by Amanda Geronikos
When you walk into Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront, situated in the center of Virginia Beach, you’ll hardly feel like you’re at a chain hotel. The lobby, which was recently updated, has a trendy ambiance, with an electric fireplace, enclosed waterfall and lounge with cozy chairs and sofas. Don’t let its chic new look fool you though, this hotel is one of the most family-friendly in town.
The hotel’s rooms are less luxurious and more in line with what you’d expect at a Comfort Inn & Suites, but they, too, will surprise you. Their design provides more privacy without compromising space, as well as refrigerators, microwaves and — the best part — balconies that overlook the ocean, just steps from the hotel.
The hotel continues to pleasantly surprise with discounted tickets to area attractions, including Ocean Breeze Water Park and Virginia Beach Aquarium and Marine Science Center. And yes, there’s an indoor pool and hot tub, as well as complimentary breakfast each morning, to boot. You’ll find a laundry facility and fitness center to use, too.
Our Editor Loves
- Oceanfront location
- Discounted tickets to area attractions
- Unique rooms with privacy options and balconies
- Theme Park
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
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While some of the furniture could be replaced (we saw a lot of dents and scratches, though nothing that makes the accommodations less appealing for families), the rooms and suites at Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront are pleasantly different than many other hotels we've visited in Virginia Beach, and perhaps the most family-friendly of all.
First, they offer more privacy, with a small corridor that separates two rooms. The corridor can remain open, or be closed off by sliding doors. This is applicable to the Queen Queen Guestrooms, not just the suites, so if you book a standard room with two queen beds, you can expect to find two separate bedrooms. Queen Suites have a bedroom and a separate living area with a sofa bed and a desk and chair.
Next, all bathrooms offer shower and tub combinations (you'd be surprised how many area hotels don't have this option), and many have low sinks, so your littlest ones can reach the faucet to brush their teeth.
Additionally, all rooms and suites provide flat-screen TV's (at least two; one in each room within the unit), microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers and irons and ironing boards. They also have balconies with chairs and tables (our favorite feature), which face the ocean. Rollaway beds, which recently received new -- and quite comfortable -- mattresses, and cribs, are available upon request; rollaway beds are $10 per night, and cribs are free. Both rollaways and cribs are permitted for use in all of the hotel's rooms and suites (another feature that isn't offered at many hotels, in general).
While the Queen Queen Rooms and Queen Suites are suitable for families, Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront also offers a VIP Suite option. These units have a separate bedroom with a king bed, and a bathroom with a separate shower and tub. They also have a dining area and small kitchenette, as well as a living area with a sofa bed.
The hotel also offers connecting units.
Note: Smoking is permitted on the 10th floor. If you don't smoke or don't want to be near smoke, note this when you reserve a room. Also, smoking is not permitted on any of the balconies.
Adjacent to the lobby, you'll find an indoor pool, which maintains an 82-degree temperature year-round. The pool is five feet deep, and is handicap accessible. Next to the pool, there's a small hot tub, and plenty of lounge chairs surround both the hot tub and pool. Complimentary towels are available for use, so you won't have to bring one from your room.
While the pool is convenient, especially if you're visiting during colder months, you'll want to take advantage of the beach, which is practically a hop, skip and a jump from the hotel. During the summer, the beach gets exceptionally crowded, so we suggest you secure a spot early and save the indoor pool for later in the day.
Complimentary breakfast is served each morning, in a bright, open corridor with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on the beach. It includes standard favorites, such as waffles, bacon, sausage, omelets, eggs, biscuits, bagels, oatmeal, cold cereal and fruit. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10 a.m. daily.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront provides guests with discounted tickets to local attractions, including Virginia Beach Aquarium and Marine Science Center and Ocean Breeze Waterpark.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. There is also a coin-operated laundry facility, open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
If you need a babysitter, you can ask someone at the front desk for recommendations. The hotel rarely receives this request though.
The hotel has a better-than-average fitness center, located next to the lobby. Compared with other Virginia Beach hotel gyms, which tout treadmills and free weights, this one is slightly bigger in size, with a wider selection of machines. It's also open 24 hours a day. Children under the age of 18 are welcome to visit the gym, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront likes to commemorate anniversaries, birthdays and the like with signs in the lobby. If your child will be celebrating a birthday during your visit, for example, let the hotel know in advance, and the staff will wish him/her a happy birthday via a special announcement in the lobby. You might find a treat in your room as well!
The Art of Smart Timing
Virginia Beach is busiest during the summer months, from May through Labor Day. During this time, the hotel doesn't permit groups of 10 or more, since this is such a busy time for families who visit, many of them year after year.
While the crowds decrease after school starts, weekends remain busy in Virginia Beach through Columbus Day. Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront and most of the hotels on Atlantic Avenue sell out because of local events, including the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival and the Mid-Atlantic Shrine Association Convention (which includes a grand parade through town). Mid-October is still a nice time to visit, if you can swing it, and the rates are low. Rates are also low during the winter months. You can reserve a room for under $100 per night, but there's not much to do. The weather is cold and many of the area's restaurants and shops close down. Reservations begin to pick up again in March.
If you're traveling by plane, you'll want to fly into Norfolk International Airport, which is about 35 minutes from the Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront Virginia Beach. Next, hop on the airport shuttle (operated by James River Transportation and located in the Arrivals Terminal) to Virginia Beach.
Most of Virginia Beach's visitors come from other parts of the Mid-Atlantic region. If you're one of them, you'll likely have to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which stretches 20 miles and costs $12 to access. Credit and debit cards are accepted for payment.
Complimentary onsite parking is available for one car per family in a garage at the hotel. The garage is especially convenient because it allows you to park on the level that corresponds with your room's floor, and enter on to your floor from the garage, using your room key. This means you won't need to lug all your bags and beach gear through the lobby, on to the elevator and down the hall.
Leave your car at the hotel and walk if you can do it. It's easy to get around Virginia Beach by foot, with a boardwalk that runs 40 blocks along Atlantic Avenue. It's also easy to navigate the town by car, though it gets congested in the summer and parking is often sparse.
For Mom and Dad
Virginia Beach has a lot of excellent food options, especially for a date night. Check out Catch 31, located at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront (about a 15-minute, leisurely walk from the Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront Virginia Beach). The upscale restaurant's specialty is fish, but it also serves steak, pasta and salads, and offers a lunch and breakfast menu as well.
Another option is Pacifica, which serves delicious (and surprisingly inexpensive) tapas in a casual, dim-lit atmosphere. It's about a mile from the hotel, across the street from Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach.