My family of four (with a 3 year old and a 4 month old) was very happy here and would absolutely stay again.
We stayed for four nights in September, just after the busy season ended, so the hotel was not as occupied as it would be during most of the summer. That said, our experience may have been a little different mid-summer.
Here are the details:
The location is fantastic. Right on the boardwalk/beach, with every room having a private balcony overlooking the ocean. Located at 18th street, which is near the center of the boardwalk. Pacific Avenue runs along the non-ocean side of the hotel and is loaded with touristy shops and restaurants. Free parking in the hotel garage. Yes, the garage is tight, but I had no problems getting my SUV around. It probably helped that the hotel was nowhere near capacity and there were ample parking spots available.
The room was good. We stayed in a one bedroom suite, which included a room with a sleeper sofa and a TV. In the main sleeping area there were two queen beds, a sitting chair and ottoman, and a desk with an office chair. The private balcony was the width of the room and about 3 feet deep. It included a couple of plastic patio chairs. My family of four probably would have been okay without the suite, but the extra room was a good place to get our things organized away from the sleeping area. It was also a good place to hang out and watch TV while the kids were sleeping. There was a safe, microwave, and decent sized fridge in the room.
The room had recently been re-done, including most of the bathroom. Everything looked good, with the exception of the shower, which stood out next to the nice finishes elsewhere. The shower walls were basic ceramic tiles that were not installed straight. The shower worked fine, but compared to the rest of the room and bathroom, the shower really felt like a leftover from when this hotel was a Howard Johnson. It was just a little sloppy looking.
The room was mostly clean. I probably wouldn’t have commented on this, but shortly after checking in, my 3 year old handed me a pill that he found somewhere on the carpet. So while the room did seem very clean, it must not have been perfectly cleaned if that detail was missed. I will note that this is a hotel on a beach, so expect a certain amount of sand and grit in the room or bathroom since people tend to track it in and it would be impossible for any hotel to get it all up.
The restaurant/bar looked clean and smelled good, but I did not have a chance to eat there. The menu items seemed pricey, but you pay a premium for eating next to the ocean.
The free breakfast was one of the best free breakfasts I've seen and was a great way to start our day. There were hot items every day and it always included some sort of meat item (bacon, sausage, etc.) as well as cereal, yogurt, danishes, waffles, and more. There were plenty of tables to sit and eat at. I filled up on breakfast every day and wasn't hungry again until late afternoon. I felt like I had retired.
The lobby and common areas were updated and clean. The floors were frequently being cleaned. There were elevators in two different locations and the both worked fine and did not seem slow. There are two washers and dryers available on the second floor. The indoor pool looked fine and seemed clean, but I did not use it.
My wife and I both really appreciated the friendliness of the staff. Every staff member we encountered was very pleasant, from the front desk managers that helped us whenever we needed anything, to the housekeeping staff that cleaned our rooms, to the maintenance man who politely let us go ahead of him onto the elevator when he had a cart of supplies. This great service made us happy that we'd chosen this hotel.
I thought the value was really good. It helped that I stayed after the busy season, so the rates were a lot lower than they had been two weeks before. This hotel was the best combination of reasonably nice hotel and acceptable price that I could find. TIP: The hotel had a 25% off special if you book 28 days in advance, but doing so made it non-refundable. I found that I could book it through one of the travel websites at the same rate, and it was refundable up until a couple of days before the first night.
There were a few hotels along the beach that looked nicer than this one, and a lot that looked worse than this one. I'd say this is much closer to being the nicest hotel than the worst hotel.
The few problems I had during my stay include the shower and less than perfect cleaning mentioned above, plus a slow-draining bathroom sink and a lack of internet in my room. I did not pick up a wi-fi signal in my room, so I tried plugging my laptop into the data port on the desk. It did not work, so I looked at the connection behind the desk to discover that the data cable from the desk was not plugged into anything and there was nowhere on the wall t plug it in. It wasn't a big deal to me since I didn't really need my computer and I had my phone, but internet access was listed as one of the amenities so I feel like it should have worked. There were two computers with internet available near the lobby, but I did not use them.
These inconveniences are the only thing keeping me from giving a 5/5 rating.
Overall, we were very happy to be at this hotel. I would stay here again, and would recommend it to friends and family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Country Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel! Located on the beach and just steps away from the world-famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk, our hotel provides easy access to the beach, area dining, souvenir shopping, entertainment and more. Every room features spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean along with a private balcony, microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker. With its convenient amenities like complimentary hot breakfast, free high-speed wireless Internet access, heated indoor pool, fitness center, oceanfront restaurant, and on-site parking, our oceanfront hotel in Virginia Beach, VA is sure to please leisure and business travelers alike. Come visit us for a fantastic beach vacation! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Country Inn & Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel Virginia Beach
- Country Inn And Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront
- Howard Johnson Oceanfront Resort
- Virginia Beach Howard Johnson Oceanfront
- Howard Johnson Virginia Beach