by Amanda Geronikos
When you reserve a room at a Holiday Inn, you typically expect to find basic accommodations, complimentary breakfast and a swimming pool.
That’s not the case at Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, which surprises with three swimming pools, three onsite restaurants, a movie theater, children’s activity center and gift shop. Plus, all rooms and suites, which were renovated in 2010, feature balconies and refrigerators, and many offer ocean views. Situated in two towers — North and South — many of the units also sleep up to six guests.
The hotel’s oceanfront location is great, with close proximity to area attractions, but what’s even better is that it’s not at the center of town (the busy, tourist area starts at 30th Street), and therefore provides a quiet atmosphere compared to other hotels on Atlantic Avenue, the main strip.
For more information, visit Holiday Inn.
Our Editor Loves
- Oceanfront location
- Three onsite restaurants
- Pools, kids' activity center and movie theater
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The hotel's spacious rooms and suites were renovated in 2010, and now flaunt aqua blues and lime greens, emanating the tropical appeal you expect from an oceanfront property. Our only complaint is that none of the bathrooms have tubs. Room 301, which is a two Queen Beds Accessible Room, is the only unit that offers a tub.
All rooms feature balconies (with chairs), desks, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, irons and ironing boards, mini-fridges, microwaves and coffee and tea makers. Bathrooms offer hairdryers and Bath and Body Works toiletries. Cribs and rollaway beds are available upon request; cribs are complimentary and rollaway beds cost a small fee, plus tax, per day. Connecting units are also available.
A family of four would fit comfortably in the standard questrooms with ocean or pool views. Two queen beds or a king bed is offered in the standard rooms.
A larger group wanting more space may opt for a suite, which offers king or queen beds and a sleeper sofa in the living room. A Deluxe Suite also has two balconies.
I’ve had good experiences with Holiday Inn and this one was good as well. This is a very well appointed hotel - indoor pool, fitness room, childcare room, beachfront and nearby restaurants. It is at the very north end of the boardwalk, so not in the middle of things. Also seemed to be a bit further away from the flight path of jets from the naval air station. We had a king suite that had the bedroom separate from the living room and kitchenette. Very clean and comfortable. Parking was provided in a garage across the street. We were at a conference in the Convention Center that provided shuttle service so being a bit further away wasn’t an issue. The staff was helpful and professional.
Stayed here middle of October, therefore, off-season and not too crowded. There is NOTHING amazing about this hotel, but we loved it and will be back during busy season.
The positives: double queen suite room was large, tons of family stuff on first floor (huge movie room, kid play area), large pools (I think three),7 eleven across the street, beautiful view of the ocean, end of the boardwalk but close enough to the action.
The negatives: parking is tight, hotel is dated
With the beach just steps away, what more can you want? Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach answers this question with several activities.
The hotel has three onsite swimming pools. The largest one is located outside, at the back of the hotel, and just a few steps from the beach. It's complemented by a small poolside bar and nifty lights that appear to change the water's color at night. The other outdoor pool, Splish Splash Lagoon, is located adjacent to the hotel and is geared toward kids. Here, you'll find two 12-foot waterslides, waterfalls, a play area and lazy river. An additional lazy river with waterfalls, which is four feet deep and heated, can be found inside, along with a hot tub. Both the hot tub and lazy river are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, year-round. All of the pools are ADA compliant.
Another fun feature is the hotel's onsite movie theater, which seats 48 people. Family-friendly movies are played throughout the day, with the last showing at 8 p.m.
Next to the movie theater, you'll also find Splash Camp, a seasonal activity center for kids. Supervised by a hotel staff member, children -- from preschoolers to teens -- engage in games, arts and crafts and more.
This is the hotel's breakfast spot, open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily. It offers a traditional menu, but the buffet, which is better than average, is the most popular option for diners. It includes an omelet and waffle station (serviced by hotel staff), along with eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, biscuits (with gravy, if you'd like), oatmeal (upon request), cereal, fruit and pastries. There's usually some sort of breakfast casserole, too. There is a buffet fee per adult, and up to four children under age 12 eat free from a separate Kids Eat Free menu.
The Square Whale
Located next to the main pool, this place is casual and offers both indoor and outdoor seating, the latter with a view of the beach. The menu features mostly sandwiches and salads (try the Turkey and Avocado Wrap), but there's also a small selection of full entrees (salmon, chicken parmesan and more). Kids age 12 and under eat free from the Kids Eat Free Menu, which includes chicken tenders and the like. The Square Whale is open seasonally.
Isle of Capri
Located on the top floor of the South Tower, Isle of Capri features an elegant setting with floor-to-ceiling windows and consequent ocean views. This is not a place for youngsters, but your well-behaved tweens and teens will be okay to dine here. The fare is Italian, with mostly traditional dishes, such as chicken marsala, manicotti and fettucine alfredo. Appetizers, salads and soups are also served, along with a selection of specials, drinks and desserts. The dress code is Business Casual and reservations are recommended.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Onsite conveniences include an ATM, business center with computers and printers and a complimentary laundry facility.
Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach has a small fitness room with treadmills, elliptical machines and free weights. The gym features a pool view (the pool is literally right outside the window), so you can keep an eye on your well-trained swimmers.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, and works well. You'll likely have to re-sign in to use it every time you launch your browser though, as is the case with many hotels.
There is a small gift shop (really just a corner in the lobby) with candy, snacks and medicine (such as Tylenol, for those inevitable post-sun headaches).
If you need a babysitter, the hotel's staff can recommend a local service.
The Art of Smart Timing
Virginia Beach is a summer destination, busiest from May through Labor Day. The crowds -- and the rates -- lessen after kids go back to school, but most area hotels, including Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach, sell out on weekends through Columbus Day. This is mainly because of large events, including the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival and the Mid-Atlantic Shrine Association Convention. You'll find the lowest rates during the winter, but you also won't find much to do, as many attractions and restaurants are seasonally operated.
If you're traveling by plane, you'll want to fly into Norfolk International Airport, which is about 30 minutes from the Holiday Inn & Suites North 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 has a toll. Credit and debit cards are accepted for payment.
Once you're at the hotel, you can park in a designated garage across the street; you'll receive a tag to hang on your rearview mirror upon arrival. Valet parking is also available.
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
Treat yourselves to reasonably priced tapas at Pacifica, located just across the street from the hotel (behind 7-11). The restaurant's dim-lit atmosphere is both hip and romantic, and the food is absolutely delicious. The grilled peaches, cheese plate, wings and hummus are among our favorites. Pacifica also features an extensive beer selection. Speaking of beer, the 7-11 sells wine and beer to enjoy while you watch the sun set from your balcony.