and stained, evidently fitted over the old tub years ago, the kind of "luxury" you'd find in a Motel 6 if they had them in, say, the poorer parts of Mexico. A Delta shower valve the handle of which was showing black mold inside the acrylic-ball handle. Towels so mingy my wife said they wouldn't give them out at the YMCA. The tub spout was loose just barely held in place with a ring of caulk. No grab bars and this thing was slippery when wet. The tile floor was sticky and nasty, the tiny floor mat matched the quality of the towels perfectly. A safety hazard, you could slip or catch some filthy disease, whichever came first.
The bathroom sink area was also cheapo-acrylic casting and way past-due for a trip to the dump. Lighting was harsh and the switches hard to find in the dark.
The luxury bedroom was dark (remember the window to the corridor) lit by a ceiling fan with candle bulbs and with just one bedside lamp with some ugly LED bulbs that give the kind of light you get on a highway. The other side of the bed had neither nightstand, not lamp so if there's two of you, toss a coin or bring a lantern.
The furniture was painted a bilious dark blue, I wouldn't have given it to a college kid to use in a dorm room. Sorry I didn't think to take a photo but it was indescribably non-luxurious. The kind of thing they'd reject at the Goodwill. The furniture in the living room was adequate of the conventional, traditional sort though.
Anyway, all of this is neither here nor there. It was a couple of nights on the beach and neither of us expected that we had booked the Danieli or Palazzo Gritti. When we got up late the next morning (the dark bedroom with no natural light!) we wanted to be sure we hadn't missed out on the chambermaid. I looked at the little instruction booklet given to us at the desk and it said, "Housekeeping, dial 0". I joked to my wife, "Zero probably means, 'No such thing.'" Little did I know.
So I called Zero. A woman's voice answered. From Bensonhurst, maybe. "Ocean Walk Luxury Resawht."
I asked if this was "Housekeeping"
"We don't have any Housekeeping" she said.
"Isn't this a hotel?" I asked.
"It's not a hotel, it's a Resawht" it came back down the line, like a catcall from a toll-taker at the Lincoln Tunnel to a confused fool from flyover country.
So now you know what "Luxury" means on that stretch of "Oceanfront" It's what it is, just don't take it too seriously, sucker.