Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Shores - Daytona Beach!

If you want to have a great family vacation, check out Daytona Beach, Florida. My aunt and uncle (and cousin) took me there when I was younger. I have wonderful memories of my times spent there! I haven't been back since and when I decided to visit with my family, I wanted to stay at The Shores. I visited their website while planning our stay and I thought it looked like a beautiful place to visit.
The Shores Resort & Spa is luxurious, boasting some of the most beautiful woodwork I've seen in a lobby. It was clean and inviting. The wood was richly finished, making the space warm and very cozy. There were several sitting areas which seemed tucked away and private, despite the openness of the lobby. I was impressed.
I checked in quickly and the Bellman loaded our bags. My husband parked across the street (you need to get your code from the front desk before you park) and walked back to the lobby. They have a covered walkway that takes you over the street, so you don't need to worry about traffic. It was clean and well lit, just in case you check in after dark.
The hallways were decorated nicely and they were quiet throughout our stay. I couldn't hear any noise from the ice machine or elevators. There wasn't any trash in the halls and it seemed like the housekeepers took a lot of pride in there work. I couldn't even find any dust on the light fixtures.
When we walked into the room, we were greeted by soothing tones of yellow and blue, inspired by the view outside I'm sure. Chic furniture throughout made me feel as if I were in a cottage instead of a hotel. It was quite nice! The rails over the bed were dust free and so was everything else in the room. Two chairs and a table took up a corner and made a nice spot to have a cup or tea or read a good book. Of course, you should expect the view to distract you. It's really breathtaking! Pool towels were placed on the table so we could take them with us when we decided to go take a plunge in their awesome pool below!
While we unpacked our bags, the kids took it all in. They couldn't wait to go out and play on the beach! They watched a few cars drive on the beach and they noticed an ice cream truck and a food truck park to feed hungry beach goers! There was a truck parked near the hotel and they offered rental beach chairs, umbrellas, and other beach toys. We rented a couple of chairs and an umbrella on our second day. We paid $20 for two hours. If we wanted the rental until 5pm, it would cost $30. Not bad for a day in the shade!
the side windows open enough to allow the breeze and sound of the waves inside!
 The bathroom was roomy and you could get undressed/dressed without bumping into everything. They provided robes, which were nice, and they also provided soaps, shampoo, lotion, and conditioner. I fell in love with the rose hip and lavender lotion.
As soon as I returned home I searched online for hours with no luck, hoping to buy a very large bottle. It was a wonderful feminine scent and my husband told me over and over that I smelled amazing!  A silver tone tin on the counter contained sealed packs of q-tips and cotton balls. I also found a nice hair dryer with a cool setting!
When we arrived home, I asked Logan about his most memorable moments from the trip. He had a couple that stood out. The first was playing on the beach and the second happened to be the S'mores at The Shores! We were comped a S'mores kit and we opened it to see what was inside. It contained everything we needed to have small after dinner dessert.!
The kits are ten dollars and you can pick up your skewers at the Tiki Bar below. If you want to spend more than 15-30 minutes around the firepit, or you have a large family, I recommend buying your own ingredients. For couples and small families, this size is perfect.
There are two gas firepits and they were never crowded during our stay. They turn them off during bad weather, but I was told that they relight them afterwards. According to the staff, they are on all night!
The firepits overlook the Atlantic. It's a great place to hang out both day and night! We saw both couples and families take advantage of the magical firelight. It was a special place for all! 
The Tiki Bar is close to the pool area, hot tub, and fire pit. The prices are what you'd expect to pay. I paid almost $9 for a not too great banana daiquiri, but the other drinks were quite good. It was nice to have a drink while we walked on the beach our first evening there.
The Tiki Bar was charming and it was everything you expect for a bar on the beach. For those that don't want to use the bar, I noticed a glass dispenser containing flavored water on a counter near the pool! It was self serve and they provided plenty of cups. The cabana rentals tempted us and if we had been there longer, we would have rented one for the afternoon. They looked very comfortable! We would have loved watching our kids play in the saltwater pool while we lounged in our private cabana!
 The hot tub was very warm and one evening after dinner we took advantage of the "therapy" it provided. Everyone was well rested afterwards and we looked forward to going back to the room!
We used the shuttle service one evening to take us to dinner. My only irritation was that the shuttle business card had a hotel logo so we assumed it was part of the hotel. When we called to arrange transportation, we were told we could come down anytime. We did and they recommended a place for dinner, which happened to be great! They picked us up about 15 minutes after we finished dinner and took us back to the hotel. Shuttle service is included in the resort fee that you pay when you check in. They are friendly and very know the area well. When we checked out, we discovered a long distance charge of $6, not including tax. This was the charge for arranging the shuttle transportation with the phone in the room. The front desk removed the charge as a courtesy, but they may not do that for everyone.
After a great night's sleep, we slowly woke to a beautiful sight. The deep blue sea and sunshine awaited and there wasn't a cloud in sight! Logan moved to sit by the window while he waited patiently for Sam to wake. When he didn't, Logan gave him a wake-up call!
 After a perfect day on the beach, we packed for home. One of the great features of The Shores is their tunnel! You can get to the beach or pool (from your room) without going through the lobby! The tunnel even has restrooms and we were able to check out of the hotel and enjoy a few hours at the beach and pool before going home. The restrooms allowed us to dry off and change so we didn't travel back to Georgia covered with salt and sand! There was even an outdoor shower so everyone could rinse off first!
 Everyone at The Shores went out of their way to make our experience one to remember. My upcoming review had little to no influence because I went out of my way to connect with as many staff members as possible, just to see what an average traveler could expect. My family enjoyed this trip and they loved The Shores! I hope you will consider them if you are visiting the Daytona Beach (or even Orlando) area!
Disclosure: We were given a stay at The Shores Resort & Spa in order to write this review. Opinions are mine and not influenced in any way.

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