Laudable Lodging, reviews

Laudable Lodging: The Belvedere Beach Resort

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Staying at The Belvedere Beach Resort was like stepping back in time.  A simpler time.  A better time.

The Belvedere Beach Resort is the kind of hotel that needs to exist.  It is small, it is family owned, and it is humble.  The hallways are all exterior, there’s one elevator, and the diner downstairs is only open for breakfast and lunch (oh–and there’s a diner downstairs.  A beachfront diner).  You get exactly what you need, nothing you don’t need, and a few things you didn’t even know you wanted (like salt water taffy on your pillow).

Location

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Belvedere Beach Resort is located at 36th and Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach–that is, directly on the boardwalk and overlooking the ocean.  It is up at what some consider the ‘quiet part’ of the beach, though it is only five short boardwalk blocks from Neptune Park, the center of all Virginia Beach activity (and the giant statue of Neptune with whom I simply had to pose).

Purpose of Visit

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All I wanted in life was to wake up and hear the sound of waves.  It was the last week of summer; I knew time was running out.  I had a week free and did not want to fill it with a running-from-attraction-to-attraction kind of trip.  I just wanted to put my chair in the sand and my butt in the chair and be at the beach.  The Belvedere was the perfect choice for my purpose.

Value Added

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There’s so much value-added happening at The Belvedere, I’m going to have to do this in list form.  Ahem…

Service with a Smile.  I have never been greeted more warmly by a hotel employee.  I really felt like I was an honored guest from the moment I walked in the door.  Even the housekeeping staff was personable and pleasant.

Size Matters. The Belvedere is the mama bear of hotels–that is, not too big and not too small.  There are fifty units among five floors–ten rooms per floor–so you’re never far away from your hotel.  I stayed at MGM Grand in Las Vegas a few years ago–the walk from the pool to my room took over ten minutes.  And I walk quickly.  Total time elapsed from in the waves to in my room at the Belvedere?  Just shy of ninety seconds.

Sunshine.  Observe the photo at the top of this section.  See the shadows cast by all of the giant high rise hotels?  What do you notice about the beach directly in front of The Belvedere?  That’s right–it’s shadow free.  A five story building has its benefits.

Sounds of the Surf.  Every single unit at The Belvedere is oceanfront and features a roomy balcony.  The doors all have screens so if you want, you can turn off the AC, open the glass door, close the screen, and fall asleep and wake up to the sound of waves.  And trust me–you want to do this.  This was the view from my room–and from my bed–every morning…

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…but wait!  There’s more (as if you needed more?)

Sportiness.  There’s just something about riding a bike at the beach.  And in Virginia Beach, it’s even better, as the boardwalk is split into two parts–the board part where people walk, and a paved area where people ride.  It takes all of the stress out of beach bike riding.  And at The Belvedere, you can borrow a bike and take a no-cost coast.

I enjoyed three sunrises and three moonrises The Belvedere.  On my last morning there, I lingered on the balcony, unwilling to leave behind the beauty and serenity of my fifth-floor perch.  I spent all summer searching for the perfect beachfront hotel, and I found it seven days before the autumn equinox.  I’m so very, very glad that I did.

Disclosure: I was a guest of The Belvedere Beach Resort; as always, all opinions are my own. 

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