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Ocean Front vs. Ocean View Hotel Rooms - What's the Difference?


The view from an ocean view room. See the ocean? Past the swimming pool?

The view from an ocean view room. See the ocean? Past the swimming pool?

Image copyright Kathy Hagood, used with permission
Ocean View vs. Ocean Front Rooms - What's the Difference?

While an ocean front room may sound similar to an ocean view room, the quality of the view typically is very different, as is the price.

Ocean Front Room

If you choose to stay in an ocean front room that means your room will face the ocean and offer one of the resort’s best views. Although an ocean front room is more expensive, it can be worth it, especially if you’re on vacation. Few things are more relaxing and refreshing than being able to gaze out to sea to your heart’s content.

Ocean View Room

An ocean view room means you will be able to see the ocean from your room, but you may have to look hard to find it. Any visible patch of ocean, even if it requires looking out the window at an angle to see, will bring your room under the umbrella term “ocean view.”

The term is a bit of a marketing ploy, and has no relationship to whether your view will be a good one. That being said, I’ve stayed in many ocean view rooms that offered lovely perspectives on the resorts’ landscaping and ocean. It often depends on just what room you’re assigned.

Getting the Best View

That’s where talking with the reservation manager can make a difference. While online research can give you good information for negotiating the price of a room, it’s best to call the hotel directly to book the room, especially if you care about your view. Talking to a person can also help ensure you’re able to ask about such niceties as whether the room has been renovated recently or if it’s near the elevator.

Something else to consider: sometimes first floor ocean front rooms don’t offer as attractive views as those on the second floor or above because of shrubbery, trees or such. So consider that, and ask the reservation manager for an opinion.

After you check in and before you unpack, take a good look at your view. If it’s disappointing, you always can ask to switch rooms if a room with a better view is available. And for sure, don’t stay in a room you’re paying extra for the ocean front view if it has an obstructed or otherwise bad view.

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