Ascend Collection Castillo Real
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Travel Blogs from Saint Augustine Beach
On the morning of te 28th we flew from Minneapolis to Jacksonville. There's nothing like stepping off a plane in the middle of winter into 70 degrees and sunshine! We picked up a rental car at the airport and drove about an hour south to St Augustine where we would spend the night. We got to our hotel (Castillo Real) mid afternoon, checked in, and …
... to find someplace good for dinner, and then headed out to "Saltwater Cowboys" (where the locals supposedly go!), to enjoy some down- home seafood Southern cookin'! I enjoyed stuffed Tilapia and Shrimp, and Greg had shrimp 3 ways, all in a cozy, "old Florida" style beach-shack type of restaurant, which was on the shores of the Salt Run, which runs between Anastasia Island and the beach which separates it from the Atlantic.
... Youth! We were all hoping to sample the water hoping for the best. The park where the Fountain is, is where the explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513. They claim that St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied US city. Wether it was or wasn't it was a very interesting historical stop! Florida is rich in spanish history. From the ...
... have lift off. The pressure drops in the capsule and it feels like you are traveling at the speed of light. You know when your cheeks are covering your ears and you have this painful grin on your face? I swear they G- force that thing. And then when you reach outer space you float so peacefully, until obviously you unexpectedly face a rock storm which you have to steer out of. And then when you get to Mars, I, as the Navigator, am instructed to push this button and ...
... to Cocoa to be close to the next stop, early tomorrow.
The famous thing in St Augustine is the old spanish castle and the old city. It has some nice buildings and cozy streets. San Juan de Puerto Rico apart, it is the oldest european siedlung in the United States.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Ascend Collection Castillo Real Saint Augustine Beach
Must Stay Here!
We stayed at the Clarion Collection Castillo Real over the Christmas holidays. I would highly recommend this hotel to everyone. It is very clean, comfortable, beautifully decorated, and the pillowtop mattresses are just heavenly. Thank you for a wonderful accomodation! We will be back.
Great 1 night stay!
Let me begin by saying that I had researched places to stay near I-95 on our way down to Disney World and found St. Augustine to be a "perfect" place to stop in. The city itself was very beautiful I must say and I really hate that we couldn't stay but one night. Anyways, on to the review.....
I had wrote down three different hotels that I read reviews on from this site but could not find but one of those, the Le Fiesta or something like that. It really didn't *look* like my type of place so we didn't even bother stopping. Of course you can't always judge a book by its cover either as we learned when we stopped in at the Hampton Inn in St. Augs Beach. It looked nice on the outside at least. I asked if I could see a room first, which I always do, and found it to be kinda nasty looking really. It was alright I guess but while in the room I used the phone book and my cell to call a few other places. I called the Castillo Real and found their rate to be about $10 higher but after reading the yellow page ad and seeing they were a new hotel I zipped over there.
Once we arrived it was very obvious this was one of the nicer hotels in the area. The lobby is nice and the service was great with the check-in process happening quick.
The rooms were nicely decorated including a large (27"?) flat-screen (not LCD, just flat) Sony and a DVD player. Our room also included a mini-fridge, microwave, robes, iron, etc. even though it was the most basic room they had. The bathroom was large with plenty of room for two to get ready and the shower was GREAT. The amount of room in there allowed you to actually MOVE! What a novel idea! Having just come back from Disney's Boardwalk Inn I can say that this room blew that one away, easily. Oh, back to the shower. It's a large walk in variety with a curtain, no wall to step over, only a small step to keep the water in. We did not have a jacuzzi tub or any kind of tub for that matter but that was fine for our purpose.
The bed was great, very large and comfortable. We both slept great that night although after driving 7 hours or so I guess most people would! One note though, the AC was loud and woke us up a few times when it would come on. The room was also very clean as we do check in certain areas to see what kind of attention they pay to detail and the Castillo Real passed.
The only real downside or negative thing I could think of as far as the room goes was the lighting. There just simply isn't enough in there if you want to read. I'm sure that is a mood thing but I like to have plenty of light when necessary.
The room overall gets an A+.
Now to my favorite part, the food! When we first came up to the hotel I asked the front desk attendant where that good smelling food was coming from as we were starving. She pointed to the other side of the lobby where they had just opened (a couple weeks prior) a restaurant for dinner. After checking in we made our way straight back down to the restaurant to eat. It's a very dimly lit area (sorta like the rooms!) which is great for a couples dinner. Probably not where you want to bring your kids in other words. The menu is limited although you do have a wide variety of things to choose from (meat wise). It's also pretty pricey. We both had Filet Migon's with no appetizer or dessert and the bill was $60. They do bring out small appetizers as you wait though including a great selection of breads as well as olives. The salad that came with the food was good too. The filet's however were excellent. Both were great size and very tasty. A few days later I had dinner at the Brown Derby at MGM Studios and got the filet there as well and it was dreadful, especially in comparison to the filet I had at the Castillo Real. Needless to say we both walked away very pleased with dinner and would definitely try it again. They do however need to put in a fountain for soda's though as when I asked for a Coke they just opened up a canned soda and poured it in a glass and charged me $2 for it! lol It's not that the end result is that much different but for an upscale type of restaurant it's probably necessary. Of course they are new as I mentioned earlier so there will probably be some growing pains so I wasn't too concerned about something that trivial. Dinner gets an A.
Now to the BAD part of the food.....breakfast. After having such a wonderful dinner the previous night we were anxious to see what they could do for breakfast to get us started right. We were already use to the high prices so that didn't phase us this time as we both ordered the pancakes (bill including tip was $20). This was obviously a completely different "crew" for the breakfast shift which consisted of one cook and one waitress. She did fine but the cook was SLOW. It took a good 30 minutes just to get 2 TERRIBLE pancakes each. These were honestly the worst pancakes I have ever tried to eat. They had NO taste at all, barely any with the little packet of syrup they bring you. The breakfast gets a big 'ole F-!
We didn't get to use any of the facilities although the pool did look inviting. It had one of those mushroom things in it that drops water down for the kids, I'm sure they would love it if you have any. They also have a decent gym with a sauna AND steam room to use. I think they are still working in that area although all of those things seemed to be working just fine when we stopped in to check things out. Overall it seemed like this hotel is the perfect place to stay if you want to stay in St. Augustine away from the bustle of the town and down towards the beach instead. Although we didn't get to experience much of anything outside the room and dinner we had a great time and have already started thinking about returning to Castillo Real in the future!
Great hotel, great location, definitely a place you should consider!
Some friends and I came to St. Augustine for the Wine Festival and since we were not trying to "rekindle any romance", we decided to stay at a hotel by the beach instead of opting for a B&B. I have to say that the Castillo Real's lobby looked fancy and inviting. The rooms were just as nice. Clean, comfortable, hot tub in room, pool & jacuzzi on property, and just walking distance to the beach.
This hotel is like a farm girl on her first night in the city. She looks cute from far away, but up close you'll see she's wearing the wrong eye makeup and shoes that clash with her belt.
In short, whoever designed the interior of this place needs a new career.
If you must stay here, don't dare have breakfast. If the Pentagon knew what the buscuits were made of, it would place an order to use in bullet-deflecting body armor.
What can I say positive? The beds are large and comfy, the rooms are dark, which is really all my wife and I needed for a great night away from the little people.
If you are traveling to St. Augustine, don't bother staying at the beach. The beach community is like a giant soup kitchen for disaffected youth and general miscreant who have abandoned any prospect of participating in useful society. Downtown is charming with great restaurants and shopping.
Great Hotel! The rooms were large and well appointed with granite and travertine floors, nice color scheme and a DVD player to boot! The beds were "pillow top" which made for a restful sleep. Our room had a refrigerator and a microwave. I think this is standard for all the rooms which came in handy since the breakfast was expensive so we stocked up on cereal and milk, OJ, and water. The hotel also has FREE high-speed internet access (wired and wireless) but I did not bring my laptop since this was a vacation. The hotel staff was non-existent, but in a good way. The hotel was always clean and our rooms were picked up and beds made when we returned from sight seeing, but we never saw housekeeping. The pool was kid friendly and clean, but it closed at 10PM. The ocean was just a short walk from the hotel (100 yards) and you don't have to cross a busy street. There is a good selection of restaurants within a short drive from the hotel, and a few were within walking distance. Overall I was impressed with our stay and at $109.00 a night; we got what we paid for.
Not Quite Up to Expectations
First the good - the hotel is approx 8 months old and is very attractive. Our street side room on the 4th floor was very large. While not on the beach, it is a very easy walk to the beach. The furnishings in the room were very nice although the art was too modern for my taste but it did not detract from the ambience.
Now the Bad - There were only 4 umbrellas in the pool area although there were many more tables that could used umbrellas. I counted approximately 12 lounge chairs (probably only half of what is needed). The pool towels were of the type given to you at a Budget Inn - tiny, scratchy white towels with a blue stripe down the middle.
Our sheets were not changed although we were there 3 nights. Our coffee pot and cups were not cleaned. My husband had to chase down housekeeping to get clean classes.
From the website we thought breakfast was included. Wrong - $9 for adult and $5 for children. OK - The first morning all items were available. The second morning there was no regular coffee available, there was no bacon, potatoes were cold, my husband didn't get his waffle, our granddaughter's over medium eggs were runny and disgusting, there was only a few grapes left in the bowl, etc. etc. My husband went and talked to the manager who came out and saw to it that items were replenished. Not a good start to the day. On the 3rd day breakfast was ok.
The hotel could be as superior hotel given its location and physical appearance. The lobby is gorgeous. However, the problems mentioned above will not put it on my A list. I twisted my ankle after opening a gate entrance to the pool. There is a step down with no warning. Some elderly person may find themselves with a broken hip because no one took the time to insure safety. We expected more from what is billed as a Clarion Collection Hotel.
Just near the beach
This is a new place. We read that they were on the beach and they are not. They are located about one block away and you have to walk down a residential street of old rental houses to get to the beach then there is no way to get to the beach. You have to climb down big rocks to get to the beach which is very risky.
Our room was nice and we hoped that since they aren't on the beach maybe we would at least have a view of the beach. You have to look over those rental houses and two old condo buildings to catch a peak of the ocean. Two public parking lots on either side of the place for locals .
If you just want a room then yes, if you came for the beach no.
The hotel is awesome!
We originally booked a room at the Holiday Inn and were terribly dissapointed (the place is nasty, cheap, and it smells bad). We went looking for a different place and stumbled across the Castillo Real. What a pleasant suprise! The hotel is new, clean, large rooms, foam toppings on the beds, and gives the feel of a very expensive luxury hotel. We had a corner room with two queen beds for $159 a night. The walk to the beach takes no more than 1 minute. There is no doubt the next time I stay in St Augustine Beach it will be at this hotel.
Beautiful place to stay!
Very nice hotel! The room was beautifully decorated, a little larger than average and am happy to report, immaculately clean as well. The pillowtop king-sized bed was very comfortable; I slept great.
I loved the enormous shower! I don't know what kind of shower head they had but oh boy did it feel great. I didn't want to get out!
The beach is just a couple minutes' walk away. Very enjoyable experience. You won't be disappointed.
One tip: If you have Triple A, mention it when you check in for your discount, because they won't ask if you have it. I overheard the people in front of me inquiring about it, but when it was my turn, I wasn't asked if I was a Triple A member. I had to mention it.