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Bayfront Inn 5th Ave
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All reviewstin citybay viewoutdoor barbayview roomwithin walking distanceshops and restaurantsboutique hotelbusy roadwater viewfront desk staffshopping and diningnice roomclose to downtowndowntown naplesshort driveold naplesbaymont
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Reviewed 21 September 2012

First, the good news:

This hotel is PERFECTLY located for both weekend getaways and business-travelers (of which we were both during this stay.) It is up-to-date and has been retrofitted to resemble a Caribbean or Florida-Keys-styled inn, rather than the stuffy, typical overnight-styled hotel it was years ago when it was part of the Clarion-Hotel chain. The staff goes out of their way to keep the property looking its best too. The highlight of our stay at this “boutique” inn centered on the wait-staff (Brannon, Milos, and an older Polish gentleman who would stand on his head for you if you asked. The word “NO” is NOT in his vocabulary.) of the outdoor bar & grill who busted their butts to keep everyone refreshed and happy each afternoon and evening. Their menu is geared to the setting of the hotel; (Caribbean) and the food is delicious!

If you don't want to limit yourself to the menu at the hotel's grill-restaurant, I have more good news for you... Leave your car parked at the hotel, and walk 100 paces UNDER the East Tamiami Trail Bridge to “Tin City" where you will find some of the greatest, FRESH seafood the S.W. Florida Gulf-Coast has to offer! Although we arrived late on our check-in that night, we were able to sneak into a casual waterside restaurant named "Pinchers Crab House" before they closed for the evening. The Fish-n-Chips was not only fantastic (but let's face it, it's hard to screw up fried fish and French fries, right?) and the portions were VERY generous. Eating right on the water only added to the experience, and knowing you could drink all you want and not have to fear driving back to the hotel is a big-plus if you partake of enjoying spirits both before and after you dine.

Those are the highlights of this business/pleasure trip. Now for the disappointments. When I first reserved our room weeks earlier, I chose to take a KING room the Bayside with a view of the bay, instead of the city-side for two reasons. (1) THE VIEW and (2) Minimizing the amount of morning-noise from the road. The views on the bay-side are wonderful, but having nothing more than a view (no balconies on this property) leaves one asking the question "why?" When we arrived at the hotel, I knew my concerns about street-side noise were spot-on because we immediately noticed the hotel-building is less than 100 feet from the intersection of TWO 6-lane boulevards! As we were checking-in, I spotted the desk clerk giving us a room less than 50 feet from the front-desk. When I asked him to move us upstairs where there would be less pedestrian traffic in the morning, he was unable to oblige due to "renovations taking place". Well, so much for peace and quiet in the morning. Then we had the displeasure of actually entering our room. Again, my expectations were quickly doused; this time by the cold reality now placed in front of me. I had the impression when I selected a "KINGSIZE ROOM" more than just the bed would be king-sized! It wasn't. In-fact, the room was quite small. So small, the sleeper-sofa had to be positioned on an angle to fit into the room. Needless to say, this made looking out that bayfront window all but impossible to do. Then I learned only the “Deluxe King” rooms have refrigerators. Really? For cryin’ out loud, even Howard Johnson’s motels have refrigerators in their dinky rooms! The closet was non-existent (no bigger than a tiny pantry) and the bathroom wasn’t much bigger. (Well, at least they went out of their way to make the bathroom attractive. But that is far-less important than being able to stow your clothes and toiletries properly.) When I noticed we were shorted pillows for the sleeper-sofa, I went to the front desk to correct the matter. The night-auditor was not only rude to me when I asked for an additional pillow, he acted as if my needs were unreasonable and furthermore; told me such requests are to be made during the day while housekeeping is on-duty. When I explained to him we were a late check-in due to business-responsibilities delaying our arrival, he sloughed off my response at first, and then said "I'll see what I can do". Ten minutes later, he was at my door with two extra pillows and an apology. (I guess he actually checked what time we arrived at the property.) With him standing at my door, I then asked where the ice machine was located on our floor. He responded by saying there wasn’t one on the main-floor, but if I needed ice, I could find it on the second and third floors. The thought “you’ve got to be kidding” came to mind, and unfortunately, it also came out of my mouth. Sensing further disappointment, he apologized for the inconvenience and I said I did appreciate his sincerity, but expecting guests to fetch their own ice on another floor was in my opinion; more than just a simple oversight on the part of management, and one of many decisions they should re-think in the future; including ending their nightly-entertainment and access to the hotel bar at 9PM every night. Naples has ALWAYS had the reputation for rolling up their sidewalks early, and one of many reasons why I was all but too glad to leave more than 20 years ago for Orlando, but 9PM? REALLY???? Shortly after we got settled into our room, my wife and I decided to head out onto the terrace so we could enjoy the sea-breeze and I could enjoy one of my finest cigars packed for the trip. When we turned the corner to head in the direction of the terrace, we were shocked to read a sign which stated: “The Terrace is Closed”. I went back over to the auditor and asked if there was a problem with us sitting on the terrace so I could enjoy a “stogie” and a couple of drinks quietly (we made them in the room; hence, the reason for needing ice!) at one of the outdoor-bar’s tables. Surprisingly, the answer was “Sorry, we do not allow guests outside on the terrace after the bar closes at 9PM out of consideration to all of our guests”. I then asked where I COULD smoke a cigar on the property, to which he responded: “out in the front parking lot or the side-lot”. At this point I got angry and said “Look; this is not a 25-cent cancer-stick that can be smoked in less than five minutes; this is a 10-dollar cigar meant to be thoroughly enjoyed over the course of an hour or more! Now where can I enjoy my cigar on this property???” Once again, he apologized and tried his best to calm me down. My wife and I took his suggestion of the side-lot, walked around the back of the property, climbed a flight of stairs to reach the terrace, and there we stayed for the better part of an hour doing EXACTLY what the night auditor had initially denied me. The Drambuie and Ginger Ale was a nice complement to the Montecristo Churchill I savored over that hour, and almost erased all the disappointments I had experienced up to that moment.

The following morning at 7:20AM, we were suddenly awakened to a loud CRASH, then the sound of hydraulics. My many years of construction-management told me this sound was related to the hotel’s dumpster being serviced by their waste-hauling vendor. Mere seconds later, yet more crashing and banging sounds, followed by the roar of the diesel engine of the truck pulling away from the dumpster. If that were not bad enough, several moments later, we were treated to the maids cleaning the room directly across the hall from us. Between their squeaky, hard-wheeled cart clanking across the tiled-floors of the hallway and their vacuum running while the door of the room across the hallway was left open, I had suffered enough and decided to get up an hour early to start my day.

Needless to say, the following two days, we did our best to work with what we had in the way of amenities at this inn, and stay within the management’s parameters while expressing both our disappointments and pleasures of staying with them. Certainly none of the above on their own or even collectively justified us finding more-suitable quarters for the remainder of our stay in Naples, but I would have to think long and hard before coming back to this facility anytime soon. Hopefully, they will address concerns we raised, and improve on those concerns where possible because this hotel has a LOT of promise; it just needs to be effectively tweaked in the interest of the guests which choose to stay at the Bay Front Inn.

Room Tip: If you want a REAL king room with matching ammenities, ask for the "Deluxe King" room.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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Thank norf4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
-BarryGHiggins, General Manager at Bayfront Inn 5th Ave, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2012

First, thank you for your nice comments. Although your review was extremely lengthy and honestly a bit over whelming, you had many nice things to say about our property and for this we are extremely grateful. I am going to try to be as organized and as thorough, and as brief as possible in addressing your concerns. Please understand that I in no means intend to be rude, or demeaning in any way, but rather would just like to get as much information out to you and the Trip Advisor readers as quickly as possible. In regards to your subject line "When you call your hotel a boutique you should really mean it" I think there may be some confusion on the term "Boutique Hotel". To avoid being lengthy, there are many definitions of this term available on line. Perhaps after reviewing several of these definitions, it may give you or the Trip Advisor readers a better understanding of what the term "Boutique Hotel" means, but in short we do feel that we are serious and well qualified in this category.
In regards to your room size and location of your room. You purchased a discounted Bay King through the Travel Zoo program. In all hotels the "king" part of the room type refers to the size of the bed and not the size of the room. There are other terms used to refer to room size for instance "suite" would typically refer to a room with a bedroom as well as a living area, and therefore would be a larger room.
Our hotel is located on Naples Bay in the downtown area of The City Of Naples. It would be very difficult to find a hotel located in the heart of any city that did not have a major road or an intersection close by. Most of our guests come to us because we have "The best of both worlds" on the water, and in downtown Naples! The location of your room in most hotels will largely be determined by rate, and availability, based on your reservation. All of our discounted Travel Zoo rooms are first come first serve, but all guests are given the option to upgrade to a fourth floor luxury room for a small $20.00 fee. These rooms aside from being located on the bay at our highest level, do also include a small cooler, a larger window, and upgraded amenities, but are otherwise the same dimensions as the Bay King which you had reserved. Also in regards to "no balconies" and "why?" this has to do with when we were built and how we were built originally. Because you are from the construction industry yourself I am sure you can understand how adding balconies to the hotel after the fact would be an extremely difficult task. For the record no where on Travel Zoo or any other site do we advertise or display pictures of our hotel as having rooms with balconies, as this would be very misleading to our guests.
To establish a correct timeline our night auditor shift begins at 11PM. I am not exactly sure what time it was that you checked into the hotel but based on your statement that you were having to deal mostly with the night auditor and our restaurant was closed at 9PM I am guessing that you checked in on a weekday sometime between 10PM and 11PM. I am sorry that there were not extra pillows for your sleeper sofa and they are generally a request for housekeeping during regular hours. We do keep several extra pillows behind the front desk, and I'm glad the night auditor was able to accommodate you. I am sorry that you were disappointed at our restaurants hours of operation, however for the area we are in and the time of year this is very typical. In regards to our waterside terrace being closed, this is due to your late arrival, and is a policy adhered to out of respect to the many guest rooms overlooking this area. Ice is provided to our first floor guests by the restaurant servers up until the restaurant closes, then is available on the second floor. Although I am happy that you were able to come up the back way to our waterside terrace and enjoy your Drambuie and Ginger Ale and Montecristo Churchill cigar the fact is that the waterside terrace was still closed and unfortunately had the night auditor seen you in that area he would have had to ask you to leave. We do this because if we allow one guest to stay on the terrace after hours then we must allow all guests, and you can imagine that this can get out of control very quickly. There are several areas on the water that are within a short walk of the hotel where our guests can go to for late night lounging and our boardwalk is open all night for our guests enjoyment.
In regards to noise on the first floor level in the morning, this has to do with the type of the room that you reserved, the locations that were available when you checked in, and wether or not you decided to upgrade your room upon arrival to another level.
Sir, with all due respect, most of the issues that you had during your stay had to do with your personal preferences (size), your room selection, your late arrival, and a decision to stay on the first floor rather than pay for the upgrade.
I will be speaking with our night auditor and making sure he is up to speed on how to best accommodate late arrivals, where the extra pillows are located, and ice...I wish he had gone and gotten ice for you! Also I will be making sure that he is making every guest feel welcome and treated with the kindness and respect that has been our standard here at The Bayfront Inn, as so many previous reviews will testify.
Unfortunately, many of the items you would like to see addressed are either by design, or by policy, and because of this will probably remain the same.
We are a very small boutique hotel in a fairly quiet city, most of which does close down fairly early.
Perhaps you would be more comfortable in a larger hotel. Also we are a 3.5 star hotel which means nothing more than we may be short on some of the services (especially late night) and or amenities, that might be available to you in a 4 or a 5 star hotel.
We are extremely proud of the product and services that we are able to offer for such a good value, but are so sorry that in this case we fell so short by your standards. Thank you so much for giving us a try, and thank you again for the nice comments that you made about our hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2012

This hotel has low standards in their staff and management.We noticed the staff were very clumsy and did not seem to know what they were doing. The bartender Brandon has no idea on how to make any drinks and is very rude . I was completely disgusted with the staff there and especially disgusted with the general manager who had no cares for the guests staying there. I will never return to this place. It definitely doesn't make you feel at home with the horrible customer service. I would recommend everyone else to stay away from here as well !!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank oliver n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
-BarryGHiggins, General Manager at Bayfront Inn 5th Ave, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2012

It is obvious from your review that you have not given a complete account of your experience. This is something that we occasionally must deal with on Trip Advisor, and it is very disappointing when we have a patron (or not) who for whatever reason decides to use Trip Advisor as their means of damaging our hotels or restaurants reputation. These types of reviews are very easy to identify because the comments are generally non specific and just don't line up with those comments of the other reviewers. Please if you ever decide to use Trip Advisor in the future be completely honest and tell the entire story, for example if for whatever reason you had to be asked to leave the hotel, or restaurant then do by all means include that information. Without telling the entire story it is impossible for the Trip Advisor reader to obtain any useful information that will aid them when making a travel or patron decision.

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Reviewed 17 September 2012

My wife and I live less than 45 minutes from Naples, but wanted to get away from the kids for a night. Happy to have chosen Bayfront Inn! We selected the Penthouse, which was beautiful...basically an efficiency, but very well appointed, large jacuzzi tub, floor to ceiling windows overlooking the marina, etc. Very pleasant staff, spent some time hanging out at the outdoor bar (where you can order food as well). Also, as other reviewers have mentioned, there's a water taxi that pulls right up to the hotel which cycles around Naples Bay. They have 7 or 8 waterfront restaurants to drop you off/pick you up, and make it back to each location every 45 minutes. We took the shuttle (thanks, Captain Andy!) and got dropped off at The Dock restaurant, where we enjoyed raw oysters from Long Island, and then a lobster dinner for 2 for $26.95 (they offer this Fri-Sun). Sweet! Overall just a very enjoyable day for the two of us!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JFKazmin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
-BarryGHiggins, General Manager at Bayfront Inn 5th Ave, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2012

What a treat! We are so honored that you chose us for your getaway! I love our penthouse, and it is the best view in the hotel. Thank you for your kind words about our staff and our outdoor bar, The Bambu Grille! We are very grateful for our water taxi, and do get lots of positive feedback about this service! The Dock is a very popular area restaurant and always has consistently good food for a good value. We hope you will make us a regular getaway (perhaps once per quarter?) Ha, ha, we have children too, and love them lots, but know how important it is to take time away to be a couple. Thank you again for choosing us!

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Reviewed 17 September 2012

We had a great time at the hotel for a bachelorette party. The pool was a bit small, but nice. The rooms were nice. I would have given this a higher rating, but the drinks were expensive, and the restaurant wasn't that good either.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Hollywoodgurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
-BarryGHiggins, General Manager at Bayfront Inn 5th Ave, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2012

We are so glad you had a great time here at your bachelorette party!! I know that prices here can seem higher than the other coast where you are from but I assure you it is really just a location standard. Our pricing is set based on other waterfront dinning facilities in Naples and I think if you had a few days to tour the area you would probably have found our prices to be quite typical. So sorry you were disappointed with your dining experience, this is very untypical as you can see from our many positive reviews. If you will contact me at the hotel I will see that your dining charges are refunded to your cc immediately, we certainly do not want you to pay for a meal that you were unsatisfied with. Hope to see you again in the future!

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Reviewed 16 September 2012

I have to say that this hotel is very nice. Check in and out was easy. The rooms were very modern and clean. The ambiance of the hotel was excellent. I would recommend this hotel to any one who want to stay close to the beach, restaurants and shops.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank amarilispr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
-BarryGHiggins, General Manager at Bayfront Inn 5th Ave, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2012

Thank you so much for your nice review of our hotel. We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you would consider returning to us in the future.

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