Thursday, August 06, 2009

Why I wish I had taken pictures of the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, 3550 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL, before I left this morning.

I had a great time at SEALS, as I always do, and this time, I had tried to keep costs down, so I stayed at a place down the road from the Ritz. Here's how the Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn describes itself (see here and especially here). I don't know when those photos were taken, but either Photoshop works miracles, or I'd checked into an alternate universe.

My room had all of the style of a Motel 6 (and there is nothing wrong with a Motel 6, when one is expecting to stay at a Motel 6) without any of the cleanliness or amenities. The bedspread was the second-scariest one that I've ever seen--the first scariest was the one that Jeff & I saw on our trek from Nebraska to Houston with our cat Calypso, and we had tried to sleep hovered above that bed in Oklahoma City. The floor was a greige-y linoleum, and the wall plug tried to come home with me when I unplugged my computer. I don't blame the wall plug. I wouldn't have wanted to stay in that room any longer, either. The refrigerator--actually, a nice touch--had a broken handle, but I was able to pry my way in.

I wouldn't have complained at all (hey, I'd asked for "inexpensive"!), except that when I checked out this morning, the front desk tacked on an additional "resort fee"--a last-minute charge. I asked the desk clerk what the resort fee was for, given that I was staying at a motel. He claimed that the resort fee was for parking (the motel parking slots???), beach access (the wooden stairs???), and computer use (behind the front desk???).

OK, Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn. Here's a tutorial for you, so that you can tell the difference between a resort and your motel.


Most decidedly not a resort

Valet parking

Parking in slots outside rooms, exposed to the elements

Several different places to eat

One place to eat, open at odd times of day

Pools (plural)

Pool (singular), slightly larger than a hot tub

Pool attendants, pool towels, food/drink service at pools

People anywhere near the pool

Gated access to beach

Serial killers can have access to your beach and your rooms

Luxurious rooms

Greige rooms

Luxurious bathrooms

Bathrooms that make you seriously consider buying flip-flops for shower

Luxurious bathroom amenities

The same amenities that you’d get in any other inexpensive motel

Fluffy towels

The same towels that you’d get in any other inexpensive motel


Night watchman (maybe) (I fell asleep, trying to get the image of the room out of my head)

Security guards

Lock on door

I don't mind roughing it (as long as "roughing it" includes cable TV). What I mind is sneakiness. So, Palm Beach Oceanfront Inn, here's hoping that every Google search pulls up this post. Have fun with the next guest who gets tagged for a resort fee at your motel. And, Mr. Front Desk, who--when I asked him if he was kidding about a resort fee--suggested that I stay at the Ritz next time, yes, I believe that I will.


Jordan Ross, Principal, Ross Legal Search, LLC said...

The "resort fee" is a sneaky device that's abused even by real resorts. My wife and I will, on average, come in from the edge of the galaxy (Laughlin( and spend a night "in town" as we say, meaning Las Vegas. There you will find that most of the mega-resorts are using the resort fee to advertise a room rate five to eight dollars more than you'll actually pay in the final analysis. Not a major Wall Street fraud or anything like that, especially considering they practically give the rooms away for free (for what a Holiday Inn Express in Orange County charges for one night you stay three nights in Las Vegas or an entire week in Laughlin). But it's a sort of annoying practice that's an insult to your intelligence, like the gas stations adding nine tenths of a cent to their prices.

Seth Chandler said...

Genuinely funny. I particularly liked the table.