For our trip to the Atlantic coast, we selected the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront at a precarious time during the US COVID-19 pandemic.
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The property has perhaps the most ideal location on Virginia Beach. Across the street from the property is a convenient parking garage ($10/day) connected by a skywalk over the street. Immediately next to the hotel is the famous Neptune statue, many restaurants, and in the heart of the beach.
3001 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
The property has oceanfront in its name and it’s important. This property is right on the sand while some others are set back a block or two. Because it was oceanfront we were able to spend time in the Atlantic every single day including that of arrival.
Beach rentals were available for reasonable prices by an outside vendor. Initially, we were a little annoyed that some of the beach chairs, loungers, and umbrellas weren’t offered by the hotel, but after some consideration, this is better. Why? Because the property doesn’t issue a resort fee, so our award stay was cost-free. Had we not visited the beach but still paid a resort fee included in our rate or in addition to our point expenditure we would have come out behind. It also allowed us to upgrade our experience one of the days opting for a “cabana” one day while just going with an umbrella other days.
For our stay, I was upgraded to an Oceanfront double bed. It was not a suite, but the hotel was relatively full and upgrades to suites are subject to availability at checkin. The room next to ours was a just a larger corner room (junior suite) but it looked to be a substantial difference. This might be a property worth paying the extra points or a little more money for a minimum of a corner suite.
The accommodations appeared to be recently renovated, with bright lights, clean furniture and an updated look. The beds were comfortable, the TV large, and the balcony offered plenty of space for our family of three. As an added touch, the housekeeper had made a towel swan on one of the beds. Shortly after discovering this, my daughter claimed that bed as “hers.”
The desk was clean, modern and unencumbered with plenty of outlets and close proximity to the coffee maker. If you’re a two laptop traveler, there was ample room for both.
An additional chair with a convenient, slim-line work table was available between the balcony and the bed.
Like the rest of the property, the bathroom had been updated recently. It featured a bright, illuminated mirror, single vanity with extensive counter space, and a full shower (not over tub.)
The showstopper was the balcony facing the Atlantic ocean. Space for two chairs and a small table, the sun greeted us in the morning off the glistening water as we spotted dolphin pods. At least one night a heavy thunderstorm rolled through and it was the real draw of our weekend.
As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, breakfast was included. While the program rules state it should be a continental breakfast (and some Hilton full-service enforce this distinction such as the Hilton Bonnet Creek) this property allowed us to order anything we’d like from the full menu.
At least one of the mornings we sat outside on the northern patio of Catch 31, the upscale fish restaurant where breakfast is served.
Between the three of us, we tried a number of entrees including a Full American, Eggs Benedict, French Toast, Avocado Toast and a Western Omelet. The only real complaint is that getting certain items like salt, pepper, and ketchup could be a challenge since they are no longer left on the table – though this is an issue for every restaurant in the time of COVID-19.
The Avocado toast held two surprises, one good and one not so good. The salad and lightly poached eggs were welcome surprises, but as you can, the avocado spread was very, very light,
Some days, the sand and the beach could be too much. On at least two of the days we were there, the waves were simply too high to make the beach much fun for our six-year-old and myself struggling to keep the two of us afloat. The infinity pool on the rooftop was a nice opportunity to soak up the sun and dip in to cool off. For rainy days, there was also an indoor pool.
Lucy loved sitting poolside and drinking “fancy” drinks. I was surprised by how reasonably priced the drinks were on the pool deck compared to other oceanfront hotels. For aviation geeks like myself, screaming F-18 Hornets from the nearby naval base was a welcome site. For those that are not aviation geeks, the F-18s may pose a pretty consistent disturbance but this is a feature of the location and not the hotel itself.
The hotel was put together very nicely. The lobby was beautifully decorated (especially at night), the furniture was new and in excellent condition and WiFi speed was reasonably fast throughout the property.
A fitness center on the second floor provided free weights and enough workout equipment to satisfy at least 20 simultaneously though COVID-19 restrictions would have limited occupancy levels. It was empty at 3pm on the day we checked in.
The hotel provided an incentive for us to dine at Catch 31 for dinner and we took them up on the offer.
For our dinner, we were seated on the oceanfront patio, a stone and wood enclave steps away from the sand and rolling waves.
We started with crab and artichoke dip with pita bread. For entrees, my wife and I tried Rock Fish and Mahi, one prepared wood-fired and the other “bronzed”, a mix of cajun seasoning and brown sugar. Both entrees were served with quartered sauteed red potatoes and a braised kale. Everything we ate was top notch as was the service we received. We highly recommend dining at Catch 31.
The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront was priced at the midpoint for the area at about $250-280. We found the location (the middle of the beach), proximity to convenient and affordable protected parking, along with the capabilities of the hotel and decor of the rooms to make this a great value. When spending Hilton Honors points, as we did for our stay, the price ranged from 55,000-65,000 points per night for a standard room.
One issue we noticed when adding a third night to our initial two-night stay was that variable pricing for better rooms appeared to be broken. For example, 55,000 points would offset a $246/night reservation but for a slightly more advantageous room the cash difference was just $9-28 more but the additional points required ranged from 32,000 to 39,000 points, almost double. This appeared to be a technical glitch and we raised it with management upon our return to clarify what the problem might have been. We await the hotel’s response regarding this issue.
Despite the small issues and technical glitch, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront might have been the best value for money on the beach.
What do you think? Have you stayed at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront? How was your experience?