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“Decent, but not great”

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Castle in the Sand Hotel
Ranked #16 of 103 Hotels in Ocean City
Conowingo, Maryland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Decent, but not great”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights at this hotel for a special event. Due to the high volume of incoming guests, I had to circle the buildings twice before I could park to check-in. This was entirely understandable. The staff was very friendly, and having two on-site restaurants is very convenient. We did walk to the boardwalk, so it can be done, but I wouldn't recommend with small children. There was one elevator in our building so it was a wait at times, but that's not uncommon at the beach; likewise the building shows the typical wear & tear for its age. The parking was gated and we felt safe on the premises. Nice pool with diving board. My biggest issue was the room itself: the AC unit had a very strong urine-like odor (to the point that we didn't bother with it but thankfully the weather was comfortable so the sea breeze was pleasant). Also, the bathtub drained very slowly and I discovered the drain was so clogged with hair and gunk that the water couldn't go down very well. I'm a mom of 4 boys and not a stranger to gross bathrooms but with the help of some TP I tried to pull some of the gunk out (gross, I know) but really didn't get much more than a handful - the rest wouldn't budge. Even with daily maid service we had no Kleenex and only 1 1/2 rolls of TP; with 4 people during allergy season we were scrimping as much as possible, which annoyed me for the money I spent on the room. The kitchen was well stocked with amenities - perfect for families. Also, it was very quiet - the hotel in right on the beach, away from traffic, and the only time we heard noise is when the outside bar/restaurant was open but we liked the tropical music - added to the beach feel. All in all I would go back but I will bring Kleenex and Drano next time!!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PPG73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleadmin, Owner at Castle in the Sand Hotel, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Dear “PPG73”
It’s disheartening for me to read that a guest didn’t have a 100% positive experience when staying with us. I’m glad you enjoyed our Olympic sized swimming pool and the diving board, as well as the gated parking, Coconuts’ live entertainment and the fully-stocked kitchen in your room. I am disappointed about the housekeeping issues and I can assure you they will be addressed. We do take this seriously. I hope you will come back and give us a chance to exceed your expectations. I invite you to contact the hotel and speak with our General Manager, Bob Borello, when you make your next reservation.
Sincerely,
Adam L. Showell, Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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845 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (237)
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English first
Baldwinsville, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We have been to the Castle in the Sand twice, and would go again. The location on the beach is beautiful. The rooms are spacious (we had two adults and two children), clean and comfortable with a kitchen and room to eat in. The Olympic size pool was great for the kids, as was the volley ball court and other activities. For the adults an outdoor bar... live entertainment and happy hour. The restaurant has a varied and reasonably priced menu. The hotel grounds felt safe, and we had no concerns about our 10 and 14 year olds having some measure of independence on the property. There are several restaurants within walking distance and the boardwalk is a short drive. If you are looking for a 5 star resort, this is not your place, but it is a reasonably priced, comfortable beach experience.

Room Tip: First floor rooms offer the ability to walk out into the sand through the ground level door. Howeve...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SandGnat2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleadmin, Owner at Castle in the Sand Hotel, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Dear “SandGnat2013”
Thanks for taking your time to share your compliments of The Castle on Trip Advisor. I truly appreciate your continued patronage. It was good to read that you enjoyed your room, our Olympic pool, Coconuts along with the entertainment and our forever popular happy hour! And all the other amenities The Castle offer’s for families on vacation. I hope you will choose to stay at The Castle on your next trip to Ocean City, MD.
Sincerely,
Adam L. Showell, Sr., Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JVAW
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Hotel is in a great location. Coconuts bar is really fun with great live entertainment. Food and drinks are good and service at the beach and pool are nice. The beach service is very--very slow. Be prepared for that. Hotel is old, we stayed in ocean view room with a bedroom and a small kitchen and separate room with a pull out sofa. We also had a balcony directly looking at coconuts. Note this is a loud room all day from 11-9pm if you don't mind the music and people watching its not bad. The rooms are old. They said they were updated but I think that meant a new flat screen TV, and light fixtures. The bathroom had peeling wallpaper, broken shelving and was not renovated. Water pressure was bad. The overall room was fine bit remember its old. This is NOT the Hilton. I think it's a bit overpriced. Kids loved the pool..Saturday is loud.. Tons of rooms having parties and there appeared to be no noise control. People above and next to us screaming until about 12:30am. You can hear everything through the walls.. That was hard with kids. We had no hot water one morning and wen I called I was not told much and offered nothing off the bill. Our cable then went out that day, it was fixed within the hour. This is an okay place but it needs work.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JVAW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trenton, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviewed August 17, 2013

I have & will continue to stay at Castle in the Sand , both with a group of my lady friends & my husband for more then 10 years. It is a top notch, class act establishment. You feel like you're on an island. There are waitresses that will take you're order & bring you food or beverages on the beach. The rooms are very clean. They have an indoor restaurant on site along with an outdoor bar / restaurant. There is also an olympic size pool. All of the staff are professional, pleasant and very accommodating.We rate this establishment 7 stars. We HIGHLY recommend to everyone. Lynne C.

Room Tip: if you're looking for alot of space. the north side first 3 floors are 2 room suites. full kitc...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lynne928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleadmin, Owner at Castle in the Sand Hotel, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Dear "lynne928"
Thank you for your kind compliments and high rating of The Castle in the Sand. I appreciate you taking the time to post them and most of all, I appreciate your years of patronage. I always enjoy reading about when guests enjoy all The Castle has to offer – modern accommodations, desirable amenities including the Olympic size pool, and our unique ability to provide wait service on the beach. I sincerely hope you’ll stay at The Castle again on your future vacations in Ocean City, MD.
Sincerely,
Adam L. Showell, Sr., Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

The only positive aspect of this hotel is the beach front bar. The bar has great entertainment daily and has delicious drinks, for a price ($7+). However, the rooms are outdated even though they claim to be updated. My room in the South building was dirty especially the bathroom which included a hole in the wall above the sink. The location on 37th street is OK but be prepared to drive unless you're up for a 10+ block walk to boardwalk and OC's best restaurants and bars. Overall, it was an average experience but will most likely not return.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank troupu09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleadmin, Owner at Castle in the Sand Hotel, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Dear “troupu09”
The Castle in the Sand Hotel is situated direct oceanfront on two and a half blocks of beautiful beach and the Atlantic Ocean. We have many amenities that our guests enjoy. We have the only Olympic-size swimming pool with a diving board in Ocean City. We offer free children’s activities and movie night on the patio every Tuesday in season, for families with younger guests. There is free wi-fi, a beachfront sand volleyball court, and a variety of food and beverage options. Breakfast is available in our Beach House Restaurant. Coconuts has live entertainment and two for one Happy Hour on the patio every day. We are one of only two resorts in town who serve food and beverages on the beach and around the pool deck. Take A Dip Ice Cream Shop is our newest addition that guests love. Also, as our loyal and returning guests know, every year we are committed to upgrades, improvements and renovations. We have recently renovated our Castle North Penthouse Rooms, our Castle North Suites, and Castle South received all new furniture, art and Flat Screen TVs this year. The Waverley Castle is currently planned for beautiful new furniture and art this winter for the 2014 summer season.
Sincerely,
Adam L. Showell, Sr., Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Towson, Maryland, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We were looking for a hotel that was on the beach, clean and with a pool and honestly we were very happy overall , Its not a brand new 5 star hotel but for the money you cant beat it . The staff was kind and friendly and the room (a little dated) was large and clean with a nice kitchen and cold a/c !! Coconuts lounge had live music every night and good drinks (2 for 1 happy hour) , volley ball and a lady that comes everyday with lots of FUN activities for the kids ( awesome face painting , knecklace & braclet making , games , balloon crafts etc..(ALL FREE) its a great thing to have for the kids and athe pool is huge with diving board and most of all its SPARKLING CLEAN (unlike a lot of hotels). And the location is great right on the beach and just a few minutes to area attractions and the boardwalk !! Like I said its not a 5 star hotel but I will definatley be returning with the kids ext time we go to OC. Hope this helped we were very nervous about finding the right place without spending a fortune and were very satisfied with our booking upon arrival.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleadmin, Owner at Castle in the Sand Hotel, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Dear “Tom B”
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share your compliments of The Castle. I’m glad we were able to satisfy your vacation expectations and your family enjoyed the exceptional amenities we have at The Castle. Sunshine and Lady J continue to be a popular attraction, as well as the Olympic sized swimming pool and we have one of the only diving boards in Ocean City. Our direct oceanfront location is also convenient to many of Ocean City’s most popular attractions and I’m thrilled your family enjoyed their stay with us. We look forward to having you back on your next vacation.
Sincerely,
Adam L. Showell, Sr., Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerdale, New Jersey
Level Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We could not have been happier with the location. We stayed at the Waverly building.It's a little older than the other ones but it has a better kitchen area. the only real negative is the hot water. No matter what time of day you shower, it's just enough hot water for a quick one. We never could get two showers back to back without the hot water running out. Very low water pressure too. The fridge temperature knob was removed and was stuck on the coldest setting so it froze everything we had in there ..literally. Their handyman came in and adjusted it but it still froze almost everything in there on the half way setting . Not the end of the world..
With Coconuts outside bar and grill basically a few feet from the beach I was surprised how unsociable the bartenders were. Alan was the worst! We met almost all of them and non were sociable . But the drinks were good so whatever. .Bonus points for the waitresses. Unlike their bartenders they were great! They even come to the beach and serve you there. We're really not big drinkers but having drinks brought to you on the beach where you're laying out was pretty cool .
One night we had a very loud renter upstairs BLASTING music on the balcony and screaming lyrics on a obvious drunken state... When they refused to turn things a notch down ( and we like to have fun and party too but this was over the top) we called the front desk and within 15 minutes they sent someone up to their room. Instant silence ! So koodoos for them for a quick response.
We'd definitely stay here next year. Just don't plan on showering one after the other. At least not in the Waverly building. But overall a real nice place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Krovere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
castleadmin, Owner at Castle in the Sand Hotel, responded to this review, August 13, 2013
Dear “Krovere”
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. As many of our long-time guests know, we do spend our winters making upgrades and improvements, based on valuable guest comments. The Waverley Castle, which is the building in which you stayed, is currently in the planning and bidding phase for renovations. Next season when you call, please inquire as this building may be totally renovated for the 2014 season. I do appreciate your patronage, and am glad that my staff responded to your satisfaction. Regarding the staff at Coconuts, I’d like to say that being a seasonal restaurant, we have to rely on seasonal help. However, rudeness is not something I will accept and I will address this issue immediately. I think The Castle is “a real nice place” too. It has been owned and operated by my family for many years and I am passionate about providing clean, comfortable and affordable accommodations so that families like yours can have a pleasant vacation in Ocean City, MD.
Sincerely,
Adam L. Showell, Sr., Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castle in the Sand Hotel

Property: Castle in the Sand Hotel
Address: 3701 Atlantic Ave, 37th Street & Oceanfront, Ocean City, MD 21842-3338
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maryland > Ocean City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Business Hotel in Ocean City
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Ocean City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Castle in the Sand Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Premiere direct oceanfront family resort with desirable location on two blocks sun-kissed beach. Guest amenities include free wireless internet, Olympic pool with diving board, sand volleyball court, beach equipment rentals on-site, free kid’s activities, and live entertainment daily in season. Beach House dining offers a la carte breakfast and buffet breakfast daily. Coconuts Beach Bar offers open-air beachfront patio dining. Waitress service on our beach and pool deck. Take A Dip Ice Cream Shop open Memorial Day thru Labor Day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle In The Sand Hotel Ocean City
Castle In The Sand Ocean City Md

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