We wanted to get in one last beach weekend before we conceded fall had arrived - and got a good rate at the Howard Johnson OF Plaza. Upon arrival a little early on a Friday afternoon, Jenn and her male counterpart (sorry, I didn't catch his name), greeted me in a very friendly way and happily advised our room was ready and checked me in.
The room was very clean and cheerful - bright floral matching bedspread and drapes - and the carpet appeared to be new (and after walking around barefoot throughout the weekend, my feet remained clean). We had a partial view room and were able to see a nice strip of beach and boardwalk from the very comfortable adirondack-style chairs (also clean) on the balcony.
The bathroom was small, but appeared to have been recently redone. One thing I wanted to mention here is that in the space there would normally be a tub, there is now only a shower. The bottom was very slippery, so be careful or take a bathmat. The sink is pedestal style - and they've added a small shelving unit with a door (maybe 2 foot high) where they place the towels, spare TP and tissue).
Small touches were made to make the room a bit more upscale/boutique. The towels and washcloths were folded to look like packages, which was really cute - and the TP had a foil seal at the end - pillows were all stood on end instead of laid flat (we're seeing this everywhere, so it must be the latest rage in hotel-decor and I have to say it does look nice).
We were only there 2 nights - and had no mechanical issues - though the door to the balcony stuck badly, requiring some force to open and shut. Humidity is high at beach locations, but this was worse than the norm. The room had a flat screen TV that was mounted on the wall, which was very nice. However, the sofa was on the same wall as the TV, so you had to watch TV on/in bed. It would have been much preferable to have them on the opposite walls. I realize this is a fairly minor issue in the grand scheme of things - and space may be the determining factor - but it would probably deter me from staying at the hotel for a longer stay unless I got a sweetheart of a deal.
There is a very tiny "market" in the lobby next to the reception desk that sells chilled soda and individual size OTC items and a small selection of candy. We found this very convenient, as the soda machines we come across in OC are often empty or malfunctioning - and this saved us a trip to a convenience store or a journey to find a vending machine that worked.
We were very comfortable during our stay at the Howard Johnson Oceanfront Plaza Hotel. All common areas - the ground floor entrance, the first floor lobby and our third floor hallway were all clean and had a pleasant smell. We heard little noice from the hallway and no noise from other rooms. All of the staff we encountered during our stay (several, as we bought soda from their market three different times) were all friendly, accommodating and professional In this area alone, they stand head and shoulders above many of their competitors - it gave me a feeling of a well run organization. We would definitely return to the hotel on a future visit.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC