by Terry Ward
For a classic Florida beach vacation within a short hop of Orlando’s many theme park attractions, Cocoa Beach — about 1.5 hours east of Orlando — is an excellent option. And if you’re looking for a clean, friendly and modern hotel in the heart of it all, located right on the oceanfront with affordable rates, to boot, look no further than La Quinta Inn & Suites Cocoa Beach Oceanfront.
The hotel is located one block north of the Cocoa Beach Pier, a popular place for fishing and surfing. And the property’s 78 clean and modern rooms are spread between six floors, with options for rooms with full ocean views or partial views. There’s an outdoor pool that’s heated during the cooler months, and it’s just a short walk from there down to the beach. The hotel also works with a local rental company to provide bikes, kayaks, surf boards and boogie boards for rent.
Keeping with La Quinta customs, a complimentary breakfast is offered daily. Afternoons will find you at the onsite pool or beach, while sunsets might see you sipping a cocktail (and the kids sipping non-alcoholic frozen treats) at the hotel’s tiki bar. And La Quinta’s central location makes it easy to stroll out to nearby restaurants and shops, too. Additionally, the Cocoa Beach Trolley stops right near the hotel and offers convenient and inexpensive access to points farther afield, such as Port Canaveral or downtown Cocoa Beach.
Our Editor Loves
- Oceanfront location near pier
- Complimentary breakfast daily
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
La Quinta's 78 rooms are spread between six floors, but if being directly oceanfront is important to you, you'll need to specify when booking. There's a big difference between full ocean and partial ocean views (the latter means you'll barely see the sea at all). Not all rooms have balconies, either, so if that's important to you, be sure to make it clear when booking.
Wooden floors add to an overall modern feel in the rooms, however, noise travels easier because of them, and some guests have noted the noise factor as an issue during party weekends in town. Additionally, the hotel's location, just a block north of the pier, means that when bands are performing, the music will often find its way into your room. Ask for a room on the north side of the hotel to be furthest away from the pier if you foresee this as a potential problem.
In addition to wooden floors, rooms offer beds with pillow-top mattresses and granite countertops in the bathrooms and main living spaces. All offer free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, microwaves and coffeemakers, too.
If looking for connecting rooms, there are a few options, including rooms with two queen beds that connect to a king oceanfront room, and oceanview connecting rooms that can offer two queens connecting to two queens or two queens connecting to a king. Rollaway beds are not offered at all at this property, but cribs are available upon request.
The hotel offers standard rooms with a single king bed or two queen beds and rooms with a king bed and a queen sofa bed.
Suites that have two queen beds also come with two full bathrooms and a separate living room with a queen sofa bed, as well as a twin size sofa bed (obviously best for larger groups).
King Penthouse Suite
There is also a king penthouse suite on the top floor (sixth floor) that feels more like an apartment, with one king bed and two sofa beds (one queen and one twin), 1.5 baths and a garden-style bathtub, as well as a kitchen, complete with a full-size refrigerator, stove, oven, sink, microwave and all cooking utensils.
ADA Accessible Rooms
Handicap-accessible rooms with roll-in showers are also available.
Wonderful oceanfront view room but the hotel was old. Walking into a stinky room is not very welcoming. Nor are the little bugs crawling around on the table between the two full-size beds (which were billed as queens). The sticky floors were just too much for us to handle so we checked out early the next morning.
We return every few years to this little gem in Cocoa Beach. It’s basic, relaxed and reasonably priced. The rooms are clean, the breakfast is convenient, the location can’t be beat and they empower their employees. The head housekeeper (Sorry, forgotbher name) was extremely helpful.
From dawn till dusk, it's beach time at this oceanfront La Quinta property -- walks along Cocoa's golden sands, surf and boogie board sessions in the breakers, tossing a Frisbee around at sunset or snapping obligatory photos under the nearby pier -- that's what it's all about. The hotel works with a local rental company to offer toys like beach cruiser bicycles, boogie boards, kayaks and jet skis, and will arrange surf lessons (with its gently breaking waves, Cocoa Beach is a great place to learn), too.
The beach is accessed by a short walkway leading from the pool over the dunes. You're just north of the Cocoa Beach Pier here, so it's not the quietest stretch of sand, but there's still plenty of space to spread out with your brood even at the busiest of times. Lifeguards are on duty every weekend throughout high season, and most weekdays, too. For $20, a kiosk on the sand offers two lounge chairs and a beach umbrella for the day.
There are also plenty of free chairs shaded by umbrellas for guest use around the hotel's rectangular pool, which is six feet at its deepest point and is open daily from dawn till dusk; be aware there are no lifeguards on duty. The pool can also get quite crowded when the hotel is at capacity. The front desk usually has loaner floaties and pool toys left behind by previous guests for kids to use, so just ask if you're interested.
The only meal available at the hotel is breakfast -- it's La Quinta's standard "Bright Side Breakfast," a complimentary offering for all guests that's offered on weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. and from 6 to 10:30 a.m. on weekends.
Kids love the chance to make their own waffles at the waffle station, which has several toppings, such as chocolate, strawberry preserves and whipped cream. Other breakfast items -- all served buffet style and enjoyed in a tiled breakfast nook off the lobby (or outdoors in the hotel's waterfall garden) -- include hot and cold cereals, bread, bagels and muffins, fresh fruit and coffee and juices.
Highchairs are available at no extra charge.
There are a plethora of dining options just minutes from the hotel, such as the Atlantic Ocean Grille, Oh Shucks Seafood Bar and Backwoods Steakhouse.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wireless Internet is offered free of charge throughout the hotel.
Self-parking in a lit outdoor lot is free of charge. There's no valet parking.
Self-service laundry machines cost $2 per load to wash and dry, and you can buy detergent packets from the front desk.
The hotel is pet-friendly and there's no additional charge or size limit. Parakeets, dogs, cats, bunnies -- all pets are welcome!
The hotel's small but adequate fitness room, open 24 hours, is located above the pool and has an elliptical machine, a treadmill and weights.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 11 a.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
Cocoa Beach is a popular destination year-round, and crowds particularly swell during spring break in February and March, around Easter, and over Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. You'll get some of the best deals, and have the beaches largely to yourself, during the shoulder season months of late-September and October into early November and again in January, April and May. The area sees many snowbirds migrating down from the northeast and Canada from after the Christmas holidays into early May. And weekends are often busy on the beach, too, especially if there's a festival or surf contest planned at the pier, with locals coming out to play and Floridians from inland areas like Orlando making the day trip.
Most guests who come to La Quinta Inn & Suites Cocoa Beach Oceanfront either drive from elsewhere in Florida or fly into Orlando International Airport, located roughly an hour west of the hotel and accessed by a relatively straight shot of mostly highway (toll road) driving. Orlando International Airport has flights by all major national carriers, as well as many international airlines. Alternatively, you can consider flying into the much smaller, but closer Melbourne International Airport (about 25 minutes away), with flights offered by Delta and US Airways from major cities in the south, such as Atlanta and Charlotte.
Unless you plan to spend all your time at the hotel, you'll want to consider renting a car during your stay for easy access to nearby restaurants and attractions, such as the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center. Car rental companies are available in Cocoa Beach, but you'll get the best rates by booking through other search engines.
Kids love to ride the Cocoa Beach trolley, which runs up and down the beach (including to Port Canaveral) and has a stop right near the hotel. The trolley operates Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids under age 5 ride free, and tickets are $1.25 for adults, with discounts for seniors.
For Mom and Dad
If the kids are old enough to watch themselves for an evening (La Quinta does not offer babysitting), steal away for a sunset cocktail and some live music at a classic beach bar a bit south of the hotel, Coconuts on the Beach (the trolley can be your designated driver). The people-watching is great, barstools perch right over the beach and there's a simple menu with things like burgers, crab cake sandwiches and fish reubens.