Jacksonville Travel Guide
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in. Yesterday, we featured a review from our mother -- and today's review actually comes from our father who has finally started to understand what our day job is. Enjoy.
Opened on July 10 and located in Southeast Jacksonville near the "tony & trendy" St John's Town Centre, the Sheraton Jacksonville offers accommodation for Jax visitors and folks who have come to town for the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.
All of the staff are either college undergrads or maybe even high school kids. Very pleasant and personable, but inexperienced.
The rooms are big and everything smells new...but the design? Not so much.
By now we all know about the Jacksonville Super Bowl hotel room gaffe...1500 hotel rooms for hundreds of thousands of weekend visitors just isn't good math (take notes Detroit), however, we also know five cruise ships sailed in to save the day.
The real question is did these cruise ships plan for low tide? We didn't see this with our own eyes, but here is what one informative Super Bowl watcher in Jacksonville told us:
You might not have heard is that these cruise ships didn't really plan for low tide--so when the tide started going out, the cruise ships had to retreat to higher seas. Imagine this scenario: "Hey, I left my camera back in the room, I am going to run up and get it--uh oh, looks like I am going to have to swim back to my room?" It didn't quite play out that way, but when shipmates wanted to return to their room during low tide, they had to do so via dingy. $400 a night to ride a dingy!
...Or at least so we were told by a couple of frustrated Super Bowl visitors. Can we get a confirmation on this?
Forbes complies a nice list of places to stay during Super Bowl weekend in J'ville...only one problem...we highly doubt you will actually be able to stay at any of the places Forbes mentions.
Sure, it is a nice list, and we really like the idea of staying at the Adam's Mark, which is a stone's throw from Alltel Stadium, but we just called the hotel and it ain't happening. The Adam's Mark is the official hotel of the NFL, select media, and their families during the Super Bowl festivities, so unless your name is Tagliabue or Buck, you can cross that one off your list.
If you still need a hotel room, and you are being realistic about it, you should cross all of the Forbes mentioned hotels off your list and start checking the Super Bowl accommodations site. Currently, it looks like you will need to drive a couple hours from Jacksonville to snag a room. Orlando is still showing plenty of availability, you also might want to check Daytona.
As far as finding a room in Jacksonville, we think it can be done if your wallet is big enough. Prepare to pay over $500 a night and focus your search on overlooked hotels and condo developments.
Boy, ya think Jacksonville might be second guessing the benefits of this whole "Super Bowl" thing? The city has been loudly criticized for not having enough infrastructure (read: hotel rooms) to support a Super Bowl, and now Washington Post columnist, and Northern elitist, Tony Kornheiser chimes in with "What's That Smell? Jacksonville."Here is a bit of interaction from the article:
(Note: Reali is the guy Kornheiser sent to Jacksonville on some sort of scouting mission.)
"I am from Staten Island, and I have lived in New Jersey," Reali explained. "I know bad smells. This was right below Secaucus."
Not as bad as Staten Island?
"Nothing approaches Staten Island," Reali said with conviction.
However, if you are still holding on to the dream of getting a Super Bowl hotel room right in Jacksonville, USA Today's hotel expert, Megg Mueller Schulte, suggests checking out a couple of cruise ships that will be docking in the Port Of Jacksonville next weekend.
Hey, if the smell gets too strong you can just get the captain to sail down to Miami and you can catch the game on an Ocean Drive bar television.
Only 20 days until Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Fl. If you are thinking of heading to Jacksonville for the big game you need to start thinking about Super Bowl hotel rooms, if you haven't secured one already. Here is your first reality check, unless you know someone, have an enormous wallet, or get incredibly lucky, you can forget about scoring a hotel room near the stadium. Instead, start setting your sights on rooms in southern Georgia (we just found available rooms in Jekyl Island), Gainesville, and even Orlando. Yeah, that's right, you need to focus your search about sixty miles outside of Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Super Bowl Hosting Committee has put together a nice site that allows you to search for hotel rooms in the ever expanding vicinity of Jacksonville.
Oh, and if you are serious about going to the game, you may want to take your shot at this now, next week, our guess is you will have to expand your search to a ninety mile radius.
The HotelChatter prediction? New England Patriots over Atlanta Falcons. Oh, sorry, we thought we heard you ask.