The Marina Suites
115 Highway One
Dewey Beach, DE 19771
The Marina Suites has been converted into condominiums. It is no
longer available to be booked as a hotel.
www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at The Marina Suites in Dewey Beach, Delaware in August, 2002.
Check out our 1999 visit to Dewey Beach.
The Marina Suites was the best place we have stayed in Dewey Beach. Our accommodations were exactly what we expected - actually, even better. We reserved a whirlpool suite.
Our room was on the 3rd floor (there are 4 floors total) and was bay front.
The room itself was huge. There was a closet, a wet bar with an under-the-counter refrigerator and microwave, a gas fireplace (seasonal - which means it was not working during the heat of summer), TV with remote and a decent selection of cable channels, sleeper sofa and coffee table, a king size bed, and a whirlpool in the corner of the room.
We had a nice balcony with two chairs overlooking the water. The one entire wall overlooking the bay was glass with two sliding doors and excellent black-out curtains were provided.
The bathroom was also huge, with a nice, long vanity and two sinks, a toilet, and a stall shower with a seat that was actually big enough to shave your legs in.
We were always provided with plenty of towels - two complete sets for each of us in the bathroom, and another two towels by the whirlpool. The room was clean and a great value.
Other accommodations are available, such as a 2-room luxury suite which has two beds in the bedroom and a separate living area. For coffee drinkers, there are also coffee machines and free coffee in the rooms.
There is an iron and ironing board, and a hair dryer in the bathroom. A clock radio was also provided.
The Marina Suites has plenty of parking available for overnight guests, and much of it is covered (there are no rooms on the first floor, only the lobby and parking under the hotel).
The lobby is nice - there are plenty of chairs (which we actually ended up using one morning when we arrived while the maid was finishing up in our room), daily papers, free coffee, and a public restroom (which also came in handy when we were waiting for our room to be finished).
After 11 p.m., guests must use their key cards to enter the lobby - a nice security feature. There is an elevator. Luggage racks are provided which are a big help loading and unloading, especially since we had a large cooler. There is an exercise room on the 2nd floor.
The outdoor pool is up on the 4th floor. Pool towels are provided, as well as lounge chairs.
There is also an outdoor shower, 4 changing rooms, and women's and men's restrooms in the pool area.
A key card is required to enter the pool area, which was well thought-out by the owners: this kept those who weren't staying at the hotel from using the pool. There were a list of rules regarding the pool: no glass containers, no food, no alcohol, no diving, no radios (except personal ones with headphones), no children under the age of 16 unaccompanied by an adult, but we found these rules to make for a pleasant experience.
We spent quite a bit of time at the pool.
It was open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Another nice feature is that the elevator posts what amenities are on each floor (for example, ice machines on 2nd & 4th floors, vending machines with snacks on 3rd floor, vending machines with drinks on 4th floor, etc.).
The hotel did not serve food.
There was no bar at the hotel; we took our own, since we had a refrigerator.
We really didn't have much contact with the people who worked there, other than checking in and checking out, which went smoothly. Generally, that is a good thing, because it means we did not encounter any problems or issues we needed resolved.
Dewey Beach is one of the few Delaware shore towns. It is small - about 13 blocks long, and only 2-3 blocks wide. It is a barrier island; the Atlantic Ocean is on one side and the bay is on the other.
There is no boardwalk, but a nice beach. The majority of the restaurants are either right along Highway One (the main drag through town) or on the bay, as hotels and residences are ocean-front.
What we particularly like about this town is we simply park our car and walk everywhere (providing we have brought provisions with us). The traffic can get pretty bad on Highway One, especially on weekends, so it makes the most sense to walk.
Rehoboth Beach is just north of Dewey. Rehoboth is a bit more culturally diverse, with plenty of very good restaurants and a boardwalk.
There is a Jolly Trolley that runs between Rehoboth and Dewey and is a great option if one wants to leave Dewey and go to Rehoboth for the day or evening - you don't have to drive, and it is much safer if one plans to imbibe.
Beneath Dewey is a stretch of protected dunes and beach that eventually ends up in Bethany Beach, DE, and on down to Ocean City, MD (which is about a half hour south of Dewey).
For those who love to shop, the Rehoboth Outlets are located just a few miles north of Dewey on Highway One.
There are also plenty of water sports. While we were there, we saw people being towed out on what looked like large floating trampolines with slides that went into the water. They looked like they were having fun.
And there are marinas for boaters, as well as boat launches (there was one right next to our hotel).
For more info on Dewey Beach, check out
The Rudder Deck - Dickinson Street and the Bay
One of our favorite things to do when in Dewey is to go to the Rusty Rudder deck, where the Island Boyz play from 4 to 8 p.m. every day (except Monday) from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
They have been there as long as Lori can remember and have become a fixture. The Island Boyz hail from the Caribbean and are a crowd favorite. Their style is calypso and reggae.
They always manage to get people of all ages up dancing and are pleased to take requests. Lori requested "Who Let The Dogs Out" for Keith and the Island Boyz happily complied.
The deck has many tables - some with umbrellas - and overlooks the bay. There are also some tables outside that have roofs over them. We invariably sought out shaded tables, since it was hot and sunny the entire time we were there. There is a limited menu on the deck - sandwiches, burgers, appetizers - as well as any drink that is requested.
We generally got to the deck every day at 4 to get a decent seat (a little before 4 on weekends - it gets packed) and would have some drinks and perhaps an appetizer while we decided where we wanted to have dinner.
We tried the nachos, poppers, and chicken fingers - all of which were good.
On our last day there, Lori ordered the shrimp salad sandwich, which was one of the best she's ever had.
It was a home-made thick flavorful piece of pita bread overflowing with shrimp.
There was no filler - just shrimp (Lori thinks about a half pound) with a light and spicy dressing to hold it together.
The Waterfront - McKinley Street & the Bay
We had a wonderful dinner our first evening at the Waterfront Restaurant (which used to be Coconuts), which is located towards the north end of town at Dagsworthy and the bay.
Lori has had some of her best crab legs ever at this place when it was Coconuts, but alas - no crab legs were on the menu.
Keith had some Mako, which was blackened with a great spicy rub - some of the best Mako he can remember. Lori had broiled scallops which were great. We enjoyed a bottle of wine and watched the sun set over the bay.
Crabbers Cove - Dickinson Street
This restaurant is a no-frills beach restaurant where they put a big piece of paper on the plastic tables and simply roll it up and throw it out after you go.
It is great for crab - but no crab legs, which is what Lori was looking for. Instead she opted for all-you-can-eat steamed shrimp.
They served hush puppies, which Lori loves - she ate two and then covered them so she couldn't see them anymore. Keith isn't into shellfish so he had some chicken.
This is a good place to take kids because they provide crayons for the kids to draw on the paper on the table and lots of the stuff is served in paper.
The Rusty Rudder - Dickenson Street & the Bay
We tried the Rusty Rudder one night for dinner because Lori heard it was her best shot at getting crab legs.
She ordered the buffet after she saw crab legs sticking up. They weren't king crab legs, but they were satisfying. There was plenty for her to love at the buffet, including steamed shrimp.
Again, those wonderful but killer hush puppies showed up on the table. Keith had a steak - not his best, just OK
Starboard Restaurant & Bar - 2009 Highway One
Starboard's Web Site
The Starboard offers a make-your-own Bloody Mary smorgasbord, where they pour the vodka (they have 18 different types) into a glass for you, then you can make the rest by choosing from 700 ingredients. The décor is definitely beach place - old wood floors and lots of eclectic bottles and collectibles lining the walls. They give good breakfast. Lori was dieting and was happy to find out they served egg beaters. Keith had a ham and cheese omelet one day and eggs benedict another.
Grotto's Pizza - Highway One and Read Steet
Grotto Pizza's Web Site
The last night, we stopped in at Grotto Pizza and sat at the bar. They have great pizza. We had some slices and some cold drinks and played NTN trivia (they have the boxes you can use - we enjoy it but hadn't done it in awhile.
There is plenty of nightlife in Dewey if you want it. No dance clubs, but bars and live music.
The Bottle & Cork has lots of live acts, as well as the Rudder Deck.
The Starboard has entertainment as well. Our first night, we saw some teenagers who were in a sort of rock band camp perform on the Rudder deck and they were great.
These clubs turn strictly over-21 only once the entertainment starts.
We found a couple new places this time around - McShea's Irish Pub (1705 Highway One) and Big Mike's Frozen Tundra (1904 Highway One) - both located mid-town on Highway One.
McShea's has lots of wood, a long bar, and booths. It is narrow and you could miss it if you're not careful.
Mike's is made to look like you are inside an igloo and has multiple frozen drink machines.
Lori discovered Tuaca there with the friendly bartender Stephanie.
Both of these places serve food but are primarily watering holes.
Dewey Beach has a season - traditionally Memorial Day through Labor Day. September is also a nice month to visit this area.
We went in early August, when we knew we had a slim chance of encountering rain unless a renegade hurricane came up the coast. We spent 4 nights in Dewey, and had clear sunny skies the entire time.
This has been a particularly hot summer for the mid-Atlantic states, and even though it is a bit cooler at the beach, it was still in the high 80s/90 during the hottest times of the day.
If you go to Dewey in the summer, make sure your accommodations have air conditioning.
If you have read any of our reviews, you will know we are big fans of bug spray - the aloe kind.
Mosquitoes love the bay area, and since many of the open-air restaurants are near the bay, take along some bug spray and spray your exposed skin liberally before going out - especially at night.
Take plenty of sunscreen and some good walking shoes if you do as we do - park the car and walk.
Lori was fine in her Teva sandals. This is the 3rd time we have gone to Dewey Beach together and we love it - it is relaxing and seems so far away from our everyday lives and jobs.
It is a very casual place - leave the diamonds and make-up at home. Reservations at restaurants aren't necessary (we don't think most of the places take them) unless you have a large party.
If it is 7:30 on a Saturday evening you may have to wait for a little, but in Dewey there is always a bar nearby with a friendly bartender to pour you a cold one while you wait.
Even on Saturday night at the Rusty Rudder, we only waited less than 5 minutes before our beeper went off (we hadn't even paid for our drinks).