by Hilarey Wojtowicz
Whether you’re looking for a traditional guestroom, a cottage for the whole family or something completely different, like a retro Airstream trailer, then the StarLux Boutique Hotel is the Morey’s Piers property for you and your family. Located just one block from the beach and boardwalk, including the famous Wildwood sign with its colorful beach balls, the StarLux offers families ocean view suites and accommodations that can sleep up to eight. Silver, futuristic metal textures, swirly blue, hand-painted walls and lava lamps decorating every room help this hotel stand out among the many that dot Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood.
Although parking is across the street in a gravel lot and an empty, not-so-pretty lot sits between the hotel and the boardwalk, the StarLux still has an interesting appeal that is sure to catch the eye of even the youngest guest. A heated outdoor pool is next to the Astro Lounge, with its vaulted ceilings and large glass windowpanes, and a 24-hour indoor game room has arcade games and a pool table, all of which are great for teens. And parents will appreciate the many different accommodations, each with refrigerators, microwaves — the most interesting ones we have ever seen — and flat-screen TV’s with DVD players.
Complimentary amenities make this property even more family-friendly, and include bicycle rentals, beach chairs and boogie boards, plus a daily continental breakfast. Relax while at the Jersey Shore this summer with a stay at the StarLux.
Our Editor Loves
- Futuristic decor with lava lamps in every room
- One block from boardwalk and famous Wildwood sign
- Complimentary bicycles, beach chairs and toys
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The StaLux has 45 guestrooms, including a separate cottage house with six rooms, one full house that sleeps up to eight and two retro Airstream trailers across the street for rent. All come with mini-fridges, microwaves (the coolest ones we've ever seen, in electric blue colors and a front that looks more than like an old-fashioned radio), in-room safes, flat-screen TV's, DVD players and complimentary Wi-Fi.
After parking the car, families will see a deck with two Airstream trailers. Choose from the 1950's-styled trailer or the one with accents from the 1970's -- both have two double beds, a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, TV, DVD player and complimentary Wi-Fi. The Airstream trailers have one bathroom, with a stand-up shower and no tub, and Philosophy bath amenities with fun, inspirational sayings on them, like "Celebrate Life." Both sleep up to four. Cribs and rollaway beds won't fit in these, so if looking for larger accommodations, reserve a guestroom in the main building or the cottage, or rent the full-size home.
In the main building of the StarLux, families will find six different room options to choose from, spread across four floors. Standard rooms come with either two double beds or two queen beds, though neither can fit a crib or rollaway bed. Enjoy mini-fridges, microwaves, coffee makers, flat-screen TV's, a DVD player and, of course, a lava lamp. One bathroom with a shower and tub combination also has a sink and Philosophy bath amenities. The bathrooms are slightly small, and the only sink/vanity is located here.
Queen and King Suites
For slightly larger accommodations, book a queen or king suite. Both come with two separate rooms for living and sleeping. A sleeper sofa can be found in the living area and the separate bedroom will offer a queen or king bed, allowing these suites to sleep a total of five if a rollaway bed is added. Enjoy all the amenities of a standard room, plus a kitchenette with a toaster, sink and cabinets with plates, dishes, utensils and cutlery.
One- and Two-Bedroom Suites
One- and two-bedroom suites are also available and can sleep up to six and eight, respectively. One-bedroom suites offer two queen beds in the bedroom, plus a sleeper sofa in the living area. Two-bedroom suites have one bedroom with one queen bed and one with two queen beds, plus a living area with a sleeper sofa. Both suites come with all the amenities of a suite room, including the fully equipped kitchenette. These two suites also offer a table with chairs for up to four, offering more space for dining in the room.
Just outside the main building is the cottage that houses six additional guestrooms. All have the same amenities as standard rooms and can only sleep between two and four people. All have balconies with two chairs, but the view is limited to partial boardwalk/beach views, or the street and back of the StarLux main building.
A full house is located next to the Airstream trailers, across the street from the main building and next to the parking lot. Wooden walls and floors give it a rustic, cabin feel, even though families will be just a short walk from the beach. The first floor has a living room with a sofa bed and TV, dining room, kitchen with all the essentials, and the only bathroom in the unit. Steps lead to the second floor where the three bedrooms are located. Two rooms have double beds and one has two twin bunk beds, allowing room for six. Only the rooms with the double beds have TV's, and they are small and slightly outdated. The house is air-conditioned.
Only the main building of the StarLux has an elevator, so for families with strollers, wheelchairs or lots of luggage, it may be difficult to get everything and everyone into an Airstream trailer, cottage unit or the full house. Although not ADA-specific, the StarLux does provide guestrooms that are handicap accessbile.
Most guestrooms and suites in the main building are accessed via outdoor entrances, as in a motel style, and have balconies out front overlooking the pool area, street and boardwalk in the distance.
by Michael K
We enjoyed one of the suites. The weather was still too chilly for the pool, but they offer bicycles for guest use and we were close enough to experience the boardwalk and nearby dining without having to drive. I am definitely looking forward to a summer visit when Wildwood is fully alive.
Thank you, Starlux, for your warm hospitality.
I chose this hotel for the "doo wop" factor and it did not disappoint from that standpoint.. The room was decorated in a cute way that had character, which is what I wanted. Also, you can't beat the location . . .directly across the main entrance to the boardwalk. However, there are other issues that serve to reduce the rating (initially 4 stars) down to 3.
To start, the girl at the check-in desk was less than forthcoming with basic information, ie check out time, quiet hour, the wifi password. We had to go back to the front desk to get the password and it was while we were waiting for this information that I heard a man who was now manning the front desk give a more informative spiel to the family that was checking in.
We stayed in a one-bedroom king suite with a kitchenette. The suite had a partial ocean view and came with a private balcony overlooking a parking lot.
Following is a breakdown of the room pros and cons.
Coffee maker (but too small to use with anything but the tiny pods they supply)
Iron & Ironing Board
2 TVs each with a DVD player
Towel quality was above average
No cutting board
No sharp knives
No plastic wine glasses
No paper towels
No facial tissues
No coffee table
Bathroom had no shelf space but since this is a "doo wop," I'm not sure how valid this point is
The fact that the kitchenette does not come stocked with sharp knives, a cutting board or paper towels makes it almost useless. I couldn't cut into the onion I brought to make sandwiches. It was difficult to keep the area clean since it only came with one washcloth and one hand towel.
The ice maker was not working on the 4th floor so we had to go to the 2nd floor when we wanted ice. It should be noted that the light was not working inside the room where the ice machine is located so the entire ice maker situation is lacking.
To the positive, the hotel has complementary bikes which we availed ourselves of and that was quite enjoyable. However, the hot tub which is supposed to be open year round was closed due to maintenance. The pool was also closed for the season but it looks very nice.
Now for the worst part of the entire experience . . .this hotel is non-smoking. It is clearly stated on numerous signs throughout the hotel. One afternoon as I was napping on my couch, I heard loud voices outside my room and heard someone stating they could smell smoke. The next thing I hear is a loud banging on my door. Some guy (the owner? he never did identify himself) barrels through my front door and stands in the middle of my room smelling for smoke. I don't smoke. I was NAPPING and was ripped awake by his rude knocking. He then glares at me (as if I'm some kind of a kid) and reminds me that there is no smoking. He acknowledged that he couldn't smell smoke but he never apologized for this rude interruption. Instead, he and his heavyset henchwoman (a maid?) proceeded to rudely bang on every door on my floor and/or burst into the unoccupied rooms trying to locate the source of the offending smell. When they couldn't find it, they proceeded to the third floor where they repeated the rude barging in process.
Let me tell you, in all my years of traveling (30+), I have never been so rudely confronted by anyone working at a hotel in my life. If in fact someone was smoking or causing some other type of damage, that will become apparent when the maid is cleaning the room after the offender has checked out. At that point in time the hotel can contact the previous guest and inform them that they will be charged for damage. You don't go banging on everyone's door and ruining their peace and then not even apologize.
The whole manager/unknown hotel employee episode left a bad taste in my mouth and for this reason alone, I'm not sure I'd stay at this particular hotel again. I want to like it but the angry and accusatory employee/manager (totally lacking in professionalism) makes me think twice about staying here again.
When visiting Wildwood, the beach is a must. Located just one block from the free beach, the StarLux offers families complimentary beach chairs, boogie boards and beach toys. When we visited, we even saw skim boards, which are great for adventurous teens.
Before heading to the beach though, be sure to check out all that the StarLux has to offer for family fun. A heated outdoor pool is between 1.5 and 4 feet in depth, so little ones will never feel that it is too deep. Life preservers are located next to the pool and are free to use for guests, too. A hot tub is next to the pool, and umbrellas, lounge chairs and BBQ grills surround the area and are available on a first come, first served basis. Lifeguards are not on duty at the pool; it is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Astro Lounge can't be missed as it is set in the middle of the pool area, just outside the main building of the StarLux. The large-windowed room with vaulted ceilings and a fire pit is a great place for families to escape the heat or to play a board game or read a book on a rainy day. Butterfly chairs, a flat-screen TV, lava lamps and colorful dÃ©cor make this an inviting room. Games can be found at the front desk, just steps from the Astro Lounge, which is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. If families are having a ton of fun though, management will allow for later hours.
A 24-hour game room is located off the lobby and has token-operated arcade games (change does not work, so a token machine is provided) and a pool table (pool sticks can be found at the front desk). Snack and soda machines are also located here for hungry kids who don't want to leave their game. Next to the game room is another community room with a table and chairs for board games or snacks, though the room is plain and mainly used for the continental breakfast.
Complimentary bicycles with helmets are also available for use at the StarLux, which make for a fun afternoon or easy travels around Wildwood.
As the StarLux is a part of the Morey's Piers brand, guests receive discounted vouchers with the Stay and Play Package to the boardwalk rides at Adventure Pier, Mariner's Pier and Surfside Pier, like the Giant Wheel, the Great Nor'Easter upside-down coaster or the Great White wooden roller coaster. Guests can pick up vouchers at the front desk and then redeem them at the ticket stands on the piers.
The StarLux does not offer an onsite eatery for families. However, between May and October every year, a complimentary continental breakfast is served daily in the community room. Families will be able to fuel up on bagels, muffins and coffee and juice between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. every morning. Two toasters are also available here, along with a coffee machine that is on 24 hours a day.
If staying in the house or a suite with a kitchen, be sure to stop at a Wawa, 7-Eleven, or the Acme or A&P for food and cooking essentials before getting to the hotel. All rooms have microwaves and mini-fridges, which also allow for simple meal preparation.
Snack and soda machines can also be found in the game room -- perfect for hungry kids between meals.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The front desk is open 24 hours per day for only 10 months of the year, as the property is closed in December and January.
Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the property, including in guestrooms, suites, cottages, Airstream trailers, the house, Astro Lounge, game room, pool area and main lobby.
A computer is available in the community room where the continental breakfast is served. It is available for use 24 hours per day, but is not connected to a printer, copier or fax machine.
Parking is free for one car per family, but is located across the street from the property in a gravel parking lot, which may make large suitcases or strollers difficult to transport.
Laundry facilities, located on the third floor, are free to use at this hotel, despite a sign on the door that says "Coin Laundry."
The Wildwood boardwalk is just one block from the hotel, but it is two-miles in length. A tram can be found transporting guests up and down the boardwalk, stopping anywhere along the way. It runs 11 a.m. to pier closing time (about 1 a.m. during the peak summer season), and costs $3 per person, per ride.
Porta Potties are available for bathrooms on the beach, though the hotel will always be about a 5-minute walk from your blanket or chair.
The Art of Smart Timing
The StarLux is only open 10 months a year and is closed in December and January. If possible, visit during May and the beginning of June for a quiet experience. September and October will also be quiet and comfortable, as older children are back in school. The high season for the Jersey Shore is July and August and guestrooms book quickly at the hotel, as guests cannot beat the location. The weather is sure to be sunny and warm, around 80 degrees, which makes for perfect beach days, and evenings will be cooler, especially on the boardwalk, so bring a sweater. Beaches are sure to be crowded in July and August, but the Wildwood beach is large and guests will find a spot easily. Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day, as well, with stations located every quarter-mile down the beach.
Wildwood is located at the very end of the Jersey Shore and the closest airport is the Atlantic City International Airport, which services Spirit and United Airlines. The Philadelphia International Airport is 1.5 hours from the hotel and services all of the major airlines. A rental car will be needed to travel from the airport to the StarLux. If coming from the south or west, take the Delaware Memorial Bridge and look for signs for the Garden State Parkway -- Wildwood is Exit 4B. If coming from New England, drive down I-95 to Exit 7 for the Garden State Parkway until exit 4B. Once in Wildwood, drive down New Jersey Avenue and turn left onto East Rio Grande Avenue -- the StarLux is located two blocks down on Atlantic Avenue.
Wildwood is largely walkable, but bicycling is also big in town. You'll need a car to make trips to local stores though. Walk to the beach and the boardwalk from the hotel or use the complimentary bicycles for seeing all of Wildwood. When walking the two-mile boardwalk, little legs may get tired -- pick up tram, which runs 11 a.m. to pier closing time (about 1 a.m. during the peak summer season), and costs $3 per person, per ride. It will stop anywhere along the boardwalk.
For Mom and Dad
The StarLux does not offer a babysitting service. If the kids are old enough to watch themselves for an hour or two, however, take a stroll along the boardwalk, which is just one block from the hotel. If you're able to plan a date night, head to the Pacific Grill. The restaurant is BYOB and opens for dinner at 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Enjoy traditional seafood dishes true to the Jersey Shore.