We will be arriving in OC in mid-August (2 little ones with us) and prices are very high that week. I'm looking for somewhere reasonable but clean and on the beach. So far, my top choices are Castle in the Sand, Clarion, Carousel or Holiday Inn on 66th. Here is what I have read about them:
Castle in the Sand - big pool and family friendly, but seems to have big bar and volleyball court very close to hotel. I like the idea of service on the beach but is this really family friendly? Seems only some rooms have nice beds.
Clarion - cheapest of the hotels, don't know much else about it
Carousel - 2nd cheapest - kiddie pool, but some bad reviews and very far north. Maybe too kid-friendly?
Holiday Inn 66th St. - about same price as Castle in the Sand - gets better reviews. Is it better for families?
I would greatly appreciate any advice you share! Do all hotels on the beach offer umbrellas you can rent for the day? Chairs?