The best hotels in Wildwood, New Jersey



Slide 1 of 8: When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.Wildwood is a beach town on a barrier island in southern New Jersey, part of an area known as "The Wildwoods."Known for a lively boardwalk, white-sand beach, and affordable midcentury modern hotels and motels, the Wildwood area attracts families year-round.Others are catching on too: three hotels were named to Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice Awards for the top 25 family hotels in the US, and according to Booking.com, it's rising in popularity year over year.I'm a regular visitor and curated the following list of hotels based on my experience, and those with desirable locations, amenities, affordable prices, and reassuring COVID-19 policies.Read more: Is travel safe? We interviewed experts on risks associated with flying, booking hotels or Airbnbs, renting cars, and more, plus ideas on safe vacations during COVID-19.Near the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, Wildwood has been attracting East Coasters looking for a relaxing beach escape since the late 1800s. Loyalists return each year for the wide white-sand beach, lively boardwalk loaded with amusement rides and restaurants, and affordable midcentury modern hotels and motels. I would know, I'm one of them. My family loves to spend time here, and once you arrive, you'll easily see why.The main town is Wildwood, but the whole barrier island is sometimes referred to as "The Wildwoods," since it's made up of a group of beach communities with the word "Wildwood" in the name. The 1950's was Wildwood's heyday and you can still see the architectural evidence of that era in Wildwood's well-preserved "Doo Wop" design (the town is so committed to maintaining its funky vibe that it has an official Doo Wop Preservation League). These days, Wildwood seems to be having another moment. Three properties in the area made it onto Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice Awards of the top 25 family hotels in the US for 2020. And according to Booking.com, Wildwood Crest is one of the lesser-known US destinations that has risen in popularity year over year.It's also very affordable. You can easily find lodgings for under $150 per night, even in the high season. And while summer is the peak, fall is just as appealing. The crowds clear out and prices drop even lower. While a fall visit to Wildwood offers plenty of opportunities to socially distance and take in the fresh ocean air, it's important to always consider the risks of traveling during a pandemic and staying in hotels. Without a vaccine, there is no guarantee of safety. Additionally, you should check the official New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub for state-specific information about safety procedures and COVID-19 restrictions — especially if you are from out of state, as New Jersey currently requires a quarantine from many parts of the country. We also recommend following guidelines from the CDC and WHO and wearing a mask, washing your hands, and practicing safe social distancing. If you feel comfortable after evaluating the risks, I've curated a list of the top hotels based on my personal knowledge of Wildwood, as well as a somewhat-scientific mix of factors, including ratings and reviews of guest satisfaction, design sensibility, location, amenities, and overall reputation on trusted travel sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com.I also looked critically at amenities. Every hotel needed to have a pool (because what's a beach vacation without a pool, even if you're going in the off-season), either a well-regarded on-site restaurant or in-room kitchenette facilities, as well as a central location near the action or in a setting that would make the distance from the boardwalk and restaurants worth the drive or bike ride.Next, I made sure each hotel was evocative of the local feel (note that this translates to no-frills design in many cases) and that recent guests approved of their sanitization procedures and COVID-19 protocols (meaning, they needed to be clean!). Lastly, I considered affordability and only selected properties with off-season rates starting under $145 per night. Just remember: it's the beach, and most hotels here don't scream modern luxury. To certain travelers, they'll seem downright dated. But what they lack in sleek threads, they make up for with ample character and charm. However, if five-star lodgings or ritzy resorts are what you seek, you're better off looking elsewhere entirely. Wildwood is a ticket to another era, one that's laid back, relaxed, and doesn't take itself too seriously.For more ideas on East Coast travel, click below to jump directly to related coverage:The best Airbnbs on the Jersey ShoreThe best hotels in Ocean City, MarylandThe best hotels in NewportThe best hotels on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and NantucketThe best hotels in Myrtle BeachThese are the best hotels in Wildwood, sorted by price from low to high.Read the original article on Business Insider
Slide 2 of 8: Book Adventurer Oceanfront Inn starting at $60 per nightLocated right on the beach, the Adventurer Oceanfront Inn is one of the larger properties in the area with 113 rooms ranging in size from one-bedroom Motel Rooms to four-room Suites that cater to families traveling together or large groups. All but six rooms have kitchens with a microwave, stove, and full fridge.The Adventurer was built in the 1970s and while it has been updated over the years, it still has a Brady Bunch-era design flair with tweed couches and metallic wallpaper. Luckily, the old floral bedspread are gone, in favor of crisp white duvets.In 2019, the hotel was named one of the "Best Hotels for Families in the US" as part of Trip Advisor's Travelers Choice Awards, and here's the reason why: It has been owned by the same family since 1982, and 90% of guests are regulars, giving the place a Cheers-like atmosphere, where the owners and everybody else probably knows your name.When it comes to amenities, there's plenty on offer, from the oceanfront Pancake House (you know what's on the menu), to a large heated pool and separate kids' pool. The hotel is located right at the beginning of the boardwalk and a few blocks away is one of my favorite spots in the area: The famous Wildwoods Beach Ball installation. With its giant colorful balls and iconic signage, it's the ultimate Instagram photo op.Trip Advisor Ranking: 10 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood CrestBooking.com Rating: 9.6 out of 10Pros: The Adventurer provides great bang for your buck and with so many rooms, there's usually plenty of availability, no matter the season.Cons: Guests complain about the dated furniture and the slow elevators, which can make staying on one of the upper floors a hassle. COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open and has new policies in place, including: Guests and staff are required to wear masks in public spaces.Hand sanitizing stations are located at every entrance and exit.The property has elevated cleaning protocols to include the thorough cleaning of all high-touch points and surfaces.An electrostatic sprayer is used to do daily sanitizing of the public areas, including the pool surfaces, stairwells, laundry, business center, and restrooms.See more info here.
Slide 3 of 8: Book Starlux Hotel & Suites starting at $79 per nightEven when I'm not staying at the retro Starlux Hotel, it puts a smile on my face just to drive by. From the colorful atomic-era logo — which is emblazoned on the building and lights up at night in neon — to the space-age architecture, this place exudes fun. The grounds are loaded with kitschy elements like giant sea creatures, swaying plastic palm trees, and even a faux sand dune. The Starlux is a member of the Morey Resorts group (which also owns the amusement park), pretty much guaranteeing a good time. In the living area, you'll find butterfly chairs centered around a midcentury wood-burning fireplace and lots of board games — ideal for a rainy day. The property has its own 27-hole mini-golf course, a fire pit, a hot tub, and an on-site ice-cream shop run by Kohr Brothers, a 101-year-old local institution that's famous for its frozen custard.  Rooms range from a Standard with two Queen beds to a Two-Bedroom Suite with three Queen beds. I love the fact that the funky vibe of the public spaces continues right into the rooms, which are decorated with vintage-style lamps and colorful retro wallpaper. Any hotel that has a lava lamp next to every bed gets high marks in my book.Trip Advisor Ranking: 5 out of 77 hotels in Wildwood Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10 Pros: The Starlux is just a stone's throw from the Wildwood boardwalk and the beach. Its funky design sets the tone for a retro vacation and plenty of colorful shots to fill your Instagram feed. Cons: Some guests complain that the smallest rooms are a bit too small and that the rooms — especially the bathrooms — could use a little updating.COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open and has new policies in place, including: Rooms are thoroughly disinfected prior to each stay, with additional attention to high-touch items.Breakfast buffets have been eliminated.Pool area lounge chairs have been reduced and spaced out.See more info here.
Slide 4 of 8: Book Port Royal Hotel starting at $84 per nightOne of the most upscale hotels in the area, the Port Royal is right across from the beach and a breath of fresh air in the heart of Wildwood Crest. The property was recently renovated and it shows. It has a nautical-chic style that's straight out of a design showroom, with rope-covered columns, sisal carpets, walls covered in vintage-style maps, and colorful ship flags everywhere. When my family and I stayed here, we booked a Deluxe Ocean Suite, which is ideal for families. My daughter loved hiding out in the little nook with a bunk bed, while we got our own bedroom with a King bed and a private balcony. There was also a separate living area with a full kitchen, a pull-out couch, a dining area, and another balcony with a great view of the beach. In fact, all of the accommodations have private balconies, even the Basic Room with a King bed. The rooms are done up in shades of blue and cream to coordinate with the amazing views of the ocean outside. There's also plenty to do on the property, including a game room for kids, multiple pools, and a restaurant called the Royal Grille with outdoor dining. And of course, there's that stunning beach just steps away.Trip Advisor Ranking: 6 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood CrestBooking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10Pros: The Port Royal is by far the most stylish game in town, set right across from the beach and offering tons of perks, like access to the Laguna Oaks golf course plus free golf carts.Cons: The staff is slightly aloof, according to some guests, who complain about long waits for food and help in the reception area. COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open with new policies in place, including: Disinfection of all guest rooms prior to each stay using hydrostatic fumigating technology and effective products, with additional attention to high-touch items.Staffers will be screened prior to work for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who feels sick will be required to stay at home.The hotel encourages social distancing measures among all guests and staff and provides Plexiglass barriers where social distancing is not possible.Restaurants will offer take-out and, when permitted, will serve in dining rooms with appropriately separated tables. See more info here.

Slide 5 of 8: Book Armada By-the-Sea starting at $91 per nightArmada By-the-Sea was named one of the "Best Hotels for Families in the US" in Trip Advisor's 2020 Travelers Choice Awards, with fans saying that staying here feels like a "welcome home." The hotel has been family-owned since it was built in 1973. I love the fact that the property has such a feeling of openness and space. It sprawls across an entire city block right on the ocean, and has multiple sun decks for soaking up rays and views. There's a heated, Olympic-sized pool that overlooks the water, with an adjacent kiddie pool, and right next door is Centennial Park. My daughter loved running around there and enjoying the COVID-friendly open spaces.The public areas at Armada By-the-Sea have a beachy decor, with rattan furniture and rugs with wave designs. The accommodations are generously sized, and even the smallest Motel Room, at 262 square feet, has a Queen bed, sofa bed, and a fridge and microwave. The hotel recently updated many rooms, adding neutral flooring and bathrooms, but best of all: every room overlooks the ocean and comes with a neutral color scheme that doesn't distract from the spectacular views outside.Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood CrestBooking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10 Pros: Guests appreciate all the wide-open spaces and family-friendly nature. The hotel also gets high marks for its thoughtful amenities, such as an assortment of pillow types.Cons: The hotel is a bit isolated, as it's 12 blocks from the start of the boardwalk, but some guests prefer it that way and enjoy being in quieter Wildwood Crest. COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open and has new policies in place, including: The hotel has instituted a number of measures to ensure a safe stay, including a seamless remote check-in process as well as a contact-free check-out. Room keys and other high-touch items throughout the hotel are sanitized.The hotel asks guests to comply with the CDC's recommendations for good health and prevention, including washing hands frequently and wearing face masks.See more info here.
Slide 6 of 8: Book the Blue Palms Resort starting at $99 per nightJust across the street from the beach in the center of Wildwood, the Blue Palms is another member of the Morey Resorts group. Count on a fun stay with fire pits, BBQ grills, and a big heated pool. What has always impressed me about the Blue Palms though, is that the hotel thoroughly embraces its name with a relaxing aquamarine palette and fake blue palm trees that line the perimeter of the property. Naturally, there's a beachy turquoise color scheme in the rooms, which are either set in the main resort or in the neighboring Boardwalk Bungalow, which has cozy rooms (read: small). Some of the rooms have a fanciful mural of the word "Wildwood" above the beds. Even the most basic accommodation (a King Room) has at least one 32" flat-screen TV, a microwave, and a small fridge.There are also plenty of perks to staying here. Guests are given discount coupons to play the mini-golf course at its nearby sister hotel, the Starlux, and can also use the hot tub there. Like other Morey Resorts properties, there's a play-and-stay deal for discounted rides and tramcar access. In fact, there are so many freebies that it makes an already cheap stay even cheaper. Think: free coffee and muffins every morning, free bikes to explore the area, free beach chairs, and free boogie boards for riding the waves on the nearby beach.Trip Advisor Ranking: 8 out of 77 hotels in Wildwood Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10Pros: The hotel is popular with repeat guests, who come back for the proximity to the boardwalk and rave about the cleanliness of the rooms. Another hallmark of the hotel is its friendly staff.Cons: Not every room here has a great view. Several guests on Trip Advisor complained about looking out on a wall, so be sure to ask about your view when you're making a reservation. COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has new policies in place, including: Guest rooms are thoroughly disinfected prior to each stay, with additional attention to high-touch items.Breakfast buffets have been eliminated.The hotel encourages social distancing measures among all guests and staff and provides Plexiglass barriers where social distancing is not possible.See more info here.
Slide 7 of 8: Book Aloha Oceanfront Motel starting at $105 per nightAnother property on the list of "Best Hotels for Families in the US" in Trip Advisor's 2020 Travelers Choice Awards, the Aloha Oceanfront Motel is a property where every room has a view of the ocean.While the design is fairly simple, with old-fashioned floral and geometric bedspreads, plain white furniture, and gray wall-to-wall carpeting, you don't need much when you see what's waiting out the floor-to-ceiling windows: a wide stretch of Wildwood beach. Set at the tip of North Wildwood about as far north as you can get on this island, the hotel feels like a true getaway. Walk right out of the hotel and onto the beach, or check out the two pools (one for kids and one for adults), with southern exposure and all-day sun.Not that you want to stray from that open-air setting, but there's also a retro coffee shop attached with affordable food, and a game room.Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 68 hotels in North Wildwood Hotels.com Rating: 9.6 out of 10Pros: The hotel has a number of repeat guests, who return year after year for the views, the beach access, and the professional and welcoming staff.Cons: The room design could use a little updating and some may find it quite dated.COVID-19 procedures: This hotel hasn't outlined its new COVID policies online, but hotel guests say in Trip Advisor reviews that the rooms are "spacious and spotless" and "immaculate," plus they point out that "with the COVID situation they sanitized all contact areas more than adequately."
Slide 8 of 8: Book the Caribbean Motel starting at $145 per nightFew properties in Wildwood celebrate their roots quite like the Caribbean Motel, and if you ask me, it's got the best neon sign in the area, with sweeping letters. It's instantly recognizable and has been included in many design books.Other iconic design details include a curved staircase that seems to float in the air and a crescent-shaped pool. It's no surprise that the Caribbean has been listed as both a state and national historic landmark, and a fun fact: It's the first motel ever listed with Historic Hotels of America.Rooms are small but keep with the go-go vibe, with lots of green walls, leopard stools, and striped bedspreads. Staying here, I felt like I entered into a time warp and showed up on a set of "Austin Powers." In fact, the entire property is loaded with design elements like space-age lamps to atomic-era tables, and it's particularly atmospheric at night with so much neon lit up.You can't help but fall in love with the swinging '60s music playing in the public spaces (it can also be piped into your room, if you want). The hotel hosts guest chefs, who do barbecues and special events like wings night, and there's shuffleboard, too.Trip Advisor Ranking: 30 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood CrestBooking.com Rating: 9.6 out of 10Pros: Guests love the nostalgic atmosphere that is a flashback to the Wildwood of the past. They also love the amenities, like coffeemakers in the rooms and coffee served every morning at the front desk. And the hotel's cleanliness gets high marks.Cons: Guests complain about the parking: The spaces are tight, and it can be challenging to find a spot if the motel is full.COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has new policies in place, including: The property offers contactless check-in; guests go directly to their room, where they find freshly sanitized room keys.The housecleaning staff cleans and sanitizes all surfaces prior to check-in and every other day, using anti-viral disinfectants that meet EPA standards.The hotel asks guests to bring and wear face masks outside their rooms.See more info here.

The best hotels in Wildwood, New Jersey

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Near the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, Wildwood has been attracting East Coasters looking for a relaxing beach escape since the late 1800s. Loyalists return each year for the wide white-sand beach, lively boardwalk loaded with amusement rides and restaurants, and affordable midcentury modern hotels and motels. I would know, I’m one of them. My family loves to spend time here, and once you arrive, you’ll easily see why.

The main town is Wildwood, but the whole barrier island is sometimes referred to as “The Wildwoods,” since it’s made up of a group of beach communities with the word “Wildwood” in the name. 

The 1950’s was Wildwood’s heyday and you can still see the architectural evidence of that era in Wildwood’s well-preserved “Doo Wop” design (the town is so committed to maintaining its funky vibe that it has an official Doo Wop Preservation League). 

These days, Wildwood seems to be having another moment. Three properties in the area made it onto Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards of the top 25 family hotels in the US for 2020. And according to Booking.com, Wildwood Crest is one of the lesser-known US destinations that has risen in popularity year over year.

It’s also very affordable. You can easily find lodgings for under $150 per night, even in the high season. And while summer is the peak, fall is just as appealing. The crowds clear out and prices drop even lower. 

While a fall visit to Wildwood offers plenty of opportunities to socially distance and take in the fresh ocean air, it’s important to always consider the risks of traveling during a pandemic and staying in hotels. Without a vaccine, there is no guarantee of safety. Additionally, you should check the official New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub for state-specific information about safety procedures and COVID-19 restrictions — especially if you are from out of state, as New Jersey currently requires a quarantine from many parts of the country. We also recommend following guidelines from the CDC and WHO and wearing a mask, washing your hands, and practicing safe social distancing. 

If you feel comfortable after evaluating the risks, I’ve curated a list of the top hotels based on my personal knowledge of Wildwood, as well as a somewhat-scientific mix of factors, including ratings and reviews of guest satisfaction, design sensibility, location, amenities, and overall reputation on trusted travel sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com.

I also looked critically at amenities. Every hotel needed to have a pool (because what’s a beach vacation without a pool, even if you’re going in the off-season), either a well-regarded on-site restaurant or in-room kitchenette facilities, as well as a central location near the action or in a setting that would make the distance from the boardwalk and restaurants worth the drive or bike ride.

Next, I made sure each hotel was evocative of the local feel (note that this translates to no-frills design in many cases) and that recent guests approved of their sanitization procedures and COVID-19 protocols (meaning, they needed to be clean!). Lastly, I considered affordability and only selected properties with off-season rates starting under $145 per night.

Just remember: it’s the beach, and most hotels here don’t scream modern luxury. To certain travelers, they’ll seem downright dated. But what they lack in sleek threads, they make up for with ample character and charm. However, if five-star lodgings or ritzy resorts are what you seek, you’re better off looking elsewhere entirely. Wildwood is a ticket to another era, one that’s laid back, relaxed, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

For more ideas on East Coast travel, click below to jump directly to related coverage:

These are the best hotels in Wildwood, sorted by price from low to high.

Adventurer Oceanfront Inn – Wildwood Crest

Book Adventurer Oceanfront Inn starting at $60 per night

Located right on the beach, the Adventurer Oceanfront Inn is one of the larger properties in the area with 113 rooms ranging in size from one-bedroom Motel Rooms to four-room Suites that cater to families traveling together or large groups. All but six rooms have kitchens with a microwave, stove, and full fridge.

The Adventurer was built in the 1970s and while it has been updated over the years, it still has a Brady Bunch-era design flair with tweed couches and metallic wallpaper. Luckily, the old floral bedspread are gone, in favor of crisp white duvets.

In 2019, the hotel was named one of the “Best Hotels for Families in the US” as part of Trip Advisor’s Travelers Choice Awards, and here’s the reason why: It has been owned by the same family since 1982, and 90% of guests are regulars, giving the place a Cheers-like atmosphere, where the owners and everybody else probably knows your name.

When it comes to amenities, there’s plenty on offer, from the oceanfront Pancake House (you know what’s on the menu), to a large heated pool and separate kids’ pool. The hotel is located right at the beginning of the boardwalk and a few blocks away is one of my favorite spots in the area: The famous Wildwoods Beach Ball installation. With its giant colorful balls and iconic signage, it’s the ultimate Instagram photo op.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 10 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood Crest

Booking.com Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Pros: The Adventurer provides great bang for your buck and with so many rooms, there’s usually plenty of availability, no matter the season.

Cons: Guests complain about the dated furniture and the slow elevators, which can make staying on one of the upper floors a hassle. 

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open and has new policies in place, including: 

  • Guests and staff are required to wear masks in public spaces.
  • Hand sanitizing stations are located at every entrance and exit.
  • The property has elevated cleaning protocols to include the thorough cleaning of all high-touch points and surfaces.
  • An electrostatic sprayer is used to do daily sanitizing of the public areas, including the pool surfaces, stairwells, laundry, business center, and restrooms.
  • See more info here.

Starlux Hotel & Suites – Wildwood

Book Starlux Hotel & Suites starting at $79 per night

Even when I’m not staying at the retro Starlux Hotel, it puts a smile on my face just to drive by. From the colorful atomic-era logo — which is emblazoned on the building and lights up at night in neon — to the space-age architecture, this place exudes fun. The grounds are loaded with kitschy elements like giant sea creatures, swaying plastic palm trees, and even a faux sand dune. 

The Starlux is a member of the Morey Resorts group (which also owns the amusement park), pretty much guaranteeing a good time. In the living area, you’ll find butterfly chairs centered around a midcentury wood-burning fireplace and lots of board games — ideal for a rainy day. The property has its own 27-hole mini-golf course, a fire pit, a hot tub, and an on-site ice-cream shop run by Kohr Brothers, a 101-year-old local institution that’s famous for its frozen custard.  

Rooms range from a Standard with two Queen beds to a Two-Bedroom Suite with three Queen beds. I love the fact that the funky vibe of the public spaces continues right into the rooms, which are decorated with vintage-style lamps and colorful retro wallpaper. Any hotel that has a lava lamp next to every bed gets high marks in my book.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 5 out of 77 hotels in Wildwood 

Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10 

Pros: The Starlux is just a stone’s throw from the Wildwood boardwalk and the beach. Its funky design sets the tone for a retro vacation and plenty of colorful shots to fill your Instagram feed. 

Cons: Some guests complain that the smallest rooms are a bit too small and that the rooms — especially the bathrooms — could use a little updating.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open and has new policies in place, including: 

  • Rooms are thoroughly disinfected prior to each stay, with additional attention to high-touch items.
  • Breakfast buffets have been eliminated.
  • Pool area lounge chairs have been reduced and spaced out.
  • See more info here.

Port Royal Hotel – Wildwood Crest

Book Port Royal Hotel starting at $84 per night

One of the most upscale hotels in the area, the Port Royal is right across from the beach and a breath of fresh air in the heart of Wildwood Crest. The property was recently renovated and it shows. It has a nautical-chic style that’s straight out of a design showroom, with rope-covered columns, sisal carpets, walls covered in vintage-style maps, and colorful ship flags everywhere. 

When my family and I stayed here, we booked a Deluxe Ocean Suite, which is ideal for families. My daughter loved hiding out in the little nook with a bunk bed, while we got our own bedroom with a King bed and a private balcony. There was also a separate living area with a full kitchen, a pull-out couch, a dining area, and another balcony with a great view of the beach. In fact, all of the accommodations have private balconies, even the Basic Room with a King bed. The rooms are done up in shades of blue and cream to coordinate with the amazing views of the ocean outside. 

There’s also plenty to do on the property, including a game room for kids, multiple pools, and a restaurant called the Royal Grille with outdoor dining. And of course, there’s that stunning beach just steps away.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 6 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood Crest

Booking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10

Pros: The Port Royal is by far the most stylish game in town, set right across from the beach and offering tons of perks, like access to the Laguna Oaks golf course plus free golf carts.

Cons: The staff is slightly aloof, according to some guests, who complain about long waits for food and help in the reception area. 

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open with new policies in place, including: 

  • Disinfection of all guest rooms prior to each stay using hydrostatic fumigating technology and effective products, with additional attention to high-touch items.
  • Staffers will be screened prior to work for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who feels sick will be required to stay at home.
  • The hotel encourages social distancing measures among all guests and staff and provides Plexiglass barriers where social distancing is not possible.
  • Restaurants will offer take-out and, when permitted, will serve in dining rooms with appropriately separated tables. 
  • See more info here.

Armada By-the-Sea – Wildwood Crest

Book Armada By-the-Sea starting at $91 per night

Armada By-the-Sea was named one of the “Best Hotels for Families in the US” in Trip Advisor’s 2020 Travelers Choice Awards, with fans saying that staying here feels like a “welcome home.” The hotel has been family-owned since it was built in 1973. 

I love the fact that the property has such a feeling of openness and space. It sprawls across an entire city block right on the ocean, and has multiple sun decks for soaking up rays and views. There’s a heated, Olympic-sized pool that overlooks the water, with an adjacent kiddie pool, and right next door is Centennial Park. My daughter loved running around there and enjoying the COVID-friendly open spaces.

The public areas at Armada By-the-Sea have a beachy decor, with rattan furniture and rugs with wave designs. The accommodations are generously sized, and even the smallest Motel Room, at 262 square feet, has a Queen bed, sofa bed, and a fridge and microwave. The hotel recently updated many rooms, adding neutral flooring and bathrooms, but best of all: every room overlooks the ocean and comes with a neutral color scheme that doesn’t distract from the spectacular views outside.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood Crest

Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10 

Pros: Guests appreciate all the wide-open spaces and family-friendly nature. The hotel also gets high marks for its thoughtful amenities, such as an assortment of pillow types.

Cons: The hotel is a bit isolated, as it’s 12 blocks from the start of the boardwalk, but some guests prefer it that way and enjoy being in quieter Wildwood Crest. 

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is open and has new policies in place, including: 

  • The hotel has instituted a number of measures to ensure a safe stay, including a seamless remote check-in process as well as a contact-free check-out. 
  • Room keys and other high-touch items throughout the hotel are sanitized.
  • The hotel asks guests to comply with the CDC’s recommendations for good health and prevention, including washing hands frequently and wearing face masks.
  • See more info here.

Blue Palms Resort – Wildwood

Book the Blue Palms Resort starting at $99 per night

Just across the street from the beach in the center of Wildwood, the Blue Palms is another member of the Morey Resorts group. Count on a fun stay with fire pits, BBQ grills, and a big heated pool. What has always impressed me about the Blue Palms though, is that the hotel thoroughly embraces its name with a relaxing aquamarine palette and fake blue palm trees that line the perimeter of the property. 

Naturally, there’s a beachy turquoise color scheme in the rooms, which are either set in the main resort or in the neighboring Boardwalk Bungalow, which has cozy rooms (read: small). Some of the rooms have a fanciful mural of the word “Wildwood” above the beds. Even the most basic accommodation (a King Room) has at least one 32″ flat-screen TV, a microwave, and a small fridge.

There are also plenty of perks to staying here. Guests are given discount coupons to play the mini-golf course at its nearby sister hotel, the Starlux, and can also use the hot tub there. Like other Morey Resorts properties, there’s a play-and-stay deal for discounted rides and tramcar access. In fact, there are so many freebies that it makes an already cheap stay even cheaper. Think: free coffee and muffins every morning, free bikes to explore the area, free beach chairs, and free boogie boards for riding the waves on the nearby beach.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 8 out of 77 hotels in Wildwood 

Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Pros: The hotel is popular with repeat guests, who come back for the proximity to the boardwalk and rave about the cleanliness of the rooms. Another hallmark of the hotel is its friendly staff.

Cons: Not every room here has a great view. Several guests on Trip Advisor complained about looking out on a wall, so be sure to ask about your view when you’re making a reservation. 

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has new policies in place, including: 

  • Guest rooms are thoroughly disinfected prior to each stay, with additional attention to high-touch items.
  • Breakfast buffets have been eliminated.
  • The hotel encourages social distancing measures among all guests and staff and provides Plexiglass barriers where social distancing is not possible.
  • See more info here.

Aloha Oceanfront Motel – North Wildwood

Book Aloha Oceanfront Motel starting at $105 per night

Another property on the list of “Best Hotels for Families in the US” in Trip Advisor’s 2020 Travelers Choice Awards, the Aloha Oceanfront Motel is a property where every room has a view of the ocean.

While the design is fairly simple, with old-fashioned floral and geometric bedspreads, plain white furniture, and gray wall-to-wall carpeting, you don’t need much when you see what’s waiting out the floor-to-ceiling windows: a wide stretch of Wildwood beach. 

Set at the tip of North Wildwood about as far north as you can get on this island, the hotel feels like a true getaway. Walk right out of the hotel and onto the beach, or check out the two pools (one for kids and one for adults), with southern exposure and all-day sun.

Not that you want to stray from that open-air setting, but there’s also a retro coffee shop attached with affordable food, and a game room.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 68 hotels in North Wildwood 

Hotels.com Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Pros: The hotel has a number of repeat guests, who return year after year for the views, the beach access, and the professional and welcoming staff.

Cons: The room design could use a little updating and some may find it quite dated.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel hasn’t outlined its new COVID policies online, but hotel guests say in Trip Advisor reviews that the rooms are “spacious and spotless” and “immaculate,” plus they point out that “with the COVID situation they sanitized all contact areas more than adequately.”

Caribbean Motel – Wildwood Crest

Book the Caribbean Motel starting at $145 per night

Few properties in Wildwood celebrate their roots quite like the Caribbean Motel, and if you ask me, it’s got the best neon sign in the area, with sweeping letters. It’s instantly recognizable and has been included in many design books.

Other iconic design details include a curved staircase that seems to float in the air and a crescent-shaped pool. It’s no surprise that the Caribbean has been listed as both a state and national historic landmark, and a fun fact: It’s the first motel ever listed with Historic Hotels of America.

Rooms are small but keep with the go-go vibe, with lots of green walls, leopard stools, and striped bedspreads. Staying here, I felt like I entered into a time warp and showed up on a set of “Austin Powers.” In fact, the entire property is loaded with design elements like space-age lamps to atomic-era tables, and it’s particularly atmospheric at night with so much neon lit up.

You can’t help but fall in love with the swinging ’60s music playing in the public spaces (it can also be piped into your room, if you want). The hotel hosts guest chefs, who do barbecues and special events like wings night, and there’s shuffleboard, too.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 30 out of 68 hotels in Wildwood Crest

Booking.com Rating: 9.6 out of 10

Pros: Guests love the nostalgic atmosphere that is a flashback to the Wildwood of the past. They also love the amenities, like coffeemakers in the rooms and coffee served every morning at the front desk. And the hotel’s cleanliness gets high marks.

Cons: Guests complain about the parking: The spaces are tight, and it can be challenging to find a spot if the motel is full.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has new policies in place, including: 

  • The property offers contactless check-in; guests go directly to their room, where they find freshly sanitized room keys.
  • The housecleaning staff cleans and sanitizes all surfaces prior to check-in and every other day, using anti-viral disinfectants that meet EPA standards.
  • The hotel asks guests to bring and wear face masks outside their rooms.
  • See more info here.

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