The Waldorf Astoria Naples is not The Naples Grande Beach Resort, not by a long shot.
We live in Naples Florida and stay at The Naples Grande Beach Resort once a year. That may sound odd to be staying at a hotel, in the same town that we live in, but the hotel offers our family the best location and amenities in the area – That was up till our last visit in July 2013.
It was clear to other guests and to me that the outside of the hotel had taken a turn for the worse: I will try to explain our experience using pictures with descriptions.
The Pool Area
The main pool at The Waldorf Astoria Naples offers a kiddie slide and waterfall as well as a gradually sloped bottom for toddlers. The fresh water shower was broken and apparently has been broken for some time. So long, none of the staff I asked remembers when it last worked. The water was cloudy for the entire first day of our stay, to the point that one couldn’t easily see the last two steps in the murkiness. Many of the pool chairs needed to be replaced or repainted.
The hot-tub was broken when we arrived and was repaired several hours later. According to a guest that often stays at the hotel, it breaks frequently. Since The Naples Grande Beach Resort changed names to The Waldorf Astoria Naples, the hotel has placed a sign at the entrance to another smaller pool and a shared entrance to the hot-tub, forbidding the use by children: ‘For Guests with Children, may we invite you to use our Main pool. This areas is designated as our relaxing pool for adults.’
The hotel needs a few coats of fresh paint in many areas outside. The entire side of the building, from the top 18th floor to the pool deck, shows a brown stain, clearly visible to all guests at the pool area. The natural pond next to the main pool was overcome by algae floating on the surface.
Paid Garage Parking
Free parking under the main building is no more. A controlled boom manages the entrance, but no price chart was placed at the entrance. Only once we accepted a ticket and entered, was the price chart visible from the backside of the mechanized entrance. How on earth is a visitor supposed to know what their financial obligation is when entering?
The hotel has hired a beach vendor top manage their beach furniture. They now place cabanas and chairs on the beach even if nobody is sitting on them, which makes it much more difficult to find an open spot on the beach without walking hundreds of feet down the beach. They also drive their utility vehicles between the furniture and the waters edge, which is public land and should be kept clear for pedestrians and emergency vehicles.
If you like watery scrambled eggs and dry bagels, The Waldorf Astoria Naples breakfast is the place for you. We did enjoy their coffee and orange juice and overall presentation, but wouldn’t score them high on the rest.
Our next local vacation will be probably at the Marco Island Florida Marriott Beach Resort Hotel, which also has a pool slide for kids and is located directly on the beach. We do hope that The Waldorf Astoria Naples lives up to the finest of Waldorf traditions of excellence or revert back to The Naples Grande Beach Resort, which offered us so much more.
During our stay at The Waldorf Astoria Naples, I did try to speak to the Managing Director, but he was too busy with other appointments.