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May 1998

Commander Hotel
14th Street on the Boardwalk
Ocean City, MD
888-289-6166 or 410-289-6166
Commander Hotel Home Page

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at The Commander Hotel, Ocean City, Maryland.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips



Accommodations

The Commander Hotel was recently renovated and is in beautiful shape. It offers oceanfront suites and efficiencies (renovated in the past few years), apartments (built in the 1950s), and poolside cabanas (new in 1992). For our stay, we chose a cabana. Ours was on the top floor, in the furthest corner from the ocean, which afforded us great views of the ocean, pool, and bay. In addition, since we had a unit on the end, we had side windows as well. The Commander's website is actually very helpful because it provides floor plans of all units (beware Disney's "Under the Sea" theme plays on the homepage). The Cabanas really do look like the pictures on the website. There is a huge bathroom with a nice soaking tub and separate shower. Ours had dark green wallpaper and created a most inviting atmosphere for a bubble bath when we added a couple candles. There were two double beds (unfortunately for us, we prefer queen or king, but we made do). A step down is the living area, which consists of an efficiency kitchen (sink, burners, microwave, full-size refrigerator), table and chairs, and sofa. The tv can be angled to be viewed from the sleeping or living areas. There are nice french doors which open onto a covered balcony complete with chairs. We appreciated the fact that the Cabanas overlooked the (unheated) pool. There is a pool bar which also serves light fare and snacks (in addition to drinks). We were there the last week of May, but the pool bar was manned every day (even if we were the only two at the pool). The units were nice and clean and we would return to the Commander.

Resort Amenities

The Commander Hotel has both indoor and outdoor pools. According to the website, there is a convenience store on the premises (not open while we visited).

Resort Food

We ate some sandwiches and snacks at the pool bar. It was average fare. There also appeared to be a restaurant ocean-front which we did not visit.

Resort Bar/Lounge

There was a bar by the outdoor pool. The Commander's website indicates they have a "lounge;" this may be separate from the previously mentioned pool bar.

Resort People/Service

We had little contact with employees of the Commander; there were no problems. They seemed courteous.

Area/Attractions

Ocean City, Maryland is a family-oriented shore resort town. It is a barrier island, with the ocean on one side and the bay on the other. There is an amusement park at the bottom of the boardwalk. The Commander is conveniently located in downtown Ocean City right on the boardwalk.

Dining

Fager's Island Restaurant - 201 60th Street on the Bay 888-371-5400 Fager's Island Home Page
Fager's Island allows you the option of fine dining or more casual fare in the bar. We opted for the bar and had delicious sandwiches. A highlight was their great selection of fine beers, especially Blue Moon Belgian White on tap!

Phillip's Crab House & Seafood Festival Buffet - 21st Street & Philadelphia Avenue 410-289-6821 or 800-549-2722 Phillips Home Page
No trip to Ocean City is complete without at least one meal at Phillip's. It's a Maryland institution. They are known for their all-you-can-eat crab legs.

Mario's - 2204 N. Philadelphia Ave. 410-289-9445
Mario's is (obviously) an Italian restaurant. We went there on a Monday evening and there were very few patrons. We believe Lori may have been the only woman present of childbearing age. The food was OK - nothing to write home about. For laughs, check out the lounge. It was dark, lots of red vinyl, and has perfectly preserved all the scariest things about the 70s.

Harrison's Harbor Watch - 806 S. Boardwalk 410-289-5121
One of Keith's colleagues was in town and he and his wife treated us to a lovely dinner at the Harbor Watch. It is down on the southern end of the boardwalk and overlooks the inlet. The service was fabulous - perhaps because our hosts seemed to know all the servers intimately; nevertheless, we noted others were receiving good service as well. It's a nice place with good food and a great view...well worth the trip down to the end of the boardwalk.

Seacrets Bar & Grill - 49th & the Bay 410-524-4900
We had lunch at Seacrets one day. Supposedly this is one happening place at night, with big tropical drinks, bands, and people floating about in a penned-in area in the bay. We sat outside by the bay, had some sandwiches, and the mosquitoes feasted on our legs. No kidding...if you go to this place, make sure you slather on the bug repellent.

Big Peckers - 73rd Street & Ocean Highway 410-723-0690 Big Pecker's Home Page
Lori remembered this place from years ago (although she could no longer locate her Big Peckers shirt). We stopped in here one afternoon for a couple drinks and appetizers. If you are a fan of NTN Trivia, they have it at the bar.

Brass Balls Saloon & Bad Ass Cafe - Between 11th & 12th Streets on the Boardwalk 410-289-0069 Brass Balls Saloon Home Page
We had lunch at the Brass Balls on the first day we were in Ocean City, while we were killing time waiting to check into our room. It was drizzling, and we were able to sit out on the upstairs deck and watch the people who were braving the rain. It is typical bar food with good drinks.

Ocean Club Restaurant & Nightclub - 49th Street & Oceanfront 410-524-7500 Ocean Club's Home Page
We didn't eat here, just had a couple drinks late one afternoon. It is a very large, airy place right on the beach and probably great for happy hour and/or an evening meal. It's very casual.

The Angler Restaurant - Talbot Street & the Bay 410-289-7424
We had dinner at the Angler on our last night in Ocean City. We sat out by the bay and watched the sunset. Lori had her favorite - crab legs and Keith had a filet mignon. It was a nice place to spend a quiet evening.

Hotel California - 120th Street & Coastal Highway 410-524-7776
Hotel California is a beautiful restaurant, constructed to look like the infamous hotel on the popular Eagles album from the 1970s. It was a bit more upscale than some of the other Ocean City restaurants, but we still wore shorts. They had a nice wine selection and very tasty food. Worth the trip.

Nightlife

There are a lot of clubs and bars in Ocean City and many have live music. In addition, many bars are attached to restaurants. If you want to get a good seat, get there early. During the summer, remember the bug spray.

Weather

Ocean City, Maryland is in the mid-Atlantic region. The weather is like much of the mid-Atlantic area, although it gets a little warmer here in the summer than further north at the New Jersey shore points. Consequently, the ocean is a little warmer as well. The time to visit here is anytime from Memorial Day through the end of September.

Tips/Suggestions

Casual attire is acceptable nearly everywhere, as this is a family resort town. There is an "idiot bus" where you pay one low fee, get your hand stamped, and you can travel up and down the main drag all day and not have to worry about driving if you've had more than a few.