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Family Reunion: Feedback on variety of Hotels, B&B's...

Bryn Mawr, PA
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116 posts
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Family Reunion: Feedback on variety of Hotels, B&B's...

Sorry to repeat post...I thought my feedback to another topic discuusion which I previously posted might be helpful to people reading up on places to stay in Ocean City, NJ

Hey Pennlyn... Agreed. I don't really personally favor one property over another, but I just wanted to share the feedback I received which was pretty consistent among a ton of people. I am not versed on all the exact (an ever-changing) prices of these hotels & such, but this past summer, I had to plan a family reunion for 12 families with 147 people arriving in Ocean City from all parts of the country. Therefore, I had the task of investigating all these properties, what they offered for the money, and also got a ton of feedback from all the members of my extended family....some very positive, and some wanted to kill me for not warning them of the "exact conditions" of these places (despite the fact that they opted for cheaper stay place that were not on my recommendation list. I was still to blame, of course.)

From what I understand, the average summer/in-season price of beach front hotel room such as PortoCall is $375 p/night. You can get a nice room at Watson's or Beach club in the high $200s. According to their websites, the $200-$375 range is consistent with Atlantis Inn price range fro a vareity of their suites. Also, the King jacuzzi rooms at Scarborough & to some extent Northwood & Somewhere In Time fall into thee brackets.

All I am saying is you get what you pay for. You want beachfront hotel w/ a pool and to pay for every "extra" consistent with all hotel stays, go for PortoCall or Beach Club. Impala is OK, not a big fan, but still OK.

If you want a nice B&B, traditional, old-world style, some Victorian charm, I would consider Scarborough, Northwood, & Somewhere In Time, and Bayberry is also pretty nice, but more of an older home like place.

If you want upscale, luxury, inclusive amenities such a gourmet breakfasts, afternoon teas, spa & other services & such, Atlantis Inn is the top pick. And for the price range, it's the best value for what you can get on the island. I read a lot of the Inn’s reviews online, and I would have to agree: the Inn is like a Four Seasons among a large sea of Holiday Inns & condo rentals.

Prices are also cheaper in the off-season for all these properties.

If you want to rent a condo for a week, cook clean, bring your own sheets, do laundry etc, by all means any realtor can give you a slew of rental places that on average cost about $1,000 p/bedroom p/week to rent these days. So for a 4 bedroom condo, you are looking at about $4K p/week; 5 bedroom, $5K p/week. There are some cheaper places, but the conditions are not “newer construction type-quality”, and a bit run down from the wear and tear of the large volume of people traffic entering & exiting these properties over the years. And it really shows. But the demand is there, so the condo owners are getting their prices.

And, then there are still the old dive style places like Sifting Sands, Homestead, OC Plaza. Ocean Front Motel, etc where you can get a dumpy room with questionable AC, usually some mold or strange smell emanating from somewhere, limited sleeping space, exposed pipes & old cast iron baths for $90-$175 p/night.

Now for the feedback:

1) Atlantis Inn, hands down got the best and most raving reviews. In fact, my “country –wide family clan” really pissed the owners off because we had family members staying in about 7 of their 12 rooms and an additional 50 curious family members showing up constantly to visit with jaw dropping and eye widening expressions, all wanting a tour and all questioning why they were not staying there but somewhere else which was not to par. After the 2nd day of relentless crowds showing up to the place, the owners "politely" told us that we needed wait on the front porch or on the front sidewalk for our family members staying at the place as to not disturb all their other paying guests. I didn’t blame them at all, and quite honestly, the Innkeepers endured a lot with our crowds.

The place was exceptionally beautiful. Extremely elegant, and very much non-typical; seashore resort place. This was a very upscale Inn that offered top of the line amenities, spa showers, Jacuzzis, and just about everything luxury. There simply is no other place like this in Ocean City.

I will say this: I would highly recommend the Atlantis Inn for a romantic escape, anniversary, birthday, or special occasion, or a relaxing / pampering vacation. If you want comfort on your vacation, stay at the Atlantis Inn. If comfort & an upscale type of setting is not important, there are many other choices. (I will confess that I am planning to book stay at the Atlantis Inn in the winter for our upcoming anniversary. So I can experience it first hand. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper in the winter than the summer.)

Now, if you want a hotel with a pool, the PortoCall, Forum, and Beach Club all got positive feedback. (We did not have anyone ([surprisingly] stay at the Flanders, although I have hear wonderful things. Everyone liked having the pool on the premises, but most commented on the excessive noise of other guests throughout the week.

If you want old world charm, Victorian style bed and breakfast, Northwood, and Scarborough were very well received as we had a number of guests staying at those places. We also had tow family members staying at Somewhere In Time and both said nice things. Bayberry was also very charming. But, they were no Atlantis Inn, that's for sure.

And my final comment is with regards of places to avoid. It is amazing to me that for every positive comment you get from a good experience, you get 20 negative comments and hours of debate and conversation about a bad experience.

So, with that said, don't even consider stepping foot into the Ocean City Plaza. This place is a section 8-dump that should be condemned. The Sifting Sands, Homestead and Ocean Front Motel were, well, should I say, simply UNDESIRABLE.

We also had 7 families rent duplex condos and summer homes. They were content with their choices, and most were in good condition. But by the end of the week, most of the ladies of the homes were kind of depressed & somewhat aggravated about having to constantly "clean-up" after the traveling family company members left for the evening, and having to spend all day Friday doing laundry, cleaning sheets, towels, and cleaning the house itself before vacating on Saturday. Many of them all said that when they come back next year, they will stay at a hotel, or the Atlantis Inn.

So there you have it...just some feedback!

King of Prussia, PA
3 posts
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1. Re: Family Reunion: Feedback on variety of Hotels, B&B's...

Very thorough and great overview of the key places to stay in Ocean City. And I must say, pretty accurate as well.

Flanders Hotel is still pretty nice, but it is "dated".

We stayed at PortOCall many times, but it too is kind of getting some wear and tear. It's more of a Holiday Inn located right on the beach & boardwalk. I would only stay here again if I really needed to have a pool.

Forum OK. Pavilion terrible. You must be crazy to stay at Homestead.

Stayed at the Atlantis Inn this past summer. Absolutely wonderful. Best place in Jersey! And when we were there, there were families with kids staying in the villa apartments on the ground floor. Place is big enough to have privacy throughout, not intrusive. Psuedo-boutique type hotel. Great place.

Scarborough also very nice, charming & also somewhat dated, but nice. We also liked Watsons Regency, but also more of a hotel pool place.

New York, NY
8 posts
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2. Re: Family Reunion: Feedback on variety of Hotels, B&B's...

WOW! What a great review! Since I have been to most of the places mentioned, I would just say that I agree with Mouse’s assessment, it’s right on!

We used to do the weekly rental thing a lot and backed off. We have so little vacation time that the last thing I want to do is cook, clean & laundry on my vacation.

So now we just do 3 or 4 days trips to the shore, mostly Ocean City since it is the best all around beach resort in Jersey. We used to stay at the beach front hotels in town, and then graduated to some of the B&Bs. We stayed at many of them, including the Atlantis Inn 3 times so far and loved it each time. Two weekends ago, we decide to go down for the weekend at the last minute because the weather was so nice, but the Atlantis was already booked so we opted to stay at the Portocall Hotel. It was nice, mostly due to the boardwalk location, and we have been there many times before. But I think we have become spoiled at the Atlantis, so unless there is vacancy there, we probably won't be staying elsewhere. It would be so nice to see some additional upscale Inns or hotels open their doors in Ocean City. Although we absolutely love the Atlantis Inn, it’s very disappointing to only have one upscale place to stay at in such a wonderful resort town like Ocean City.

Bryn Mawr, PA
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116 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Family Reunion: Feedback on variety of Hotels, B&B's...

I agree Happy! We all love the Atlantis Inn and are very proud to have such an upscale place located right here in Ocean City, but it would be nice if we did have more than just one upscale (4 to 5 star) place to pick from.

There are only a few 3-star quality places in OC, the rest are 2 star (or NO star). I think most OC hotels are in dire need to renovation and updating. People want more luxury and upscale amenities during their vacation, not just the bear minimum in 1980 looking hotel rooms.

The good news is that their is apparantly a brand new hotel called Sole (or something like that) being built next to the Flanders. It’s suppose to be opening in 2008. From what I understand, it is suppose to be an upscale type hotel with desirable amenities. Thank God! We can't wait. I hope that they take some pointers from the Atlantis Inn because we need more Atlantis Inn type places at the shore, and especially in Ocean City where people expect it!

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Marlton NJ
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1 review
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4. Re: Family Reunion: Feedback on variety of Hotels, B&B's...

WOW! What a great overview of places to stay in Ocean City.

Extremely helpful. Thank you for posting.

I haven't been to Atlantis Inn but I did see them on TV on the CBS Show. I am extremely excited about checking them out.

I didn't even know there was a luxury place of any kind in Ocean City. With all the million dollar homes everywhere, it's about time!