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Rebrand & Refresh: An Inside Look at the Updated Commander Hotel Properties

If you are in Ocean City this week, you may notice a couple of changes as you drive down Coastal Highway. The speed limit, normally 40 mph through North Ocean City, has been reduced to 30 mph, and Downtown, the speed limit has also been reduced. This is due to the expected, unauthorized H2Oi Pop-Up Rally.  It is reasonable to expect heavier than usual traffic, noise and strict enforcement of vehicle laws during the week and weekend.

The summer is almost here, and the Commander Hotel is gearing up for one of its biggest tourism seasons yet. The newly upgraded and expanded operation is one of Ocean City’s longest-running family-owned businesses, and the staff is ready to show off the changes while honoring nearly a century of traditions.

90 Years of Memories

Commander Hotel & Suites on the Boardwalk

Since Memorial Day in 1930, the Lynch family Commander Hotel has welcomed thousands of guests for relaxing stays at the beach. Situated on Atlantic Avenue along the Boardwalk, the hotel is home to many Ocean City firsts. From offering the first in-room telephone service to the first elevator, the hotel is undoubtedly a piece of local history.

During World War II, all suites included blackout curtains in fear of enemy attacks from offshore submarines. Can you imagine that kind of vacation today? Additionally, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, the hotel featured a Boardwalk dinner theater for entertainment.

Expansions through the decades included a brand new North wing after the war and the Cabana Building in 1992.

Nearly a century ago, a week-long vacation cost just $95. While prices have surely risen since then, the Commander’s legacy of family fun continues.

The Commander Properties

Now, the Commander Hotel is quite extensive and features three buildings on two separate properties. The buildings house a total of 145 rooms, with upwards of 70 rooms in the Oceanfront property, 24 rooms in the Cabana building, and an additional 36 rooms in a newly acquired site. Every single room in the Oceanfront building has a view, while all Cabana suites include a full kitchen. Suites are appropriately named Captain’s, Promenade, Navigator’s, and Ocean View Studios.

Purchasing the Old Buckingham Hotel

Commander Beach House Hotel (Formerly the Buckingham Hotel)

The third hotel site is not just any building – it is the old Buckingham Hotel, another Ocean City staple. The Commander took over the property before the pandemic and renamed it the Commander Beach House Hotel.

“In November 2019, we took over the nearby Buckingham Hotel. The Commander Beach House idea then came to life,” said Danielle Bellante, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Commander Hotel and Suites. “We are rebranding it and bringing about new life to it. We can’t completely rebuild quite yet, but we did bring in all new bedding, drapery, carpet, and other cosmetic touches that make a big difference. There are plans to renovate the lobby and we already added a new sign out front.”

Courtesy of the Commander Hotel

Last year, management decided to operate the hotels as two separate businesses. Recently, the staff regrouped and reached the decision to run the hotels in conjunction, all under the same Commander branding.

“We wanted to expand because buying the Buckingham means more people, more families, and more memories,” Bellante added. “We want to be your home away from home.”

The upgraded building, which opens April 1 and will operate until November, is still the same old hotel with sparkling authenticity. The Commander Beach House Hotel includes access to all amenities, even those located in the oceanfront building.

Why Vacation with the Commander Hotel

Commander amenities include an indoor and outdoor pool, three eateries, a minifridge and microwave in all rooms, as well as free Wi-Fi.

All year long, tourists can enjoy deals for three, five, and seven-night trips, which include discounts of up to 25%. Qualified discounts include Triple AAA, AARP, military, first responders, and teachers.

An Oceanfront Room. Courtesy of the Commander Hotel.

Of all the countless hotels in Ocean City, the Commander prides itself in its spectacular Boardwalk location and storied history. TripAdvisor ratings place the hotel at number eight of more than 100 hotels.

After an anxious and unpredictable tourism season in 2020, the staff feels prepared to welcome back visitors. “We want to get and feel excited again and fill as many rooms as possible,” said Bellante. “Ocean City served as an escape from last year’s crazy world, and we now have had even more time to adapt. Although Covid is still a reality, we know how to stay and keep people safe after all these months.”

More Information

Click here to book your stay or call 410-289-6166.

For a full photo gallery of the hotel, click here.

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