Want to beat peak summertime traffic in Ocean City without sacrificing a prime location and pristine views of the water? Historically, a rental on the other side of the Route 50 bridge, or maybe a private helicopter chartered to drop you off on the roof of your hotel, would have been your best bet. But since the Residence Inn by Marriott opened its doors last May, all you have to do is drive down the 90 bridge and #turnright.
The Residence Inn is made up of eight floors, 150 rooms and amenities including a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, two bars and a private bayside beach. Even though it’s on 61st Street, its address is 300 Seabay Lane because it isn’t located directly on Coastal Highway, but pushed back into a little bayfront byway across from a strip of townhomes.
“Back here it’s more of a neighborhood feel,” said Sales and Marketing Manager Courtney Blackford. “It’s more of a resort back here, away from the main road where it gets loud and kind of crazy.”
The key word in describing the atmosphere of the year-old Residence Inn is “resort”; its location, amenities and abundance of activities available to guests elevate it high above “hotel” level, and because it is an extended-stay option, guests can stay there for a weekend or months at a time. Or, more likely, plan to stay a weekend and then start dreaming about leaving their responsibilities back home forever and extending their stay at the Ocean City Residence Inn for an indeterminate amount of time.
Family fun on a private beach
On the top floor of the building is an indoor pool flanked by windows that offer spectacular views of the 90 bridge to the west and all of the resort’s outdoor offerings just next to it.
In the summer, the outdoor pool deck is replete with swimmers, sunbathers and 21+ guests enjoying cocktails at the tiki bar. Off the pool deck juts a long pier that leads to a small beach, where kids play in the sand, families kayak and those who can balance opt for a SUP lesson.
“We just added kayaks and stand up paddleboards this season,” Blackford said. “So those are available to rent by the hour, and then we also offer classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, which OC Stand Up Paddle Fitness comes in and does for us.”
Even with easy access to the bay and all it has to offer, some guests, understandably, still want to see the ocean. From the Residence Inn, it’s just a short walk and a crosswalk away, and electric carts are available to help families carry their umbrellas, coolers, beach blankets and boogie boards across the street and through the sand.
Soggy Dollars and beer with a Bayview
While the pools and tiki bar are available only to guests — “We’re in the process of naming the tiki bar now, I think we’re going to call it the Soggy Dollar,” Blackford said — the inside bar on the hotel’s second floor, the Bayview Bar and Grill, is open to the public.
The bar has two taps, one for domestic and one for local craft beer, and also offers a menu of appetizers, with a dinner menu coming soon. The Bayview opens at 4 p.m. in the summer, but the tiki bar is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and food can be ordered right at the outdoor bar.
It’s a great space to eat a flatbread, drink a local beer and enjoy the view of the bay from the window. It’s also a space that has hosted a Valentine’s beer festival with Delaware brewery Big Oyster last winter, a bourbon festival and in the last month alone, three weddings — ceremonies happen out on the pool deck and then guests move inside to celebrate. If it’s late enough, they can enjoy a world-class sunset.
“We always say, the sunrise you have to work for,” Blackford said. “This sunset you just sit back and enjoy.”
Paradise on Seabay Lane
Ultimately, the Residence Inn resort is designed to accommodate any kind of traveler, from the couple who wants to spend a romantic weekend on the bay to the adventurous family looking for a few weeks of fun. Even the family dog is invited to partake in the adventure.
The resort cultivates a family atmosphere in part because their employees make everyone feel like they’re right at home. In fact, out of everything else they offer, Blackford says the staff is what sets the resort apart from other accommodations in Ocean City.
“We’ve come to build an awesome staff here… they’re very engaging and very knowledgeable about the town, and a lot of them have been here for a long time,” she said. “You can stay in any hotel, but it’s all how you feel when you’re greeted when you’re checking in.”
The Residence Inn by Marriott Ocean City hotel offers a beautiful bayfront location with stunning views over the bay. Unwind in our spacious suites, step out onto our outdoor balconies and take in captivating views and sunsets of the Isle of Wight Bay. Start your morning filling up on healthy and hearty options at our free breakfast buffet. Enjoy...