This 122-room chain is a solid value for a comfortable, mid-range hotel, albeit one that lacks character. An indoor and outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast are welcome extras. The location is off the beaten path—the hotel is across a major highway from the beach and a short drive from the boardwalk and heart of Ocean City. The rooms are bright and clean, and offer microwaves and mini-fridges, but have a generic feel (picture plain furnishings, bland artwork, and wall-to-wall carpeting). Those looking for a more central beach location might consider the Sea Hawk Motel, or for more modern decor (and slightly higher prices), try the Hampton Inn & Suites Ocean City.
The Holiday Inn Express is low-key and inviting, but a bit dated
The hotel has a high-ceilinged lobby with lots of light streaming in during daytime hours, which makes for an airy, inviting feel. Clusters of armchairs and love seats sit on separate patches of bold, graphic carpeting scattered throughout the lobby, adding to the welcoming vibe. However, the fake plants, clashing patterns, and generic modern art make for a somewhat dated look.
This is not a hard-partying beach hotel overrun with rowdy spring breakers or loud children. The pool area can get crowded, but the clientele tends to be a relatively subdued, mellow variety of beach-goer or conference center attendee. The location off the main boardwalk means a less crazy and crowded vibe.
Across the highway from the beach and far from the boardwalk buzz
Situated far uptown and on the Bay Side, the Holiday Inn Express is in a fairly quiet spot, which can be a plus for those who seek a bit of tranquility. However, it lacks direct beach access and is far from the action on the boardwalk. The hotel is located along the main, six-lane highway that runs through the heart of Ocean City. It is surrounded by other hotels, as well as condos and rental homes. The beach is less than a 10-minute walk away, but guests must cross the highway in order to get to it. There’s a bar and grill, burger place, and deli next door, but little else within walking distance. The hotel is about a 15-minute drive from Jolly Roger at the Pier amusement park, 15 minutes from the boardwalk, and 10 minutes from the convention center.
Rooms are comfortable and come with typical mid-range amenities, but the vibe is generic and uninspiring
Rooms are commonplace for a comfortable, mid-level chain: The furniture is simple and not at all chic, the artwork is bland and uninspired, and the wall-to-wall carpeting is generic and not very stylish. The mattresses are of a decent quality and the sheets are clean and crisp. Rooms include mini-fridges, microwaves, and coffeemakers. Some rooms have pretty views of the bay, but there are no balconies or ocean outlooks. Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs are nice touches.
Well-maintained pools, free breakfast, and a convenience store
This Holiday Inn Express is fairly no-frills, but it does have some solid features that add to the value. The free breakfast is convenient and offers a surprisingly big assortment of eats, including hot items. A 24-hour convenience store is stocked with snacks and drinks, but there is no restaurant on-site. The indoor pool is clean, but quite tiny. The outdoor pool is also well-maintained, with a deck that has plenty of space to lounge and soak up rays.
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