Best Western Castillo Del Sol
The Best Western Castillo Del Sol is a beautiful hotel. It is located on the beach in Ormond Beach. Ormond Beach is just north of Daytona Beach, and if there weren't a sign telling you that you were leaving Daytona Beach and entering Ormond Beach, you probably wouldn't notice. The pace is a little slower, but that's about it. This is a good spot for a hotel, because there are countless restaurants nearby. It is also about one quarter of a mile from Granada Blvd., which is one of the roads that directly connects the beach to I-95.
When I got to the hotel, I noticed four handicap parking spots across from the lobby. I later learned that there are four more underneath the parking garage next to the elevator. This could be a good feature during one of Florida's infamous summertime rain showers. The hotel does not have electric sliding doors, so I had to call the front desk on my cell phone to have someone open the door for me. I met several staff members, and everyone was very polite and helpful. I asked if they had a clipboard to assist in signing in, and they showed me a feature I have not seen before. It is a shelf that slides out of the front desk so someone in a wheelchair can sign in. When all of the paperwork is finished, they simply pull it right back in and it disappears!
To get to the rooms, I had to leave the lobby and go outside. I visited the first floor accessible rooms first. I was glad to see two peepholes; one for someone standing and one for someone at wheelchair level. Upon entering, I noticed there is plenty of room for my chair. The rooms either have one king sized bed or two queen size beds. A cordless phone was on one side of the bed, and a regular phone was on the other. It is rare to see a cordless phone in a hotel, but what a nice touch! Some of the rooms' amenities include a lowered hair dryer, a safe, an iron and ironing board, a lowered refrigerator, a lowered microwave, a DVD player (in most rooms), and a balcony. The door lip to the balcony is too large for my wheelchair to get over, but it is nice having an ocean view.
The bathrooms are easily accessible, and I can turn around in my wheelchair. It has a high sink, raised toilet, rails, shower hose, and a shower chair is available upon request from the front desk. Just let them know. The smoke alarm flashes for the hearing-impaired, and a TTY/TDD system is available from the front desk. The rooms on the fifth floor were equally as nice. Some of them used to be efficiencies with kitchenettes. But without the kitchenettes, there is a lot more room. Room 106 still does have a kitchenette if you want to eat in. All of the rooms are nice, new, and clean.
Having seen the rooms, I took the elevator back downstairs. The elevators have enough room for me to turn around, and they have low buttons with Braille. The area next to the elevators has an ice machine, snack machine, laundry area, and water fountain. For business travelers, there is a meeting room that can hold up to 40 people, complementary wireless high-speed Internet access, a business center, and many security cameras throughout the hotel.
After seeing the rooms, I decided to take a look around the outside. First I was shown a large shaded beach-viewing area with lounge chairs. Since there is usually a breeze, this would be a great spot to watch the beach on a hot day. I don't want as much sun as most people, so I enjoy the shade. This area also has a uni-sex (men/women/family) handicap bathroom. From here, there is a nice big, sloped walkway that leads down to the swimming pool area. Before I got to the pool, I saw a large fire pit made of rock overlooking the ocean. It has plenty of seating area and lots of room for a wheelchair. I could really enjoy that! Past that are the swimming pool and pool deck. The deck has plenty of room and a four-inch barrier around the edge of the pool.
Next I saw a sundeck where several sunbathers were tanning before my eyes. This deck had plenty of room. Both decks have gates and fencing around them, and I had to have someone open them for me. But it is a good law that requires them and protects children from falling into the water.
Hungry? Visit the in-house restaurant that serves breakfast from 7-11 a.m., or you can go to several restaurants within walking/rolling distance in the immediate area including European Cafe & Schnitzel House directly across the street. Within a half of a mile, you'll find an IHOP, TGI Friday's, Lulu's, Genovese's Italian Restaurant, Bonefish Grill, Stonewood, Outback Steakhouse, Peach Valley Cafe, Billy's Tap Room, Larry's Giant Subs and a Starbucks Coffee.
Ready for the beach? Go north a few hundred yards, and you will find the Granada Blvd. beach approach. This is a beach access ramp for cars and pedestrians to easily get onto the beach. Sometimes the sand is too soft for a wheelchair to have easy maneuvering. However, beach driving is permissible in this area and Volusia County offers Surf Chairs for the disabled. These are large, maneuverable chairs made from PVC, with large wheels that allow them to be easily pushed on the sand. They can be delivered and picked up anywhere on the beach upon request. For more information, click here: Beach Information for the Disabled.