by Lissa Poirot
Located along Wildwood Crest’s beachfront, the Pan American Hotel, part of Morey’s Piers’ hotel group, is a blast from the past — except with today’s modern touches. Formerly one of the famed Doo Wop hotels that line the beaches of Wildwood, Pan American has kept its 50s touch in a newly renovated, sleek hotel that caters to the many families who visit the Jersey Shore every summer. The hotel accommodates families large and small, and provides a comfortable place to spend a beach vacation, complete with a pool, beach, onsite dining, and the added plus of Morey’s Piers attractions — the kids will thank you again and again for a trip to Wildwood. (Mine did!)
Our Editor Loves
- Beachfront location
- Steps from Wildwood pier
- Family suites
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The hotel has a number of room options to accommodate families of various sizes. A traditional deluxe room features two queen beds or two queen beds and one day bed. These rooms include refrigerators, microwaves and DVD players with a small table and two chairs.
Efficiencies are more like -- as my son liked to refer to them -- apartments. These rooms feature kitchenettes and larger seating areas for families. A standard offers one queen bed and one double sofa bed, while a deluxe efficiency also features a twin bunk bed (my kids loved it, but I didn't like sleeping right beside the bunks). Deluxe Efficiency Suites are the largest with a separate bedroom with a king bed, a double sleeper sofa and a single bed in the living room with an extra powder room, which means less fights for the bathroom. Oceanfront rooms are available, but limited, and should be requested well in advance.
If you can splurge, the hotel offers a three-bedroom, two-bath penthouse. The master bedroom features a king bed and private spa bath, and a second bedroom also provides a king bed; the third provides a set of twin beds to accommodate six (cots, cribs or rollaway beds are available to fit a maximum of eight). The penthouse also includes an outside hot tub, heated hotel pool, shade trellis, bar, enclosed dining terrace and room service.
All rooms have private balconies with views of the ocean. Free Wi-Fi and parking for one car are included in rates.
by Marie A
Every area of the hotel is clean and welcoming, and the staff are all friendly and helpful with our needs. This hotel is convenient to the boardwalk and the beach, and the outdoor pool area and fire pit is great. Our stay is in September, so there are no crowds at that time.
by Bob M
My wife and I came to Wildwood last weekend for a 3 day getaway, and stayed at the Pan American. It’s been 15 years since we vacationed in Wildwood Crest and I used to travel here as a young kid with my parents and brothers and always stayed at the Pan American. Many years have passed until last weekend and the hotel was the same if not better from years ago. My wife and I are planning on returning next year, not waiting another 15 years. The staff was awesome.
Wildwood is a seasonal beach destination, so most of the activities and attractions are open from spring through early fall.
If your kids are anything like mine, they will spend most of their day in the hotel's heated pool (open seasonally). The pool is connected to a kiddie pool that has a gate to block little kids from moving into the deeper water. There are plenty of poolside chairs, some in shade and some with umbrellas, as well as elevated sun decks overlooking the pool, so families will always find a spot without having to claim a chair before breakfast.
The hotel overlooks the Wildwood Crest beach and is located directly across a narrow street from two boardwalks taking you through the dunes to the very expansive beach. But while the beach may be close, getting to the water feels like a hike! Use a carry-all stroller or beach carry-on with wheels to schlep all of your gear. Lifeguards are on duty on this beach.
A very small arcade is available on the basement level, which doesn't look too appealing, but still catches the attention of kids. My kids are too young to hang out there on their own and it's not set up for comfort, so we didn't bother when we visited though.
Across the street from the hotel is a playground and basketball courts. Neither is shaded, so visit before the full sun is beating down.
The Wildwood Boardwalk is a block away. It's 38 blocks and 2.5 miles in length, so hop on the trolley to get from one end to the other. Bikes are allowed on the boardwalk until 11 a.m. Morey's Piers provides three different piers of rides and attractions on the boardwalk that the kids will love, including water parks and roller coasters. On Friday nights, the boardwalk features fireworks.
The hotel's main restaurant is Alosi's Bistro, located off of the lobby. The large restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (seasonally), with classic American dishes and children's menus. The restaurant is BYOB.
Poolside, a snack bar is open seasonally and during daylight hours for snacks and lunch outside. Dining tables are available, even if you are not sitting poolside in a swimsuit.
If you have money to spend, visit the boardwalk for Breakfast in the Sky at Morey's Piers, where, on certain dates, you can enjoy breakfast on the Ferris wheel with white tablecloths and fine china. The breakfast is offered Saturdays through Mondays in late July through August, and costs $85 for two and an additional $40 per person up to four.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
All guests of the Pan American receive discounted pricing on Morey's Pier Passes, as the hotel is a part of the Morey's Pier collection of hotels. Laguna Oaks also provides discounts for guests at its golf course.
For arrival and departure times that may keep you from your room, a changing room with a shower is available so your family can enjoy the pool or the beach.
The Art of Smart Timing
Wildwood is a seasonal beach destination, where most attractions are open spring through early fall. Spring break and graduation time may have you running into lots of teens and college-aged kids, but mainly the area is a very family-friendly destination.
If flying in, the closest airport is Atlantic City Airport, just up the road from Wildwood, or Philadelphia's international airport, which is two hours away. By car, travel the Garden State Parkway South until it ends and follow the signs for Wildwood. Once in Wildwood, park the car and forget it, as it's a bike-friendly town. Or just follow the beach on walks to attractions and restaurants.