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“Interesting,2.5 star hotel/motel but yet memorable”
Review of Beach Shack

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Beach Shack
Ranked #20 of 37 Hotels in Cape May
Reviewed 25 September 2011

I was afraid we would not enjoy our vacation with the bad reviews on tripadvisor more so due to a heated discussion we had with reservations and their manager. It started when I wanted to shorten our stay by one night due and could not get in contact with the hotel due to hurricane Irene. Thus, I wrote an email in reply to an email sent by the beach shack. In this email, I explained our situation of wanting to leave a day early and not being able to get in contact with the hotel to make the changes. After the storm passed, I finally got in contact with the hotel and they gave me the number to reservations. By this time I had already passed the allotted time period to make changes with a minimal fee but with Irene I thought they would understand especially since I tried my best to make contact within the allotted time. Boy was I wrong!! The reservation manager was condescending, sarcastic, non-apologetic and continued to make insinuations that I was lying to them about calling the hotel. They told me "I should have known better to call reservations instead of the hotel". I explained that I honestly didn't know that reservations was a different number from the hotel but he told me that " how could I not since the only way to make changes and reservations was to call reservations and not the hotel and there was nothing that he can do for me and I would loose the night's stay full price"...I know for a fact that cape may had a mandatory evacuation during hurricane Irene and I found it insulting that they believed I was lying. Inregards to my email, he told me that my email was invalid because no one receives those emails even though I never received a "mailer not found" or error when I sent my email. I can understand that it was my error not to call reservation but reservations never gave me the benefit of the doubt or were apologetic or plain in simple treated me like a paying customer should have been treated. Regardless of the bad taste reservations left us with, we couldn't afford to cancel our family vacation (which is what I wanted to do after that phone call with reservations) of 4 nights at ~ $400/night.

Once we got to the hotel I was amazingly surprised. The hotel did indeed look like a renovated motel but looked nice especially since the beach was across the street. The hotel was divided into two areas: one next to the Rusty Nail restaurant and bar and one next to the pool. The reception staff was welcoming and answered all of our questions in regards to beach passes (which Cape May beach charges about $15 for a three day pass per person), pool working hours, etc!!! Right at the start they told us there were no phones in the rooms but if we needed anything we could come down and ask or call via our personal phones. I found this a surprise being that the Hotel charges $400/night, but to us it was not a big deal to use our personal phones. We did indeed call to ask for extra sheets and they were there within 2 minutes. The cleaning staff cleaned our room every day and gave us fresh towels and restocked whatever we were running low on. Our room was on the pool side. As soon as we entered our room it smelled mildewy but were surprised that the decorations were not as bad as some reviews stated although it was indeed outdated. The AC was on and the beds and linen were comfortable and clean. Our standard double queen room was roomy enough to fit my 10-month-old joovy room2 pack and play and leave us with enough room for a sitting area and walking space. The kitchenette was fully packed with dishes, cups, utensils, dish soap, sponge, sink, microwave, coffee maker and paper towel (which was a plus to prepare my 10 month old's food). The bathroom was small and again outdated but we didn't need a large bathroom?? The room did need repairs for certain things i.e.; the closet had no doors (which i sorta liked lol!) and the toilet needed to be more secure. All in all I feel that the decor of the beach shack was more renovated than other motels I saw in cape may on tripadvisor.

One thing I did enjoy was opening our door and listening to the Rusty Nail's live music from our terrace/walkway chairs (which each room has). At night it was also nice to see the warm orange lights next to the rooms and hear the ocean waves. Also, the beach shack had a family friendly environment which we were looking for.

The beach service was great such that we got chairs, towels and umbrellas set up every day within 5 minutes. The beach service from the Rusty Nail was awesome; the only con was that the waitresses were not on the beach too frequently. The food from the Rusty Nail was decent. We booked our room with a complimentary daily $20 Rusty Nail breakfast voucher which we enjoyed. Their waffles, apple wood thick bacon, pancakes and whole grain/wheat nutty bread were so yummy!! The ambiance of the sand bar and fire pit at the Rusty Nail was enjoyable and service staff were accommodating and some went out of their ways especially management.

The beach shack pool was not serviced with fresh towels to frequently but when I asked a staff member for pool service a pool staff member would arrive within 5 minutes and set up our chairs and have warm fresh towels for us.

The Mall was an enjoyable 15-minute walk that had boutiques, cafes, ice cream shops, gift shops and restaurants. We loved Tisha's, although expensive, the food was amazing. Try the fudge kitchen ...we loved their walnut fudge hmmmm!

Parking at the beach shack was included as well as the Internet but one thing that did bug us was when the staff would reserve a parking spot close to our room for the hotels' suite guests. I only found this annoying during the weekend when the Rusty Nail customers would fill up the parking spots of hotel guests and thus we were frustrated that the "VIP" suite rooms would get special treatment (by getting a spot reserved with a cone not as a permanent designated suites only parking spot) while we had to either wait or park outside.

All in all we had a great time and built great memories at the Beach shack besides our few downs and might consider staying there again but would probably try the Montreal inn or the Ocean club or even Congress hall for a similar price.

Beach shack please retrain you reservation management and take care to get rid of the mildew smell in your rooms and make a few additions/renovations to your rooms such as a phone and hair dryer. Also have more staff at your pool...charging $400/night you can afford these improvements!!!

Room Tip: By the pool side its is quieter
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank ivelise20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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286 - 290 of 353 reviews

Reviewed 21 September 2011

Just returned from 2 days at Beach Shack. In more than 35 years of business and personal travel I do believe that every hotel does have positives as well as negatives.
Let's begin with the positives. Great location-right at the beach. Nice front desk- the lady at check in was very informative and professional. Nice logos- they have Beach Shack logos on everything, even their spiffy umbrellas. Clean pool-someone cleaned the pool twice daily.
But in the end, after all it is a hotel. We were informed by their copious literature that the structure was originally constructed in 1966, some 45 years ago. This number becomes important when we enter our room as very little has changed . Yeah it is newly painted and the bedding reflects the "Duvet" idiom. However the rest, is some sort of time capsule. The bathroom reminded me of the cheap Mom and Pop road side motel of a long gone era. The floor was day one tile, the toilet seat cheap and flimsy. The stainless steel sink was salvaged from some criuse ship of 1930's vintage. The door was so worn it was delaminated at the bottom. Ugh! The beds were at least 20 years old and very uncomfortable.
Also absent- No telephone or any similar communication device in the room. OK, so everyone has a cell phone but what number do you call in an emergency or plumbing failure or God forbid a medical emergency? Hair dryer absent-come on now, they can probably be purchased in bulk for $10 or less.
This property belongs to the same group that owns the Virginia Hotal and Congress Hall. Both in Cape May and steller operations. Kind of looks like they spent a very small amount to freshen up the place. It really needs more work.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank carandken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

Purposely planned September when the kids would be back in school because during the season the shack is alive with families. I know this because I am down CM on weekends. Come fall it's a place for couples and girlfriend getaways. Sorry single girls in 5 nights I didn't see any single men staying here. Only negatives I can say about this place is the lack of outdoor lighting on the stairs and in the parking lot. You can't even see this place at night if you are coming from the south because their sign isn't lit. The small flood isn't sufficient to light it. My room was very nice. The bathroom was incredibly small but there was an additional sink and mirror right outside the BR. Small kitchenette with microwave and coffee maker and dishes and utensils for 4. I made coffee every day and sat outside to enjoy it on the balcony. There a not pots and pans but you can make sausage or a tv dinner in the microwwave. A note about the public balcony: it's wide enough that someone passes you don't feel like you have to pull your legs in for them to pass. Kudos for the designer of e former COACHMENS INN as this is a rarity at the shore. The bedding was exceptionally comfortable , the design of the room was contemporary , the towels were plentifully replaced daily and so was the bathroom rug with a clean fresh one everyday. That was a nice touch. My room overlooked The rusty nail and the firepit. Maybe because this is September the noise was not overwhelming and they closed up shop around 10-1030. It had a very nice vibe all day long. Te best part of the beach shack and the one thing that makes it worth the price is not having to lug towels, chairs and umbrella to the beach. This would be an exceptional gift to families with children . I loved it too. I'll be back if I can find some deals on price.

Room Tip: No bad rooms here.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank djwalpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2011

Stayed here last week for a few nights and wanted to share a negative experience we had with management. Early morning on the day that we planned to arrive in Cape May, we learned of the passing of my grandmother. After several calls to the motel and a few hours later, we finally got in touch with the manager. We explained the situation that we would need to arrive 3 days later in order to attend the services. Without a "sorry for your loss" we were told there would be $75 "cancellation" fee added to our bill because the change. When I said that I thought that was inappropriate, we were told that it was "policy" and if we didn't like it we could cancel altogether and be charged the full amount of the stay. I am still astonished by this lack of understanding and obviously will not be staying at this motel again in the future.

Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
4  Thank NY10282
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2011

This is a perfect place for children. It is across from the beach and provides chairs, umbrellas and towels which they set up for you on the beach. You can order food from the Rusty Nail Restaurant while sitting on the beach. It also has a pool which was loaded with children and their parents. We were there without children. So if you are looking for a quiet getaway, this is not for you. The beds were very comfortable and the rooms were clean. There are 2 things I would like to see fixed. One is the poor lighting on the steps and the other is to replace the toilet seat. It needed to be tightened and they did that. But it didn't last. The Rusty Nail is right next to the hotel and has nightly music. There is a fire pit for parents and children to sit around. The people at both places where very pleasant.
But my next place will cater more to couples than families.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GrandmomZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Beach Shack

Address: 205 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204
Region: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May County > Cape May
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Cape May
Price Range: $153 - $463 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Beach Shack 3*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Beach Shack is a fresh, new, fun alternative for beachfront vacations. You will feel comfortable wearing your flip flops all day long. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beach Shack Hotel Cape May

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