Do they actually market that hotel as a resort? That's incredible. Forewarning: My first and last experience at this property is almost two years old, and my review is long. You asked for an opinion so following is mine.
Holiday Inn/Cocoa Beach via Hotwire-Trip Report-July 2003
I have just returned from an overnight stay at:
Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach - Oceanfront, FL
1300 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Please note my report is in reference to the Holiday Inn not the Holiday Inn Express.
I used (for the first time) Hotwire to secure a reservation at a beachfront hotel in Cocoa Beach, FL. The option that came up was for a ‘value’ accommodation at $89.00, and the ‘seller’ for me was the price for a Saturday in the middle of summer at a beachfront hotel. Sounds good, right?
I arrived at the Holiday Inn/Cocoa Beach (herein referred to as HICB) between 1400-1430 on Saturday, July 19, 2003. The line for the front desk was almost out the door. In fact security had closed the main entry into the lobby because of the masses and redirected people to another door. The area was filled with hot, sweaty, smelly people (guests that had arrived early in the day had been allowed to use the pool/beach facilities until check-in time). By the time it was my turn to speak with a front desk rep I had decided I really didn’t want to stay at this hotel. There were too many kids for my liking, and people in line that had already been there for the entire day said the beach and pool were overly crowded. So I said to the rep ‘it looks like you are probably overbooked and I will gladly give up my reservation if you will release me from the prepaid reservation’. HICB said ‘even though the hotel is overbooked and we could use the room, Hotwire hasn’t paid us yet so we can’t credit you’. Okay, I can appreciate that they haven’t been paid but if they in fact have a strong relationship with Hotwire and they are overbooked and could really use the room that I was willing to give up, I would think HICB management would bend the rules. There are ways they could have paid me back without handing over cash (i.e., issuing points to my Holiday Inn Priority Club account). HICB management said they would gladly cancel my reservation; however, any refunds would have to come directly from Hotwire. Well, I had read the rules on Hotwire so I was left with no choice other than to accept the reservation. Mind you I’m still in the lobby—haven’t even seen the property/room. I would like to note at this point that the man who processed my check in was very nice and apologetic unlike the superior he consulted with regarding my request.
With key in hand I proceeded to the room. The section assigned is a 2-story motel not a hotel. There is nothing about this property that can be classified as hotel. Not even the section in the rear that has a few ‘suites/villas’ that face the water. You drive your car up to your room, and if you’re on the first floor, you get out and there is the room door. This motel was built in the ‘60s, and as far as the refurbishment that supposedly took place in the late ‘90s, well, from the outside it appears to be non-existent.
I can’t get the door open. It’s a card-key system and the green light comes on and the door handle moves; however, I can’t get the door to budge. I found a maid down the way, and asked her for assistance. She got the door open in a second but she was pushing down so hard on it. I made her stay with me until I could get it open—it was a struggle. Finally the door opens but not all the way because it’s banging into the writing table. I walked in and the room stank!! I don’t know what was causing the odor but without being too graphic it smelled of a cheap room deodorant trying to mask the smells from use of the bathroom facilities. And, oh, those renovations from the ‘90s they appear to be a ton of paint, a border on the walls at ceiling level (as horrid as those things are they were ‘in’ in the ‘90s), and a new floor mounted air condition/heat unit. Okay, now I am tired (been up since 0400), it’s hot (temp display on the nearby drug store was reading 99), it’s the most humid day of the Florida summer so far, an hour has elapsed since I first entered the lobby of the HICB, and a ‘hell of’ a big thunderstorm is rolling in over Port Canaveral. As I see it I can bite the bullet and stay overnight at the HICB and go enjoy one of the things I came to do in the area (see the Carnival Glory sail for the first of many Saturdays to come after having put friends onboard her earlier in the day), or I can chuck it all and head home. Well, cruise addict that I am I decide to put up with the HICB and stay for the sailing of the Glory. I go out to the car to bring in my things and I see people next door getting in their car to leave. So I asked them had they stayed here yet and was it ‘scary’. Two of the women looked at me, chuckled and said if HICB did away with the rooms and their restaurant (not Mambos sp? in the back—they said that restaurant was good) it would be a good place to stay. They said their bathroom was totally gross with mold. At least my bathroom didn’t have mold but it did have this creepy slip resistant thing in the tub that I assume is normally glued down; however, this one wasn’t sealed down in certain places so when the water got underneath it during a shower it felt like something was moving under your feet.
I got some sleep at this facility with the aid of a worn out mind & body along with an over-the-counter pain/pm pill. I awoke at 0600 and thought it would be nice to see the sunrise from the beach so off I went. Remember this is not an oceanfront hotel just beachfront—there is no walking out your slider and/or balcony and being on the beach/hearing the waves. The beach in front of this hotel was nasty. Covered in litter from the HICB walkway all the way down to the water’s edge. It made me very sad so back to the room I headed to get my things and leave. I had two shots left on my throw away camera (have a digital cam but didn’t have it with me otherwise I would post pics now) so I snapped a shot of the frayed carpet seam at the bathroom door, and a delightful photo of two dead roaches (yep, they slipped in during the night –no telling where in the room the live ones were once light hit the room) and footprints on the inside of the door. Last thing I do in the room is attempt a check out via the TV. Well, that would be too easy of a request, wouldn’t it? I’ve been charged for the room. And to add insult to injury the HICB direct charge is $70.00 versus $89.00 Hotline snagged me for. I immediately drive to the front desk. The rep that asks ‘may I help you’ can’t so he calls someone else out front. After ten minutes of not saying much of anything other than ‘can I help you’ this man hands me a HICB receipt that says zero balance. At that point I asked for a comment card, and said to the man, ‘Holiday Inn should be ashamed to associate its name with this property’. He never once acknowledged anything I said nor could he produce a comment card. I asked if he was a manager, NO. I asked if a manager was available, NO. All I wanted or could do was leave the property having learned two things. One, never stay nor suggest to anyone else that they stay at the HICB. Two, never book nor suggest to anyone else that they make a reservation with Hotwire. In most situations I will give a second chance but in this case, it’s just not warranted.
Hotwire - http://www.hotwire.com/customer-care/contact.jsp
HICB – Jane.haskins@ICHotelsgroup.com
Corporate - http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/...uest_relations