Ocean View vs Oceanfront
It drives me nuts when I get suckered or when I see others being taken advantage of. One way hotels, resorts, rentals and BnBs get more customers is by highlighting the words ‘ocean view’ in their marketing materials. But just because a place boasts that it has an ocean view, it doesn’t mean that the hotel is right on the beach; the property could be three blocks away.

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Oceanfront, by definition, means: The land along the shore of an ocean. So if you’re booking an oceanfront hotel, it should be right on the beach, not across the street or around the corner. To be absolutely sure, look up the hotel’s address and map it out on Google Maps. This way, you can see the exact location of the property before you book.

For example, there’s nothing wrong with hotels that are not oceanfront but offer ocean views. You just want to make sure you’re clear on the difference before you book.  I’ve stayed at many memorable hotels with ocean views, including the old Delray Beach Marriott, now the Opal Grand (see photo above). Even though it’s across the street, over the A1A, I still love it.

However, if I wanted to be right on the beach near Delray Beach so I could hear the waves when I sleep, then I would stay down the road at the Delray Sands (photo above). There are plenty of options in most popular beach destinations so be sure to read the wording carefully before making your booking.

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4 Comments On "Ocean View vs Oceanfront: Do You Know the Difference?"
  1. Suzan|

    Boy is this great advice. call the hotel too. The LA times just featured hawaii hotels and wrote one up as ocean front. HA. It’s across a huge blvd from the beach. Not on the ocean front at all. Ocean view may mean hanging of the balcony and seeing a sliver of the ocean. I live in LA and Oahu and sadly know how deceptive hotels can be all over the world. Ocean front should be on the sand,on the beach inmy opinion
    . Do lots of homework so you won’t be disappointed

  2. anita|

    I was looking to book a small apartment on the beach in Florida. Pictures showed water right outside the balcony and it was in a beach town. However, when I Googled the satellite map it was on a skinny little peninsula in the middle of a swamp with one road in/out that meant even driving to the beach would have been 12-15 minutes. I have learned to always Google before making reservations!

  3. nancy reid|

    Yep, I agree. Nice to have a bird’s eye view before you book!

  4. Robin|

    We bought a time share (I now know that’s a big mistake) and on the sales pitch we were shown a beautiful 2 bedroom with a great ocean view. Problem is every time we’ve booked the unit we were given a room with no view. I even called ahead the last time and was assured that we would have it, but when we checked in you had to stand outside to see any ocean from the corner of the patio.
    Buyer beware.

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