by Jackie Perrin
Situated on a prime stretch of sand in the center of Cocoa Beach and convenient to Port Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront offers easy access to a fun-filled central Florida Atlantic Coast family getaway at prices that won’t break the bank.
Just down the street from the flagship location of the world famous Ron Jon Surf Shop and “I Dream of Jeannie Lane” — a backdrop for a popular 1960’s sitcom — the 296-room, seven-story resort features three dining venues, an expansive pool deck, onsite water sports rentals, and a friendly concierge offering arrangements for a host of family-friendly excursions.
On the resort beachfront, families can build sandcastles, play volleyball, and get wet while indulging in a variety of water-based activities, from ocean kayaking to boogie-boarding. The hotel is one of a local few to provide private surfing lessons onsite, and guided Segway tours are also offered.
Three miles north of the hotel is the Cocoa Beach Pier, the site of lively wave action and a mecca for area surfers. Adjacent to the Hilton property is Lori Wilson Park, a family-friendly beachfront park with grills, pavilions and a playground.
While hotel facilities are not ultra-luxurious, the property’s premium beachfront location, reasonable rates and proximity to top tourist sites make it an attractive choice for traveling families. If you’re like most visitors, you’ll likely opt to use the hotel as a base for Space Coast area exploration. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and kid-centric Brevard Zoo are within a short 20-minute drive. The property offers park and cruise packages that include transportation to nearby Port Canaveral, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world.
Within the vicinity, you’ll find the Thousand Islands conservation area, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Indian River Lagoon — all superior sites for outdoor family recreation. From windsurfing and paddle boarding lessons to manatee-sighting kayak excursions and parasailing, the possibilities for adventure are extensive.
While visiting the beach during the summer months, visitors may come across marked sea turtle nests — sites which are cordoned off and designated with brightly colored caution tape. Area beaches, including Cocoa Beach, are a favored nesting spot for a number of sea turtle species that are protected by federal law.
Our Editor Loves
- Onsite surfing lessons
- Prime beachfront location
- Proximity to Space Coast area attractions
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Two hundred ninety six guest rooms and suites are located in a single seven-story tower. Standard rooms contain two queen beds or a king bed outfitted with the Hilton Serenity bedding package, which includes Suite Dreams mattresses and plush down comforters.
Rooms are decorated in neutral tones, with light wood furniture accented with framed prints of beach and nature scenes. Besides a desk and a dining table with chairs, each standard room contains a mini-refrigerator, a coffeemaker, a TV and an alarm clock with an MP3 connection. An in-room gaming system is available on a pay-per-use basis. Bathrooms are on the small side, but they feature extra deep tubs and are stocked with a full range of upscale Peter Thomas Roth toiletries.
Families looking for additional elbowroom can upgrade to a Junior Suite. These spacious accommodations are twice the size of a traditional room and feature a choice of one king bed or two queen beds, along with a separate living area with a full-size sleeper sofa, a table and chairs, a microwave and a mini-refrigerator.
One bedroom Oceanfront Suites offer direct ocean views. These accommodations consist of a bedroom with a king bed, which is connected to a parlor with a full-size sleeper sofa, a chair with an ottoman, a 48" flat-screen TV, a kitchenette and a dining table. These rooms are in limited supply and can be booked directly with the property.
Despite the property's oceanfront location, there are no rooms with balconies. Cribs are complimentary and rollaway beds are available for $15 per night. Maximum occupancy in a standard room is four. Wireless high-speed Internet service is available for a daily fee.
With regard to room location, upper floor accommodations with a Coastline or an Oceanfront view enjoy prime outlooks. Avoid a location near the elevators if your kids are light sleepers. For the best view of all, book an Oceanfront category room and request an upper-level location.
Prior to arrival, at no extra charge, guests booking online can request additional foam or down-filled pillows as well as extra towels. For a fee a variety of snacks and beverages, from wine and bottled water to fruit and krispie cereal bars with peanut butter and chocolate dip, can be pre-ordered for delivery close to the time of guest arrival.
Stopped in Cocoa Beach for a one night stay while visiting Orlando. Chose this hotel because it was right on the beach. The front desk staff was so nice and helpful. I was able to check in early due to rooms being available. I felt like the room was dusty, the bathroom was super small. The pool was pretty small too. We were able to rent an umbrella for the beach it was after 3 so it was 1/2 off so like $8? There were also beach towels you can use. We ate dinner at the patio restaurant and service was super slow but staff was real nice.
Had a great conference. The staff were fantastic at meeting all our needs, and were very helpful. The food options were well prepared and varied. Next time my family is in the area will stay at this Hilton.
Recommended for ages 8 and up, private, semi-private and group/family surfing lessons are offered onsite by the Hilton Shoreline Surf School. Families of six or more can arrange a private "surf camp," which includes instruction, a box meal and a souvenir t-shirt. One week's advance reservation is requested for surf camps. For lessons, a 24-hour advance reservation is requested, although a 2-hour advance notice will be honored. Walk-ups are sometimes accepted when an instructor is onsite. All lessons include free use of surfboards and rash guards.
Guided 75-minute Segway tours depart multiple times daily Tuesday to Sunday and include stops at the Cocoa Beach Pier and Ron Jon Surf Shop. Participants go "off-road" at Lori Wilson Park. Riders must be 18-years-old to ride alone, or 14-years-old with an accompanying parent or guardian. Stop at the concierge desk for a discounted rate.
A wooden walkway carries guests from the hotel deck to the sandy beachfront. Outdoor showers are located at the bridge entrance. Several volleyball nets are located near the beach entrance. During sea turtle migration season, there is limited visibility on the beach after dusk due to local ordinances prohibiting external lighting.
At a kiosk on the pool deck, a variety of beach equipment is available for rental. Options include surfboards, boogie boards, beach bikes and kayaks. Umbrellas and chairs can be rented ala carte or as a combined package in half-day or all-day increments. Chair cushions are additional.
A single pool services guests and is located on the southeast corner of the hotel overlooking the ocean. While the resort features one of the largest pool decks (10,000 square feet) in the area, the pool itself is on the smaller side. The pool is heated, which means families have a comfortable alternative to the ocean when Atlantic temperatures dip. Complimentary towels are available on the pool deck.
Two vintage arcade machines are located near the exterior entrance to Atlantis Bar & Grill.
Area Tours and Excursions
Stop at the resort concierge desk to arrange tours and area excursions. Options range from dolphin and manatee-sighting adventures by tour boat or kayak to deep-sea fishing, parasailing and stand-up paddle boarding lessons.
Within a 20-minute drive are the kid-centric Brevard Zoo and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, a major international attraction where kids can have lunch with an astronaut. Travel 45 minutes south on A1A to Melbourne's coast, where you'll find more gnarly Space Coast surf action along with family-friendly beaches. Stand-up paddle boarding lessons in this vicinity depart from Honest John's Fish Camp. Check with the resort concierge regarding times and reservations.
The hotel is within an hour of Orlando's major theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando parks, which include SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica.
Atlantis Bar & Grill
Enjoy breakfast buffet-style or ala carte at Atlantis Bar & Grill, the hotel's main ocean-view dining room. Kids' breakfast choices include a ham and egg sandwich, pancakes, French toast and a traditional American breakfast.
For lunch and dinner, kid-friendly favorites like pizza and pasta are available. A grilled chicken breast and grilled local fish with a vegetable and a choice of rice or French fries are healthy alternatives. Adult seafood lovers will enjoy the fresh market fish specials, which feature a choice of creative sauces.
Breakfast hours are 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dinner hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. High chairs and booster seats are available.
Sea Breeze Bar
Enjoy ocean views along with your lunch or dinner at the outdoor tiki bar located poolside. In addition to snacks and sandwiches, kids and parents can choose from a number of refreshing non-alcoholic specialty drinks, from "Kooky Koolade" to "Chocolate Monkey," made with vanilla ice cream, fresh bananas and multiple layers of chocolate. On some weekends, there's live entertainment. Covered seating is available. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting.
Two wide screen TV's and Sunday and Monday night game specials attract sports fans to this first floor venue, adjacent to Atlantis Bar & Grill. Select snacks and sandwiches or order from the Atlantis dinner menu. Kids aren't allowed at the bar, but they are welcome to dine at tables with their families. Hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
For kids under age 10, a special children's room service menu (similar to the Kids' Menu at Atlantis Bar & Grill) is available. For dessert, there's ice cream or cake. Special occasion treats, including champagne and strawberries and cookies and milk, can also be ordered. Breakfast hours are 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A $3 delivery charge and 18 percent gratuity apply.
Nearby, a number of casual restaurants offer dine-in as well as convenient take-out service. Family-friendly options offering both include Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Que (2005 N. Atlantic Avenue) and A N.Y. Pizza House (281 Cocoa Beach Causeway).
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The resort is one of a few in the area to offer onsite surfing lessons. Segway tours that depart from the property and onsite tour arrangement service are added perks for visitors. The resort concierge service rates highly in terms of helpfulness as well as local knowledge. In keeping with the "Space Coast" theme, a life-size astronaut figure greets guests in the hotel lobby. Check the posted schedule nearby for details of upcoming events at Kennedy Space Center. The hotel offers numerous value-added packages which include attractive activity options like family-friendly tours, attraction tickets and surf discounts, along with convenient perks like free parking (cruise packages) and complimentary late checkout. Wireless high-speed Internet service is free in the hotel lobby.
At the small lobby gift shop, you'll find souvenirs, resort wear and beach gear, from cover-ups and bathing suits to swim rings, beach toys and boogie boards. Prices are refreshingly reasonable. Ice cream novelties and limited baby and toddler supplies are also available.
Located on the first floor, the hotel fitness center is open 24-hours and contains a range of cardio, strength and conditioning equipment.
Baby and Toddler Equipment
Space Coast Baby Butler offers baby and toddler equipment, including strollers and beach toys, for daily and weekly rental.
Supplies and Snacks
Stock up on snacks, beverages and sundries at Publix supermarket, located .5 miles from the property. While you're there, you can pick up some value-priced sand toys and boogie boards, which can save you some money if you're planning multiple trips to the waterfront.
The Art of Smart Timing
When it comes to a trip to the beach, anytime is a good time to visit -- with some caveats. Summers on the Space Coast are hot and humid, but bring with them plenty of company along with a host of opportunities for beachfront and water-based recreation. Holidays bring larger crowds along with special entertainment. If your kids aren't in school yet, fall, known for pleasant temperatures and low crowds, is an ideal time to visit. Major area events, including events at Kennedy Space Center, can at times contribute to higher occupancy. Rates tend to be slightly higher on weekends. Summer rates are often significantly lower than those found at area condo resorts. The hotel is a popular convention and wedding destination, and occupancy may swell when events are onsite.
The hotel is 45 miles from Orlando International Airport (MCO) and 25 miles from Melbourne International Airport. Cocoa Beach Shuttle provides airport transportation for a fee. Hotel parking is complimentary for overnight guests.
The hotel is six miles from cruise terminals at Port Canaveral. Park and Cruise packages, which include Port Canaveral and airport transportation options, are available. The hotel is close to a number of restaurants and attractions, including Ron Jon Surf Shop and Cocoa Beach Surf Company. If you're planning to explore beyond this area with kids, it's best to have a car.
For Mom & Dad
For a unique Cocoa Beach vacation memory, book a private surf lesson or a family surf camp.