Hotel can get noisy and guests have complained of rowdy kids
Poor soundproofing in rooms
Cleanliness issues in some rooms
Bedding is scratchy and a bit dingy
Restaurant has outdated decor
Far from boardwalk
The beachfront, 239-room chain hotel Carousel embodies an Ocean City carnival, with its music-filled indoor ice rink and ice shows, movies on the beach, pools, atrium, and more. Rooms have kitchenettes and private balconies, but decor is on the bland side. The Carousel is a children's paradise; travelers who prefer peace and quiet to family frenzy may prefer the more grown-up vibe at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ocean City.
The Carousel is a big, nondescript, boxy building. On one side, it’s flanked by a major highway (and plenty of parking). On the other side, it's flanked by the Atlantic. The building takes advantage of its oceanside setting, with plenty of windows throughout the property. In addition to offering pretty views, the public spaces are often bathed in sunlight. The lobby is comfortable and clean but unremarkable. The restaurant and bar are fairly unappealing, with generic, outdated furniture. Eating under umbrellas in the outdoor section is a better option, as it gives guests the opportunity to dine in a more natural setting with ocean views.
The Carousel fills with rowdy kids and families, especially on the weekends and during peak season. Loud pop music plays in the central ice-skating area, which makes the place feel more like a roller rink than a hotel.
A quiet beach location, right on the ocean but far from the boardwalk buzz
The hotel sits on the major six-lane highway that runs through the heart of Ocean City and is surrounded by hotels and strip malls. A Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, 7-Eleven, and liquor store are all within walking distance. On the ocean side there are dunes and a path with direct beach access (much prettier). The Carousel’s beachfront location makes it a lovely spot for family vacations, but visiting nearby restaurants and attractions requires getting in a car. Located about a 12-minute drive north of the boardwalk, the hotel is in a less walkable neighborhood away from the heart of the beach action. On the plus side, there are fewer drunken beachgoers around.
Spacious, unremarkable rooms with kitchenettes and balconies; some complaints of cleanliness issues
Oceanfront rooms have spacious private balconies, many of which offer breathtaking views of the morning sunrise over the sea. Rooms overlooking the skating rink and atrium are less spectacular -- and often noisy. Multi-bedroom condos are available for large families and groups, and all of the rooms come equipped with basic kitchenettes with mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and microwaves. The blankets and bedspreads are fairly dingy, and the sliding doors to the balconies tend to get stuck. The furniture is serviceable but unremarkable. Useful amenities include flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some guests have complained of cleanliness issues in the rooms.
Carousel feels like a carnival, complete with a wide array of activities
Carousel is the only hotel in Ocean City -- and one of the only hotels anywhere -- with an indoor ice-skating rink, which blasts poppy music all day long and hosts shows at night. A bounce house, game room, playground, coin-operated kiddy rides, and an abundance of cotton candy and sweets make the Carousel a paradise for children. An indoor pool, hot tub, outdoor pool, and kiddy pool cover all the bases for swimming and poolside lounging. The hotel has a beach bar and grill, an oceanfront restaurant, and a lounge -- so dining options abound. With movies on the beach, live music, dance parties, and game nights, there is always plenty for guests to do. Tennis courts, a fitness center, and a sauna offer even more possibilities.
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