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“Yes to Fantastic Family Hotel - Avoid Horrible Lunch Restaurant”

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Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach
Ranked #22 of 109 Hotels in Virginia Beach
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 3 July 2013

Stayed here for 7 nights with a family of 5. This is a terrific hotel for families and our Double Oceanfront Suite was just as inviting as we remembered from our week long stay last year. The clean, friendly resort atmosphere with excellent access to a spotless beach is perfect for your family vacation. The breakfast buffet for the kids is excellent, the wait times are minimal, and the staff is exceptional.

Unfortunately the Lunch restaurant "The Square Whale" has gone way, way downhill. You really have to scratch your head as to why it's been let go so badly. Really so disappointing because I do love the hotel but an onsite restaurant is what completes the resort feeling:

1) Tables wiped with dirty clothes and food under your feet
2) Consistently out of many of the staples like lemonade, ice tea, chicken, etc. - every day!
3) Average food wait times were 45min+
4) Food preparation was uneven. We had two lunches where it looked like a 6 year old plated our food
5) Staff was also a hit an miss. Many were simply inexperienced, some friendly, some uncaring, but some were plain dismissive and rude. Many staff chatting with friends. I never saw a manager in the 6 times we went there. Never once.
4) We were double billed twice

Yes the kids ate for free but my wife and I still paid over $50 a meal. I should have made a complaint onsite but I am not one to make a scene. I guess I just hoped it would get better but it didn't.

I would normally give this family hotel a 5 on 5 - the hotel suites really are perfect!! It's too bad the on-site restaurant spoiled the mood more than once and makes it difficult to spend $400/ night. Please fix your restaurant before our trip in June 2014!

Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
Thank TheFamilyMan-Guide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2013

Thank your for filling out a survey, good or bad it help us better our services to all of our guests. I am sorry about the concern you had in the Square Whale restaurant. I understand how it can be frustrating.

I just want to clarify that we always have a Manager or Supervisor on duty. Our restaurant is Ocean Front and guest love it. I am sorry you did not see a Manager and this was discussed with her for our future guests. Your feedback is valuable to helping us continue to be the hotel of choice at Virginia Beach.

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703 - 709 of 1,154 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2013

This is a nice hotel with great amenities for families with kids. This is our second stay here and we do not currently have children else we would have appreciated the children water park, game room, kid movie theater, and kids eat free option. Our first visit must have been during the school year as we really enjoyed the quite and laying by the pool. We will certainly return when we have children.

Room Tip: Ocean front of course however bring earplugs since the Naval base constantly has fighter jets flying...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Johnny L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to fill out a survey. Our hotel is suited for families and we are honored that you stayed with us and hope to see you again next time.

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Reviewed 2 July 2013

We stayed here during the last week of June 2013. There are a lot of fun pools for the kids and my 6 and 8 year old really enjoyed them. It's right on the beach/boardwalk and is one of the last hotel to the north on the boardwalk. The beach is great and clean and not crowded. There is a reasonable beach gear rental place in this area of the beach, too. The hotel is OK. There were several items in our room which needed repair- shower door, air conditioner cover, air conditioner never turned off, TV went to a snowy picture for a few hours one night. However, the bed was comfortable and my kids had no trouble sleeping on the sofa-bed. Balcony was nice and roomy. My family enjoyed all the air force plane fly-overs about every 15 minutes. This is a very child-laden hotel, though, and can be loud. So if you are just a couple- this is probably not the place for you. The breakfast buffet they offer was good each day- and had a lot of nice choices and a lot of great fresh fruit every morning. Decent coffee. And, if you ate with 2 kids that ate for free, the price was right. The Square Whale's food was nothing special. The hotel overall was fun for my age of children and was roomy, but there were some issues with it that I found a bit unacceptable for the price I was paying for the room.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Katrina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our hotel. I understand that you are not happy with the hotel due to it leaning more towards families. Our hotel is promoted as a family friendly hotel on the North End of the beach but we do have activities for all ages. With our 4 pools, hot tub, movie theatre and pool side bar cafe.

I am happy that your kids had a good time and hopefully you can come back and visit us again in the future.

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Reviewed 1 July 2013

Stayed here during the sand soccer tournament in June '13. The suites are OK - not the cleanest in the world but decent size and amenities. Spacious for a family.

My biggest complaint was the noise in the hotel. I can deal with and accept general hallway noise, particularly with a heavy visitor weekend with lots of kids. I expected this for the sand soccer tournament.

What I cannot accept is a wedding RIGHT ABOVE OUR ROOM in the 5th floor restaurant and noise until 1AM. It was a Latin wedding with loud music as it was coming from the room next door. Even once the music stopped, he heard what must have been the staff moving furniture, chairs, etc for the next 90 minutes right above us.

This made for an awful night sleep on an already tiring weekend.

I informed the front desk about it that night AND upon check out. No real apology or offer to credit any part of the stay.

I then emailed the hotel directly a few weeks later and requested some kind of credit for the stay and got no reply. Apparently they do not care to take care of their guests.

Room Tip: Avoid the 4th floor below the restaurant when there is a wedding!
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank yoyoma99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2013

I am sorry that you were put under our ballroom which had a wedding. We should not of put guest who were not part of the wedding under the ballroom and I apologize for that. I did go ahead and train the staff so it would not happen again in the future.

That weekend as you know was sand soccer weekend and we have a hotel full of kids including yours which we understand can get roudy. We try to monitor and control the kids to the best of our ability and ask parents to assist as well.

Thank you again and hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed 1 July 2013

Well, this was the weekend for my brother and new sister-in-law's wedding. We understand that when you request early check in at 2 you might not get it, but when check out is at 11 and you arrive at 10 letting the staff know you are there, perhaps they could clean your room in the first bunch of rooms, we didn't get into our room until 3:45. Again, I understand check in is 4pm, but it would have been more helpful to arrange the rooms of new check in's prior to cleaning existing reservation rooms. Rooms are very expensive as well, but most likely comparable to others along the boardwalk.

Overall, this was a great experience for my family and the wedding group. The elevators leave much to be desired, there are very few of them, they are small and slow. When you have families that are using the carts for luggage and can only get one in the elevator, it is not helpful during check in or check out. Also, another family member is confined to a wheel chair, it barely fit in the elevators near the reception room.

The amenities for children are wonderful, a play room and movie theater inside, three pools, and the ocean. Again, staff was very friendly and helpful when needed.

Our room, 304 was clean, no bathtub, but shower was good, water was sometimes luke warm rather than hot, but that was ok, it was very hot that weekend.

The restaurants were adequate, but a bit overpriced for lunch, but I would imagine all places along the water are. The staff there was also very friendly and helpful.

I would definitely recommend the hotel to families.

Room Tip: If you want quick access to the beach and not have to use the slow elevators, try to get a first flo...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our hotel which we can use to better our staff in the future.
I do apogize for not having your room before our 4pm check in time. We do understand that guests like to check in early at the hotel but with the hotel being sold out this can be a challenge. It appears that your stay was great so a 3 star is very surprising just because you did not get a early check in.

Again we always try to help the guest and check them in early if possible but when we cannot I hope the guest would understand and you did not. Sorry about that and hope to see you again in the future.

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Reviewed 1 July 2013

We booked a Oceanfront deluxe sweet(2 balconies. dining table, wet bar) we arrived about 3:20PM on 6/23 check in time is 4:00PM we had driven 17 hours straight...at 4:30 we inquired when our room would be ready(and there were many families that day waiting and complaining)...we were told they had a room we could have now but was smaller and when asked when the room we booked would be ready Roberto the manager just gave a shrug of the shoulders and a dunno answer. We took the smaller room as we were exhausted. The room was on the 1st floor and it was nearly impossible to get the luggage cart in as there were many stacks of chairs and a miniature bar in the hallway across from our door that belonged in the banquet room...but we were still trying to make the best.
Our outside "space" in the room was two chairs on a small slab of concrete surrounded by bushes and two lounge chairs in the common area yard. After sitting in our area and being hit by balls kids were throwing around and birds swooping in to grab food the neighbors left on the ground and random people sitting in our lounge chairs(which there were not enough chairs for the 5 of us as it was) I had enough...I went to the front desk and COMPLAINED...I was told the room type I had booked was not available for us to move to so I questioned the fact that my room was not ready 3 hours prior but was now all booked. I had been in e-mail contact with Diana Merrill before our arrival making our plans...I fired off an e-mail that night to her. She responded by 8AM the next morning that we could move to a room type we booked. What a HUGE difference...we moved we loved our room and the rest of our stay. Front desk folks made a couple of very good restaurant recommendations. Had it not been for our first day I would rate higher but it left a bad first impression. There was zero customer service that first day but thanks to Diana for saving our vacation because we were preparing to move to another hotel before she saved the day

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2013

Thank you for writing a review that we can use to better train our staff. I am sorry that you had such a bad experience the first night but grateful that Diane was able to fix the situation. It seems after the slight confusion that everything was great and we look forward to seeing you come back here soon.

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Reviewed 30 June 2013

Came here with a large group of families and their high school wrestlers. The facilities were excellent for this type of crowd. Our room was spacious and clean. We had rooms over looking the beach with little balconies. There were inside and outside pools. Both pools were clean, well staffed, plenty of towels, etc. The proximity to the beach was perfect. Couldn't get any closer! Parking could get sketchy with one small garage, but price to pay to be so close to beach. Very good breakfast buffet at the hotel. Not huge selection, but enough to satisfy a range of tastes. Excellent hotel at top of hotel, but not for noisy, unruly kids. There is plenty within striking distance of this hotel, but it is removed enough from the more seedy side of Virginia Beach. Already booked again for next year!

Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank jaxma98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto H, Manager at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am glad to see that we met and exceeded your stay while you were here. Our hotel is set up perfect for groups visiting Virginia Beach and look forward to seein you again in the near future.

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Additional Information about Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach

Address: 3900 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-2604
Region: United States > Virginia > Virginia Beach
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Virginia Beach
#4 Green Hotel in Virginia Beach
#10 Business Hotel in Virginia Beach
#10 Family Hotel in Virginia Beach
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Virginia Beach
#25 Romantic Hotel in Virginia Beach
Price Range: £85 - £243 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach 3*
Number of rooms: 253
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Splash into 250,000 gallons of fun, enjoy a movie in our movie theater and relax on your private balcony. Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach guestrooms feature mini-refrigerator and microwave, flatscreen TV, iPod stations and free Internet. Splish Splash Lagoon features an outdoor lazy river & two 12-foot waterslides. Float down indoor Lay-Z-Rivah or lounge in the sun by the outdoor pool. For entertainment, enjoy activities for toddlers to tweens in seasonal kids Splash Kamp. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn And Suites North Beach
Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach Hotel Virginia Beach
Holiday Inn Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach Holiday Inn

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