I was afraid we would not enjoy our vacation with the bad reviews on tripadvisor more so due to a heated discussion we had with reservations and their manager. It started when I wanted to shorten our stay by one night due and could not get in contact with the hotel due to hurricane Irene. Thus, I wrote an email in reply to an email sent by the beach shack. In this email, I explained our situation of wanting to leave a day early and not being able to get in contact with the hotel to make the changes. After the storm passed, I finally got in contact with the hotel and they gave me the number to reservations. By this time I had already passed the allotted time period to make changes with a minimal fee but with Irene I thought they would understand especially since I tried my best to make contact within the allotted time. Boy was I wrong!! The reservation manager was condescending, sarcastic, non-apologetic and continued to make insinuations that I was lying to them about calling the hotel. They told me "I should have known better to call reservations instead of the hotel". I explained that I honestly didn't know that reservations was a different number from the hotel but he told me that " how could I not since the only way to make changes and reservations was to call reservations and not the hotel and there was nothing that he can do for me and I would loose the night's stay full price"...I know for a fact that cape may had a mandatory evacuation during hurricane Irene and I found it insulting that they believed I was lying. Inregards to my email, he told me that my email was invalid because no one receives those emails even though I never received a "mailer not found" or error when I sent my email. I can understand that it was my error not to call reservation but reservations never gave me the benefit of the doubt or were apologetic or plain in simple treated me like a paying customer should have been treated. Regardless of the bad taste reservations left us with, we couldn't afford to cancel our family vacation (which is what I wanted to do after that phone call with reservations) of 4 nights at ~ $400/night.
Once we got to the hotel I was amazingly surprised. The hotel did indeed look like a renovated motel but looked nice especially since the beach was across the street. The hotel was divided into two areas: one next to the Rusty Nail restaurant and bar and one next to the pool. The reception staff was welcoming and answered all of our questions in regards to beach passes (which Cape May beach charges about $15 for a three day pass per person), pool working hours, etc!!! Right at the start they told us there were no phones in the rooms but if we needed anything we could come down and ask or call via our personal phones. I found this a surprise being that the Hotel charges $400/night, but to us it was not a big deal to use our personal phones. We did indeed call to ask for extra sheets and they were there within 2 minutes. The cleaning staff cleaned our room every day and gave us fresh towels and restocked whatever we were running low on. Our room was on the pool side. As soon as we entered our room it smelled mildewy but were surprised that the decorations were not as bad as some reviews stated although it was indeed outdated. The AC was on and the beds and linen were comfortable and clean. Our standard double queen room was roomy enough to fit my 10-month-old joovy room2 pack and play and leave us with enough room for a sitting area and walking space. The kitchenette was fully packed with dishes, cups, utensils, dish soap, sponge, sink, microwave, coffee maker and paper towel (which was a plus to prepare my 10 month old's food). The bathroom was small and again outdated but we didn't need a large bathroom?? The room did need repairs for certain things i.e.; the closet had no doors (which i sorta liked lol!) and the toilet needed to be more secure. All in all I feel that the decor of the beach shack was more renovated than other motels I saw in cape may on tripadvisor.
One thing I did enjoy was opening our door and listening to the Rusty Nail's live music from our terrace/walkway chairs (which each room has). At night it was also nice to see the warm orange lights next to the rooms and hear the ocean waves. Also, the beach shack had a family friendly environment which we were looking for.
The beach service was great such that we got chairs, towels and umbrellas set up every day within 5 minutes. The beach service from the Rusty Nail was awesome; the only con was that the waitresses were not on the beach too frequently. The food from the Rusty Nail was decent. We booked our room with a complimentary daily $20 Rusty Nail breakfast voucher which we enjoyed. Their waffles, apple wood thick bacon, pancakes and whole grain/wheat nutty bread were so yummy!! The ambiance of the sand bar and fire pit at the Rusty Nail was enjoyable and service staff were accommodating and some went out of their ways especially management.
The beach shack pool was not serviced with fresh towels to frequently but when I asked a staff member for pool service a pool staff member would arrive within 5 minutes and set up our chairs and have warm fresh towels for us.
The Mall was an enjoyable 15-minute walk that had boutiques, cafes, ice cream shops, gift shops and restaurants. We loved Tisha's, although expensive, the food was amazing. Try the fudge kitchen ...we loved their walnut fudge hmmmm!
Parking at the beach shack was included as well as the Internet but one thing that did bug us was when the staff would reserve a parking spot close to our room for the hotels' suite guests. I only found this annoying during the weekend when the Rusty Nail customers would fill up the parking spots of hotel guests and thus we were frustrated that the "VIP" suite rooms would get special treatment (by getting a spot reserved with a cone not as a permanent designated suites only parking spot) while we had to either wait or park outside.
All in all we had a great time and built great memories at the Beach shack besides our few downs and might consider staying there again but would probably try the Montreal inn or the Ocean club or even Congress hall for a similar price.
Beach shack please retrain you reservation management and take care to get rid of the mildew smell in your rooms and make a few additions/renovations to your rooms such as a phone and hair dryer. Also have more staff at your pool...charging $400/night you can afford these improvements!!!
By the pool side its is quieter
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC