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“Not horrible, but wouldn't go again...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Safari Motel Boardwalk

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Safari Motel Boardwalk
1 13th Street and Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD 21842   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #35 of 107 hotels in Ocean City
Ashburn, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not horrible, but wouldn't go again...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

We booked this hotel for a last minute 3-night beach stay in August. We mainly chose it based on budget ($169/night) and availability. On the good side, the location is great, right in the middle of the boardwalk. When we had issues, (mainly with parking), the management did help out with it. My overall impression of the place, including the lobby, the halls, and the room, is that it was dark and dingy....as in there was no obvious dirt, but it's hard to tell with the old dark carpeting and low lighting. The room was VERY small and everything in it seemed very old. The bathroom was very small (and very blue!), but it did seem clean. No separate sink area outside, just your basic bathroom. There was an overwhelming smell when we first walked in the room (like an orange-scented cleaning liquid). I was happy to smell some evidence of cleaning, I swear I could still smell the place when we came home and did laundry yesterday. None of the rooms have their own balcony, which I would have preferred (esp. to try towels and bathing suits…)

Our biggest issue was with parking. There are a few (about 4) parking spaces right out in front of the hotel, and they give you a parking pass for their lot, but the "lot" in a nightmare. There is a row on the left of diagonal spaces and a row on the right of straight-in spaces, with VERY little space between to maneuver, so you have to back all the way out of the lot when you back your car out. There were two nights when we came back and only the last space on the right was open, and there was no way we could get our minivan back out if we parked it there. We went in to the manager to ask about other options. First he said we could just leave it parked in the loading/check-in circle and leave our keys with him (?????) so he could park it when a space opened . Then he told us about a lot 2 blocks away (across a busy street), but then eventually he said we could just stay parked in the circle, and would come knock on our door when another space opened - that's what we did, but my husband saw out our window that someone else pulling out from one of the spaces in the "lot" so he went out and moved it. The next night, one of the 4 spaces in front opened up just after we (again) had gone to the manager to see if we could leave the car in the circle again, so we took that spot. Both nights it was about 9:30 or so.

While we were there, I definitely found myself having "hotel envy", looking around at other, seemingly better places to stay, with individual balconies (as opposed to the common balconies at the Safari), and with better parking. Only other issue was no phone in the room; that seemed very strange. Obviously everyone has cell phones for personal use, but when I came back in the room from putting something in the car and my husband said "we don't have enough towels for all of us" and I asked if he had called the front desk, I had to laugh when he looked around and said "there's no phone!" (Thankfully, housekeeping staff was still down the hall and were very accommodating when I asked for a towel -they even brought the vacuum back in because my son spilled sand from his bathing suit all over the carpet after they had already cleaned our room.)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

I booked this trip at the last minute. I stayed in an ocean view room for 2 nights Wednesday and Thursday 7/18/2013 and 7/19/2013. Me and my 2 nephews stayed in room 302. It had 2 beds, a refrigerator, bathroom with a shower and a TV.

The staff was very nice and very helpful. Upon arrival, I attempted to check-in early and the gentlemen at the front desk gave me a parking pass for my car even though my room was not ready yet. He also took my cell phone number and called me when my room was ready so we could start enjoying our vacation without waiting for the room. He called me about an hour before my scheduled check-in time and notified me that my room was ready.

Pros: Location on the boardwalk---good staff---clean room---nice views---parking on location

cons: small room---no phone in room---lack of hot water in shower

I didn't take many pictures of the room. Only about 10. If you want to see a short video about this hotel or Ocean City I posted these videos on my YouTube page. At www.youtube.com/iheart2travel

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, AZ
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

It's a shame that they do not allow you to walk your dog on the Boardwalk, our yorkie would have loved it. It's a $25 fine if you have your dog on the beach or Boardwalk - FYI.

Here is my summary and list of pros & cons for my 2 night stay:

PROS
- ON the Boardwalk (the beach is literally 30 steps away across the boardwalk)
- Pet friendly! $15/nt extra
- Free parking/wifi
(BUT, wifi kept cutting off and I had to ask the manager to reset the wifi about 7xs)
- Vacancy
- Old school keys (I cannot remember the last time I checked into a hotel and literally had a KEY that goes in a lock - see pictures)
- He gave us a late checkout (12pm)
- Maids were very friendly and helpful
- Rinse off hose aside of hotel for guest
- Free coffee in lobby
- 2nd floor & 3rd floor balcony views

CONS
- Rooms were small and cramped, especially the bathroom
- The toilet is positioned in front of the bathroom door, WRONG PLACING!
- NO HOT WATER. After about 3 minutes of showering it would get colder & colder
- Checkout time is lame - the norm is 12pm for most hotels & resorts
- [to me] Over priced - $179.99/week nt, $199.99/wknd nt (in July)
- No microwave in room (they let me heat up dog food in the break room tho!)
- Basic cable and tiny TV

Hopefully the Safari hotel makes some adjustment. Then I can come back a give them 5/5...

Room Tip: 1st floor was quiet :)
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

First of all, I will start with the negative. The rooms are a bit small. They have two queen size beds and are a bit cramped. But since you're on the boardwalk in Ocean City, you shouldn't really be spending too much time in the room in any case. Also, the rooms have a small fridge which is nice, but no microwave. That would make them better. Now the positive. The staff keeps the hotel spotless. My family had two rooms and both the rooms themselves and bathrooms were spotlessly clean and although the decor is pure 1960s beach motel - which I loved - everything looked fresh and new; paint, carpet, bathroom tile, etc. The staff was also friendly, relaxed and helpful.

Since they allow dogs and I'm not a dog person, I was a little concerned about that. It turned out to be a non-issue. The dog rooms on the lower floors and we were on the fourth. We never heard a bark at night or any other time. In fact, the walls appear to be pretty thick as my kids were right next door and I never head any sound coming from their room either.

The location is perfect in my view, right on the boardwalk, a little removed from the hubbub and crush farther down the boards but not so far removed is to require too much walking to go down to the end. Just north of the Safari is the Beach Plaza Hotel with its big porch and rocking chairs. Just south are three old-style wood frame beach houses. So what you have got is a little one block slice of old Ocean City with the Safari in the middle. I love that. It's what I grew up with and I find those big condos that have popped up all over the place annoying. I'm glad places like the Safari, Beach Plaza, Majestic, etc are still around and it's a pleasure to see the Safari so well maintained. Would definitely recommend to anyone on a budget or not looking for spacious luxury or private balcony, just a nice traditional, comfortable stay on the boards in OC

Room Tip: As you can tell from the picture, there are no rooms that face the ocean directly. Rooms on the th...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

We decided to take a family vacation and when I say "family" I mean the dog too! So I chose this motel based on the fact that they welcome dogs and not many do.
I have very mixed emotions about this motel. It's wasn't bad but it also wasn't great. I think the value is good. Great location right at the beginning of the boardwalk and just steps away from the beach. Lots of options for food within walking distance.
The rooms were very clean. They had about 5 cleaning ladies to every one room. They cleaned every nook and cranny morning, noon and night. We asked to not have maid service because I didn't know how the dog would react when we were away and they respected that and left us clean towels by the door. As for the motel itself, it could use a little updating.
Pet friendly rooms are located on the bottom floor.Small, but did fit a large crate for the dog. 2 double beds. Old school tv. No channels and hardly any lighting. Also we could never open our blinds because we faced the road by the boardwalk where people passed by all day and night. The rooms were a little depressing and we had to go back often to check on the dog, since he is not allowed on the beach or the boardwalk. Assateague island is 15 minutes away and the dogs are allowed there. That was a fun day! Shared the beach with wild ponies!
Also I didn't really feel the "friendliness" for pets in this motel. There is no place to walk the dogs that are grassy. Lots of open parking lots. I also thought it would be a nice touch to offer some dog treats. They do offer free coffee all day for patrons why not offer cookies for the dogs.
Also it was loud. Techno music played till about midnight. Pretty sure it was coming from the store that is located right in front of the building. The first night I was about to complain because I thought someone was throwing a loud party but after the 2nd night I realized that wasn't the case and just dealt with it. Dogs also barking all day and walls are paper thin.
Like I said its a good value. But when you search hotels in ocean city Md there are about 600 to choose from. I would only choose this one again if I was taking my dog along for vacation.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We bookec s last minute trip to Ocean City, including our two dogs. We usually stay further north, but pet friendliness was limited, so we took a chance on staying on the boardwalk at the Safari and are so happy we did! The staff was super accomodating and it was very quiet for being both dog friendly and on the boardwalk. The location was ideal with having children for getting meals and such. The only cons to the whole trip would have to be there were only about 5 tv channels to watch, so if you are someone that that is important to you might be disappointed. Also for being pet friendly there really is no area to walk your dog. We had to get a little creative! But all in all a great expierience; we would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013 via mobile

Safari motel is the best kept secret in where to stay in OCMD. Great room rates for the location!! The location on the boardwalk is perfect. The owners and staff go above and beyond to make your stay wonderful. The rooms are so clean and neat. Everyone is so friendly and greets you with a warm and welcoming smile as soon as you arrive. There is free fresh coffee and tea in the lobby daily! They are very helpful in providing directions and recommendations to all the local hot spots and restaurants.
Definitely will stay here again. Thanks for a wonderful and comfortable stay! JG

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Safari Motel Boardwalk

Address: 1 13th Street and Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD 21842
Location: United States > Maryland > Ocean City
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#35 Top resorts Hotel in Ocean City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Safari Motel offers a unique lodging experience that includes clean, comfortable, and affordable rooms. Start your day with our complimentary coffee and tea service at the lobby or relax at our common oceanfront balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Boardwalk. Booking at the Safari Motel, you will enjoy courteous personalized service and a welcoming home away from home atmosphere. We are a pet friendly motel (limited availability & fee.) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Safari Motel Boardwalk Hotel Ocean City
Safari Motel Ocean City
Safari Hotel Ocean City

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