Review: Marriott Hollywood Beach
Our first visit to the property dates backs to when was originally operated as the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Hollywood Beach Resort. Over the years, it was sold once or twice, eventually undergoing a major renovation and re-branded as the Marriott Hollywood Beach Hotel.
The first few years after the renovation and re-opening, management was first rate and the service was top notch. Even though the rooms were still somewhat cramped by modern standards (as a result of the original construction footprints for rooms and commons spaces), the updating of the furnishing and fixtures created a pleasant (if not overly spacious) environment.
Most rooms and suites offer small balconies (just big enough to handle a couple of chairs and a small table) with lovely views of the ocean and beach area.
This was our first visit back to the property in approximately two years. The rooms, carpeting and furnishings appear a little 'tired' but are still serviceable and acceptable. The swimming pool and sun deck can become a bit crowded and cramped, but remains well serviced by staff. Access to the pool area is carefully monitored for exclusive use by hotel guests. Being located directly on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk and just across from the beach, it is not uncommon for non-hotel guests to try and wander into the pool area and take advantage of the facilities. "May I see your room key, please?"
The small oceanfront "Latitudes Tiki Bar" and outside dining area can be a very pleasant beachside experience....a bite noisy and breezy at times, but welcome to the beachfront and guests having fun. This space is really great to enjoy a morning coffee and observe the early beach goers.
To call this hotel 'boutique-style lodging' is a slight stretch, at least by standards generally associated with many boutique Florida beach properties. On the other hand, it does offer access a lovely stretch of beach in a small town ocean front setting.
There are numerous beach front bars and restaurants within easy walking distance, offering a wide variety of menus.
One of the regional favorite restaurants, GG's Waterfront Grill is located a mile or so south on the Intracoastal Waterway.
If you are considering a beach destination on the lower east coast of Florida, you can do a lot worse than the Marriott Hollywood Beach Hotel.....at least for a few days of modestly priced sun, sand and warmth.