Why we love….
The Carousel Oceanfront Hotel
Having been a beach girl all my life, I have been to beaches up and down the east coast. Seriously, I have been to over a dozen well-known beaches on the East Coast in my 40 years of life. However, there is nowhere I have visited more often, nor love more, than Ocean City, Maryland! Since moving to Maryland in 1999, my family and I have made it a point to drive to the shore every summer for some much needed rest and relaxation.
In my almost 20 years of beaching it in Ocean City, we have stayed everywhere! Young at heart and in my early twenties, my husband and I stayed mostly at the motels near the boardwalk, swimming via twilight as the cars sped by on Coastal Highway. In our mid-twenties, having dual income and no kids, my husband and I were able to splurge on a condo for a week in one of those fancy high rises. As we began to have kids, money was tighter and I’d rather not say where we had to our heads at night! However, as the kids got older (now 10, 12 and 14), we had to find a place that met everyone’s needs. The boy wanted Wi-Fi, the girls wanted a cool pool (or two!). My husband and I wanted to be right on the ocean so we didn’t break our backs getting to the beach with our hundred pounds of beach junk! And the place we found that met all our needs and more? The Carousel – far enough away from the hustle and bustle, yet close to everything!
Top Ten Reasons We (and maybe you, too) Love the Carousel:
- Beach Movies! Who wouldn’t love to sit on the cool sand at twilight watching a movie on a giant screen anchored into the beach? Bring a blanket and snacks and snuggle with someone as you experience the weekly beach movie.
2. Ice Skating Rink IN THE HOTEL – When I first head the Carousel had an ice skating rink inside I couldn’t believe it. When you think beach vacation, you don’t think ice skating. However, when staying at the Carousel, my family and I LOVE watching the free ice shows before heading out to dinner. During the days, when the kids want to try something different, they strap on rental skates and glide around while my husband and I watch from our seats in the Atrium as we sip our afternoon ice coffee.
3. The Atrium – a beautiful, light filled room. The Atrium offers everything a family could want in a hotel/condo. A skating rink, gift shop, video game room and tons of seating are what come to mind when I visualize the Carousel’s Atrium. When my kids were younger, they loved riding up and down the glass elevator, knowing my husband and I keep our eyes on them the whole time. Now, they spend their allowance at the gift shop, play video games, or people watch with the parents!
- Proximity to the Beach – Just walk out the back door, across the path, and you are ON THE BEACH! We all know how much stuff we need to bring to the beach, so closer the better!
- Patio Bar/Grill/Fire Pit – Hands down the BEST chicken tenders ever. They must make them with extra love or something because they are delish! But really, you can get all kinds of food and drink at the outdoor bar. At certain time there is even a band playing. We love to enjoy a beer and a sandwich while listening to the waves and smelling the ocean air. Or, we sip cocktails around the fire pit with our besties. Paradise.
- Game Room – If you have a kid, you want things to do when a) weather is not great, and b) the kids get bored with the beach (is that possible??!!). The game room is perfect. Right off the Atrium, the game room gives just enough of a distraction to be a bored kid. Plus, it makes for a great incentive for good behavior. “Be well behaved at dinner and I’ll take you to the game room.”
- Free Family Photos – Family Photos are sparse in our family. It’s rare that we all make it into one picture as one of us is usually taking the photo! SO, it’s an extra special touch when I stay at the Carousel and a free family photo is included. Complete with a beachy backdrop and fun props, my family gets to take home a souvenir family photo to remember our vacation.
- Indoor and Outdoor Pools (not to mention, a hot tub!) – It’s nice to have an option when it comes to pools. I prefer the outdoor one, where I can bask in the sun and smell the ocean air. However, after a hot day on the beach, or on a cloudy day, it’s nice to be able to swim inside. Plus, the indoor pool is HUGE! But the best touch? Mermaids in the pool!
- A great place to stay with friends and family – I like vacationing with friends and family, but I do NOT want to share a condo with them! Having friends and family get their own room at the Carousel works great for us! There are plenty of places to meet without them being too close for comfort!
10. Mini-fridges and Microwaves – The condos, of course, have full kitchens but I love that the rooms all have mini-fridges and microwaves. I LOVE being able to put leftovers in the mini-fridge and pop popcorn in the microwave for the kids. Nice touch, Carousel!
Carousel – we can’t wait to stay with you again this summer!
Robin Varhaftik, travel writer