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Reviewed 22 December 2014

The National Hotel claims to be a four star hotel, but one could be forgiven for not knowing that. The hotel is a pretty property with friendly enough staff, but neither the premises nor the service justifies this lofty rating. The lobby and public areas here are not particularly grand, nor are the standard guest rooms much more than adequate.

Some aspects of the hotel were particularly lacking. Throughout my three day stay, about half of the television channels did not work and wifi service was intermittent. Even a Best Western provides a daily newspaper, but the National Hotel does not leave a paper at your doorstep, or even in the lobby. The lack of complimentary coffee in the lobby was another area where The National disappoints.

All this is not to say that the National Hotel is a bad place to stay, but rather that it falls far short of the high standards that any legitimate four star hotel should meet.

Room Tip: Parking here is a whopping $42 / day, so consider parking at a public lot
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ANCAlexander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
11
Reviewed 19 December 2014 via mobile

We booked The National after much deliberation in light of the largely glowing reviews and recent renovation.

Booking.com had the lowest rate by far so that's where we booked, but the hotel claimed not to have a record of our booking when we arrived the next afternoon. They located it after a while (and only after we gave them the reservation code), then tried to put us in a king room instead of two doubles (according to the reservation line at the hotel, the double rooms are $50 more - we had paid for this on booking.com). When we pushed back, they they were glad we told them - what kind of booking system is this? We got a double, but on a low floor (they said all the rooms were taken - I had spoken to the reservation line the night before, and they told me there were plenty of available rooms of the double variety still available and they were far from selling out).

So check-in: minus points

The room itself is fine. Basic, not dingy but not fresh off a renovation. The small console under the wall mounted TV has marks all over it from either liquids or I don't know what. No trash can in the bedroom. Beds are a bit odd - the mattress sits on slats that are clearly visible inside an immovable bed frame. Good number of outlets by the bed and under the TV.

The bathroom is TINY. Not sure why, because there's walk in closet directly next to it that could have expanded the size. Anyway. No shower curtain, a partial glass screen between the basin and shower. Not enough hooks for towels, robes, swimsuits. Shelves were dusty.

The rod holding the hand towels FELL DOWN as I went to get a towel to wipe my hands... We called maintenance to fix that and also the toilet seat which was very tight. When we came back, toilet seat had been replaced and hand towel rod was back in place. Went to get a towel again - rod FALLS DOWN. Called down again. Maintenance comes up again and does something while we are out - this time there is with white glue or putty sticking to it. We leave it be till the morning. Unprompted, it falls down AGAIN.

So I called the front desk. The lady asked me what heavy things we had putting on the rod. Of course, the towel rod at this newly renovated 'luxury' hotel falls down and it must be the guests' fault. Really? I told her it wasn't possible to put anything on it and she should check that this was the THIRD call for the same issue. Oh customer service where are you?

Other observations so far:
Pool is quiet and pretty which is nice. Towel service is spotty at both beach and pool - have to find the guy. But servers at pool are friendly and helpful - one of them even came out to the beach the first afternoon to set us up when no one was to be found (well, the guy at the beach ignored us - walked right by us and went into the hotel...).

The restaurant and bar appeared to be closed on Thursday evening - the poolside kitchen was open till about 4 or 5, but then both that and the bar shut down which was surprising.

The guests seem to have a large proportion of Europeans.

Hopeful that the rest of our stay is less so-so and more positive. Unsure where all the hyper positive reviews come from.


Stayed: December 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2014

Melissa is the best! I love getting massages and she is by far the best. Very knowledgeable and experienced.There is nothing better than a massage by the Ocean in my own cabana. I will definitely be back. Thank you!

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Ingrid P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2014

Just stayed for 3 nights... it was awesome. It underwent a full renovation. While the rooms aren't the biggest they are bigger than most other hotels in SB except for probably only the Lowes and Ritz. But the room is brand new, nice decor, good bed, and brand new marble bathroom. The hotel has a throw back havana vibe. Great lobby, bar, and the 2 outside pools are fantastic. 1 lap pool and 1 regular. Pool food & drink service as well. The hotel is directly on the beach with the bike, walking, jogging path right there as well. The location is excellent as well as Lincoln drive is 1 block away and easy walking to Ocean drive. The cost is very reasonable also compared to the Delano ( which is right next door ) Setai, Sagamore, Ritz, and Lowes. The only negative I have are thr room doors slamming closed as people enter / leave their rooms. They are solid beautiful doors that self close but they need some sort of insulation / rubber molding around them so they don't make a big loud bang when they fully close. You can constantly hear them all hours of the night as people arrive back. Other than that.... I will def be back in Jan !

Room Tip: I had room # 1105 which was the top floor ocean front corner room. A beautiful view of the ocean on a high floor. Excellent!
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank BIGMIKE275
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2014

This hotel is in a great location and is well maintained. If you are looking for a classic art deco feel then this is the hotel for you. The staff were really nice and helpful. The beach staff were great and really made our afternoons special. Vinny is the man and helped us with ideas for fun things to do around town. He also helped with leading us in the right direction for dinners ect. Great personality. They should have more people like him in the hotel as it makes the stay more memorable. Pool staff were very nice too. We would probably try a more modern hotel next time, but if you like classic hotels this is a good option.

  • Stayed: December 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank vacay7878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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