(June 22-25, 2014) What a great location! We were so happy to be able to see the pool from this first floor condo, and the beach was a short walk away on the very well maintained boardwalk. Island Retreat is close enough to town to get to stores easily (with car, could also walk but it would take a while), but the condo unit itself felt very private. We didn't have any noise issues from neighbors or the beach, and we all slept very well. I'll tackle each room in the unit with a brief review, but first a note: This is not a hotel experience, so bring your own shampoo/conditioner and hair dryer. They do provide soap. Also bring your own coffee - they provide filters.
Entry: when you first pull up, the 70's looking buildings and kind of worn look are a bit off-putting. But don't worry. Go check in with the very nice staff, go to your unit, and open the door. You will be happy.
Kitchen: I love being able to stay and cook on a trip like this because it's more relaxing to just stay put. This kitchen is very nice and well appointed in terms of appliances, plates, silverware and drinkware. It's a bit utilitarian in the utensils and cookware department. They desperately need better knives for food prep, but you can get it done with patience. There's plenty of storage for all that you might bring. The unit does not provide spices or condiments other than salt and pepper (which we found after we bought some). If you want to save money, stop at one of the HEB stores along the way before you get to Port A. You can also shop at Family Center IGA in Port A itself, but it's pricey and the produce isn't always in good shape. The dining space is pretty small - a 2-seat table and the bar with 4 bar stools. Comfortable enough for our needs.
Living Room: nice homey decor without being too overdone. There is a couch and 2 matching chairs; an additional recliner and a leather library chair; a coffee table, a side table, and mounted flat screen TV; large picture window with a wide window sill and white wood blinds. It was really nice to sit in the morning sipping coffee with the blinds open to see how the day's weather was unfolding. (living room window faces east). There is a door to the patio here with a storm door. The storm door has a large gap under it that lets in heat and humidity, so we didn't leave the living room door open much.
Master suite (bedroom/bath): The king bed in the master suite could benefit from a memory foam topper, but it's not saggy or problematic. I'm pretty used to a firm bed, and it was comfortable enough. The bathroom has 2 sinks, a great walk-in shower, toilet and closet. I found this bathroom very relaxing and pleasant. Neat touch: the vanity mirrors tilt - this is useful for us shorter folks.
Second bedroom: The two double beds in the second bedroom are truly doubles - very small for a pair adults. We had 2 children in there, so it was perfect. There is a closet, a chest of drawers and a small shelf. The window faces east, and the girls enjoyed taking turns sitting on the wide window sill looking out at the surroundings. (volleyball pit, pool, boardwalk, picnic areas)
Second bath: small but very well appointed and functional. There is a bathtub with shower and a curved shower rod, a single sink and toilet. This was fine for two 10-year old girls.
Porch: Not large, but large enough for 2 people to sit on as well as to store 2 boogie boards, 2 noodles, beach chairs, beach umbrella and a cooler. There are also lots of pegs on which to hang wet clothing and towels. We kept our beach shoes out there as well - the tables on the porch have nifty bottom shelves perfect for this! There is a gated exit to the yard area - easy walk to the pool or beach from there. You can see a tiny bit of beach from the porch. It's very nice to have the sand dunes between the condo and the beach because it serves as a decent wind break - you get a breeze, but it's not 20 mph constantly on windy days.
For the price, I would definitely stay here again, specifically in this unit. (#27) I'm sure other units are good, too. A service note: there was a power outage for part of the complex in the middle of the night. I woke at 1:30am feeling warmer than I expected to and found that the power was out, so I called the emergency number for management. They were already on it and the utility truck was on the way. All was well within an hour, and the management was very pleasant even though they were handling a stressful situation. Well done, Island Retreat staff!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A recommended budget accommodation for families. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Island Retreat Hotel Port Aransas
- Island Retreat Port Aransas, Texas