The location is really the only thing this hotel has going for it. Some may say it is "charming" or "has character" but I think it is just old, rundown and lacking any kind of amenity that is the norm at even the worst hotels. My husband and I disliked sharing showers and bathrooms with strangers, there was no breeze the night we were there so we didn't sleep at all with no air conditioner (we were on the 4th floor aka The Attic) and while we enjoyed catching up with each other....a tv is a must in our opinion. What else is there to do at 2 am when you can't sleep because you are dying of heat....oh thats right, listen to the drunk people at The National sitting out back at the fire pits!! I really expected a bit more since it was supposedly renovated. I don't think I would stay there again even if someone else payed the way too high nightly rate.
Our family has been going to the Surf for many years. We went back this summer after they re-opened and were very disappointed. We were hoping the things we loved about The Surf hadn't changed. Too much has changed. We miss the fascinating summer community of guests, we miss the games in the parlor ( the chess set is tucked away in a corner & there are no more scrabble games), we miss the rockers & comfy cushioned wicker loveseats on the porches, replaced now by restaurant tables... We miss listening to guests play the piano, because there's a "no playing piano" sign now.. We miss the cavalier King Charles Spaniels and the parakeet & the fish in the fishtank. We miss the taxidermy! We miss the lace tablecloths & flowers in the breakfast room. We miss quiet spaces to read books, because there is always music blaring now. We miss interesting/ fascinating! people to talk to who stay the whole week.. They don't rake the seaweed off the beach anymore. We miss the convenience of having a kitchen & grill we can use--so we can save a little money & not have to eat out every meal. We miss the swingset so kids have something to do. We miss being able to borrow beach chairs & umbrellas & beach towels from the hotel. We miss the good natured charm of Mr. & Mrs. Cyr. We miss Lorraine-- because she kept order-- and made sure the hotel was secure & clean. Carpets were dirty & full of sand because there is no outside shower anymore. We miss the morning cake with cinnamon sugar on top. They leave the doors open now- even at night!! and people come in off the street or from the restaurant/bar & go upstairs to use the bathroom. We miss the rules that make staying at the Surf a happy experience. We miss the quiet sound of the ocean waves - the music in the lobby drowns out the ocean. We miss being able to get kids to bed at a reasonable time-- the loud live music on the porch goes on till nearly midnight! The location of the new bar blocks the view of the ocean from the parlor. The bright energy saver lightbulbs in the rooms are way too bright. The love is missing. It's just a hotel now.
The staff consists of inexperienced teens, and older, much ruder individuals. I was shocked and appalled when asking to speak to their manager over a small error they caused with our bill. Between ducking my calls, using the same lame excuses (the manager had to leave the island on a urgent manner), I was told that there's nothing they could do, with an "it's your problem, you deal with it", attitude. I suppose customer service wasn't on the menu.
I would prefer to stay somewhere friendlier on future visits. Perhaps where you're treated like a person and not a means of income to them.
To date, I have left numerous messages with multiple staff members to speak to their manager (apparently, the ONLY person who can help me), but have not received a call back. What a shame.
The Surf Hotel just reopened on July 3rd. We ate lunch there two weeks later and the food was truly amazing. The steamers were the best I've ever had (and I've lived near the ocean my entire life). The grilled shrimp on the salad were done perfectly and even the kids' pasta marinara was made with fresh tomatoes. The decks at the Surf are at once serene and still very much part of the buzz of Block Island.
The service was incredibly friendly, but they are still coming up to speed with regards to full efficiency. However, the setting and food is so great that we didn't mind at all.
The Surf Hotel will open July 4 of this year, under new management, but with the same owners, and as the same old-fashioned hotel you remember. See the article in the Block Island Times, which was published online on May 12, 2012. Just type Surf Hotel in the search box.
I had no idea that this lovely, old, Victorian Inn has closed. Since the mid 1980's, we would go every year but have missied the last several summers. Our experiences were always wonderful. The staff was great, and often relatives of the Cyrs. The Cyr's themselves were to be admired. We always loved the breakfasts and Mrs Cyr continued to do most of the cooking, often peeking out to see if more hard boiled eggs or pancakes were needed! Lorraine may have had a crusty exterior, but she is really quite lovely!! She was always most accommodating to our family, as we always asked for the same room, overlooking the ocean, on the very top floor of this historic building. Staying on 'The Block" will never be the same, and our son will be so disappointed to learn of its' closing as he was planning a mid-week escape with his girlfriend later this summer. Indeed, it is the end of an era. I will miss this grand ole place on the harbor.
I had gone to the Surf for about 20 years, before the Cyrs retired. My daughter had summer jobs on the Island throughout high school, and that was my introduction to the Island. I always stayed at the Surf, and was very fond of the family.Lorraine and her parents were gracious, kind, and accommodating to me at all times. I miss them. I have not been back since the Surf closed. Thise were the "good old days".
I have been going to the Surf Hotel my entire life. My family and I go every 4th of July week. The parade is one of the best. The hotel is exceptional. It has everything you need for a nice relaxing vacation. The breakfast is one of the best. Although many complain about Lorraine, the receptionist, she is accually very nice, i just think that the newer people have to get to know her. Dont decide on where ur staying from the people on here saying it was the worst experience ever. Trust me you will not regret it. The best experience ever!
The Surf and the Cyrs will always be fondly remembered. I echo sentiments expressed in the reviews preceding mine - from boardgames to cooking out to walking the beach to coffee on the porch - some of the most restful times of my life.
That is the best way to describe it; we went several times and always adored it's simplicity, warmth, openness and camaraderie. We would love to go back, but would want it exactly the way it was with the Cyrs. Rocking on the porch, cooking out in the back, playing board games or reading downstairs on rainy days or in the evenings, seeping to the sound of the sea through the open window............just wonderful. Thank you!
The 1661 Inn's nine spacious and elegant rooms, named after Block Island's founding families, are filled with an eclectic blend
of antiques. Room features include ocean views, decks, canopy beds, whirlpool tubs, and gas fireplaces.
Welcome to Block Island. 'Bermuda of the North'. Suite Dreams will exceed your expectations with its breathtaking waterviews, convenient location
and upscale amenities. Your luxury room is located on the second floor of the Figurehead Building near the Statue ...
Each of its spacious nine bedrooms has a queen size bed, private bath, tall ceilings, heat and air conditioning, a
ceiling fan, hair dryer, and an iron and ironing board. A full breakfast is served each morning. Amenities:Private bathroom. ...
*Terms & Conditions: Savings calculation is based on Flight + Hotel vacation package bookings for a 3 month period for 2 adults with a 2+ night length of stay compared to price of the same components if booked separately during same period. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, travel dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.