This is detailed & lengthy, but it's worth reading--esp. if trying to decide if this place is worth staying at, or if you are going to stay here and simply want a good feel for the place:
My 2 buddies & I went on a 10-day cruise November 2010. We met about 6 weeks before the cruise to discuss all of the excursions we wanted to sign up for. After about 10 hours of discussing zip-lines, sailboats, and sandbars, we started looking into the place we were going to stay the night before. Since it's never a good idea to miss the boat, always get into town a day early! We looked at countless hotels & motels. We hadn't decided anything that day, so I said that I'd continue looking. I spent ~100 hours looking at every hotel & motel in the area and reading nearly 1,000 travelers' reviews. My buddies wanted to stay at a fancy chain hotel w/ a swimming pool. I didn't care where we stayed as long as it was clean, wouldn't give me bed bugs, and was reasonably priced. I kept coming back to the web site of the Ocean Inn. I checked out their site inside 'n out and decided this is where I wanted to stay. Imagine preparing for a lengthy cruise that stopped at 5 other countries and caring so much about where we were going to sleep for 1 night! (But, hey! I'm a detail kind of guy.) The pictures captivated my attention. After consulting with the other 2, I booked a room. There were chains that were a few dollars cheaper and closer to the cruise port, but I wanted to stay here.
We really liked this place! It was clean, the staff was friendly, and the pictures lived up to their online reputation. They did not misrepresent the place as other online photos are known to do. (They are often decades old.)
Everything nice others have said about this place is true. I thought it was a bit funny how everyone mentioned staff members' names on here; but after staying there, I completely understand. I felt like family the moment we checked in. I was nervous that this place wasn't going to look like it did online, and that my friends were going to blame me for booking a nasty place instead of a big chain. I was blown away by the great care they take of the place. The landscaping is breathtaking! We walked through the side entrance, and I started to put the pieces together. (I couldn't figure out how all the stuff in those pix fit into such a small courtyard.) We walked into the office and were greeted by Ada. She was nice, friendly, and informative. We had some questions as we were hungry out-of towners w/ no car, so she recommended a few places for us. Right away, we felt like we could just say, "Hey, Ada…" instead of "Excuse me, Ma'am…". The counter is so cute. It's glass-topped and filled with sand and beach-themed objects embedded in the sand. That's the kind of small detail that we found all over the place. We checked into Room 15. The decor is very cute too. The room had 2 different kinds of pineapple lamps in it, and the pineapple theme spread over onto the beds as well. There was also an 80s retro clear telephone on the wall. We didn't use it, but I captured it on video anyway. There was an A/C, but we didn't use it either. The room was cozy and had a big dresser and a desk. There was also a little closet area that had a full-length mirror, a luggage rack, several shelves, extra pillows, cups & plates, a dorm-room fridge, coffee maker, and microwave. The bathroom was very clean. It was not fancy at all, but it was functional and more than adequate. It was very much like a typical bathroom in one's own home. The water pressure in the shower was awesome!
Outside: The rooms face a central courtyard. In the courtyard is a large table and chairs under a canvass canopy. We were there on a Thursday night, so we didn't see too many people. Although I'm shy, I was looking forward to meeting & eating with the other guests at this table. There were also a couple of lounge chairs for those wanting to relax while catching some rays. There are 3 tropical trees that kind of separate the covered table from the remainder of the courtyard. On the other side is a grill for anyone’s use. (I would have preferred that to the place we ate at.) Beyond the grill are 3 secluded, tree-covered nooks. One has a round picnic table w/ umbrella, another is a slightly raised deck with outdoor wicker couches, and then beyond those is another area with a very comfortable hammock on the left and 2 chairs on the right. Outside the office is the breakfast area. Next to the tile countertop is a tall table with 2 chairs and a rack with local newspaper publications. Near the countertop is yet another cute, little nook with just 2 bar stools where a couple can chat. The place is lit up very nicely at night. It's very pretty when the sky is dark and the courtyard is lit up. The music playing in the background added a nice touch too. I took a nap around 10 PM in the hammock. All of these areas are connected by sidewalks, decking, or mulched ground.
There's no need for a swimming pool because the world's largest salt water pool (aka the ocean) is just a 30-60 second walk away.
Felipe was there in the office in the evening to help us with anything we needed. His killer smile isn't the only thing charming about him. He was very friendly and even said, "Hi" to us the next day when he saw us on the boardwalk. We left Pilar a nice and well-deserved tip. I used to never think about tipping the maid, but when someone works hard to help make your stay a pleasant one--as she did--she deserves it.
When we checked out the next morning, Scott, the owner, came out from his office and chatted with us for a few minutes. They called a cab for us so we could get to the port. What chain hotel would give you this same kind of personal attention? I didn't yet mention that the online booking process is very easy too. I received a couple of confirmations, and then I send an e-mail or 2 to them. I received personalized e-mails back from them as well.
The place is located w/in a minute or 2 from the beach, the boardwalk, restaurants, and the Hollywood Trolley--a great way to see a bit of the area for $1. It's amazing how they can pack all of this stuff into such a cozy place! When you're in the courtyard, you would never realize that a busy, main thoroughfare is just feet away.
I can't say enough good things about this quaint little inn, and I'm very glad we stayed there. It literally beat out about 250+ other hotels/motels when I was checking out places to stay.
One of my buddies may soon find himself with all kinds of free time on his hands, and he's considering possibly staying here for a month or 2 with his little dog. He & I generally don't agree on anything, so I was very pleased when he considered doing this. Everyone was pleased with my choice.
Thanks, Ocean Inn! I hope to get back there one of these days. As many fond memories that I have from my cruise, I also have many from a single night's stay here too.
>>PS OK, and now the moment you've been waiting for: It's now time for the obligatory mentioning of the free breakfast! Everyone else seems to put so much emphasis on a free breakfast--as if it's a deal breaker for choosing a place to stay! (Keep in mind most places with "free" breakfasts charge a lot more for a room to make up for that "free" breakfast.) There were freshly baked muffins. My buddies both ate & like them and enjoyed the coffee. I settled for a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea. It wasn't a fancy breakfast, but it felt like home. Actually, it's more than I tend to have for breakfast!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- BE OUR GUEST! The Ocean Inn offers a unique boutique lodging experience. Relax, renew and unwind with us in our private tropical courtyard just steps to the sand, surf and Hollywood Broadwalk. We celebrate the diversity and power of people, ideas and cultures and we do our very best to serve each guest according to their individual needs and lifestyles. Make your reservation today because we want to get you in bed. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ocean Hotel Hollywood
- Ocean Inn Hollywood, Florida