We haven't visited Jersey in many years. We booked later confronting limited vacancy options. Through reviews, internet search, availability, we found the Royal Hawaiian.
As we have posted in past, the definition of “resort” for many East Coast hotels is very different from the “resorts” you find in more extravagant locations. Readers also need to analyze content, differentiating between subjective and objective comments. We found this the case for reviews of Royal Hawaiian as many travelers seemed to be satisfied, repeat customers. Two weeks prior to our stay there were a flurry of reviews bashing the place. Clearly an unsatisfied group. We don’t feel Royal Hawaiian deserves some of the negative comments posted; however, for repeat travelers we can only paraphrase the Cheers sitcom as one of the better reasons for their loyalty -- “they want to go where everybody knows their name”.
Comments from our experience:
Booking: We paid deposit by personal check. Here is where one should be subjective! Despite a reviewer’s nitpicking that computers were not used, we received an email confirmation and scanned receipt. We signed one piece of paper on check-in (like we do at every hotel). As long as a reservation is correct, does it matter if computer or paper is used? Of note, a 5% discount is offered if the balance owed at check-in is paid with cash, cashier’s check or money order. When we booked (by phone) we were told unit would be nice, believe Style B, probably 5th floor side of hotel nearest to ocean. We were at end further from ocean on second floor, nearest hot tub. But okay--beaches in NJ are so wide that any end is a distance! Nice location in Crest but a little far from Boards. Walking not feasible with kids!
Internet/WiFi: Lousy! We were one floor above, two rooms away from office. From the balcony we had a weak signal. In the room, signal totally vanished.
Staff/Housekeeping: We agree with some reviews that staff did not seem very friendly but they were courteous.
Housekeeping did a good job. They came daily between 9:30-1:30 “ish” and were accommodating. Towels were abundant--we received 8 to 9 daily.
Bedrooms: The beds are our foremost complaint. Small beds, awful support. We are a family of four with a petite 12 and 13.5 year old. By the third night we all lacked sleep, cramps each morning. From one side it felt like you were leaning, struggling not to roll out of bed. The other side was butt up against the wall so we had to crawl over each other. Housekeeping apparently had difficulty tucking sheets on the wall side. A few mornings one of us would wake with a ball of sheets beneath us having slept on bare mattress (kinda’ gross). The room is large enough so that the beds could have been centered toward the middle of the room, leaving some space on either side. The television was an older tube model but worked.
Linens: Towels and sheets all seemed clean. Blankets & sheets were a little tattered with a few small holes.
Kitchenette: Small refrigerator, four burner stove (no oven), sink, older laminated countertops but clean and adequate.
Bathroom: Small, clean. There were no shelves or rack space so towels were stacked on top of toilet bowl which is a bit gross. There is ample room for a shelf or towel rack-- shame on owners for not installing them!
Living Room/Dining area: Again, clean, ample space including a small sofa, table with seating for 5-6. Furniture seemed older, slightly worn from use. The television was newer.
Grills were newer, maintained and nice amenity for many families to barbeque by the sea! The grounds were clean and maintained.
Pools were clean but closed at 8 (except Weds and Saturday). We agree with other reviewers’ comments when it was time for pool to close, the lady closing the pools was punctual with a bit of an attitude. But we observed guests procrastinating as they left so maybe there is reason for attitude???? 8:00pm is early -- other hotels in the area had their pools open later, daily.
The pool was not heated and cold. The hot tub became a glorified, over-crowded swimming pool. There was alcohol use and smoking in pool area (a pet-peeve for our family).
Parking: Spaces are typical—small and tight. There was an attendant policing the lot during the evening hours. Some spaces accommodated smaller vehicles better than larger ones. We believe the owners or attendant should implement some plan for assigning vehicles to some spaces according to size.
Beach access: Private access was nice, the walkway made the trek a little easier. The beach is well maintained & clean.
Overall, Royal Hawaiian seemed to be family-oriented lodging. You occasionally heard pitter-patter of kids running or talking, etc. but overall quiet. It is not horrible--it is somewhere between good and bad. For our family, not sure we’d be eager to return. For the price, there are other places offering more bang for the buck & better beds!
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Hawaiian Beachfront Hotel Wildwood Crest
- Royal Hawaiian Beachfront Motel