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Bellmoor Inn
6 Christian Street, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
800-425-2355 or 302-227-5800

Bellmoor Inn Home Page

June 2006

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Bellmoor Inn in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

We chose to stay on the 4th (top) floor, in a Bellmoor Club suite. The 4th floor is accessible only with a special key and guests must be age 25 or over. Our suite was the Rodney Suite. It contained a gas fireplace, TV, DVD player, wardrobe (in place of a closet), king size bed, two comfortable chairs, a wet bar with small refrigerator, and a private balcony that accommodated two Adirondack teak chairs and table.

The marble bathroom was spacious and beautiful, with an expansive vanity, corner shower, toilet, and whirlpool in the corner opposite the shower that was big enough to accommodate both of us. The whirlpool had a succession of very small jets around the bottom. There was an intensity control and also a control to keep the water warm. We used the tub quite a bit. Two very luxurious silk robes are provided, as well as plenty of thick towels. Our only complaint about the bathroom was an actual lack of places to hang the towels.
The bed was comfortable and we easily made ourselves at home in the room.

The 4th floor has beautiful hardwood floors with Oriental rugs scattered throughout. There is a common library where guests can obtain soft drinks and bottled water from a refrigerator, ice, and snacks for free – a nice feature.

Our room was serviced twice per day (we’re not sure if this applies to all rooms or just the Club suites), with the second service offering turndown, complete with chocolates. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and bath grains for the tub were replenished whenever they were used without our having to ask. We tried to conserve and reuse our towels as much as possible, but the lack of towel racks made that difficult. Note to the manager: adding towel racks may conserve on water consumption.

Inn Amenities

The inn boasts 46 rooms and features many amenities. First a word about the common areas: they are beautiful and the staff clearly takes a lot of time and effort in upkeep. The lobby area on the first floor is sumptuous with hardwood floors, elegant furnishings, and nooks and crannies to lounge about in. The breakfast room is lighter and is ringed by an area that resembles a closed in porch, complete with brick floors and beautiful furnishings. The inn’s website refers to this area as the “sun room.”

Adjacent to the sun room is the outdoor garden which is beautifully landscaped, complete with a fish pond. There are a large number of tables, chairs, and umbrellas for enjoying breakfast or sitting at throughout the day.

The second floor has a full-service day spa; we did not partake of their services but it looked lovely and calming. Opposite the spa is the fitness room.

There is an outdoor family pool located on the 2nd floor across from the entrance to the spa. This pool is a nice size and the water is no deeper than 4 feet. There are plenty of lounges scattered about and pool towels are provided that are color-coded for that particular pool. Just off the pool area is an indoor hot tub which is for adults only. The ceiling is wood and there are 3 sets of sliding doors that open out to the family pool area. There are towels provided – again, color-coded for the hot tub only. Public restrooms are available just inside next to the hot tub room. We spent some time by the family pool but generally left whenever noisy children showed up (after all, that’s why they called it the family pool). We were in the hot tub a couple times. This was one of the cleaner public hot tubs we have been in.

Since this inn has an adults-only floor and hot tub, it would only seem to make sense that they have an adults-only pool, and indeed they did. It was located next to the garden. It is a smaller pool, really an oversized plunge pool, but it was perfect. It was 3’10” at its deepest, had steps on either end and built-in benches on either side – perfect for sitting on while reading. The pool was fenced off and there were towels color-coded specifically for this pool. A sign informed guests that this pool was for adults only and was a “quiet zone.” That didn’t stop some children from looking longingly at the pool. We were a bit dismayed to find that some parents ignored the sign to keep children out of the hot tub (especially since they had a designated pool that was plenty big), but we do have to point out that the staff did check on things periodically and would replenish the towels.

The inn also has a gift shop, plenty of covered parking (including an underground parking area accessibly via elevator), and a concierge to help with planning things to do.

Inn Food

Although the inn does not have its own kitchen, breakfast was included with the room. It was buffet style, served from 7:30 – 10:30 every day. It generally consisted of eggs, a breakfast meet, and some sort of special offering such as pancakes wrapped around blueberries. An assortment of breads was available, as well as yogurt, fruit, cereal, pastries, coffee, tea, and fruit juices. On the Saturday and Sunday mornings we were there, an omelet chef prepared eggs/omelets to order, and had a variety of ingredients. Newspapers were also provided free-of-charge in the mornings. While the breakfast was not the best we have had while visiting an inn, it was satisfying, and managed quite nicely to be many things to many people (there are over 40 rooms at the inn). On one morning the rain forced crowded conditions, as it was not possible for guests to dine outdoors. The staff seamlessly opened up a conference room for guests to dine at those tables.

Between 3 and 4 p.m., cookies are served in the sun room. Coffee is available 24-7, which is probably a real plus to coffee drinkers. (There was also a coffeemaker and coffee in our suite.) Since we were on the Club floor, we had snacks and soft drinks available to us 24-7, which was definitely a nice feature. We aren’t coffee drinkers, so in the morning we would grab our caffeine of choice (Diet Coke for Lori and Coke for Keith) and take it downstairs for breakfast.

Inn Bar/Lounge

The inn does not have a liquor license. No matter; we took our own. An inn policy wisely forbids glass in swimming areas but does not forbid drinks, so we took insulated “sippies” (the sort of thing you see cyclists using, with a built-in straw and insulation around it to keep it cold) with us to the pool and the hot tub with our drink of choice (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic). The suite was supplied with regular glasses and wine glasses, and with a corkscrew.

Inn People/Service

The people we interfaced with at the inn were clearly professionals. Check-in was smooth. We had one minor issue – two days into our stay, our keys refused to work and we were not able to get up to our floor (and we had damp bathing suits on). We simply went to the front desk and told them the key had stopped working. They asked our name, room, and check-out date, and discovered the keys had been coded with a premature check-out date. In only a minute, they gave us two fresh keycards, and we were on our way.

Everyone was pleasant and professional and they made it a point of walking around and talking to the guests, asking them how they were doing and if things were to their satisfaction. That being said, they did not intrude too much, and if solitude was what was sought, it was possible to find it. Based on our experience, we would definitely recommend – and return to – The Bellmoor. Note that the Club suites are not cheap, but we definitely felt we got what we paid for.

Area/Attractions

Rehoboth Beach is one of Delaware’s resort beaches. It is the only Delaware beach town with a boardwalk. While it’s not on the scale of, say, Wildwood, NJ, it has its share of shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Rehoboth Beach is a family destination and is also extremely gay-friendly and there are a good number of gay owned and operated businesses. In our opinion, the visitors seem to mingle very well in this resort town.

Just south of Rehoboth Beach is Dewey Beach, which is more of a beach/party destination. If you are staying in Rehoboth and would like to visit Dewey, take the Jolly Trolley. As of summer 2006, adults can travel between the towns for $2 each ($3 each from midnight to 2 a.m.). There are stops along the way and the drivers are friendly and will often drop you off wherever you request, as long as it is on their route and traffic permits. We discovered this a number of years ago and love it – it eliminates the hassle of finding a parking space, paying for parking, sitting in beach traffic, and lets one imbibe without fear of getting behind the wheel. If you are uncertain of where to pick up the Trolley, just ask any local or someone at your accommodations.

We have stayed in Dewey Beach multiple times, but this was our first stay together in Rehoboth Beach for more than one night. In our opinion (and note that this is only our opinion), Dewey is definitely more of a party town with limited fine dining options (although one notable exception is Two Seas Restaurant). Rehoboth Beach, on the other hand, has many fine dining options, which was one of the reasons we decided to try the more northern town this time around (in addition to the fact that the place we stayed three times in Dewey was turned into condos). We simply park the car and walk the entire time we are there (with the exception of a couple forays down to Dewey Beach on the afore-mentioned Jolly Trolley). There are amusement rides on the boardwalk, and we did ride a couple.

Dining

Deck at the Rusty Rudder Rusty Rudder Web Site
There is one place we always have to go whenever we are in the area: The Rudder Deck (the deck at the Rusty Rudder). It’s a simple concept, but well executed. It is a large deck that overlooks the bay, which means it is on the west and you can see sunsets from there. The deck contains a number of tables with bright plastic tablecloths and chairs (all of the tables are removed at 9 p.m. to accommodate those who go to see the bands that play later in the evening).

On one end of the deck is a covered stage that is home to the Island Boyz (and has been as long as we can remember). Their line-up has changed a little over the years, but you can count on them to play a good mix of calypso/reggae music, including some very interesting covers, that appeal to people of all ages. The waitresses on the deck will serve you cold drinks as well as casual fare (burgers, hot dogs, appetizers, wraps, fries, etc.). It is a great place to hang out and get in a vacation state of mind. We went to the Rudder Deck on our first evening (to get in the vacation spirit) and again a few nights later.

Frogg Pond Frogg Pond Web Site
The Frogg Pond is sort of an institution in Rehoboth Beach. We’ve been there a number of times over the years. We specifically went there on our first night (a Thursday) for karaoke, but had a bite to eat first: some very tasty all-beef hot dogs. The karaoke was great. We ended up back there during a rainy spell Saturday afternoon for lunch (we ducked in as it was pouring). They had Blue Moon on tap, which we enjoyed some pints of (served with slices of orange). Keith had a black and blue chicken sandwich (tasty) and Lori waited patiently as they made up some fresh shrimp salad. This place is consistent and a good place to go to have fun.

Grotto Pizza Grotto Pizza Web Site
OK, now this place is really an institution, no kidding. There is just something about the way their pizza tastes. We like it plain. There is a Grotto’s Pizza location right in the center of Dewey Beach, and multiple locations in Rehoboth Beach, which is where Grotto Pizza got its start. When in Rehoboth, we like the Rehoboth Boardwalk North location, and like to sit in Whisky Jack’s bar with a cold one while we eat our pizza. It provides a great view of the people on the boardwalk as well as the beach and ocean. That’s when we know we’re at the beach! We had lunch here Friday afternoon and got a late night slice on Monday evening. The pizza always tastes the same – great!

Eden Restaurant Eden Restaurant Web Site
We had originally planned to have dinner Friday evening at Dish restaurant on Baltimore Avenue (we had dinner there the year before and loved it). Unfortunately, there was a fire that briefly took Dish out of commission (we understand it was to be functional within a week) and the proprietor of Dish automatically (and thoughtfully) made a reservation for us the same day and time at Eden, across the street. (It was actually a very savvy move on the part of Dish, as we’ll be sure to visit them next time we go to Rehoboth.) Eden has a very cool interior. We had a 6:30 Friday evening reservation, and the restaurant was fairly empty, so the host gave us our choice of seating. (The restaurant did fill up as the evening wore on.) We chose a booth. Booths lined one wall, and were separated by thin gauzy drapes – a nice touch. The colors throughout were Earth tones, with strategically placed candles. It was a very serene setting and we somehow felt we were in for a good meal. We were correct. Our Russian waiter was excellent, always seeming to know when we needed something but not hovering too much. The bread and herbed butter was a nice start, and we ordered a Sileni Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. We loved the description of the wine: “more grass and acid than a Grateful Dead show,” and it was accurate. The grassiness accompanied everything we ate nicely, and at $36, we felt it was very fairly priced. Keith had Bob Russel’s Organic Field Greens, with baked persillade crusted goat cheese (quite a large bit of cheese). We learned something new: we saw EVOO throughout the menu and our waiter informed us it stood for extra virgin olive oil. OH. We thought we were foodies…indeed that was a new one for us. Lori had the lobster and crab tower with and excellent accompaniment of mango salsa, guacamole, roasted peppers, and a balsamic reduction – really a good meal in itself. For an entrée, Keith had the Mac N Cheese Pasta, with goat cheese, parmesan reggiano, grilled chicken, spinach, roasted peppers, and bow ties. It was delicious, and the freshly shaved cheese really punched it up a notch. Lori opted for one of the daily flatbreads – one of a number of daily personal-size specialties, hers with shrimp and corn and the ever-present EVOO. The dough was unbelievably flavorful but very filling and she couldn’t eat all of it. We had a wonderful dining experience and would recommend and return to Eden.

Sydney’s Blues & Jazz Restaurant – 25 Christian Street
We made a reservation for 7 p.m. on Saturday and would strongly suggest a potential diner make a reservation. This restaurant does not look like much from the outside – and frankly, really doesn’t look like a lot from inside, either. We did get a private table by a window (likely courtesy of the advance reservation). The nice thing about this place is you can order almost anything in two different sizes. We started off with a bottle of white wine (Conundrum – a mixture of several different white varietals that goes well with, well, a variety of things). We were served slices of crusty bread with a pineapple horseradish sauce that was very good and unique. Keith ordered the smaller portion of the Hanger Steak sandwiches – really nicely done beef that tasted like a fine filet accompanied with a nice chive sauce. Even Lori – who is not a steak aficionado – liked it. Lori had the cold cooked shrimp with a variety of three sauces. The shrimp were huge (belying their name) and she actually preferred the pineapple horseradish sauce that accompanied the bread to go with the shrimp. Keith had a pork dish that was good but a little heavy on the cabbage, and Lori went for the smaller portion of lobster mac n cheese (and even the small portion was too much). For dessert, we ordered an artisinal cheese plate and two glasses of Riesling. We did not stay for the jazz; dining patrons get 50% off the cover charge. The food was excellent and interesting, and while the actual restaurant itself was not as elegant as Eden the night before, it was a great experience and we would recommend and return.

Tijuana Taxi – 207 Rehoboth Avenue
We had been to Tijuana Taxi on several other occasions. We like to sit at the bar, order margaritas, and have our dinners there. We’ve never been there when it was crowded, but we like the food and the margaritas are good. They also give these really cute little plastic animals on the drinks that we always steal!

Dos Locos Dos Locos Web Site
This was the first time we went to Dos Locos (on a recommendation). Excellent margaritas, with a great selection of top shelf tequilas! The bar was manned by two guys wearing black with very colorful vests. We were served fresh chips and salsa and the guacamole was to die for (Lori is pretty picky when it comes to guacamole). We ordered a second round and split an order of tacos – two very large hard corn shells, plenty of ground beef, freshly grated cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and used our guacamole, of course. We really enjoyed this place and hope to return!

Nightlife

Both Rehoboth and Dewey have plenty of nightlife – not really the dance club type, but the live music scene. Karaoke is also available at multiple places. We did try to get into the Frogg Pond on Saturday night to see a band that apparently was playing its final gig, but the line was too long and we gave up. Remember, we aren’t 20-something anymore!

Weather

There is definitely a season. “High” season is July 4th to Labor Day Weekend, but you will stay pay high rates in June, even though the weather may be a bit more “iffy” during that month. September can be a very nice time to visit the beach in Delaware. During the summer, expect daytime highs mostly in the 80s and nighttime lows in the 60s and 70s, but because you’re at the beach, there is a breeze. You may want a jacket for evenings.

Tips/Suggestions

Hey, it’s the beach – take plenty of sun protection for the daytime and bug spray for the nights. Don’t hassle with the parking; walk or take the Jolly Trolley. If the restaurant you have chosen is popular and/or it’s a weekend, make an advance reservation. If you’re unsure, ask at the place you’re staying or just go ahead and make a reservation. Most of the fine dining establishments open around 6. Remember, Delaware is non-smoking, so you can visit the bars without enduring the smoke. You will find people smoking at outdoor venues, of course. But beware that the no-smoking status is strictly reinforced. Bars close at 1 a.m. in Delaware.

Here are some helpful links for the area: