After spending a LOOOONG month in Orlando, it was time to get back on the road and head north up the East Coast. Truth be told, we were really sick of Orlando and the hellish nightmare of tourists everywhere. That’s a story for another day.
Since it was Independence Day weekend, we didn’t want to spend our entire time driving so we chose to hotel crash at Clarion Inn Ormond Beach for a few days. One thing you learn by living in hotels is holiday weekends are not the best time for traveling. Besides the traffic, the room rates can jump up 100-200% putting a real hurt on your budget. So our goal was to find a place with reasonable rates, but not too far from the beach area and festivities.
We needed to find a unicorn.
How was Clarion Inn at Ormond Beach?
I have to admit, the thought of staying in a Clarion Inn made me shudder. It’s not that this brand is bad for any particular reason other than somewhere in my brain, it stores unsavory images of 1980s pimps and meth addicts. Real or perceived, they were guilty by association. However I can say it ended up going really well. But you’ll have to read the rest of the post for those details.
As we pulled off Hell’s Highway (I-95) and made our way to the hotel, I noticed it was in an area with restaurants, bars, and Harley Davidson Daytona. It looked like the perfect mix for an Independence Day biker rally, which could be really fun or really bad. LOL! Luckily for us it was mostly quiet and peaceful this weekend.
The hotel sets next to a very busy Love’s Truck Stop, but it was easy access to the highway and a 30 minute drive to Ormond Beach, Florida. It’s also close to Bulow Creek State Park and Tomoka State Park. The area surrounding it is businesses and you can easily grab some grub or beers at Colt’s Pig Stand or Houligans — both excellent food.
The Property: 7/10
The main hotel lobby and property itself was nicer than I possibly could’ve imagined. It was clean and I didn’t notice any pimps or meth addicts hanging around. 🙂 But since we only walked in to check in and get our keys, we don’t have much to report on this side of things.
The building our room was in was across the parking lot and a different set up than I imagined. It was next to the Harley Davidson building and above several biker focused businesses. If you walk around the corner there’s a large stage area for entertainment but there weren’t any shows that weekend.
Overall our building wasn’t great or super clean looking, but it wasn’t horrible either. We’ve been in worse and it’s not like we were gonna hang out in the parking lot.
The Room: 7.3/10
Since we started doing a breakdown of each component of the room, the score reflects our rating as a whole. There will always be aspects we like or dislike according to our style of hotel living.
The kitchen was huge and spacious and included a full sized refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, and loads of utensils for cooking and eating. We couldn’t have asked for a better set up for our needs!
Living Room: 7/10
Our living room at the Clarion Inn Ormond Beach was large enough for an all night rage party, but since we’re lame and old without any traveling friends, we simply enjoyed our adult beverages in this space.
There was a small desk and chair, a less than comfy couch and chair, and good sized TV. Other than that it wasn’t too exciting or engaging. The small window made this space feel like a cave but we wanted to spend our time outside anyway.
Since the bedroom was just for sleeping and getting our freak on, it was fine. There wasn’t much to it other than the king-sized bed (which was comfortable), a couple of end tables, a small dresser, and TV. Again there was plenty of space for a party but we chose to keep things on the down low.
The biggest complaint here was our neighbor’s kitchen was on the other side of our headboards and they were VERY noisy after midnight. Of course, maybe they said the same about us. 😉 The soundproofing wasn’t good for any of us.
The bathroom looked newly remodeled and was very nice. The counter space could hold all of Donetta’s stuff though there weren’t many plugins. It did a fine job for its intended purpose. The only caveat is that it’s in the bedroom so if you have guests staying with you, this could be inconvenient for those special moments.
The WiFI: 10/10
Internet is always the life-blood of our businesses so it’s always critical to have excellent WiFi. We had no problems with Clarion Inn Ormond Beach in this respect so all ended well.
Sound and Noise Level: 3/10
I’ll be damned if we don’t end up with noisy ass people every holiday stay. Several families came to party and hang out on Independence Day weekend and they had no consideration for the people around them. I had to call security a few times and complain — they even argued with me saying I was hearing things, so that chapped my hide.
The rooms could be built better and more sound proofed. That’s all I can say about that.
The Price: 10/10
Because we are Choice Hotel members and have accrued a lot of points for our hotel stays, we were able to crash at the Clarion Inn for absolutely nothing! This is one of the best aspects of traveling at times.
The hotel price averages $88-$98 per night which is a very good rate for what you get considering so many shitty hotels are charging double or triple this right now on the East Coast.
Final score and thoughts of our stay: 7.8/10
Despite the noise problems and unsavory guests around us, we did like staying at the Clarion Inn at Ormond Beach.
Donetta and I took a walk around the area and if you go to the back of the property, there’s a relaxing water fountain that’s great for sipping adult beverages and enjoying the sunset. There’s also another bar attached to the main hotel lobby that provides live entertainment which was cool. We also drove to the Dayonta International Speedway, Daytona Beach, and Ormond Beach for some outdoor fun.
If you’re looking for a spacious place with reasonable rates and don’t mind driving 30 minutes to get to the beach, I’d certainly recommend booking this place. It’s a really good place to hang out for the weekend.