by Traci L. Suppa
Founded in 1875 as a small fishing village, Ocean City, Md. has grown into a busy summer beach resort town. While many of the hotel and motel properties have been there almost as long, and are showing their age, the Hampton Inn & Suites is only two years young, with a fresh, modern dÃ©cor.
While not situated directly on Ocean City’s 10-mile public beach, this five-floor property is still a convenient home base just one block from the shore. It’s also close to all the area attractions: amusement parks, miniature golf, horseback riding, shopping, and — for the adults — golf and the Casino at Ocean Downs. This hotel is south of the Ocean City Expressway, the main road leading to Ocean City, and several blocks north of where the famous 2.25-mile boardwalk begins. It’s also the closest lodging to the Ocean City Roland E. Powell Convention Center, so there is a mix of leisure and business guests.
There are actually several advantages to not being on the beachfront. This is a new property, which means rates are generally lower, and the area is less noisy in the height of the summer season. The hotel actually sits on the Isle of Wight Bay, and being “bayside” allows you to enjoy picturesque water views from the balconies and pool deck, especially colorful at sunset.
Hampton Inn properties are great for families because of the brand’s signature offerings, including free hot breakfast, 24-hour coffee service, and an attention to cleanliness, which extends to the duvet covers, washed between each guest stay.
Our Editor Loves
- Pleasant views of Isle of Wight Bay
- Quiet location, one block from main hotel row
- Complimentary hot breakfast daily
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
This Hampton Inn has 81 standard guestrooms and 32 suites, all of which feature standard amenities, including flat-screen TV's, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, iron/ironing boards, hair dryers, WaterPik shower heads and curved shower rods. All rooms have private balconies, and half are on the side facing the Isle of Wight Bay. The balconies are just wide enough for the two chairs provided.
There are multiple room configurations available, including two queen beds, one king bed with a sofa bed, one king bed studio suite with a sofa bed, two queen beds in a studio suite with a sofa bed and accessible rooms. Adjoining rooms are available and can combine two rooms with two queen beds, two rooms with one king and two queen beds or two suites.
Families might enjoy staying in a spacious one-room studio suite with two queen beds, a sofa bed, bar sink, under-the-counter refrigerator and microwave. There are long, spacious work surfaces and ergonomic desk chairs, too. The granite countertops in the bathroom's separate vanity area are attractive, but the modern design means they are too high for little ones to reach the faucet handles.
The "Hampton Bed," a brand mainstay, means the duvet cover is washed between each guest stay. Cribs, playpens and rollaway beds are all available at no extra charge, but are limited in number and are first come, first served.
There is free high-speed Internet access that is fast and reliable. There are no charges for local calls and no surcharges for using calling cards. There are premium movie channels on the TV, plus in-room movies and kids' networks, including Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and ABC Family. An informational guidebook on the desk provides local information, including a TV-channel line-up and restaurant information.
Security measures include latch locks installed high on the frame of the balcony doors, in-room safes, and peepholes in the door to each guestroom. There are no outlet covers.
Energy-saving programs through Hampton's corporate "Take Care" initiative are in place at this property, including a linen reuse program, smart thermostat systems, LED and fluorescent lighting, potato and paper-based dining products, Energy Star appliances and water saving pool filters. Bath amenities are 99 percent natural and biodegradable. The complimentary toiletries provided are Neutrogena brand and come in a mild, lightly scented formula.
The lobby appeared clean and new. The carpet in our room was dirty and smelled. The bed, pillows and carpet caused itching. The cleanliness of room could be improved. However, the bathroom was clean. We should have asked for bayside view, as we had a view of parking lot.
by Star R
My sister came down to the Hampton Inn for my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary celebration continuation. Upon checking in, she called me on the telephone to inquire about check-in processes and logistics to where we were. I was on the telephone with her when I could hear a male telling her to simply write the make and model of the vehicle on “here” and she would be suffice. I told her that we were issued a parking pass, however the male did not give her one.
At that time she checked in and came to meet us for dinner. Upon arriving back from dinner, I (again) inquired about if she had a parking pass; which was stated it was not needed , but she was ok and they solely issued her the additional towels which were not in her room. I fell asleep, as I tried to put our toddler to sleep and was awakened by a hysterical and ultimately upset sister. She was in the lobby stating that her car had been towed. I could hear the gentleman, Vin— on his name tag, speaking a bit irate to my sister and telling her it wasn’t his problem. At that point, my sister became quite irritated and I got up out of my bed/ sleep to come downstairs. When I entered the lobby, he was telling her that he would call the police because he was not talking to her and he would help “this customer over here...” turning to another male near the makeshift window near the snacks. This is when I witnessed Sonny coming into the lobby. I stated Vin that he also informed us that we did not need a parking pass and simply state the make and model of our car. He began to say that this was never voiced, and I interjected that the other (taller and bald) man from last night is the one whom insisted that we have a pass in our vehicle. At this time, Vin was getting more curt and frustrated with me as I was trying to make sense and gain clarity of how, and why, my sister’s vehicle was towed.
This is when the supervisor, Sonni, came and took over from the disgruntled front desk agent.
I explained how I became involved, why my sister was at the hotel—for us— and why she was extremely upset. I informed him of the identical situation we faced the night prior and this was why my husband insisted we have a parking pass — despite the gentleman whom checked us in stated we didn’t need one as long as they had our make and model of the car we were driving.
I also began to explain how disappointing this is, after our most recent stay and we had to stay overnight after arriving to a soiled and unclean bathroom for our room. I explained that this was my husband’s idea to give the hotel another chance, after we were not offered a new room nor have the cleaning staff come up after reporting such on our last stay. The GM was supposed to offer a modification to our bill from a dirty bathroom from a prior stay.
The gentleman, Sonni, appeared to seem empathetic, however he was not sure what to say ; as my sister was misdirected with all of the information she was given upon check in; let alone never given a parking pass. I suggested that Sonni ask his colleague to simply tell the truth about misinforming patrons about the protocol and leading us Into unnecessary and uncomfortable situations.
After speaking with someone via the telephone, Sonni stated “the best” he could do is have my sister to go and retrieve her vehicle and they could reimburse her upon returning to the hotel.
It was totally disheartening to witness Vin speak with very mild tones to other patrons in the hotel with much kindness and pleasantries— unlike the manner he’d ever spoken to myself or my sister. It was also heartbreaking to witness the amount of partygoers waltz in and out of the hotel, with smiles and head-nods from him , while we were spoken to in vocal tones as if we were a nuisance to him.
I am supposed to return to this hotel, once again in three weeks for our annual educator’s convention—- when there are more than 20,000 professional persons come down for Maryland Educators Conference. I will surely inform our union chapter about this experience— both of them — with this specific hotel and our recommendations given to stay here.
I am extremely at a sore spot for this hotel, and Hilton’s diminishing standards for their properties customer service protocol; in addition to care & ethical treatment procedures towards consumers. At this time, we are currently awaiting the vehicle to be processed at the police station, per the towing, to be paid for. We’ve been here for thirty minutes.
At this time, the clerk stated the cost is $350, but since we were here before midnight she would only charge us $300.
I apologize for the lengthy message but this truly upset our family.
Ten hours later:
And now I’m at the front desk with Mr. Byron and Ms. Trish and they are attempting to retract on all that the supervisor— Sonni— offered to do for us last night to alleviate the situation: reimbursements for two, comp room due to the negative experience from both of us, and offering any apologies. He is also disputing that my sister was never given a parking pass; which she was never nor explained the parking protocol— particularly with such events transpiring over the weekend.
This is totally disheartening and lacking any empathy from management.
The allure of Ocean City is the beach, just one block east, and that's where you and your family will likely spend the majority of your day. If you want to walk over to the beach, use the crosswalk at the intersection of the Coastal Highway and 45th Street. If you want to drive, the closest you can park is in the hotel's satellite parking lot at the corner of 42nd Street.
If you prefer swimming in a pool, this property offers both an indoor, year-round heated pool with a separate shallow children's pool and a separate hot tub, as well as a seasonal outdoor pool with a hot tub connected to one end. A fun feature of the indoor pool is the waterfall wall that separates the children's pool from the main pool, spilling water into the larger of the two.
Both pools are 5 feet at their deepest. There are no lifeguards on duty, and signs prohibit jumping and diving. Both pools are open from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
With so much to do offsite, you won't notice the absence of a formal children's program or kids camp. There is no outdoor playground or green space at this property. Besides the beach, there are also the activities and attractions on the 2.25-mile Boardwalk, including the Jolly Rogers Amusement Park, Ripley's Believe it or Not museum and the Life-Saving Station Museum. There are also multiple miniature golf courses with fun themes all along the Coastal Highway.
Every Hampton Inn hotel offers a complimentary, self-serve "On the House" hot breakfast, which is served buffet-style at this property from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. There are chafing dishes with two hot items each day, which may be omelets and potatoes one day, and scrambled eggs and bacon the next. There is also a make-your-own waffle iron, and a selection of breads and muffins near the toaster. Healthier selections, like oatmeal, yogurt, cereal and fruit are also available.
The breakfast room, adjacent to the main lobby, has seating at tables for two or four, a communal bar-height table and an adjoining seating area with couches looking out on to the pool deck and bay. High chairs are available. At the 24-hour coffee service station, you can pick up a free USA Today newspaper.
On weekdays, you can alternatively request an "On the Run" breakfast bag at the front desk, which includes water, fruit, a muffin and a cereal bar.
The only other dining option onsite is a seasonal Tiki Bar, located outside on the pool deck in the back of the property on the Isle of Wight Bay. You can get sandwiches, snacks and cold beverages in the afternoon and early evening.
There are also plenty of options for dining out along the Coastal Highway. Nearby restaurants include Dough Rollers, specializing in pizza and pancakes, Angelo's Italian restaurant, the Crazy 8's sandwich shop, and B.J.'s on the Bay, which is great for seafood and those famous Maryland crab cakes. National chains in the area include Applebees's, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Pizza Hut, Subway and Dunkin Donuts. You'll also find many seafood buffet restaurants and pancake houses.
You can also order food to be delivered to the hotel, or you can prepare simple meals in your room, since all rooms contain a mini-fridge and microwave. The information binder in your room will provide information on local restaurants that deliver to the hotel, such as Belly Busters Seafood and Deli and 28th Street Pit and Pub, or ask for recommendations at the front desk.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
This property provides several money-saving packages on its Web site, offering discounts to military families, seniors and for guests booking their stays at least 14 days in advance. The most affordable time of year to secure lower rates at this property is the "off-season" months between October and April.
Look for the vacation guide, discovery map and other brochures in the lobby for money-saving coupons to redeem at local restaurants and attractions.
There is free and ample self-parking at this property, with preferred spaces for Hilton Honors Medallion-level members. A small satellite parking lot at the corner of 42nd Street is intended for hotel guests who want to park closer to the beach, without having to cross the Coastal Highway on foot.
This hotel features a small, 24-hour "Suite Shop" off the front desk where you can purchase travel-sized toiletries, laundry detergent, snacks and ice cream, drinks and frozen entrees for in-room dining.
There is also a business center on the ground level, which is open 24 hours a day, where you are free to use the computers and printers to check your email or print boarding passes. There is no ATM on the property, but there is a Bank of America branch next door.
The fitness center is located on the lower level, and is open 24 hours a day for adults. The equipment includes treadmills, stair steppers, stationery bikes and free weights.
The Salisbury-Ocean City-Wicomico Regional Airport is the closest airport, located 30 miles from the hotel. It serves the entire Delmarva (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) Peninsula with daily scheduled service provided by US Airways. The region is also served by Amtrak's Northeast Regional rail line. The train station is located in West Ocean City, four miles from the hotel.
Ocean City's municipal buses travel along Coastal Highway, from South Division Street to 144th Street, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A $2 "Ride-All-Day" pass is good from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning. Ocean City also offers a seasonal boardwalk tram that travels the whole length of the boardwalk, from the Inlet to the North Booth at 27th Street. Tram fare is $3 per person, per ride, or $6 per person for a one-day unlimited ride pass for rides between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For Mom and Dad
For a special night out without the kids, make reservations for dinner at any of these Coastal Highway restaurants: Jules or Hooked for seafood, Fresco's for Italian, or OC Wasabi for sushi. Or, drive over to the Ocean Downs Casino in neighboring Berlin to watch live horse racing or play slots and e-table games.