by Gina Vercesi
Because the bulk of people visiting Fire Island opt to rent a house, finding family-friendly accommodations out here is a bit of a challenge. At the same time, many of the island’s hotels cater to a younger crowd, offering hostel-style accommodations with shared baths and a party atmosphere. Fortunately, The Palms hotel in Ocean Beach, Fire Island’s main town, offers a peaceful place for families to relax and enjoy a getaway to this magical seashore escape.
The Palms Hotel features a wide variety of accommodations, from standard guestrooms to suites, efficiencies, and cottages. All of the bright, airy rooms have a private bath and plush linens and many offer views of the water. Guests will enjoy lounging on The Palms’ private bay or barbecuing in the courtyard. The ocean is a short walk from the hotel and guests are welcome to the hotel’s fleet of wagons and bicycles. Kayak rentals are also available onsite.
Our Editor Loves
- Wide variety of accommodations including efficiencies
- Complimentary use of wagons and bicycles
- Private bay beach and courtyard
- Water Sports
My friends planned a short bachelor party trip to fire island for this past August and chose to stay at the Palms Hotel thinking it would be convenient because of its location. After staying at this establishment, we realized the decision to stay at this hotel was 100% the wrong trip. I am usually not one to complain publicly, however, the conditions of this hotel were unbelievable and too harsh to not warn future fire island visitors.
After we made two changes to our room reservation prior to arrival, we were welcomed at the hotel by finding out they messed up our reservation. Thankfully, they still had plenty of availability (wish we would have noticed that foreshadowing) and showed us what options they had left that could accommodate our group size and let us choose. After making our decision they needed time to clean the room to get ready for us. After a few hours, we entered our room and were shocked. We found some form of body hair on several of the blankets on the beds, including two clumps of this same hair (one on a bedroom dresser and one on a bathroom floor). The freezer appeared to have not been cleaned in ages and did not keep our food frozen. There were stains and foot prints on some of the walls. The sliding door was not functioning properly. The floors were dirty and stained our socks to almost black after walking on it for only a few minutes.
After explaining these issues with the staff, they did apologize and said they would go back in for a deep cleaning. Because of this we missed our dining reservations that we were all looking forward to because at the time we had no other place to all go shower and get ready for a night out. Imagine how upset we were that after so much money was being spent on this hotel for only two nights, we not only had a filthy room but we were missing our pre-made plans. After going back to the room after the second cleaning, we still found that not all of the things that were dirty were cleaned! The manager, Shavon, then came in herself to try to help clean for a third time. While she was apologetic, and tried to accommodate us by offering us a breakfast basket in the morning and a bottle of champagne, the dirty state of the room after two cleanings was shocking (by the way, we never received that champagne and the breakfast basket took three phone calls to the front desk and two hours of waiting before it got to our room). While we would have loved to leave this hotel to look for other lodging, there was simply no availability nearby that had space to accommodate our whole group since it was a busy summer weekend.
The next day, we also noticed that the smoke detector was not working and that the two toilets in our rooms were clogging repeatedly despite being given plungers by the staff to try and fix the problem ourselves. We also encountered broken bricks on the steps to get into our room and nails sticking out from the floor in the entry way after the saddle of the doorway lifted off during our stay (which my friend had a minor injury bc of these sharp nails). On the last day of our stay they offered us to use another room by their bay beach for the day for food storage and restroom use (This was supposed to be the building we had our reservation originally booked in). The person in charge for this building, Chuck, seemed nice but it seemed like he was under the influence of some substance(s) and he kept asking us to put up good reviews of him online. As a separate note, the toilet in this day room was found to have poop unflushed in the bowl. What a way to top off this “hotel” stay. While we all made the most of the trip and did our best to still have fun, spending this much money on a dirty and dangerous hotel room left a bad memory on what was supposed to be a memorable trip. Fire Island visitors, please beware staying at the Palms Hotel here.
by Shayla R
A group and I had planned a bachelor party for a weekend out on Fire Island and saw the positive reviews of Palms Hotel but, this was the worst mistake we could have ever made. Our entire weekend was ruined because of the unprofessionalism of this establishment and the complete unsanitariness of the rooms provided.
Upon arrival, we were told that the room we requested was no longer available and that we had other options to select from. We paid for a room that was on the water, private, and enough to fit 7 people. However, the only room that could accommodate us was no where near water and was a disaster zone from the beginning, the Chelsea suite.
When we checked in, the master bedroom had pubic hair all over the bedsheets, dresser had a huge clump of hair on top and bathroom. The floors had grime on it that made the bottoms of socks/sandals black. It's as if no one had cleaned the room in MONTHS. Dirty foot prints on the walls, bathrooms that did not work and we had to get maintenance to come in at least 4 time throughout our 3 day stay, of which we spent approximately 7 hours without access to a toilet while we waited. We complained immediately to hotel staff our first day and we were told we would be given a $200 giftcard to their restaurant so that we can go there while the staff 'cleaned' our room. When we came back, the room looked exactly like the disgusting mess that it was. Also, $200 was enough to give each person 1 Rocket Fuel drink.
To make matters worst, because we were unable to use our suite the first day because staff had to 'clean' it we missed our dinner reservations and weren't able to access our room until about 4 hours later. We were then promised a complimentary breakfast the next morning which never happened. On top of that, the fridge did not work. We booked this place because we were sold on the fact that there's a full kitchen with cutlery and plates provided. We brought meats, veggies, drinks, etc. Expecting to spend our time at the suite but the fridge didn't work, we had no plates, no silverware, there was rotten food in the oven and freezer, and the stove top did not work. The hotel staff then had to put all our food in their hotel fridges/freezer making it extremely inconvenient to us to access OUR food. We had to call staff to bring us anything we needed and we had to wait at least 40 minutes to get another we requested. We were constantly given empty promises. 2 of our guests were so repulsed by the hotel they left the first day because they couldn't bare to stay in this hot mess of a place. Out of courtesy to our grooms, the rest of us stayed because 1. It was paid for and 2. We werent about to let this hotel ruin their weekend of fun so we had to make the most out of our stay, (far far away from the hotel as possible).
The cabinets were falling apart, the door frame was broken. One of our guests tripped on a rusty nails that stuck out of the front door. Maintenance again had to come and fix our door which took about 2 hours. We constantly had random workers in and out of our room making it so uncomfortable to do anything. The blinds were broken and left a mess upon arrival. It was just problem after problem and when we asked for a refund or something to compensate our horrible stay, we were given nothing but the giftcard that gave us one alcoholic beverage to sustain the misery of being at the Palms Hotel.
Do yourself a favor and never book your stay here unless you are that much of a filth aficionado or masochistic.