Wildwood Crest, NJ – It is always exciting for my family and me to explore a brand new vacation spot. After experiencing Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the first time in 2015, we decided to follow this up with the Wildwoods in New Jersey (www.WildwoodsNJ.com).As usual, we got an early start at securing reservations, doing so many months in advance of a July visit.

The key to any good vacation is finding a great place to stay and we hit the jackpot with The Adventurer Ocean Inn (www.AdventurerInn.com), which I can confidently say is probably the nicest hotel in all of the Wildwoods. This is indeed an oceanfront location, which has everything that your family or group needs to relax and unwind at the beach. You can wake up to the sounds of the ocean, watch the sun rise from an ocean view or oceanfront balcony, enjoy breakfast in their oceanfront restaurant or simply bask in the sun at the beach or at the pool area. From this location, you can walk to the beach, the Boardwalk and waterparks, and the Wildwoods Convention Center with ease. It comes complete with a cardio room, convention/meeting rooms, Southern exposure outdoor pool and kiddie pool, and free outdoor and garage parking on the premises.

Mary Nell Murphy is the managing director and owner of the hotel, which was originally operated by her grandparents. While her dad Greg Lacivita is still involved, he is slowly moving into retirement and allowing Mary Nell, her sister Joanna and brother, Chris to keep the family tradition going.

We felt right at home at The Adventurer Ocean Inn the moment we arrived. This hotel features some of the largest and cleanest two, three and four room suites in the Wildwoods. Upgrades are done each off-season. They used to close from October until May. But given the increased activity at the Convention Centre, their opening date has been moved up to April or March, and next winter February.

We had a very comfortable two-room suite, which had a king size and double bed in one area. This was separated by a sliding accordion door, opening up to a nice sized living room with a full kitchen, a pullout sofa bed, matching chair and a table with five chairs, which we used for our meals. It also became my “go to” spot to do work on my computer.

As far as the pool facility is concerned, I want to give a huge thumbs up. On the eighth and final day of our visit, we felt very emotional leaving our very comfortable chairs and taking our last swim in the perfectly heated pool. There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas. You just need to give your room number and you will receive some beach towels for the day. We particularly appreciated the covered outdoor lounging area with an adjacent sundeck at the second level, which also had comfy couches. There is WiFi poolside so we could enjoy our different devices. At pool level there is an enclosed oceanfront lounge/meeting area, which connects to the beach. It also has dining tables, a TV and washrooms.

The front office staff are extremely friendly and helpful. They will steer you in the direction of different tourist attractions. The reception area has an array of tourism activity flyers and booklets. There is a business centre with two computers and two printers.

The Adventurer Pancake House and Family Restaurant is located on the first floor on the oceanfront side of the building. It has been privately run by the same family for the past two decades.

There is a rinsing station on the oceanfront side of the building, just before entering. Guests are encouraged to wash sand off there before entering the building or the pool area. We swam in the ocean each day, which was happily quite warm in the month of July. It was an easy walk from poolside.

The hotel is located at the beginning of the Boardwalk, which has shops, eateries and arcades. The rides are three quarters to one mile from the Boardwalk, so you do not hear any noise from that area.

Coin-operated laundry and ironing facilities are available on site. Groups can take advantage of a Penthouse convention / meeting room. Elevators are located on each side of the building, complimentary cribs and cots and daily housekeeping service. There is an ample supply of luggage carts in the garage. A large Acme Supermarket is only a few blocks away from the hotel, so we were able to do a full order to stock the fridge when we arrived and pick up other items during our stay.

The hotel has excellent access for the handicapped from the garage elevator. There is a ramp leading to the pool. Mary Nell is planning a needs assessment report in the next off-season. She has already added roll-in showers to some rooms.

All of the 113 rooms  are non-smoking and have individual climate control, private balconies, telephones with automated voice mail, free wireless internet access, refrigerators and microwaves, an in-room safe, flat screen TVs, hair dryers, toiletries, iron and ironing boards, kitchens, coffee pot, a two burner stove, pots and pans, dishes and silverware and a toaster

The beach is free and available for your vacationing pleasure. Umbrella and beach chair rentals are conveniently located directly on the beach; no need to bring your own! The Beach Patrol can also assist handicapped or wheelchair-bound individuals and their families onto the beach and/or to the water’s edge. Guests can simply walk outside the building and enjoy!

This a fabulous family location and from speaking with many of the guests, they come back year after year. In fact it is fairly common for them to book their rooms for the following year upon checkout. By doing so they are able to lock in the existing rates.

I strongly recommend the Adventurer Ocean Inn. It made our trip and I thank the people from the Greater Wildwoods Tourism and Improvement Development Authority for their recommendation.

Mike Cohen’s e-mail address is info@mikecohen.ca. Follow his travels at www.sandboxworld.com/travel and @mikecohencsl.

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