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Trip Report Trip Report: Va Beach Oceanfront Sheraton 6/26-6/29/09

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What an awesome time, at the Sheraton Oceanfront in Va. Beach 6/26 - /6/29/09. My job was eliminated with my current company so we were on an extreme budget. We decided to find a Sheraton on the coast near Md. as we have alot of points saved up. We didn't even know there was a Sheraton in Va Beach but we booked it with very cheap points, only 8500 a nt for an upgraded room, oceanfront (instead of partial view, pool view on the 1st floor for 7000 pts a nt).

The room was actually beautiful. Yes, it wasn't perfect, it showed wear, but the decor was nautically nice. The beds were SO comfortable and the bathroom was terribly small, but we didn't care because the view was tremendous. Direct oceanfront, on the east coast, at high season, in the middle of the summer, and free to us. We were happy as could be. We sat out on our little balcony for hours playing cards and watching the people go by on the boardwalk on their bikes and just walking.

Great restaurants... "Eat" around 38th St was awesome. Great green beans, french fries think as a rail with hollaindaise sauce, polenta that was amazing, deviled eggs to die for, and great greek salads. Perfect for vegetarians. We made reservations to go back in 2 weeks when we return.

Went on a timeshare presentation and received free tix to our super fast boat ride saving us $63. Also received a free dinner coupon from that so we used it as Catch 31 I think it was called, in the Hyatt. Food wasn't as good a "Eat" but it was still pretty good with great people watching in the huge, open space.

We were loving the cleanliness of the beach compared to our usual OC MD experiences. The boardwalk was much nicer as well. SO many bikes and jitneys going by until late at night. They had fireworks every Wed and Sun around 10pm. We loved that. They had bands on every block for around 15 or so blocks on Sat night. It blew me away. They even had trapeze artists, jugglers, comedians, all right off the boardwalk and all for free. They wouldn't even take tips.

The hotels seemed niced than OC MD. It was much smalled that OC but we liked it alot. The crowd was VERY different than OC, but I couldn't put my finger on it what specifically was different.

At the Sheraton they even gave us coupons for free breakfasts each day, due to our gold Starwood membership maybe. Possibly it was due to our 9th anniversary also. It saved us alot of money having these. The free internet was much better than expected. There were REALLY expensive, nice moniters to use and lots of them. I never had to wait, which is rare at some hotels. In St John last summer, we had to wait a long time to get on line as they were alway used.

The water was murky but clean. Surfers were out there trying to catch good waves. It wasn't NEARLY as crowded as OC MD on the beach. People were very friendly. We had alot of space each time we went to the beach. We couldn't figure out why Va Beach has a bad reputation. Maybe that was in the past. We hadn't been there in 25 years.

We are going back on pts this weekend and even treating our friends too as the pts are so cheap there. People might say the hotel is tired, the rooms are "beat", but we didn't find this to be true at all. Yes, we've recently stayed at Four Seasons, Ritz Carltons in Naples and other nice hotels, but this Sheraton was still ALOT nicer than the Holiday Inn Express we usually stay at in OC MD. Plus, it's RIGHT on the beach. We were very happy to stay there. The employees we dealt with were all nice.

The workout room is pretty mediocre but it does have a new, killer treadmlll , 2 bikes that are really old and not in good shape, weights that work fine, a nice bench, and an ellliptical machine that looked old. I tried to use the treadmill the second day and the power cord had been vandalized and it wasn't usuable. I mentioned it to the mgt and the gifted me 2500 starwood pts for the lack of use. That was a nice gesture.

You self park for free on the opposite street and we tried to walk as much as we could from there as parking is really tough in this area. We went to a Mall in Norfok that closed at 6pm, even though the hotel employees said it was open till 8pm. I ended up seeing a movie at 5pm and my wife had to wait for me for an hour after the mall closed till my movie was out. Oh well... that's life. Everyone makes a mistake.

The buffet at the hotel isn't that great but they let us order ANYTHING off the breakfast menu. I ordered chocolate chip pancakes (not even on the menu) and 2 over-hard eggs one morning and they didn't charge us anything.

Hope this info helps anyone considering this hotel. I was sitting on the beach that last day, sun shining beautifully and thinking... "this could be a Carribean Island". The sand in Va Beach is brownish where Carribean sand is whitish. It's only our perception that white sand is better. Brown sand is really nice too. It still feels great on your feet as you sink them deeply into the cool sand on a hot day while reading in your beach chair. Va Beach to me was every bit as good as a fantastical Carribean Island. That's saying alot, to me. Great restaurants, (we psyched to try "Eurasia" next week - our friends told us about it), nice hotels all up and down the strip, awesome sand and a great boardwalk. It's got alot to offer.

Cheers,
Steve R
Gaithersburg, MD

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