by Wendy Irvine
My family and I fell hook, line and sinker for the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, but not why you’d think. It wasn’t the beach location, the guest rooms loaded with technology, or even the unusual indoor/outdoor pool. It was the pampered parrots that live in the lobby of the Boardwalk Plaza: Emro, a bottlefed baby Sun Conure, and Peanut, a 20-year-old African Grey. Both are hilarious and bursting with personality. Peanut even talks (when he feels like it).
If you want your hotel sitting smack on the beach and your guest room drenched in glorious ocean view, this is your stay. The Boardwalk Plaza sits right on the beach, meaning you won’t wear yourself out hiking to and fro.
The hotel’s decor is Victorian. Guest rooms, lobby and restaurants–even the pool–are decked in turn of the century grandma. I found the floral decor overwhelming at first, but one nap into it and I was a fan. The grandma decor comes with a grandma’s touch to the place. They clearly made beds with great care (and hospital corners), attached a tidy clothesline inside the bath/shower combo for wet bathing suits and made sure the curtains drew a solid barrier against the harsh morning sun.
And while the rooms might be dressed in Aunt Bea, the best technology our modern age has to offer also arrives with the guest rooms. A bedside CD player, DVD player on each TV and free Wi-Fi — it’s all here. The rooms also boast refrigerators and coffee makers. (I’m not thrilled to report that the refrigerators are stocked with honor bar items and guests cannot ask to have them emptied. Staff does leave one small shelf empty for guests’ use. Additionally, you can request a cart to be sent to your room that holds a small fridge and a microwave for $25 per day. If you need a crib, just request one when you make a reservation.
The Boardwalk’s unusual indoor/outdoor pool morphs into an adult-only whirlpool after 8 p.m. The indoor portion is semi-cave-like (fun for the kids), providing indoor chaise lounges and happy finches enjoying the somewhat humid indoors. The outdoor portion has a view of both the ocean and the hotel’s picturesque gazebo. Live music from the Boardwalk Plaza’s restaurant can also be heard from the pool in the evening.
The Boardwalk Plaza offers many room types, but four in particular are fantastic choices for families, ranging from the Standard, which is the most economical, all the way to the Efficiency, which is pricey but gives you a full kitchen.
The Boardwalk Plaza Hotel’s restaurant boasts three Victorian-decked tiers and faces the ocean, offering every guest a blue ribbon view. Victoria’s serves every meal, along with a Sunday brunch, all with an emphasis on seafood, salads and meat dishes, as well as impressive desserts. The Victoria’s prices are steep, so while a children’s menu is helpful to a family’s budget, a visit sans kids might be a better option. Nicola’s Pizza (highly recommended) is nearby and much easier on the wallet.
Our Editor Loves
- Free Wi-Fi
- Refrigerators in some rooms
- Resident parrots greet families
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
What a lovely location and decor. We have been coming for 2 years now and plan to come next year again. We do wish that the pool was bigger and that the bar was open later but other than that Boardwalk Plaza is fantastic!
Our arrival was marred by a rude staff member. He was curt when we arrived at the hotel. He rushed me in completing the check-in form. I had to ask him twice about where we should park, and he did not offer me the complimentary umbrella coupon for the beach that day. Thank goodness the other staff at the hotel were pleasant and helpful.