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Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

Rochester, NY
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86 posts
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Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

Hi All,

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?

Mentioned in this post
Castle in the Sand Hotel
Castle in the Sand Hotel
890 Reviews
Ocean City, MD
6 replies to this topic
Delaware
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1,713 posts
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1. Re: Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

All of the places you mentioned you would have to rent chairs and umbrellas for the day. I don't know of any hotel in OC that provides free umbrellas or chairs on the beach. Maybe the Hilton but I may be wrong.

I will answer your questions about Castle in The Sand. Someone else can take on the others. Yes it is family friendly. Great outdoor bar and probably the biggest pool in OC, although the pool is not oceanfront. The thing I always tell people about Castle is to know exactly which room type you are getting and when it was last renovated. You can anything from an oceanfront room to a cottage on coastal highway. And because it is such a big complex some rooms are more modern than others. Make sure you know what you are getting and I believe you will be happy there.

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Castle in the Sand Hotel
Castle in the Sand Hotel
890 Reviews
Ocean City, MD
pennsylvania
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for Ocean City
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3,204 posts
98 reviews
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2. Re: Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

The Carousel recently (3 years ago) updated their rooms and installed new carpet, etc. It's not a new hotel by any means, but it's still very popular. They also have condos available. BUT with the ice skating rink in the center of the hotel it can and does get VERY noisy. We were on the 2nd floor there a couple years ago and couldn't sleep for all the noise. Plus the elevator is turtle slow. We had to wait nearly 20 minutes a couple of times for the elevator to come. I'm not saying it's a bad place, it isn't. I'm just telling you what we experienced.

I really have a hard time believing that the Clarion is the cheapest of the hotels. Wrong dates maybe? Because that's one of the best hotels in OC. Large rooms, tons of ammenities like a eucalyptus room and sauna, pool bar, and more. They have condos next door as well. Also it is dog friendly and has a great seafood buffet, probably the best in town. But there are no direct oceanfront rooms. They are all ocean view.

The Holiday Inn on 67th is a great hotel. Free fresh fruit all day in the lobby, a fabulous Italian restaurant and bakery on site, indoor and outdoor pools, game room, tea, coffee and hot chocolate available in the game room 24 hours. The hotel is kept up very well and the hotel has a glass elevator that the kids may like. It's in a great location, nearly dead center of the town. BUT if you want a view, you need to get a high floor. Other wise, you'll be looking out over the pool and bar area. They have direct ocean front, ocean front, and ocean view rooms. The DIRECT rooms are the only ones right on the beach. The ocean front rooms sit way back on the other side of the pool, and the ocean view rooms face south. Stayed here many times and never had a complaint. Good hotel.

Check out the Quality Inn and Suites on 33rd St. Good hotel and in a great location. On the beach and close to a lot of restaurants and just across the highway from the amusement park and 6 blocks to the end of the boardwalk where you can get the tram to ride to the other end of the boards for rides and games.

Rochester, NY
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86 posts
4 reviews
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3. Re: Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

Thanks for this great feedback!

Momoo yes Clarion is the cheapest as they have ano advanced purchase price that is very reasonable. Still they get a lot of bad reviews so I am nervous to commit to something where I can't change my mind.

Hanover, Pa
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for Ocean City
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3,257 posts
65 reviews
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4. Re: Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

I stayed in the Clarion this past April and it's a very nice hotel. Everything you need for a vacation is at the Clarion. I highly recommend it.

York, PA
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2,551 posts
37 reviews
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5. Re: Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

I would hesitate to recommend the Quality Inn on 33rd Street at this time. The hotel will be closing this fall for a major overhaul, after which it will reopen as a Doubletree.

Hanover, Pa
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for Ocean City
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3,257 posts
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6. Re: Hotel for family - Carousel or Castle in the Sand?

You can still enjoy a stay at the QI till the end of October if you choose. After that they will close to remodel and reopen as a Doubletree.

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