Monday, September 7, 2009

Not Exactly a Day at the Beach

For some reason we love this place -- the country’s shortest coast line. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. Maybe we love it because of the pristine beach and the clear water. Maybe because we feel it’s relatively safe for the 14-year-old and her friend to wander off. Maybe because it’s a cross between the Rockaways, the Jersey Shore and 1965. But we keep coming back. The trouble is we’re having a problem finding accommodations that don’t completely SUCK.

As most ocean front resorts, none of these places are cheap, but three trips and three different resorts that have been nothing like their websites portray. I’m starting to get annoyed. Last October we took our daughter and her friend to see four bands at the Hampton Beach Casino. It was actually her birthday present. We stayed in what was supposed to be a two bedroom suite at the Beach View Inn.

Well, it was more like a hostile. It had been one large room that they put a wall down the center that ran two thirds of the way and stopped. There was a narrow eating and cooking area with windows at the other end. At least there were two bathrooms in that hotel’s unit. There was also some half eaten pasta in the cabinets and some other food. Okay, some one was living in it and got kicked out when we rented it for $180 a night plus tax. But I’ve never seen a more run-down place used to house paying guests as I did this weekend. No… I did. Last year but I was trying to forget.

The really odd thing about this place run by The Royal Crest Hotel, is the bathroom sink is in one of the bedrooms. That bothered my daughter, so she and her friend took the larger bedroom.

The small, single bathroom had a standalone shower that I’m pretty sure the only thing keeping it from leaking into the “apartment” below is the ring of mildew on the lower seam. It took fifteen minutes to get any hot water in that thing and I gave up trying to get any out of the kitchen sink. There is only one television and it is in the living room. My daughter tried to yank it out of there and put it in their bedroom, but there was no cable connection.

There was also no internet service except for a small non-air-conditioned room three blocks away in their main hotel “lobby” and there was no phone at all in the room. (Yes, I almost had heart failure.)

There was one window air conditioner unit that was half the size needed to cool the place, but luckily the nights were cool and we weren’t there during the day.

We were given no extra blankets or pillows. Actually there were no blankets at all, just bedspreads. I had to go to the corner convenience store to get a fleece throw. Yes, the sheets and towels were clean, but I slept in my sweats and socks just in case there were bugs I couldn’t see.

The doors didn’t close right and there were holes in all the window screens. There was a clock on the wall that was in need of batteries since 1979 and none of the exterior lights worked at all. I had to buy a beach matt to put on the door as there was no longer a shade where it was supposed to be, so you could see right into the place from the exterior hallway. These were fine accommodations in any third world country. I felt like a Russian refugee. A trailer park would have been an upgrade. But the problem is I paid close to $900 with tax for three nights to stay in this place. I am not amused.

I’ll tell you, we are pretty easy going guests. As long as the place is clean and there are no bugs, we’re okay. But considering how my back felt this morning after another night sleeping on that bed and not even being able to handle another shower in that phone booth, I think I’m going to give up staying on the beach. Three strikes – you’re OUT. The Royal Crest was the last straw for me. I really am so angry I could spit. From here on in, I’ll stay in the mountains and drive the two hours down to Hampton beach and hang out for the day. Unless someone can tell me there is actually something there that DOESN’T actually SUCK!!

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