On-site restaurant and bar has unobstructed ocean views
Walking distance to island shops and cafes
Two swimming pools
Some rooms have ocean views
Mini-fridges in rooms
Older property that shows some wear and tear
Restaurant can be pricey for a budget hotel
No microwaves in the rooms
Can be noisy when large groups are on property
Beach is separated from the hotel by a parking lot
No valet parking
The family-owned Ocean Plaza Beach Resort is located across from a sandy beach on Tybee Island, about 30 minutes west of downtown Savannah. The crown jewel of the hotel is its Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant & Bar, featuring panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Rooms are about what one would expect from a budget property on the beach, with dated tropical comforters and mini-fridges, but some have great ocean views. The 210-room property is similarly priced to other value hotels in the area.
The property was formally occupied by the historic Hotel Tybee built in 1889, but was torn down in the sixties to make room for the current building. Although the management continues to update as needed, the structure shows some wear and tear. The hotel consists of two wings (North and South) with separate entrances, and they are divided by a restaurant in the middle. There is a separate guest registration building across the parking lot, but there is no main lobby where guests linger or come and go. The property has 210 hotel rooms -- some have incredible water views, while others face a parking lot and a busy street. Decor throughout the hotel is bright and tropical, featuring standard furnishings typically found in value hotels.
The best part about the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort is its close proximity to a sprawling white-sand beach, flanked by rolling sand dunes. The hotel sits across the street from the Atlantic Ocean and a fishing pier that juts out into the water. The nearest airport is about 30 miles away and downtown Savannah is about 20 miles away. Island shops, boutiques and cafes are located within walking distance to the hotel and The Tybee Island Lighthouse & Museum is about two miles away.
Average rooms on the inside, ocean views on the outside
The best rooms, usually floors three and up, have balconies and views of the ocean. Inland View Rooms do not have ocean views and face a parking lot. The rooms and bathrooms at the hotel are basic and include the standard furniture and design found in most budget hotels near the beach (picture: dated bedspreads with tropical patterns and light wood furniture). The technology is slightly older (thick, boxy TVs instead of flat-screens). There are mini-fridges and coffeemakers in each room, but no microwaves. As a fun and personal touch, staff members create whimsical animals and designs out of towels, and leave them on the beds for guests.
Beach access and an on-site, oceanfront restaurant
The Ocean Plaza Beach Resort's top feature is its access to the beach, which is located across a public parking area. Umbrellas, lounge chairs and rafts are available for a fee. The Dolphin Reef Oceanfront Restaurant & Bar features panoramic views of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. There are two swimming pools and neither have ocean views. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and 24-hour access to a computer at the registration building. Parking is free in the hotel's lot, but the public oceanfront lot charges a fee.