South Padre Island Travel Guide
A sign at the Radisson South Padre Island gets knocked down by Dolly.
Yikes. Bad news out of Texas this week.
Hurricane Dolly moved onto land in South Texas yesterday afternoon -- the first hurricane to hit the U.S. since September. Luckily, the storm caused a bit less damage than expected in parts of the Rio Grande Valley.
The Monitor reports that the hardest-hit region was to the east -- the eye of the hurricane hit South Padre Island as a category 2 storm around 1:30 pm yesterday, but was downgraded to a level 1 as it moved further onto land.
It still caused some bigtime damage to local hotels, though: so far it has been confirmed that the high winds blew portions of the roof completely off of the Bahia Mar Resort, and more than 95,000 residences and businesses in the region had lost power.
Luckily, Dolly is expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression by 1 p.m. today.
[Photo: David J. Phillip / AP]
This past weekend we were summoned to South Padre Island, a popular Spring Break spot for college kids, for the wedding of (ironically) an old college roommate.
South Padre Island is a place that we always wanted to visit when we were 21 but eight years later, let's just say the attraction has worn off considerably.
Still out of love for our dear friend, we tripped on down to this Texas vacation isle and spent a night at the Radisson.
[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.]
This week CheapTickets.com launched a Spring Break Cheapometer to show where demand was highest among students taking off to take their clothes off and where the deals are. Miami came out on top for demand, but with an average room price per night of $163, it doesn't look like a bargain for our struggling students. So we checked out the cheapest spot on the list, South Padre Island, and found out why the average rate definitely doesn't apply when the Spring Break ratcheting up begins. In terms of value, the hotel scene is a nightmare.
If you stay at a sub-$200 hotel in Miami, at least you'll get some style, some beauty, and a sense of design. From what we can see for South Padre Island, you'll be staying at a motel or...a motel. Only it won't be priced like a motel. Here's what we found for a nightly double room rate on the CheapTickets site, for the third week of March:
Budget Host Flamingo - $274 per night
Day's Inn - $149 (pictured here)
Super 8 - $120
Best Western - $219
Travelodge - $176
Comfort Suites - $299
Holiday Inn Express - $239
Hey, if we're spending that kind of money just for an ugly motel room where we'll pass out each night, it better come with the cast of Girls Gone Wild '07 in the room next door.