Pre-Island Preparations: Booking on Block

Block Island is a great day trip, but why would you want to limit your island adventures to just the sunlit hours. With an exciting nightlife and more activities than one could ever accomplish in a short day, come to Block Island, and stay a while.

In the choice to stay on the island for a night or few, hotel reservations come into question. There a number of hotels, inns and small Bed & Breakfasts on the island.With my job being what it is (Front desk employee extradorare), I have learned a thing about what it takes and what should be known in booking on the island.
3697928494_251bc4fdf7 The Hotel Manisses has a number of properties that it manages, this is it’s main building.

  1. Book early: The Block Island summer season is a short one. There are only so many weekends within that season and you’re not the only one who knows about this perfect weekend escape. That being said, there is no time better plan your trip than on a cold February day after your boss has yelled at you for missing the arbitrary 9:45am deadline. Your future self will thank you. Hotels mostly open up their bookings in October for the following summer, so if you can commit to a visit earlier do so. I know that last minute getaway is exciting or romantic, but try this, book the trip don’t tell your travel partner, and boom “Surprise Honey! We’re going to Block Island next weekend and we don’t have to sleep on the beach!” Tell me that isn’t exciting, romantic AND less itchy!
  1. Exercise your Right to Reserve: Most hotels have a two-week cancel policy. This means you put down the deposit (somewhere between half the cost of your stay or sometimes the entire), and have up to two-weeks prior to your arrival date to cancel your booking and only pay a cancelation fee (often around $25). So if you do book that weekend in July back in October, only to find out that’s the weekend Maroon 5 is in town, ring up your hotel and feel the good karma as some late comer on the wait list gets to live out your weekend while you and Adam Levine stare into each other’s eyes.

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The Blue Dory is located in downtown, has rooms with ocean views and daily fresh baked cookies!

  1. Age is Just a Number: There are a couple of extra consideration you must have when booking in BI. The hotels of the island are mostly Victorian style and with this beauty, comes age and with age comes experience. Okay the point, the hotels of the island are not the cookie cutter Holiday Inn, they are not sleek and simple, they are grand and historic. So rooms are sometimes awkwardly interestingly shaped, bathrooms a little bit smaller (you see. people used to be smaller you know), and yes, things will creek.With the age factor contributes another item to add to your deliberations, many of the hotels do not have air conditioning. Some do, don’t me wrong you can find it if you want it, but the structure of the older buildings has not allowed for AC to be added to many hotels. In defense of the rooms without AC, Block Island is a breezy place; it stays cool throughout the summer. There are hot days for sure, but you are unlikely going to be in your room in the heat of the day anyways. A last big note, there are not many rooms on Block Island that are Handicap accessible. The rooms in many hotels can be up a flight of stairs (or two!). If stairs are an issue, let the hotel know and they can do their best to accommodate and keep you on the lowest floor possible.images-2

An inside look at a room at the historic National Hotel

  1. Check Out of the View: ackurs_300x200Block Island is an ocean dream; the island sites are jaw dropping. Is it important to you that you have the ability to see a humpback whale leaping from the ocean while you sit in bed? If so, you can definitely find rooms that allow, but if you don’t mind leave the room for your site seeing, save a pretty penny and opt for a room without a view. When your eyes are closed and you are sleeping in bed (which is really why you have a room) what is visible from your window means a lot less
  1. Sharing is Caring: Another way to save a few bucks (enough for a few rounds of drinks, at least), is to accept shared bathrooms as an option. I know it sounds like a hostel, but the hotels of the island make sure it is kept classy. In many of the small inns, you are likely only sharing the lou with one or two other rooms. Many people say they don’t even see the other guests. So pack your shower shoes, you know you can do it; I mean if you use public restrooms for goodness sake, what’s the big whoop?

When it comes time to actually book be bold.  Ask about the amenities provided (free breakfast, beach towels, cots in the room), sometimes these are provided only if you ask. Ask for a discount, as well! It may sound like you are being cheap but when there is a real live person on the other end of the phone (not just booking through an online site), you much more likely to be received in your request. Last thing to note, let your hotel know if you are coming out to the island for a special occasion (i.e. birthday or anniversary). The hotels want you to have a great time (and might even comp some Champagne ;))  so that it becomes a annual event!

With a little background into what to think about (and when) in finding a place to stay on Block Island prioritize your essentials (i.e. timing, AC, your own golden toilet) and you will be able to find a room that does not break the bank but spoils you senselessly. For up to date availability contact the Block Island Chamber of Commerce at (401) 466-2982. They can often answer a field of questions about hotels, directions, and the island in general.

Where have you stayed on the island? What has your experience been in booking? When it comes to hotels do prefer to splurge or save?

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