Daytona Beach is a pretty no-frills vacation destination and The Americano Resort is quintessentially Daytona Beach. The majority of guests on any given week will be timeshare owners, many of whom were sold the dream of "owning" a piece of beautiful beachfront property 30 years ago. This is the case with my parents. That's not a bad thing! The other guests are friendly and there's a familial feeling. Because everyone takes ownership, there's a welcoming pride in their conversations with guests. The one downfall to staying in a majority timeshare resort is that there's little effort made to "sell" anymore.
It's been 15 years since I last vacationed with my family at this resort and this year, I had a spouse and toddler to bring along, making the experience very different from the experience of family vacations at the Americano in my teen years. That said, not much has really changed with the resort. It still pretty much looks the same. The rooms don't appear to have been updated. The game room is gone. They added onsite laundry. There's a kid's center in the basement with dirty toddler toys and the filthiest sofa I've ever seen.
While the other guests are friendly, the front desk staff are far from cordial. Check-in took almost an hour. The manager, (whose name eludes me), is really sweet. Everyone else acted like our mere presence was annoying. The biggest exception has always been housekeeping. The housekeeping staff has always been the most helpful crew onsite. Make sure to go to an ATM before you check out because you're going to want to tip those guys BIG TIME. Also, go to the ATM to get cash so you can get some mediocre coffee and a pastry in the "cafe" in the lobby. It's cash only and you can't charge it to your room. How high-tech is that? My mother says they're going to put in a Starbucks in that cafe area. Right. The "bar" on the pool deck is a joke. Drinks are WAY over-priced, under-poured, and the bartender was a mess.
Look, this resort SITS ON THE BEACH. Walk down some steps and you're in sand. That proximity to the beach at these rates is really unusual, outside of rat-infested motels. THIS IS NOT A RAT INFESTED MOTEL. It's clean, there are two nice pools and a gym, the rooms are a decent size and have full kitchens, and the majority of the staff wants to see you enjoy your vacation.
It's definitely not a "resort", if you're accustomed to Hilton or Wyndham, but I'll come back because it's not awful and my parents will be there.