A couple/few years back, I read this blog entry on Insiders, Frozen Family Weekend in Bethany Beach, Delaware – comment on this post and you could earn points, later followed by this one, Bewitching Weekend Enchants & Delights in Bethany Beach, Delaware –comment on this post and you could earn points. I was charmed by these articles. This, combined with never having been to the DelMarVa Peninsula* (at the time of reading), and in fact never having set foot on the U.S. Atlantic Shoreline (say whaaat?), caused me to become enamored with this property and its location in what appeared to be a charming seashore village. It quickly made its way onto my travel short list.
Bethany Beach lies on the DelMarVa Peninsula. It's a small coastal town in Delaware that is sandwiched between a barrier island to the north, which boasts miles of Atlantic beaches extending up to Rehoboth Beach, and Fenwick Island to the south. Beyond Fenwick lies Ocean City, MD as well as Assateague and Chincoteague Islands, all of which makes this coastal area rich in beauty and quiet relaxation. Bethany Beach has a town center that is barely a block long and filled with shops and restaurants. It's also fun to walk the small neighborhood and look at the nice homes. There is a trolley that runs during the summer, but everything is within walking distance as far as I can tell.
Bethany Beach Ocean Suites is actually a Marriott Residence Inn, though you'd hardly know it... There is one small sign near the entrance to the parking garage that says Residence Inn, and that's it. I think it's supposed to be that way. Large, institutional hotel chains/brands seem really out of place in these small, quiet, east coast shore towns.
The Residence Inn sits a stone's throw from the little main street, and provides covered parking, but only for one car. Any additional cars per room will have to find parking on the street, although in our case, when we inquired about the second car, we were given an additional parking garage pass. Perhaps this may have been due to occupancy levels and we were just merely lucky. This property has a guest laundry room, a fitness room and a pool. It also has an on-site full service restaurant and bar that is owned by another entity, but is used by the Residence Inn in the mornings for the buffet breakfast, which was as good as it gets for the brand. The lovely thing about the restaurant is that there are many tables both inside and outside that overlook the shore.
View of lobby (and restaurant to the left) from the mezzanine.
Beach side of property and entrance to the on-site restaurant from the boardwalk.
We ended up with a great ocean facing room right on the boardwalk and overlooking the ocean. We set out to book the partial ocean view room that was offered on points (not sure if it included a balcony, some did, some didn't). At the time that the reservation was made, we inquired about paying extra in cash or points for an ocean front upgrade. The agent contacted the hotel, and then came back and booked the ocean front balcony room for us, complimentary. Woo hoo! A confirmed upgrade at the time of booking. It had 2 queens, and a sofa bed in the living room, so could sleep up to 6 people. The kitchen was small and linear, but contained all of the kitchen amenities that one would expect for a Residence Inn, well, except while there was a small cook top, there was no oven.
The room location was great... View from the balcony.
The Bethany Beach Boardwalk is about .4 mile long. For a longer boardwalk, Ocean City, MD sports a boardwalk in excess of 2 miles, and is only a 7 mile drive away.
Walk out the back door off of the patio of the restaurant, and you are right there on the beach boardwalk. Fantastic. Do bring your own beach blankets, chairs and umbrellas in the shoulder/off-season, as the hotel doesn't provide them, although there is a rental company on site, but only through the summer season. There are also a number of shops that would be only happy to sell these items.
The weather was comfortable and we were happy to wake up to a blue sky and sunshine.
We found a couple of really great places to eat, notably the Cottage Cafe, within walking distance and also The Penguin, located right on the little Main Street... The Cottage Cafe had THE BEST crab cakes, in fact all of the food coming out of the kitchen looked yummy. Penguin's makes killer fish tacos.
Bethany Beach is a wonderful place to visit, and we highly recommend the Residence Inn Bethany Beach.
*Note: Last November I did have the opportunity to visit Ocean City, MD, along with a trip to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands to see the wild Chincoteague Ponies. A stay was made at a new Fairfield Inn & Suites there, which was perfect: new property, very low off season rates, complimentary breakfast, 100 yards from the beach and boardwalk, upgrades to high floor balcony with ocean view and fortunately for November, sunshine and blue skies. While there, I had an opportunity to drive up to Bethany Beach and preview the Residence Inn.
Sunrise - Ocean City, MD
Ocean City Boardwalk
Chincoteague Wild Ponies