My first choice would be "Wentworth by-the-Sea", in New Castle, NH! Now, the beach is a mile away, but the resort is very special, and there is a lot for a family to do in the area.
Rooms are spacious and traditional!
Now if you can take a place that is not a "Resort", think about the CY, Cocoa Beach, FL. You can walk a short distance to the beach. Likewise, for "Adult Enjoyment", The Marriott, CY, or FF, in Key West, is close to a public beach. (The beach is not like you will find on The Gulf, however)!
Good luck! I am not a "Beach person" so hope you get a lot of great recommendations! BTW, welcome to MRI!
Thank you for the recommendations. I've not had the pleasure of visiting NH yet and appreciate the recommendation. I did visit Key West a number of years ago. Stayed at a property that Marriott had (I believe it is a Waldorf property now). I do remember that the beach was "different" and remembering encountering a lot of "different" in Key West (especially when we got to see the Christmas parade)
I'm a big fan of Harbor Beach Marriott in Ft. Lauderdale. Excellent beach front, tropical tree type pools, nice fitness area and restaurants and like they advertise, "secluded, but close" an easy hop (and some walks also) into Lauderdale with all that the city has to offer. I've had excellent service the three times, over the decades, I've hung out there (once when the Yankees used to have spring training just down the road).
I've not stayed at the Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale yet (close numerous times). I am anxious to try it. In southern Florida, I've stayed at the South Beach Marriott, Macro Island Marriott Resort, Key Largo Marriott Resort, Ritz Carlton Naples (both beach and golf resorts). We enjoyed all of them multiple times. We really like the Marco Island Resort when there is not a conference there. Large beach, family activities, shelling excursions on sailboats. Key Largo is nice, smaller beach (it's the Keys), and close to John Pennekamp http://pennekamppark.com. South Beach is a nice resort just "south" of the "action" (quick walk to get into the South Beach action) and "south" enough to not be consumed with the crowds. The Ritz is a much different experience (especially at the Club Level - had to pay for this upgrade) and is prone to large conferences.
These are not beach resorts, but if you are looking for some less expensive beach options, here are five great east coast properties, directly on the beach, which can provide a good family beach vacation stay.
And here's one you might want to avoid...
cjkatl - Thanks for info and the "heads up" for Deerfield Beach, FL. Another option for an inexpensive stay that we have enjoyed is the Residence Inn in Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island FL area. It is a quick walk to the beach and Fernandina is the "old" Florida beach town (not very commercialized). We taken extended family numerous times and have always enjoyed it. The Residence Inn is well suited to families and the staff always works to make your stay effortless and enjoyable.
Another nice property on The Atlantic, but the beach is a 2 1/2 mile shuttle is The West Palm Beach Marriott, Florida!
All - I'm heading to Marriott's Key Largo Resort for a couple of days to "judge" them and then on the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Resort for a couple of more days. I have stayed at the Marco Island Resort multiple times and have always enjoyed it (especially with family). I'm interested to see how each property treats a Platinum Premier. I'll let everyone know.
Have a safe trip! That HWY, can be dangerous!
The Key Largo Resort, in my mind, is 50/50. Neat tourist area, but, each of us to our own. Will look forward to hearing about your experience, as it compares to mine.
Completed stay at Key Largo Resort - grade D+ - not good. It started all from check-in. As I have been on this mission to determine if the majority of front desk representatives know the difference between Platinum and Platinum Premier, the Key Largo Resort maintained the momentum and went 0 for 3 (the 3 repsentatives there at check-in - none knew - 2 guessed incorrectly and 1 just stated they didn't know. The most entertaining of the 2 responses I did get - "Platinum Premier stays more nights than Platinum". Did it make a difference for upgrade - nope. When I asked for an upgrade (I had purchased their bay view balcony room), I was immediately told "your Platinum number is on file and there are none available". He knew without looking at anything - no checking inventory, looking at occupancy level, etc. The funny thing was they were at 10% occupancy at the best. During the entire stay the resort was empty (maybe 10-15 people max at the pool or beach, 15-20 cars in the parking lot duirng this time). Anyways, I was presented my room key, my breakfast coupon, and my towel coupon. I saw that I had only one breakfast coupon so I figured it was for use during my entire stay - wrong again. I found out the next morning, that Platinums receive one coupon for breakfast for your entire stay - that's right only one single breakfast over the 3 night stay (have to pay for the other days). I inquired, response from the clerk - "this is a rule for Key West Resort.put in place last year". I thought OK but why not tell me when I check in versus when I am attempting to leave breakfast on the 2nd day and told I need to pay. Not sure why we needed a towel card, we couldn't find them (towels) most of the stay. Now it was the first week after Labor Day weekend and the place was almost empty so I would imgine there was some staff reduction.
Overall the stay was Ok bu tthe rooms are dated (old), in need of an upgrade, the road noise is still bad from the highway, the staff seems to be incovenienced that you are even there, and to top it off (remaining consistent with all our other posts on the decline of recognized status) Platinum Premier meant nothing at this property - other than a statement during check-in - thank you for your loyality and being a Platinum member". Of course this prompting my ongoing question to the Key Largo staff - Platinum Premier versus Platinum - result as mentioned earlier for the staff - 0 for 3.
I wish I could rate better but this resort just doesn't live up to its Category 8 classification (maybe a Category 6 at best). I felt it was not the value paid and my status bascially got me one free breakfast out of a 3 night stay.
The resort has some potential qualities and needs to update, improve its customer service, and treat its guests like that actually want them there. Final recommedation - skip this resort.
I had not heard good things about that resort in the past and it appears that it hasn't changed. I stayed 7 nights at a hotel and was given only one breakfast coupon for the entire stay. I asked if I had made 7 separate reservations and checked in 7 times would I have gotten 7 breakfast coupons. Answer - yes. Does this make any sense?
I've stayed at the Marriott, Ventura Beach, CA, and found it quite nice: Ventura CA Hotels | Ventura Beach Marriott Hotel
.....and I'm going to be staying at Marriott Newport Beach, CA in late October; however, I've not stayed there before: Newport Beach Hotels | Hotels in Newport Beach CA | Newport Beach Hotel and Spa
Living on the East Coast, I obviously prefer the South Carolina beaches - none to compare, in my opinion elsewhere - and the signature one for me is North Myrtle Beach, where there is a Marriott Hotel, along with several Ocean Watch Villas,if you happen to belong to MVC: There are a number of pools, along with white-sand beaches for walking
Equally nice, but without the high beach waves and white sandy beach, is Hilton Head Island, and you can find a Marriott Hotel & Resort, along with some seven other MVC villas here to rent, with the Grand Ocean my favorite on the beach. There are a number of restaurants on the island and there are safe, bike-riding paths throughout the island.
I agree! We stayed at the JW Marriott Le Merigot in Santa Monica. It's not sitting right on the beach, but the beach and Santa Monica Pier across is an easy walk. There is a small street and some condos between the hotel and the beach, but some rooms do have ocean views so it's a beachy feel. The hotel is nice with a good pool, restaurant, bar and spa, and the service was great, so we'd go there again if we were in the area. We were lucky to get a decent rate, too, which helped.
Gulf of Mexico:
Marco Island Marriott (soon to be remodeled and re-branded as a JW)
Crystal Shores (same beach as the Marco Island Marriott - this one is the timeshares)
Ritz Amelia Island (in fall and summer - winter is probably too cold for this beach)
Ritz Naples on Vanderbilt Beach (luxurious but hard on the wallet!)
Ritz Ft. Lauderdale (urban setting but still a great beach)
BeachPlace Towers (timeshares on Ft. Lauderdale strip)
All of the above are in Florida. Seems like that's the place to go if you like nice warm white sandy beaches. The Gulf side is our favorite.
I have to agree that the Harbor hotel in Ft Lauderdale is one of the best beach resorts I have stayed at! I also love the Marco Island Marriott. It would be between these two for the best beach resort in continental US. I am not sure I could pick one over the other but if I had too....... I think Harbor wins.