Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Katrina

Photo credit: Aloft Ocean City

The Maryland beach town of Ocean City is a classic, nostalgia-packed destination. It has 10 miles of free beaches, an old-school boardwalk, a small amusement park and a wealth of seaside delicacies, including local crab cake. This family-friendly vacation mecca offers a range of lodging options, too, from traditional inns to brand name resorts. Keep in mind that coming to Ocean City during the summer can mean higher rates and minimum stay requirements. Here are five great hotels in Ocean City near the beach and the endless summer fun.

Princess Royale (9100 Coastal Hwy.; 410-524-7777) North Ocean City

This high-rise hotel sits right on the sand. It has a spa and an indoor Olympic-sized pool for all-season fun. Its aesthetics, though, are sometimes polarizing. “The Princess looks like it got stuck in the 1980s with its teal and pink color scheme and mirrored corridor ceilings—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” says Frommers. “Rooms come with a pullout sofa and kitchenette. And their downright beautiful pool atrium is an answer to a family’s prayer on a rainy day.” A Google reviewer is less impressed: “It was good, but not great. The hotel lobby looks very nice, but as soon as you get off the elevator to head to your room the colors change from pleasant and clean to shabby. But the pool was great—the kids loved it—and I really like that it’s open ’til 10pm. And the distance to the beach was perfect.” >> Book this hotel for less

Carousel Hotel (11700 Coastal Hwy.; 410-524-1000) North Ocean City

This oceanfront classic, first opened in 1962, is a crowd-pleaser. It has easy beach access, a patio known for live music, and a family-magnet ice rink. “The Carousel Resort is as famous for its ice-skating rink as for its oceanfront location,” says USA Today, while Frommers adds that the place is so family-friendly, “don’t even THINK about coming here if it’s your honeymoon.” Kids will also love the indoor pool, arcade, and kids-club activities. “Great for kids,” agrees a Tripadvisor user, “so you hardly have to leave the property. We had a blast. Just know that ‘standard view’ means you can see the ocean but you’re not ocean front.” >> Book this hotel for less

Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suites (3200 Baltimore Ave.; 410-289-6444) Oceanfront

This 225-room, all-suites hotel is the only hotel in Ocean City to earn AAA’s Four Diamond designation. Suites comes with separate living and sleeping areas, an in-room jacuzzi tub, full kitchens, and access to three pools. Frommers calls it a leap above the usual Ocean City accommodations. Most rooms are oceanfront; terrace suites have a hot tub on the balcony.” The hotel has earned repeat guests, too. “We have been going to this hotel for years,” says one Tripadvisor user. “Love the pool and poolside rooms. Breakfast is great! The hotel sells Speed World and waterpark passes at a discounted price, be sure to take advantage of that if visiting the parks.” >> Book this hotel for less

Grand Hotel (2100 Baltimore Ave.; 800-447-6779) Oceanfront

This 251-room hotel sits at the quieter, north end of the strip, but has easy access to boardwalk fun. USA Today says the hotel “offers a comprehensive approach to an Ocean City vacation, and is just steps away from the beaches.” On Google, one reviewer wishes for a few upgrades, but loves the overall experience: “We slept with the patio door open so we could listen to the waves all night… The hotel restaurant served delicious food, the bar was cozy, and the ice cream parlor will get you in trouble if you are watching your weight. The entire experience was a little pricey, but all in all it was an awesome experience.” >> Book this hotel for less

Aloft Ocean City (4501 Coastal Hwy.; 443-373-0800) Bayside

Part of Marriott’s boutique-hotel brand, this new property instantly became one of the nicest hotels in Ocean City. Facing the city’sIsle of Wight Bay, and is about a five-minute walk to the beach. Even though it’s three miles from the boardwalk, the hotel’s two pools, plus a bar with live music, make it feel like its own scene. One Tripadvisor user raves that the hotel is “newer and well kept,” though noted that it wasn’t ideal if you wanted a lot of room at the beach. “There is a little beach area—very little.” One Google reviewer loves the dog-friendliness. “Ocean view was worth the price! Just sitting on the balcony with the fur baby watching the other fur babies was so peacefully scenic and calm.” >> Book this hotel for less