Ready to take a virtual tour of one of the top hotels on the Ocean City Boardwalk?
That’s coming, but first, a little history lesson on Ocean City’s famous Commander Hotel is in order. Because in addition to their new, giant beach chair (more on that down below), the Commander has a rich and unique history that dates back to the 1930s, and lots of modern amenities today that make it special, too.
A brief origin story of the Commander
The original Commander opened on Ocean City’s 14th street on Memorial Day of 1930. Today the hotel is almost 88 years old, even if the current Commander building has been reconstructed and remodeled in the decades since its grand opening. 88 years ago, the Commander boasted Ocean City’s first elevator, in-room telephone service and a sweeping front porch overlooking the Boardwalk. The hotel was complete with a full dining room and 62 rooms, and a week’s stay including three meals a day cost just $95.
When visitors sought haven at the Commander during World War II, the windows would be covered at night by black-out curtains due to the danger of enemy shelling by off-shore submarines. After the war, a North Wing was added to the hotel. The dining room at this point could seat 400 people, and in the 1950s, visitors traveled from all over Maryland and beyond to attend a Commander Clambake complete with lobster, corn-on-the-cob and steamed clams.
The Commander’s famous Clambakes came to an end after the March Storm of ’62, but from 1979-93, the Commander Boardwalk Cabaret Dinner was one of the hottest shows in town.
In 1998, the new building was erected and today includes beachfront rooms and suites, an indoor and outdoor pool, a separate cabana with suites overlooking the pool and two on-site restaurant’s — Ocean City traditions Grotto Pizza and Fractured Prune.
A look inside
Now, a virtual tour of the Commander’s interior, before we head outside to the beach and Boardwalk.
Commander Fun Fact: They’ve got mermaids. College students dressed in mermaid attire (tails and all) inhabit the Commander’s pool on select summer days. “They swim around in the pool with the little girls and they do a game, and they’ve got a pirate to go with them,” said Marketing & Sales Director Carissa Scaniffe. “It’s really cute, the kids love it.” This and other summer activities for both kids and adults can be found here.
A look outside
Of course, you’ll want to save the indoor pool for a rainy day when there’s so much to do outside.