The Surf & Sand Resort let me down this past visit. Not that I have stayed there before, but I have enjoyed a several lunches over the years at their pricey Splashes restaurant which has incredible views of the Pacific.
Six of us checked-in for a girl’s weekend to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. I encouraged us to book the S&S because of the views and it’s reputation as a stylish hotel. And also the discount we found on Expedia. 😉 It was stylish — back in the late 90’s when my in-laws lived here. But it doesn’t appear to have received any facelift since then. The walls and trim have several layers of paint, bathrooms are still wearing their 1990 beige tile and granite attire, and hallways and stairways look both dark and dingy.
After checking in, we headed to our rooms. Or so we thought, but it took several tries to find them as nothing is clearly marked in the hotel or on the key folder, plus the hotel has an unusual room numbering system — despite our room being on the 2nd floor, the room starts with a 3. Actually, all rooms seem to start with a 3 — the front desk had warned us about this, but despite their directions, the rooms were difficult to find.
Our rooms were spacious and the views of the water fabulous. We would have preferred ones on a higher floor so that the pool view was not so prominent, but that’s probably the end-result of us booking an Expedia rate. Speaking of rates, ours was $257 per night for ocean view and 2 queen beds. Not too bad for this area, but note the resort fees, parking fees, and taxes bring the rate closer to $350. Published rates start over $500, FYI.
Despite requesting adjoining rooms over the phone several days in advance, they were only on the same floor. Not the end of the world, but we had looked forward to a more suite-like situation. We inquired again at check-in, but nothing was available that day. We asked if they could check the next day, but never heard back from them despite a promise to respond.
The bathrooms are on the smaller side; also no double sinks, and the shower and toilet share the same space as the vanity which is less than ideal when sharing. Housekeeping was a bit sporadic. Our room was not serviced one day until after 4 pm, when we had returned from a full day out of the hotel and were hoping to relax and shower before dinner. Another evening we were skipped for turn-down service — we really missed those anticipated chocolates!!
One rainy evening post dinner, we headed to the bar at Splashes. There was a bad odor emanating here — septic, maybe? I don’t know, but so not pleasant. The tides and waves were quite high all weekend, so perhaps this accounted for some flooding issues and resulting smells. I don’t know, but the odor and crowds sent us back to our rooms.
The pros of this hotel have to be the views. Oh, and the valet service was super friendly and efficient. The cons: Service was so-so, decor outdated and tired, and proximity to downtown required a car for dinners there. For the price — especially the published rates — I would not book here again, nor recommend it to my readers.