This part weekend, my daughter competed at the Cape Cod Classic Synchronized Skating Competition and our team hotel was the Sea Crest Beach Resort. When you travel with a team, you are required to stay in the team hotel and you are often there for multiple nights. In our case, we arrived late on a Thursday and checked out Sunday morning.
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This was my first trip to Cape Cod and the first thing we noted when we drove down from Logan Airport in Boston is that everything seems to be in more than one place. Various GPS devices, maps, and the hotel website alternatively listed the hotel as in Bourne, Falmouth and in North Falmouth. I'll go with the hotel's website and say that it's located in North Falmouth. Let's not even ask why every other road seems to be named Sandwich up there. On a Thursday evening in December, it took up about an hour and a half to drive south from Boston. We were surprised upon our return trip to see all of the houses along the way because you saw nothing headed down there. I can easily see how this drive would be difficult in the summer with cape traffic and bridge backups.
Check in was very efficient. I think that is because we had made reservations back in September and they knew when to expect us. We received a group rate off season rate of $109 per night for a standard room. The lobby area looked promising and upon receiving a map of the hotel to find our rooms, we went exploring.
I say that we went exploring because it took a map to find our rooms. The number system was non-intuitive with some people in one wing, others in another. Usually when we stay in a hotel, the teams are grouped together so this was a little odd. Some people had rooms that were only accessible via the stairs while others (like me) could use the elevator. Once I headed down the hall which had very well worn carpeting, I found a much older elevator. My room was on the second floor and when the elevator doors opened, I was greeted by a flickering fluorescent fixture overhead. The bulb was never changed out during our stay.
My standard double room was fairly well-appointed and quite spacious but as with the rest of the hotel, it needed some maintenance. A towel rack was half pulled out of the wall. The air conditioning/heating unit did not seem to be able to maintain a steady temperature so I got up in the middle of the night every night in order to either turn up the heat because it was very cold or turn it down because it was stifling. The last night, the unit started leaking, leaving a very large water puddle on the carpeting underneath. I unplugged everything because water and electricity tend to be a bad mix.
While there was plenty of space for me and my daughter, I would not book this room for my family of four. While a double bed is fine for me by myself, it is not when sharing with my very tall husband who would fill the bed by himself. My daughters would end up kicking each other all night. I try very hard not to book anything smaller than two queens and I mean full sized queens not those hotel oversized doubles/undersized queens. In addition to the beds, there was a nightstand in between with a clock which was not set to the correct time, a dresser, the ubiquitous television set, a walk-in closet with a good sized shelf/bench, a coffemaker which was not in the bathroom, a hair dryer, a small refrigerator (but no microwave), a chair, a small table and a desk. The bathroom was clean although it could use some grout near the bathtub. Lighting was good, the water was hot and finally a hotel that provides the same number of towels as the room occupancy! So many sites only provide two or three towels when there are beds for four. We didn't need more than two but it was nice to see them provided and they were soft too. We had a lovely view of the outdoor roof units and if you looked hard enough, you could see the ocean.
The need for renovations became quite clear when we were exploring the property, heading out to check out the beach which is directly in back of the hotel. Back by the quick service bar/restaurant (which was closed for the season), there were multiple buckets laid out, each quickly filling with water from leaks in the roof. While our room was fine, I heard from others that they had leaks in their rooms.
As we were there for a skating competition, we spent a lot of time at the rink but when we weren't at the rink, we discovered that there isn't a lot to do at the Sea Crest Beach Resort in the off season. It was raining so the beach wasn't much of an option and cold so going in the water wasn't either unless you were one of our brave polar bears. The outdoor pool and hot tub were closed as well as almost all of their restaurants. We took the girls to the indoor pool one afternoon which they enjoyed but they did not like having to go outside in order to get to the indoor pool. The pool attendant was very nice, offering extra towels to try and keep the girls warm running between buildings in the cold rain.
For dining, we did buy the buffet breakfast in the Ocean View Restaurant since there were no other onsite options and not much nearby. I felt it was very expensive spending $23 plus tip for an adult and a child. The choices were the same every morning: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, french toast, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, breads, pastries and fresh fruit as well as juice or coffee. As my daughter only ate fruit and a muffin every morning, this was not an economical breakfast. I ordered hot tea one morning which was a mistake because the water was not hot at all.
We took advantage of one of the meeting rooms one morning to do hair and makeup prior to the competition. It was spacious and met our needs except for not having a bathroom right outside when we needed some paper towels.
Overall, this is a dated facility with a great beach location. It was large enough to accommodate our entire team, plus teams from other organizations and judges. Since local organizing committees usually lodge judges in the nicest rooms available, I'm assuming that the Sea Crest Beach Resort meets that criteria. In talking to other parents with other teams at the event, they had similar experiences with other properties in the area. I'll recommend the hotel based upon the attitude of the staff we encountered, cleanliness and location. They really must do something about maintenance and renovations - particularly of major systems such as the roof!