01: Introduction: Saying goodbye to Virgin America
02: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SAN-SFO
03: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin (economy class) SFO-PDX
04: Best Western Ocean View Resort, Seaside, Oregon
05: Aloft Portland Airport
06: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) PDX-SFO
07: Virgin America A320 Main Cabin Select (premium economy) SFO-SAN
This one-night stay at the Best Western Ocean View Resort in Seaside Oregon may possibly go down as one of the most irrational hotel decisions I’ve ever made. Don’t get me wrong – this is a nice property with very friendly staff in a very (very) nice location. The issue is the price I had to pay to stay here. Before I tell you how much I spent, keep in mind that this hotel is a mid-grade Best Western. This hotel chain is the kind that you’d find along interstate highways in rural parts of the country next to Holiday Inns and Comfort Inns, offering nothing more than the basics such as semi-comfortable beds and cheap continental breakfasts. So yeah – it’s budget accommodations to say the least. That’s why it hurt so bad to make the rational decision to pay nearly $500 to stay here for one night. That’s right – I paid $500 to spend the night in a Best Western hotel. Once you stop laughing at how much of an idiot I am, please continue reading so I can explain myself…
The truth is that I didn’t actually pay the $500 out of my own pocket. I book all my hotel reservations on Hotels.com, and for every booking you earn reward points which can be used to earn free nights at any hotel in the world. I had a lot of points built up, and a few months ago I decided that I needed to start using them before they change the rules or something and I can’t use what I’ve earned. So – being that I wanted to spend the night in Seaside, and pretty much EVERYTHING was booked solid for that weekend, a $500 room at the Best Western was the only option. Sounds like a fine use of reward points, doesn’t it? I was a bit reluctant to think so, but I went for it anyway.
I set my expectations rather low even though I had booked a room with an ocean view. This was a Best Western after all, and I don’t know of anyone who associates this brand with luxury 5-star accommodations. I sure don’t, and that’s what I kept in mind as I pulled up to this hotel in my rental car.
My first impressions of this place were mixed. On one hand, it looked a bit dumpy on the outside. Not unsafe or decrepit or anything, but…well…pretty much like a low-end budget hotel that hadn’t been updated in 20 years. On the other hand, the location was phenomenal! It’s located right on the beach, just a few minutes walk to the downtown area of Seaside.
The lobby and guest room hallways were pretty much standard Best Western (complete with the loud buzzing from vending and ice machines), but I opened the door to my room and…wow!! The first thing I noticed was the huge jacuzzi with an amazing view of the ocean, and the other thing was…that view of the ocean! It was at that instant that I didn’t feel so bad for spending $500 in rewards points to stay in this room. This was nice!
Another nice touch that I really liked was the faux fireplace right next to the jacuzzi. I found it to be a really nice small detail that really made me feel at home and relaxed during my stay.
The attached restaurant (Salvatore’s Café) offered room service, which was really nice to see. I’m a sucker for hotel room service, so that was a nice score. And you know what? The food was pretty good! I had both dinner and breakfast delivered to my room and I found both meals more than acceptable.
In conclusion, the in-room jacuzzi and amazing ocean views helped to convince me that yes, I would stay here again. Would I pay $500 out of my own pocket for it though? Not a chance. It’s a good property in a very nice area but it’s not $500/night good. Especially if I couldn’t get a room with a view.