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Old 10-26-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
islandmum
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Expat Brits go barmy in the World ..... NICKLEODEON HOTEL

with fear and trepidation in our minds the dh and I packed the kids into the truck, waved goodbye to our lovely friends and the gorgeous Palm Beach ready to hit the Spongebob hotel ..... oh god!

I'd researched this place before going and heard the horror stories of huge noise, mayhem and chaos so I plugged the kids into the DVD in the car and had a peaceful and very easy drive up which took about 3 hours or so and we drove through the gates at 1pm.

Parked at reception and went in to register ....... about 40 people waiting and 2 clerks! great start , plus it was FREEZING in that place, the AC must have been set at 15 degrees! We get checked in and told our room is building 1 3rd floor, sponegbob suite (for which you pay extra just to have him painted on the wall!!) It is the farthest building from the entrance, a good 10 minute walk but the car park goes right there which was good. Nick staff are NOT Disney staff .... you notice it right away, you expect one thing and get just regular staff, we missed our Disney experience already!

One EXCELLENT thing this hotel does is theat your room key is your wrist band with a micro chip in it, you just hold it to the pad on the door - a great idea.

Heres our suite ..... (Fairmont Turnberry Isle it is not!LOL!)

kids room with bunk beds:


our room:


lounge:


I have to say I wasnt hugely impressed. The size was good , yes, and our room was nice but the kids room was very poor, just look at the furniture .... some old wooden desk, a plastic school chair, one mural and tacky bunkbeds. I really thought that as this is a kids hotel they'd have done better on the kids rooms.

but anyway, we were straight in and straight out to the pool .... this was SCARY!







The pool area was mad as hell and packed! Pretty much everyone was American, very few Brits seem to go here, infact we didnt see or hear a single one. The pool is surrounded by the four walls, 4 stories high, of the accommodation block so there is lots of shade if you want. There are nowhere near enough sunbeds or chairs for people and we grabed what we could and dragged it to where we could see the boys on the adventure playground. The lifeguards were horrible, again a very stark contract to any Disney employee we'd ever met, and they loved this water park, loads of slides and fun - although the water was FREEZING, kids were coming out shivering and goosepimply.

We managed 2 hours until they started the Pool Party for which some mad deranged member of staff yells through a mic at 10000 decibels for 3/4 of an hour with equally exciteable kids and parents doing the same ...... my kids just looked on in amazement with their fingers in their ears LOL!

the boys were having a great time, loving the resort and all the things to see but were far too cold by now so we decided to go up to the room, change and go down to the food court and maybe see if some characters would be about ....
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #2
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A lot of resorts would suffer in the comparison to Disney, I think. At least your boys enjoyed their time with Spongebob and it could have been worse. They could have put you in a pineapple under the sea!
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:27 AM   #3
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Shame about the rooms but those slides etc look like great fun for the kids!
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:34 AM   #4
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That hotel would be my worst nightmare !
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:33 AM   #5
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That hotel would be my worst nightmare !
I agree, you were so brave to venture into the unknown! I think some folks would love it, but it's a bit too 'full on' for me.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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I'm so pleased my girls are too old for that hotel
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:48 AM   #7
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We stayed there a few years ago, it was called the 'Holiday Inn Family Suites' then.
To be honest we quite liked it, though we did stay in a villa for the bulk of the holiday.

The room we had was much nicer than the one you had, I suspect since the changes to the theming the standard of the rooms overall are not as nice as they used to be.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:47 AM   #8
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Nick hotel

We stayed 3 nights at over $320 a night not worth the money.The checkin was a nightmare the staff very rude and slow. The kids loved it i thought way over priced they want to go again not at those prices.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:46 AM   #9
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we've done it, the kids loved it and we've ticked the box ..... but we won't be going back LOL! The boys just thought it was heaven and really enjoyed them selves but 2 days even for them was enough - they'd seen the charachters and done the pool ..... there were some people staying there for 10 days

but the main reason for staying there was too finally meet the sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea!!

and here the charachters are - note my youngests face with Blue from Blue's Clues - thats his fave programme and he was just beside himself when Blue was out at breakfast time...











Patrick and Diego came out in the evening around 5pm in the food court area. There was a little area and we went and got pics with them, was very quick and because most kids were still in the pool was very quiet too.

That night I got a call saying that the villa we had chosen to rent had to cancel on us as their pool pump was broken and wouldnt be fixed in time!!! BLOODY HELL! so we were given a different address for a new villa, told it was lovely and we decided that evening to go to it and check it out before checking in the next day as we were being joined by my SIL and BIL and DN and wanted everything perfect.


Well the "new" villa was TERRIBLE!! old, shabby, pool had green slime in it, was north facing, and backed straight onto the villa behind and the development was not up to the standard I wanted. Plus it had no interenet. So all the reasons I had booked the other villa - south facing pool, big fenced garden, masses of space, interenet wireless etc etc were gone. I went a little mad at this point, infact I called the management company on their 'emergency' line and told them I'd stage a sit in at their offices with nasty signs if I was moved immediately! Amazingly they found a lovely villa, just came up (?) with everything we wanted. It was close by so we drove over and saw it looked really nice, we were happy so back to the world of Spongey!



BACK TO SPONGEBOB!! - The other characters - Spongebob, Dora, Blue, Penguin you had to pay for the character breakfast to guarantee seeing them. They say in the literature that Spongebob and his friends walk around the food court/mall but when I asked they said Spongebob was only coming out at the Breakfast (for which the cost for us 4 was over $100). Definately felt miffed that they hold back the characters you want to see unless you pay for them!! All character apart from spongebob come to the table and interact very well, Spongebob has his own little corner and you are to go to him in table order.

after breakfast we hit the pool which was much quieter with everyone still breakfasting or doing stuff in their rooms. We'd done the express checkout so dh packed the car so we just went straight from the pool to the car and then off for a little shopping trip to downtown disney before hitting the villa. We just needed some Disney magic we'd been waiting for for 10 days now!

DTD was busy - really busy! it was lunchtime so we stopped straight by McD's which the kids wanted to try (never had before) and after stuffing themselves with chocolate milkshakes and burgers - which they loved! - it was off to the Christmas store and Toy store. Decorations were needed and I did an admirable job in choosing my little baubles and tree ornaments in the short time frame I was given ..... they were itching to get to the toy store!

As my boys ran around the store screaming in delight we rounded up what we had to get for them - our oldest picked his lightsabre, he didnt want to build one so he got an Annakin sword and the youngest picked up a Rebel Force gun of some sort. They would have bought the entire store goven half the chance but I had a MAJOR shopping day tomorrow and toys for christmas were the priority, not toys for now.

Last edited by islandmum; 10-28-2008 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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OMG you're not having much luck are you Good job you went and had a look at the other villa!!!!

From the look on your boys faces with the characters the hotel was obviously worth it, well once anyway What a cheek that the top characters are only at the breakfast!
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:12 PM   #11
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OMG you're not having much luck are you Good job you went and had a look at the other villa!!!!

From the look on your boys faces with the characters the hotel was obviously worth it, well once anyway What a cheek that the top characters are only at the breakfast!
I know!! luckily this was the last and final problem we encountered!

and yes - its a bloody cheeck they hold back the top characters ..... very un Disney-like!
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:33 PM   #12
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I must say my girls would love to stay at that hotel especially Dd3-but from what i have heard-no way.Especially more so now after seeing your pics of the room-what a let down-they have better beds in a prison!!!(not that i have been in prison to see there beds-i mean from what i see in the films -i am really digging myself deep here-i will shut up ).

Not much luck-the villa sounded ghastly-made Nick Hotel look quite nice i guess.Glad you got a nice one in the end.x.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:13 AM   #13
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I am really enjoying seeing all your photos. With all the extras the Nic hotel sounds pricey.



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Old 11-09-2008, 04:13 AM   #14
Clare D
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This hotel would be my worst nightmare but DS would think he was in heaven! I am never going to tell him that this hotel exists otherwise he would badger us to stay there and knowing DH he would agree
Loving your report so far the hotel in Miami looks great. We stayed at Boca last time we were there and I thought how beautiful it was in Palm Beach - great shopping too
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:18 AM   #15
islandmum
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This hotel would be my worst nightmare but DS would think he was in heaven! I am never going to tell him that this hotel exists
and there lies our big mistake .... never should have told the rugrats about it!

But with further therapy we should be able to come to terms with our visit there
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