The Casablanca Inn on the Bay
St. Augustine, FL - Room #7 (Rate per night: $329 + tax) (Eck included.)

June 23, 2013
The husband and I were so excited about celebrating our anniversary this past weekend. Our favorite get away spot has always been St. Augustine, FL, and whenever we've walked up and down the picturesque and scenic streets we've always thought how nice it would be to spend a special weekend at the Casablanca Inn on the Bay.

From the street, the Casablanca Inn on the Bay is an inviting and charming-looking bed and breakfast. It has street side flower boxes that are always bursting with colorful blooms, and relaxing hammocks hanging from the two "prime" bayfront balconies. Here's a picture they're currently using in their advertisements:

Photo from the Facebook page of the Casablanca Inn

Although this St. Augustine bed and breakfast has many rooms, those two top bayfront rooms are considered to be the best. So... for our 10th anniversary this year, my sweet, sweet husband surprised me with a weekend stay in the top room on the right. Two nights in room #7.

It was going to be so nice! After all, the online photos and description of the room promised that we'd be "indulged" and that each room had been individually decorated! It pictured brightly-colored bedding on an opulent antique bed, and said, "The corner double jacuzzi tub and shower is most enticing in the sitting area, with two cozy wing chairs plus flat screen TV." Their website also says "Relax in the wicker seats on the private bayview porch with a panoramic view of the bay."  Here's their ad for room #7:

Screen capture of their ad for room #7

Sweet husband took off work at lunch on Friday and we headed to our bed and breakfast weekend get-away, anniversary-celebrating destination. When we checked in and walked upstairs. We opened the door to room #7. (That is not us in the tub, by the way.)

The first thing I noticed was that the previous guests had left some residue on the nightstand. It was sticky and smeared on the glass, and there was also a crusted drink ring. I walked downstairs to the front office and asked for some Windex and a couple of paper towels so I could clean it up. No big deal, but I as I walked back upstairs with the Windex-spritzed paper towels, I had to  laugh to myself at realizing that they actually handed this to me instead of offering to clean it up. As I began to clean, I began to notice more "eck" that needed wiping down. Within less than a minute, I was able to collect this much yuckiness.

Casablanca Inn on the Bay - St. Augustine

My husband had lovingly planned our anniversary weekend down to every detail of what he knew I would enjoy. I hadn't the heart to tell him at that point that I was sort of grossed out by this. It would've taken me an entire day to find this much eck at home, and I probably would've had to sneak outside to wipe down the top of the car or a tire or something in order to do so.

He had prepaid for the room and there was a "No Vacancy" sign out front, so asking for another room was obviously not a possibility--and after my paper towel request at the front desk, it seemed there was little use in addressing this with anyone there.

The next "eck" moment came when we turned to look at the window unit air conditioner.

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 AC unit

Even if you didn't notice the dirt and grunge, how can you miss a stain like that?

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - stained shade

Nobody mentioned in the room description that a dirty and stained shade came with the room! Oh, and how do you like that ac unit? Here's a close-up.

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - filthy ac vents

Here's the other end of it from outside, on the balcony. (You know, the one with the "panoramic view of the bay.")

This is either some nastiness that has collected over time, or maybe aliens needed something to blueprint crop circles and this was all they could find.

So, before going back inside, we couldn't help but notice that "panoramic view of the bay" from our private balcony. Here's that view, and what they didn't remember to mention...

And yes, the construction crew did start early and work all day on Saturday.

The straight-ahead 90-degree view of the bay was beautiful, and we did spend a lot of time on the wicker settee, enjoying it. But, let's step back inside for a minute, because eventually, we had to go back inside...

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 threshold

Pardon the dirt and grossness. I guess they forgot to clean this (for the past decade or so). Then again, I think they forgot to clean ANYTHING! The more we looked around, the more disgusting it became to know we were celebrating our special anniversary here and spending over $329 PER NIGHT (full payment in advance required) for THIS!

Here's the lovely floral arrangement that was stuffed in the non-functional "decorative" fireplace. Maybe it's just me, but disgustingly filthy fake flowers are not "decorative." They are just disgustingly filthy fake flowers.

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - filthy fake flowers

How about a close-up of that?

I knew I was just asking for an extra dose of eck when I took a peek behind this arrangement, but I couldn't help myself and here's what I found. (This was a non-functional "decorative" fireplace, so that isn't ash. It is good old-fashioned dirt, grossness, and grunge. Oh, and somebody else's foil top from their champagne bottle.)

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - dirty floor

The pretty and brightly-colored bedding from the ad did not exist in room #7. The actual bedding was very dark and dingy brownish red, and with the dark, dirty carpeting, this made the room look even more dirty, dank, and depressing.

Let's check out that "enticing sitting area, with two cozy wing chairs plus flat screen TV." In the advertisement photo above, a lady is relaxing and enjoying chilled champagne that was nestled in an ice bucket that was sitting on a convenient table in-between the chairs. Right?

Um... No. Not in this room #7. A lovely lamp was sitting on the top of a dirty dorm fridge (that, by the way, held somebody else's food leftovers), which was sitting on top of that table. Decorative - huh?

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - decor

The ecky chairs (that somebody probably sat in naked with their big, hairy butt) just faced the big dirty tub "corner double jacuzzi tub." -- but for no particular reason.

Speaking of corners... This one was outside of the big dirty tub "corner double jacuzzi tub."

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - nasty tile

Here's another corner in the toilet room...

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - bathroom floor

And, in wondering why the toilet room smelled so bad...

That is stranger pee on the floor and piddled down the toilet! DE-sgusting! Since there was no bathroom floor mat provided for the toilet room or for outside the tub, we used one of the bathrobes that were hanging up for our use. (Maybe that's what they were for.) Sweet husband got stuck in the toilet room twice because the door knob was stripped.

By now, we realized that we'd been duped by some clever ad wording, room staging, and creative photography, but we decided to try and look up -- you know... on the bright side. Here's what we noticed about room #7 when we did that "looking up" thing:

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - gross ceiling vent

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - gross ceiling vent

You would think that for $329 (plus taxes) a night that they could afford bulbs that worked. Wait a minute! Go back up to that [fakey] ad of room #7 >here. Aren't those little lamp shades on the bulbs? Wonder what happened to the little lamp shades. Maybe somebody had them out dusting them? Maybe they'll come back with the duster one day and do some more cleaning...

Casablanca Inn on the Bay, St. Augustine, FL - Room 7 - furniture filth

Or... maybe not.

I don't know who the individual was who "individually decorated" and/or "cleans" this room, but I think they probably need to get some re-training.

You know when you're on vacation, or a special weekend away, and you walk into the beautiful room where you're staying and think, "I could live here forever."? Well, that was NOT what our thoughts were of room #7 at the Casablanca Inn on the Bay in St. Augustine. All we wanted to do was get back to our own clean, cool, pretty house, and we were happy to cross back over that nasty, dirty threshold to head for home.

Oh, and what about the inviting balcony hammock, you ask?...
Well, there was no hammock.  

For reasons other than this grotesque, ecky room, we would now never ever again even consider the Casablanca Inn on the Bay for a get-away destination. Upon returning home, we were able to find contact info for the Inn's manager and we reported our experience. Although they refunded our prepaid $329 a night, the management was completely unprofessional, confrontational, and even a little bit bratty in their attitude and approach to our unpleasant experience--with excuses like, "historic" and "in the oldest city" and basically retorting, among other insinuations and pretexts, that our complaint lacked "veracity" because we didn't simply "go home" if we were not happy with the room. Really? (I guess the dirt and filth are protected somehow by the St. Augustine Historic Society.)

Well, life is full of experiences... and this was certainly a first for us.





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