The first thing you notice about Palm Villa is the postage-stamp pool, framed by a pair of faux palm trees. Next you notice that you're on the third floor, and there's no elevator.
Some of the people we met have been coming back to Palm Villa for years, families and all. Each room is unique. Our suite consisted of a kitchenette (small fridge, small microwave, small table), a full bath and ample bedroom (comfy bed). The flat-screen TV swiveled for viewing from any spot. The room was clean and the water pressure was great but, HEY!, I'm at the beach and the windows are locked!?!
If you're into security, you'll love Palm Villa Suites. We found it rather oppressive, with cameras in every public area, including infra-reds trained on the pool. But the oddest part of our 5-day stay came during check-in, when we saw the long list of rules posted in the office and the rooms, with each violation carrying a fine in the hundreds of dollars. Seriously, there are a lot of ways you could run afoul: opening a window, smoking, visitors, too much sand on the floor, messing with the TV, and a host of other prohibitions. Yes, $30-seasonal beach badges were complimentary, but there was a $50 fine for losing one. (To insure this, ours came equipped with simple safety pins to hold them on in the surf.) We fearfully spent the week trying not to mess-up the mini-blinds whenever we opened them. I think that would have been a $200 fine.
Palm Villa Suites has a split-personality: The staff was quietly efficient, but never warm. (Managed by a branch of the Patel family.) The ice was free, all we wanted. The downstairs deli was usually open and had cheap and tasty coffee. Rates were moderate, but there was always the ever-present fear of violating some Motel Rule.
Unique Quality: * Has an apartment, suites and cozy-suites with fridge and microwave.
* The pool is tiny, and is situated such that it only sees a few hours of sun a day.
* Parking is available (one car/room) but tightly packed.
* A bike rack and picnic table (huh?) are located in the carport.
* A full deli is on the ground floor, open early to late. Good, cheap coffee.
* Flat-screen/digital TV and free wireless Internet.
Directions: One long block to the beach, near the north end of town
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Address: 1211 Boulevard, Seaside Heights, New Jersey, 08751, United States