Double Tree hotel, remodeled, but has problems A review of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront
We booked a one night stay (2-21-04) at the Doubletree, to coincide with the ending of a three day cruise, to stay in the area for one extra night, and to celebrate our anniversary. We had been in the Cocoa Beach area before, but hadn't stayed overnight, and thus we did extensive researching of various hotels prior to booking. After looking at the various booking services, (Expedia, Priceline ect.) we decided to book directly with the hotel, to know exactly what we were getting. We decided to splurge, and booked a full ocean front view room, on the execututive level, which included a happy hour in the evening, and a continental breakfast in the morning, the room rate was a steep $244.00.
We arrived at the hotel early (10:00 AM) after disembarking the ship, and inquired with the front desk staff about possibly checking in early. We knew that we wouldn't get in at 10 AM, but hoped for maybe 1 PM or 2 PM, instead of the "guaranteed time" of 4:00PM. We were told that they would do what they could, and to check back at 1 PM. A very friendly and helpful bellboy secured our luggage, and showed us around the hotel.
The lobby of the hotel showed the effects of the recent remodeling, it was very nicely done, with an understated yet elegant Florida decor, nice colors, great tiling.
The pool area adjacent to the beach wasn't huge, but was beautifully landscaped with several levels and palm trees, a bubbling fountain, overall, very inviting. There were lots of lounge chairs, mostly in the sun, but with some shade available under the palm trees. The pool itself wasn't huge, but was obviously newly redone, and very nice. The water was heated to very comfortable tempature, somewhat warmer than the air, so it felt very good. They had piped in Reggae music coming out of various outdoor speakers. The music was somewhat loud, another couple asked for it to be turned down, which the hotel staff apparently didn't want to do, so the couple resorted to taking the pool towel, wetting them in the pool, and then wrapping them around the speakers to dampen the sound. As there were numerous speakers, this didn't help too much.
A short walk via a newly constructed wooden path lead to the beach, which stretches for miles in both directions. As it was a Monday, it wasn't very crowded. Being on the Atlantic, the water was somewhat brown, don't expect blue water as in the gulf. The water was also very cold, don't expect to swim long this time of year. There was a young entrepreneur renting out chairs and umbrellas on the beach for $25 a day, or $10 an hour. At 12:15 PM, he told us that we could have the chairs and umbrella for $10 for the rest of the day, we declined on Monday, but took him up on the offer Tuesday, for an hour before we left. The ocean sounds were an improvement over the pool music, and the umbrella provided better shade than the palm trees.
At poolside, we ordered a pizza from the hotel restaraunt, it was cooked in a stone wood fired oven, and exceptionally good, and reasonably priced.
At 1PM, we checked about getting into the room, but were told it wasn't ready. We went back to the pool area. We checked back at 2 PM, and were told, to come back at 3. At 3 PM, we were told to check back at 3:30. At 3:30 PM, we were told that the "guaranteed check in time" wasn't until 4, and our room wasn't ready. My impression was that there was no communication between the front desk staff, and the cleaning staff to attempt to accomadate guests who were paying top dollar for a room. Whether this was accidental, or by design, ("guaranteed check in time wasn't until 4 PM") I am unsure. My wife did note that at 2:00 PM, there were other guests checking in that had just arrived, while we had been baking in the sun for the last 4 hours.
At 4 PM, our room was ready, and I checked in, and we were shown up to our room, on the 6th floor. My wife asked me if I had eaten the cookies provided at check in, and I looked at her with a blank stare, "What cookies?" She noted that the guests at 2:00 PM were greeted with cookies. No cookies were offered to me, a small thing, but it contributed to the feeling that we were being punished for pestering the staff at the front dest.
The room itself was also recently remodeled, with fresh paint, carpeting, bedspread ect. There was a large open area with a floor lamp, that looked like a chair was supposed to be there, but there was no chair present. There was a spot on the wall with picture hangers, but no picture (however there were two other pictures present, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.) The bathroom smelled of smoke, whether it was from the ventilation system, or a previous guest who indulged there, it was hard to say. The top of the t.v. stand was very dusty towards the back, enough that one could draw a line through the dust.
There was a balcony facing the ocean, which was very small, there was room for two plastic chairs and a table, nothing else. The view of the ocean was stunning, except for the fact that directly below us about 4 stories, was the roof of the rest of the hotel complex, with numerous older air conditioning units, whose noise effectively blotted out the ocean wave sounds. Our unit was at the far north corner of the tower, the rooms to the south would have had a better view, and less noise from the air conditioners.
The room overall was disappointing, especially at $244.00 a night. We called to inquire about the missing chair and painting, as I didn't want to get accused of taking them, but couldn't get a straight answer from the younger girl at the front desk. Eventually, because of the disapointed look on my wifes face, I called and found another hotel with an opening, and planned to check out.
I called down to the front desk, and asked for the shift manager to come up to the room. When she arrived, I explained the problems, and our disappointment. She explained that some furniture, like the chair and painting had not yet been replaced due to losses from a hurricane. She apoligized for the check in problems, and offered to reverse the room charges, and promised to try to "turn things around" if we stayed.
After contemplating moving our luggage to another hotel, we decided to stay. The hotel manager was helpful in arranging dinner reservations off site, after we declined a dinner offer in the hotel restaraunt.
We returned from dinner with intentions of using the pool, and balcony with the robes that were promised with the room. There were no robes. The "turndown service of the bed" in the evening, didn't happen.
Eventually, we just decided to not let things get to us, and enjoy a bottle of wine we had brought.
My impression of the hotel and staff was that if they paid attention to details, they could take the hotel up to Double Tree standards, that we have seen at other Double Tree hotels.
Unfortunately, the hotel rooms are what they are, and there is no way of making a silk purse out of a sows ear.
If the pool area, and beach are the most important thing for you, by all means stay here. If you want a plush room, this probably will be a dissapointment. If you can get the room for $150.00, go for it, but for $244.00, unless the staff pays attention to details, the rooms will disappoint.