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“Great place with some issues” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Port-O-Call Hotel

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Port-O-Call Hotel
Ranked #3 of 32 Hotels in Ocean City
Certificate of Excellence
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great place with some issues”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2010

We stay at the Port-O-Call each year immediately after Labor Day and generally we have a great vacation. Prices are still high at this time, however. We see more wear and tear each year, which is to be somewhat expected. Haven't seen the manager out and about.....the previous manager, Don B., was always talking with the guests and making sure they had a great stay.....even saw him helping older people with their suitcases, etc. He always had a smile and was readily available. The hotel (along with almost all the businesses on the boardwalk and downtown) employ foreign youth to work for the summer and into the early fall, however, they hardly speak a word of English which makes it almost impossible to ask for anything. Therefore, the regular employees have to take up their slack which certainly isn't fair to them. We usually don't eat at the restaurant for breakfast or lunch. For breakfast, try Uncle Bill's Pancake House which is just a short 5-minute or less drive from the hotel...excellent breakfasts! We still feel the Port-O-Call is a great hotel - they just need to upgrade some things. Can't beat the location.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank clschaak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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333 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2010

Positives & negatives. First, it's very clean, nice pool, great ocean front deck lounging area w/ tables/umbrellas/chaise lounges), super clean/nice lower level bathroom/shower/changing area after pool use, complimentary cookies/juice upon arrival for our child & little chocolate for us (nice touch), quick response by maintenance man over minor issue. The negatives would be that it's a bit pricey ($280 night ocean front in mid Sept), not the ideal swimming spot (no beach umbrella rentals there..etc as you find in the lower numbered street locations like 10th street beach, which means you might want to drive to a better beach spot & deal w/ parking issues instead of swimming right in front of this hotel), and finally mediocre restaurant food with terrible service. (thought it was odd that the place always seemed empty) The wait staff was unprofessional & talking loudly about tips, complaining about each room service call, and one waitress was particularly inappropriate w/ doing no work and just bragging/showing pictures of her son who is in his first year of Catholic High School which she pays "$16,000 a year for". (she sat w/ a customer and bragged about her family for our entire breakfast) So the restaurant was a total turn off. Front desk clerk Angela was super super nice 2 days in a row but the other woman (I didn't get her name) was not . So all in all, beautiful, clean place, good location, but lousy restaurant, and slightly pricey rates. If it had a better restaurant w/ friendly staff, it would have been a much better stay. By the way, the "city" side rooms are not a whole lot less than ocean front rates and we felt that ocean front was well worth spending a little more ($250 vs $280). Very nice ocean front view & sound (but new hotel policy = no screen doors on balcony so you take a chance that bugs/birds will fly in ) OH one more thing...for $280 night, internet wi fi was NOT included!! (that cost $10 more per night.... tacky)

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank peg2635
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2010

We were given this package to the Port-O-Call as an anniversary gift. Let me just start by saying this is extremely expensive. However, it is gorgeous! The only thing I don't like is that they don't let you reserve rooms. Unfortunately we got stuck on the third floor which is an okay view but no privacy. The managers are extremely snotty and un-accomodating. If you need to move rooms, forget it, if you need to cancel, forget it.

It was a little outdated in the rooms but it was GORGEOUS view of the ocean. We fell asleep with the door open all night to the ocean waves and the breeze. Beautiful weather too. It was just amazing

Housekeeping did an excellent job. They cleaned our room in the morning and they cleaned our rooms in the evening as well. They provided more than enough towels and toiletries and even offered cookies and juice.

Nicest stay we ever had, and we had two little ones with us! Would def. stay again:)

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YOUNGMAMA23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staten Island, New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2010

Clean and extremely well maintained hotel located at the end or beginning of the boardwalk depending on where your coming from. We had 2 connecting ocean front rooms that were nicely laid out and very spacious. The bathrooms were completely done up in full granite and the views of the ocean were spectacular. Both rooms had flat screen TV’s. I liked that the hotel is far enough from the main part of the boardwalk but not too far for a nice stroll to all of Ocean City’s amenities. The staff was incredible from the moment you arrive taking care of your bags and offering ice cold lemonade. The maid service was also impressive with turn down service that provided chocolates, cookies and drinks for the children (they were so surprised and happy). I have stayed at other hotels at the Jersey Shore and none of them can come close to the cleanliness and above par service that we experienced at this establishment.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Agule1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saddle Brook, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2010

I have just returned from a mini getaway with my family. We have traveled all over and always stay in 4-5 star hotels and resorts. Upon arrival to our room I was met with the prior guest's fecal matter not romoved from the inside of our toilet. i immediately called and the manager, supervisor and maid came to inspect. The answer was that the maid was new. Not accepatable. We then went to watch TV and it kept freezing. I again called down and the the repair person told me it was a comcast problem and he would have to contact them for an answer. he returned shortly with a new box. The next day some of the channels were not working. Again they could not fix the TV. The next day the maid cleaned the room but did not remove any wrappers , empty cans or bags. She did not move anything. The ocean front was nice but a motel room at best. The beach is nice but the beach in front of the hotel is a surf beach. No one is ever surfing but the lifegaurds enforce stricly and all swimmers, boogie boarders and rafts have to share a small area to the left of the hotel.Ocean City is a nice clean family beach but the Port O call is extremely overpriced for what they offer. Not alot of options but for the price could def rent a suite at one of the suite hotels, why there I came down with food poisoning and was extremely sick. My husband inquired if we could leave a day early and was told we could but we were still responsible for the $400 for the room <Not very accomodating at all.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank roz000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2010

Spent 5 days and had a wonderful, relaxing mini vacation. We were close to everything, right on the boardwalk and pizza, fries & ice cream. Not a good place if you are on a diet. The staff was very accomodating and helped when we were locked out late in the evening. I would recommend and we will return next summer.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TxRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, PA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2010

This was our fifth stay at the Port-O-Call in 15 years, and we still think it's the best hotel in Ocean City!

Despite having to walk a bit to get to the boardwalk attractions, we appreciated the quiet boardwalk location. The beach directly across from the hotel was clean and not crowded during our stay; however, it was marked as a surfing beach. People wishing to swim or jump waves must walk a hundred yards or so in either direction to a beach marked for that purpose. Wading in the surf here was OK, however.

Our room itself was clean and decently appointed, especially considering that most beachgoers don't spend a lot of time indoors. We enjoyed our balcony, too, despite the fact that it overlooked the parking lot. A major plus if traveling with children (and because Ocean City, NJ is a dry town) is the roomy refrigerator in the sink area of the room. We were able to fit a gallon of milk in the fridge and still have room for other items. Maid service was timely, relatively quick, and thorough. A lost Matchbox car gave me occasion to examine the floor under the furniture in detail, and I was pleased to see that it was very clean under there, even at the height of the summer season.

The hotel is entirely non-smoking and has a no pets policy, which is good to know if you have allergies. The no-smoking policy is enforced with the threat of a $500 charge for smoking in a room. Probably for that reason, this wasn't one of those supposed non-smoking places where it sometimes smells smokey for no apparent reason.

There was a local newspaper at our door every morning, turned-down covers and chocolate on our pillows every evening, and a drink and snack left in our room for our children after we returned from evening activities. These little details made our trip pleasant and fun.

One good thing about the Port-O-Call for larger families is that it allows five in a room, albeit with the use of a crib or rollaway bed (a "cot") at an extra $15 a day. Try to have someone short and young use the cot, if possible.

We didn't experience any of the attitude or issues some of the reviewers mentioned regarding the hotel staff. We found the folks to be businesslike, attentive and helpful when needed yet respectful of our privacy. We didn't run into anything that required us to deal with hotel management.

The hotel has a sit-down restaurant--the Pink Parrot Grille-- that is now open for breakfast and lunch only. (It used to serve dinner as well.) It's fine if you want or need to eat at the hotel, but it wouldn't be our first choice for dining in Ocean City. There is a room in the Pink Parrot where they have TVs and a Lego table for kids, if that's something your family enjoys while dining. Flipper's Grill, in the pool area, is great for a casual lunch by the pool, on the picnic tables on a grassy area beside the hotel, or to take down to the beach. Nicely-presented sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers with chips included were all less than $5 and came in convenient little boxes for taking away.

The hotel pool is not large, but it is serviceable and quite pleasant, situated right along the boardwalk. There's a clear, relaxing view of the sky toward the beach from the pool. When we were there, the hotel lot was not jammed with cars as it has been in the past, and the parking is free for one car during your stay.

Although I didn't see it mentioned in hotel information before we arrived, there is a "kids' club" that will supervise and entertain your children for up to three hours at set times on certain days for $15 a child. We didn't use it, but it is available.

Again, we think this is the only place to stay in Ocean City--we are rather picky about our accommodations when we travel. If you look at the published room rates and think they are a little on the high side for your budget, call the hotel or check its website to ask about the specials they run occasionally, both in-season and in the less busy times. The hotel also mails out a newsletter from time to time which features packages that make a stay a bit more affordable.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hereshecomes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Port-O-Call Hotel

Property: Port-O-Call Hotel
Address: 1510 Boardwalk, 15th and Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226-3153
Region: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Cape May County > Ocean City
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Ocean City
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocean City
#5 Family Hotel in Ocean City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Port-O-Call Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 98
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spectacular Beachfront Accommodations for both the Family and Adult Holiday. Ocean City's premier resort offers spectacular beachfront accommodations with breathtaking ocean views. Just steps from our front door are Ocean City's famous boardwalk and beaches. Our staff is committed to providing uncompromising services to all our guests. Located on the scenic boardwalk of Ocean City, New Jersey. The Port-O-Call Hotel is perfect for both business and social gatherings. Our modern meeting rooms accommodate a vast array of groups and provides a professional, comfortable environment for a successful meeting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Port o Call Hotel
Hotel Port o Call

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