Daytona Beach Travel Guide
Daytona Beach had its heydey in the 1980s as the #1 Spring Break destination for college students rocking bad perms, Vuarnet t-shirts and too-short neon shorts. While it's still a popular (and "trashy" Spring Break spot, the town probably prefers to be known for events other than wet t-shirt contests and beer funneling like the annual Daytona 500 car race and the town's handful of museums. However, all that will change with the arrival of a beachfront Hard Rock Hotel in 2016.
Hard Rock International made the announcement late last week saying the hotel will feature 250 hotel rooms, a signature Hard Rock Cafe and all the Hard Rock brand signatures from Rock Star Suites to Vibe managers, a RockSpa, Sleep Like a Rock linens and even a recording studio for guests to use during their stay. The hotel will also feature a pool with a bar and grill, ballroom, meeting spaces and 100 condominium units (although that hasn't worked out well for Hard Rock San Diego.)
And yes, the city's totally down with the idea of a rocking hotel on their beachfront.
“The city and county have been working hand-in-hand to rejuvenate the city of Daytona Beach, and we’re thrilled Hard Rock and Bayshore Capital [the developer] have chosen ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach’ as its newest location for expansion,” said Derrick Henry, Mayor of Daytona Beach. “The synergies between Daytona Beach and Hard Rock are limitless, and we cannot wait for the brand to open the Hotel and Cafe.”
We better start training for the drinking games, then.
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we usually look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which is better worth your hard-earned benjamins. This week we're switching gears to compare the hotel values in two Spring Break destinations. Rates quoted here were valid on February, 27 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
If you're going to get naked, booze it up, and have a week you can barely remember, spending most of your budget on the hotel room can be a real buzzkill. So our Good Rate designation for Spring Break goes to good ole reliable Daytona Beach, Florida.
CheapTickets.com lauched a Spring Break Cheapometer to show where demand was highest among students taking off to take their clothes off and where the deals are. We checked out the supposed cheapest spot on the list, South Padre Island in Texas, and quickly gave it a big cowboy boot to the rear. (Read all about it in this week's Bad Rate post.)
Unlike the overpriced motel chains there, Daytona Beach has the kind of hotels you're looking for when the whole point is to go get tanned and titilated. We're talking rooms with a view, pools with a view, and beach bars with a view. And priced at a rate that will leave plenty for booze and nightlife. Here's a sampling of double room rates from CheapTickets for the third week in March. As far as we can tell, all of them are steps from the crashing waves.
Boardwalk Inn and Suites - $80
Oceanside Inn - $105
Tropical Winds Oceanfront - $105
Hilton Daytona Beach - $179 (pictured here)
Plaza Resort & Spa - $158
Desert Inn Resort - $98
Bahama House - $144
Wyndham Ocean Walk - $199
So, the most expensive place on this list is a 4-star hotel at $199. That's $100 less per night than the Comfort Suites in South Padre Island, Texas (for the same week). Kids, we don't care how badly you did in that freshman math class: Daytona is a clear winner in this calculation.
[Ed. Note: A tipster lets us know that the Ocean Shore Resort should probably be avoided unless you want your car towed. As always this Hotel Hell is one person's story. Enjoy.]
I checked into the Ocean Shore Resort in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 27, 2006 and as part of the registration process I was asked to provide my car license plate number.
I was given a small slip of paper to place on the dash (parking permit). This permit fell from my dashboard as I was exiting my car late that night and the next morning I discovered my car had been towed by Star Towing. The towing company claimed they had been told by the night desk clerk/security guard that my car was not entitled to park there.
They did not even check to see that my license number was on file as a registered guest. It cost me $125 to recover my car. The attitude of Anna, the manager, was "too bad - you should have displayed the parking permit." The desk clerk told me on Sunday, May 28 that the reason they ask for the license number is to verify that the car is registered to a guest prior to towing.
Obviously, they did not follow procedure. This place is a rip-off and I recommend staying away from this disreputable establishment.
·Ocean Shore Resort reviews [TripAdvisor]
[Ed. Note: Who says Daytona Beach is just about spring breakers, tanning and puking? There's actually free WiFi there. A tipster sends us a detailed report of her WiFi heaven in the spring break capital. Enjoy.]
I had a great experience at the Comfort Inn & Suites, in Daytona Beach, FL. It had free wifi - 2 different routers to choose from and a strong signal in the rooms. It did have an agreement page, but I only had to agree once during my stay. If I remember correctly, the routers were configured with the default SSID - in this case, Netgear.
I've had good experience with other Choice Hotels all over the east coast, as well. And Holiday Inn Express (specifically the one in Cambridge, MD) too.
[Ed. Note: HotelMaven jcsenator61 writes in about an unfortunate Spring Break experience at the Americano Beach Resort in Daytona Beach where they got the boot for partying. Enjoy and reminisce about what it was like to be wild and free in Daytona.]
Let's start at the beginning. We stayed at the Americano Beach Resort for Spring Break '06. We booked our room through a travel agency. They informed us that we could check in at any time during the day, so we could go ahead and leave. After the 14-hour drive, we arrive at the hotel at 10AM, when they then informed us that we could not check in until 3PM. They told us we could spend our time in the bar/restaurant area (which is poorly under construction. The restaurant was not even open, and the bar area had ply wood floors.) We requested somewhere that we could store our groceries that we had in the car, and somewhere that we could change, but no alternative was provided to us. By the time we managed to check into our room, which ended up being 4PM, instead of the originally promised time, the decor was appalling.
More titillating spring break hotel hell after the jump.
As we watch the ridiculous Spring Break coverage on MTV, we can't help but reminisce about the "old days" of Spring Break.
Picture it: Daytona Beach. 1987. Big Ray Bans. Big Permed Hair. Acid-washed cutoff jeans. Vuarnet T-shirts. High-cut neon green bikinis. Ahh...we can practically smell the Coppertone lotion now. Ok technically we were too young to go on Spring Break back then but we were dreaming about the day our Spring Break would come.
Sadly, those days are long gone so we decided to check-in with Spring Breakers in Daytona these days. What we find is an alarming incident where the staff at America's Best Value Inn has implemented some rules:
The hotel took a $150 security deposit for each room and it was obvious they tried to keep that deposit when each room checked out. Several people were kicked out of the hotel for carrying glass onto the hotel property (one of their several rules during spring break.) The crew that cleaned our room refused to leave us alone until we gave them a tip (first time I've ever seen or heard this at any hotel.)
How dare that hotel try to take extra money from those kids! Does it really cost $150 per 18-year-old who urinates and throws-up in the elevator after a long night of partying? Have a heart, will ya?
· America's Best Value Inn, Daytona, Reviews [TripAdvisor]