In 2015 I checked out South Florida’s newest hotel! I was able to make it down for the Delray Sands Resort’s grand opening celebration last Thursday night, to which they invited me and a few other bloggers. The new hotel just completed an extensive renovation and when you walk through the lobby doors, you’d never know that this hotel was once a Holiday Inn.
Here are 11 reasons to stay at the Delray Sands Resort:
The Delray Sands Resort is in Highland Beach, Florida, which is between Delray Beach and Boca Raton in Palm Beach County. Unlike most hotels in the area, this one is literally on the beach.
2. New interiors
Delray Sands Resort has 115 ocean-inspired rooms. The bed is comfortable and I especially appreciate the lightweight duvet. Nothing bothers me more than a heavy blanket in a tropical location. The only thing the bed could use some help with is more comfortable pillows. Each bed comes with six pillows and four of them are really bulky. The marble bathrooms and shower make it feel more like a five star hotel, rather than a four. The bath towels are small, which I appreciate because I know it means less impact on the environment and I don’t have a lot of hair but I’m not sure how others will feel about them. Other notable features: toilet seats that don’t slam, mini refrigerators, Keurig coffee maker, two free bottles of water each day, premium cable channels, and morning newspapers.
3. Free WiFi
Gotta love a hotel that doesn’t charge you extra for WiFi! And the Delray Sands Resort doesn’t even try to upsell you on a faster speed. Everyone gets the same and it’s fast enough to watch movies on your devices.
4. $6 valet parking
So they don’t offer free self-parking but have you ever heard of a hotel that charges just $6 a day for valet parking? That’s cheaper than most college campuses … yes, can you believe many colleges now offer valet parking to their students?
5. Beach chairs
Don’t you hate it when you go to a nice beach resort and the beach chairs cost a ridiculous amount of money? I’ve been to places where it costs more to rent a beach chair than it is to go to Walmart and by one. Although chairs are free they do charge $10 for umbrellas.
The hotel’s restaurant is called Latitudes Ocean Grille and it’s literally just steps from the ocean. The place is really nice, serves delicious coastal cuisine, and is so reasonably priced that it’s packed with locals. Here’s a look at their menu and prices, so you know what I mean.
7. Fast room service
I had so much work to do when I first arrived (Air Canada didn’t have Wi-Fi), that I went straight to my room and worked for the next few hours. Since I was starving, I ordered the Maine lobster salad ($19) and it was delivered within the 15 minutes I was quoted. When was the last time you had hotel room service quote you a 15-minute delivery time?
8. Guest laundry
As a traveler who usually doesn’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes so I can do carry-on only, I really appreciate a hotel that offers self-service laundry machines so I’m not forced to use the expensive in-house service or scramble to find a local laundry place. The Delray Sands Resort only charges $1.25 per load and offer free detergent.
9. Friendly staff
All of the staff I encountered were friendly. I’m not sure if they were putting on a show or not but to me, they seemed genuinely happy. Why wouldn’t they be? It was 70ºF out, overlooking a beautiful ocean while most of the country is combatting below freezing temperatures. South Florida in the winter is the place to be if you like warm temperatures and beautiful scenery.
The only time I made it up for sunrise was when I went to catch my 8:30am PBI-LAX flight (yes, American offers nonstop service to the west coast). I set my alarm for 6:40am (the PBI airport is only 25 minutes away and it only takes me 10 minutes to get ready). When I looked out my hotel window, I almost spit out my grind guard. I grabbed my camera and ran out onto the balcony and started snapping photos of the incredible sunrise until I realized I was stark naked. I hope they don’t have any security cameras. The colors, moon, stars, planet, clouds, and sun were unforgettable. The photo above doesn’t do it justice—you should go so you can witness this for yourself!
11. Reasonable rates
It’s not that easy these days to find a hotel that’s right on the beach and that offers reasonable rates. Rooms at the Delray Sands Resort start at $129 in the off-season and around $229 in season.
The Delray Sands Resort is a far cry from the first time I stayed at this location when it was the Holiday Inn Highland Beach. Not only is the name completely different but so is the hotel and that’s a good thing. If you plopped me down in from the hotel and asked me if I had ever stayed here I would have said no – that’s how different it is. The only sign I could see from the old Holiday Inn Highland Beach is the slow, beat up elevator. Luckily, the property the hotel has informed me that the elevator will be renovated in the near future.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.