by Terry Ward
Count on comfortable condo-style accommodations at this popular family resort fronting the Atlantic Ocean in Cocoa Beach. It’s located an easy hour-drive (about 50 miles) east of the Orlando International Airport and just a touch farther from Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando Resort.
The Resort on Cocoa Beach has 120 two-bedroom units, many of which are part of a timeshare program and owned by individuals, and all have been recently updated with consistent tropical dÃ©cor, wood furniture and large flat screen TVs throughout. Chances are you won’t be spending too much time indoors, however, with all there is to do on the property and in the resort’s backyard. You’re just south of Port Canaveral, where cruise ships depart for Caribbean itineraries. The hotel sees many pre- and post-cruisers, as well as tourists in town for rocket launches at nearby Cape Canaveral.
The Cocoa Beach Pier and iconic local establishments like Ron Jon Surf Shop are just a short drive (or trolley ride – the town’s inexpensive public transport option) away. And the beach here is one the most beautiful in all of Central Florida — a long stretch of sand with gentle waves that are ideal for boogie boarders and beginner surfers.
Additionally, the property organizes some great family activities that include poolside bingo and weekly magic shows, and there’s even a free cinema onsite. For a spacious, affordable and very pleasant beach vacation near Orlando, the Resort on Cocoa Beach is the spot.
Our Editor Loves
- Two-bedroom suites with full kitchens
- Onsite complimentary movie theater
- Oceanfront location with great beach
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Rather than hotel rooms, what you have here are 120 condo-style units, each with two bedrooms and two full baths, as well as a private balcony. The units are spread between the second and eighth floors of the building.
DÃ©cor is standard throughout (the units were all fully renovated in January 2015), with wood-style floors and brightly colored curtains and couches, and the layouts are also all the same -- a king bedroom with its own garden bath and separate shower, and a second bedroom with two twin beds and a full bathroom with a shower in the hallway. The living rooms all have a dining room table and a full-size sofa bed. Rollaway beds can be added to rooms, too, for $10 per day. A maximum of six people (including children) can be accommodated in each unit, and none of the condos connect.
All units have full kitchens with microwaves, full stoves and ovens and full sized refrigerators. Everything you need to cook, from pots and pans to blenders, is provided. There are dining room tables, as well as a few stools at the bar for casual family meals. Additionally, all units have washers and dryers, making it practical to quickly dry bathing suits and towels after the beach or pool. Flat-screen TVs, DVD players and free Wi-Fi round out the amenities.
The only place the units really differ is when it comes to the views. If you can afford to splurge a bit, it's worth paying extra for an oceanfront unit so you can enjoy sunrises directly facing the ocean from your balcony. Units that don't face the ocean look onto other hotels and condos in the area.
Pets are not allowed in any of the accommodations.
Tip: Rooms above the third floor have the best views.
Tip: There can be a bit of elevator noise, so if you're sensitive to that, you may want to request a corner unit to be placed as far away from the elevators as possible.
The penthouse condo on the property's eighth floor has the identical two-bedroom layout of the other units and includes all the same amenities, but the dÃ©cor has been updated with more modernized furniture. The views are also the best in the house.
by Sheila K
Perfect location , rooms are clean and spacious..The pool area is wonderful and the activities provided are a lot of fun.The Staff all seem to enjoy interacting with you. Always our 1st choice , but hard to get !
This Resort is wonderful. conveniently located near shopping and restaurants. The ocean is easy to get to, even for me with trouble walking very far. The amenities are great and they have so much going on all the time for all ages. The staff is very friendly and helpful and the apartments are very nice, although the furniture could do with a little updating. The beds and pillows were very comfy. It's quite and private when you want it to be, but you can also join in with your neighbors with fun activities like bingo, toco's by the pool, movies, and a game room. The pool area is very nice, at night we had it all to ourselves and it's open till 11;30. I would not recommend the restaurant in the Resort. The food was ok but it needs some serious updates and cleaning. We had a wonderful time here for our 40th anniversary and would love to go back sometime.
Most families who choose to vacation here are initially drawn by the appealing oceanfront location, but there's a lot more to love at the Resort on Cocoa Beach.
You only have to walk about 75 feet from the hotel along a sandy pathway (wear shoes or flip flops as the sand gets scalding hot) to reach the beach, a long stretch of sand patrolled by lifeguards much of the year. The waves are usually quite gentle (check the hotel's daily surf report on the website) and the water is an agreeable temperature for swimming outside of the main winter months. The hotel provides six beach towels per unit, and umbrellas and chairs can be rented from an outside vendor on the beach - it's $20 per day for two chairs and one umbrella.
An outdoor heated pool shaped like a lagoon is another popular spot for family playtime. There's step access into the pool and a fountain feature that kids like to splash beneath. And while there's no kids' pool, there is a dedicated shallow splash area ideal for toddlers.
Teens and adults are drawn to the hot tub, located on an elevated deck a short walk from the pool area. The pool and hot tub are open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. There aren't any lifeguards on duty.
Active kids will find plenty to keep them entertained with a full basketball court, two tennis courts, Ping Pong, cornhole and shuffleboard -- all free to guests. Just go to the front desk to get equipment. Note: Courts cannot be reserved and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The hotel's arcade room has air hockey, vending machines and the usual video games, as well as two pool tables. There's a soft-walled and netted indoor jungle gym, too, to keep your youngest family members entertained on the rare rainy day. The kids' play center area is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and adult supervision is provided only during organized activities.
Onsite Movie Theatre
The resort also has a 50-seat movie theatre that screens free films several times a day, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Films include everything from kids' flicks like "Frozen" to classics like "Fame," plus recent releases.
The hotel's activities concierge organizes some fun weekly activities that include magic shows (every Tuesday, $5 per person), poolside bingo, ice cream socials ($3 per sundae), water aerobics and arts and crafts that might include sand art or painting coconut cups. The magic shows tend to sell out really fast, so be sure to reserve your tickets as soon as you check in.
Bicycles can be rented from a vendor just across the street.
Azteca 2 Mexican Restaurant
There is one good option for onsite dining at the resort, but be aware that it's only open for lunch and dinner during the week, and dinner only on weekends. Opt for indoor or outdoor dining at the Azteca 2 Mexican Restaurant, a friendly spot on the hotel's ground floor (highchairs are available) and feast on traditional Tex-Mex a la burritos, enchiladas and fajitas. The kids' menu has items priced between $5 and $6 that include tacos, chicken fingers, hot dogs, enchiladas and the like.
The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Poolside Tiki Bar
There's a tiki bar by the pool area that's open during good weather and busier times of the year; it sells the same food as the Mexican restaurant. The outdoor seating and margaritas are a top draw here.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wireless Internet is free in all public areas and units.
All units have laundry machines and you can purchase small packets of detergent for $1 a piece from the front desk.
Local Grocery Shopping
A Publix grocery store is just a few miles north of the hotel.
There's an excellent fitness center, free for all guests, that's open 24 hours and has treadmills, step machines and free weights.
The hotel's concierge doesn't arrange babysitting for guests, but can suggest a local agency.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 10 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, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. You'll get some of the best deals here and have the beaches largely to yourself during the shoulder season months of late-September and October into early-November and again in January and April/May. The area sees many snowbirds migrating down from the northeast and Canada after the winter holidays into early May. And weekends are often busy on the beach, especially if there's a festival or surf contest planned at the pier, with locals coming out to play and Floridians from inland areas making the day trip for fun in the sun.
Most guests who come to the Resort on Cocoa Beach 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's airport has flights from 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.
Parking in an outdoor lot is complimentary. 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 to the north. Car rental companies are available in Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach also has an excellent and inexpensive trolley system that runs up and down A1A for easy access to the pier, port and downtown Cocoa Beach.
For Mom and Dad
If the kids are old enough to watch themselves in the evenings (the property does not offer babysitting), steal away for a sunset cocktail and take in some live music at the 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. The Resort on Cocoa Beach doesn't have a spa, but if you're up for a couples' massage or something more exotic like aromatherapy or a lomi lomi massage, you'll find good rates and service at Cocoa Beach Spa & Salon Studio.