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“Contrary to outward appearances not a Luxury Property”

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Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #5 of 27 Hotels in Boca Raton
Certificate of Excellence
Florida
Level Contributor
197 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“Contrary to outward appearances not a Luxury Property”
Reviewed 3 April 2012

As you drive up to the Boca Raton Resort and Club, the resort is full of promise. Beautiful grounds, a magnificent edifice, an abundance of friendly, attentive staff. Check-in was pleasant even though our room was not ready (we were early); they took our bags and promised to call when the room was ready… and, they did call, about an hour later… which was impressive.

The common areas are also very attractive and full of potential. However, once we left the main common areas, things started to look different. Stains in the hallway carpeting… narrow staircases… old banisters… an unattractive “service area” (across from our room) with a door that remained open throughout our stay. The room was smaller than expected with a small flat screen tv (only one premium channel). A great walk-in closet with shelves, drawers and a safe. The bed was comfortable and there were extra pillows in the closet. However, the bathroom was small, with cheap counter tops, peeling ceiling paint and “varying” water temperatures in the shower. The outside balcony was also plagued with peeling paint and “unmatched” furniture.

After check-in, we headed for the (rather small) pool, which was crowded. We found a couple chairs and just as we settled in, they came over and told us they were clearing the pool for a private function. We gathered up our things and took the water taxi over to the beach club. The boat ride was great but upon landing, we had a somewhat circuitous route (climbing up and down stairs) to the pool. This pool was much larger but still crowded. Service, however, was excellent with lots of staff asking for food and drink orders.

Finally, there is the issue of ancillary costs. Overnight parking was $26/nt. (Boca is not exactly an area where parking is at a premium) There is a resort fee of $20 per room per night, though what it covers is questionable as there is a notice that you should still “feel free to tip housekeeping and valet”… and they still charge to use facilities such as tennis courts. If they want to charge an extra $20 per night, then be honest enough to add it to the room rate; otherwise, it feels like a “con.”

Bottom line… the hotel is “okay” if you lower your expectations.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Barrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 6 April 2012
Thank you for posting a review on TripAdvisor. We take all feedback seriously, and sincerely regret that we did not meet your expectations.

Sincerely,

Peter J. Serena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (753)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2012

My family and I checked into this hotel for the second time in 3 months. Our first stay (January 2012)was mediocre at best. We booked through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and were "upgraded" into a Tower Suites room that had NOT been renovated (as opposed to our reservation which was for a "newly renovated" room). At check in, the front desk employee was completely unfamiliar with the Amex FH&R program, which includes a resort credit and complimentary breakfast for two each day of the stay. Usually, a survey and welcome letter detailing the benefits of the Amex FH&R program is delivered at this time. In our room we found the the closet door in the bathroom off the hinges and leaning against the wall (see photo). The crib provided by the hotel looked as if it had been thrown down a flight of concrete stairs (see photo). Room service was very slow. Upon check out, the employee at the front desk said she would make note of these issues and apologized.

We decided to give the hotel another chance on this recent (March 2012) visit because of its proximity to a wedding we were in town to attend. We also booked through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and reserved a one bedroom suite in a section of the hotel called the Cloisters. This time at check in, the Amex FH&R benefits were iterated to me. Our one bedroom suite was extremely dated with a very small bathroom. The temperature throughout the suite was almost impossible to regulate: It was either humid or freezing. Room service was a complete disaster. We ordered breakfast the first morning and after 3 calls to complain the order was incorrect AND incomplete, I finally gave up. (In addition, apparently drinking water isn't provided by room service for breakfast at this hotel). We returned to the hotel that evening very tired and decided to try room service again for dinner. What a mistake. Numerous items were left out of the order and what was delivered was inedible. At least the crib the hotel provided this time looked as if it had been painted within the past 10 years, although it was probably 25 years old and "sagged" at hinge points along the top support bars (we did NOT put our 8 month old baby in it this time, either).

Also, prior to checking in, we called the hotel and spoke to the concierge to inquire about purchasing a $250 gift card to give as a present. We were told this was no problem and it could be purchased at the front desk. Well, at check in, the front desk said they don't sell them and we would have to purchase them in the gift shop or the spa. I was told the gift shop opened the next morning at 7:00 AM. The next morning we found the gift shop didn't open until 9:00 AM. The other place to buy it was the Spa, which also opened at 9:00 AM. (We had to be at a family breakfast by 8:00 AM). Also, apparently only GUESTS of the hotel may use gift cards. So, IF we had been able to purchase a gift card, our intended recipient who lives in Boca, would not have been able to use it UNLESS she checked into the hotel (for use in the restaurant, spa, golf course, etc)! How crazy is that??

Upon checking out I noticed we were charged for our breakfast the first day and was told that the only way it was included in the Amex FH&R program was if we physically ate in one of their restaurants. When I pointed out that other hotels in the Amex program don't require that I was told "That's the way we do it". We did receive the $100 resort credit toward other charges. Also, when I informed the front desk employee of the poor room service and temperature control in our suite, I was given a long stare as if I were an ungrateful child. I told her that I was extremely disappointed and would never return to the hotel, she said "ok" and walked away.

For the rates this hotel charges, they should back it up with top level service. They don't even come close. We regularly stay at Four Seasons Hotels and have been spoiled by the superior service they all provide. Upon future visits to Boca, we will stay in Palm Beach at the Four Seasons and drive back and forth.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank M W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 6 April 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review on Trip Advisor. I am disappointed that your visit with us was not as pleasant as we all would have liked. Your feedback is appreciated as it allows me to perfect our service moving forward. I apologize that the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits were not explained to you correctly and for the inconsistent service you received during your stay with us. Please know that I will address your concerns with the departments involved to ensure that these types of mistakes are addressed immediately. The Tower rooms were recently renovated and we will be starting the renovation process for the Cloister rooms in a few months. Regarding gift cards, the resort is also a private club, therefore in order to use the facilities and amenities you must be an authorized guest with a valid guest card. I do hope that you return in the future and give us the opportunity to impress you with the service.

Sincerely,

Peter J. Serena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
125 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

We just returned from a work trip to this hotel. I hate to complain because trip was complimentary. I love the space it's like a big old school resort. (think of a Greenbriar on the beach) It's also fun to take the boat to the beach side as resort not on beach. We had dinner the first night at the Sea Grill which was wonderful, our server was information and very good. Our bell man Troy was fabulous and very helpful when I asked for a hair brush, (yes I forgot one) and the stores were closed when we arrived. Troy behind the desk was a bit put off by our request when we asked if he could find one and have it at front desk when we returned from dinner. It was there when we arrived after dinner. Also, there was hair in our tub, I had to wash the tub again before I took a bath. I did not feel like calling house keeping and waiting for them to clean. Also what is it with Hilton properties, tons of people walking around in suits doing nothing, I watch them step over trash and things that need to be handled. One thing you never see at a Four Season is someone walking away from a problem. I think all these suits that walk around the hotel need to keep their eyes open and work!

Room Tip: I would not want to stay in tower as large and windows do not open.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Arlington30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 6 April 2012
Thank you for sharing feedback about your stay with us on tripadvisor.com. I sincerely apologize for the inconvienence and have reviewed your feedback in detail with our housekeeping manager and management team.

Sincerely
Peter J. Serena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upstate NY
Level Contributor
58 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

I had a mini-suite in the tower- it was very comfy. The hotel is spotless and the hotel staff is terrific. The food service staff in the small convention area needs some tuning up.

I look forward to visiting again- I highly recommend the Boca Raton Resort

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank twostick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Thank you for posting a review of your stay at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. I appreciate your comments about the food service and will address it with our Food & Beverage management team. I am especially please to learn that you had a wonderful experience and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Sincerely,
Peter J. Serena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monroe, Connecticut
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

The resort was great and the restaurants were fantastic. The beach club was a lot of fun but unfortunately they close the outdoor bar at pool at 6pm.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank peters002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Thank you for posting a review of the Boca Raton Resort & Club. I am thrilled to hear that you had such a wonderful time despite the early pool closure. We don't typically close the pools early unless there is an event that requires it to be closed. It appears that was the reason for the closure during your visit . I do appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Sincerely,
Peter J. Serena
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Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

This is a lovely property with expansive grounds, good restaurants and good service. It is an excursion to get to the beach and the pool/beach was crowded. Even with many people on the beach, the service was good and the staff got towels, chairs, etc. for all the guests so it was manageable. I had dinner one night in Cielo and the food was fresh, great taste, good service.
The guest rooms have all the charm of an older property and some of the drawbacks. My air conditioning did not cool the room adequately, there was shortage of outlets and no full length mirror.
It has the feel of a conference hotel with efficient services and meeting rooms. Great for meetings but I wouldn't go back for a family or romantic visit. But...overall, very nice.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank incognitodiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Thank you for posting a review of your stay at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. I am glad to hear your stay was a pleasant one overall. Although we do host meetings and conventions, we equality cater towards our leisure and social guests. Many of our leisure guests are longstanding repeat guests who visit the resort during weekends and holidays periods and especially enjoy the services and amenities we offer for romantic or family getaway. The spa and restaurants are among the favorites for our romantic guests, while the pools, beach, Camp Boca and Serendipity are family farvorties. I can only hope that you will give us another opportunity in the future to serve you. Thanks again for your feedback.

Sincerely,
Peter J. Serena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
158 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

I don't get it. Surly staff, loud and boisterous guests, poor service.... why does this resort continue to get such high ratings? For three nights we stayed in a room at the cloisters. The room had carpeting that needed replacing, sockets that did not work, and antiquated fixtures -- I guess that this would all fit under the rubric of "old world charm." Room service was near non-existent -- the bed was made up but barely anything else was done ; dirty glasses were left by the TV, there was no "turn down", socks from the previous guest were left as souvenirs. But we were reminded that there was a housekeeping staff -- they started yelling greetings to each other at 8 o'clock in the morning right outside our door. (In case that did not wake us up, someone knocked at 8:30 for a "room check." (?)) The third night of our stay we had a hall smell of burnt toast strong enough to require a towel by the door. This is a five star resort?

I am happy for management that the establishment is filled to the gills with conventioneers, wedding guests, and the like (including a lot of 40 something men calling each other "dude"), but this atmosphere does little for the guest who wants to relax. Grand Central Station at all hours. (Reminded of Yogi Berra's remark that "no one goes there anymore, it is too crowded....")

The two pluses? Cielo Restaurant with impeccable service and quality fare and the morning buffet.

Fortunately, we had also reserved a night at the Beach Club -- an off-site addendum to the Resort -- that proved to be far superior. It was on a beach, the rooms were not living antiques, and, low and behold, the staff smiled. The night was relatively quiet (no conventions or weddings here!), the valet service was punctual and helpful, there was no "single scene", and the beach was accessible. If we come back, this is where we would head. Leave the Resort to others who appreciate this kind of thing.....to my mind, "more" does not necessarily equate with quality.

Room Tip: Stay at the Beach Club? Avoid the "cloisters."
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank paul r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocaGuestRelations, General Manager at Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
As always, we appreciate our guests taking the time to share their experiences both with us and other travelers on Tripadvisor.com. The stay described above falls far short of the manner in which we strive to treat our guests.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Property: Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Address: 501 E Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432-6127
Region: United States > Florida > Boca Raton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Boca Raton
#3 Luxury Hotel in Boca Raton
#4 Romantic Hotel in Boca Raton
#7 Business Hotel in Boca Raton
#8 Family Hotel in Boca Raton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 1041
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Boca Raton Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Boca Raton
The Waldorf Astoria Collection
Boca Raton Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Florida

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