I paid $300/night for an oceanfront suite to watch the OC Air Show this year and the view was great. Just a block off show-center, we could hear the announcer and see almost everything (the north view is obscured due to the angle of the building itself, of course, unless you're on the very end). No complaints there and the room was worth the money for that purpose.
Had I not been there to watch the air show, however, I would make the following comments:
To start with praise, the staff is by far the friendliest I've ever encountered outside of a Mariott property. Everyone from the front desk to housekeeping was just incredibly friendly. They're also very accommodating. When I e-mailed to let them know that we would be arriving early (we had originally planned a late arrival), they offered to let us use their parking lot (a premium in OC during the season), the pool facilities, the restrooms - pretty much everything they had to offer - while we were waiting for our room. They even took my cell number and called me as soon as the room was ready (around 12:30) even though check-in wasn't until 3, and I hadn't even asked for early check-in. Very impressive!
Cleanliness was acceptable. The room itself was generally clean. The appliances were showing some wear, but from age rather than dirt. I would have appreciated a plastic liner for the ice bucket, however. My wife did find some hairs and dirt in the bathtub, which didn't make her happy, but didn't make us ask for another room or a visit from housekeeping, either. Water pressure in the shower was better than average and the beds were comfortable.
The suites are arranged with the sleeping area near the door and the living area by the balcony. Because we were only there for a couple of nights, we would have preferred if it was arranged the other way around so we could enjoy the view from bed, but for anyone staying for a longer trip or an actual vacation (using the room for more than just sleeping), this arrangement makes more sense, so I can't fault them there. The color scheme of the room (navy) was a little dark overall and the decor could use some updating generally. You also won't be watching either of the televisions from a distance (both small sets), but they were fine for our purposes, although the channel line up was different on each one for some reason.
Parking can be an issue. We got lucky and were able to park at the hotel each time (although we only moved our car once during the weekend because of this very issue). If you don't get one of the spaces at the hotel (maybe 30 total?), you'll have to park on the street (good luck) or in their satellite lot a couple blocks away on the bay side. This is not uncommon along that stretch of the boardwalk, however.
I was most disappointed and confused by the restaurant, however. The Commander Hotel also owns and runs the Skipjack Grill, which is right there on site. The food was good and the service was prompt. They also have a liquor license. What doesn't make any sense to me at all is that they don't serve dinner and don't offer room service. It just doesn't make any sense. I would certainly have eaten two or three additional meals there otherwise, even if just for the convenience.
Overall, the Commander is in a great location, the staff is fantastic, and my guest experience was a good one. I certainly doubt I'd stay there for $300/night, however, unless it's to use the room to watch the air show next year. (And in all fairness, their rates are quite a bit lower than the other hotels at show center.)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Commander unveils a $5 million dollar renovation which features 3 different types of accommodations: Our Oceanfront Suites Our Oceanview Studios Our Cabana Suites overlooking the pool yet are still only steps from the beach. As you set sail for one of Ocean City’s finest oceanfront hotels, the vacation you deserve awaits you! On the corner of 14th street and the boardwalk, we offer you newly renovated rooms and amenities. Onsite you’ll enjoy our soothing new beach colors and modern room decors. While shopping, restaurants, churches, library, nightlife, marinas, water sports and entertainment are virtually at your fingertips. Rediscover the hotel where fun and relaxation have been the standard for generations. Here you can look forward to days spent on the guarded beach. At lunch enjoy a cold drink and bar fare at our pool side bar while soaking up the sun rays, or simply relax in the cool atmosphere of our indoor pool. In the late afternoon, you might find yourself on the private balcony of your oceanfront suite, watching the fishing yachts returning home after a day of fighting the white or blue marlin. This is a great time to plan your evening dining menu with the great variety of culinary delights Ocean City has to offer. If time or weather are an issue, simply make your way to the family friendly onsite Grottos Pizza and see for yourself why they are the first name in pizza here on the shore. After a spectacular sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, you might be inclined to grab your golf clubs and meet downstairs at the Fractured Prune for their famous made to order donuts or a tasty breakfast sandwich before playing one of the area’s fine courses. Our knowledgeable in-house golf concierge is ready to assist you. Family owned since 1930. The tradition continues…..a tradition of service, hospitality and catering to your wishes! The Commander Hotel & Suites Offers: Oceanfront Suites on the Boardwalk Private Balcony or Terrace Refrigerator Microwave Coffee Maker 42″ HD TV with Dish Network Service Guest Laundry Indoor Pool Outdoor Pool with zero entry Grotto Pizza on the Ocean Walking Distance To Major Entertainment & Dining Free Parking Golf Packages Fractured Prune Donut Shop on site Eco Friendly Olive Branch Botanicals Bath Amenities in all guest rooms ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Commander Hotel Ocean City
- Commander Ocean City