As a child, I spent many hours in the swimming pool at the Pavilion Motor Lodge in Ocean City, New Jersey. I have many fond memories of staying there, a short walk from the boardwalk, listening to the sounds of seagulls and breathing in the fresh salt air. This year, I had the opportunity to return, and I was pleased to learn the motel still lives up to my memories.
Located at 801 Atlantic Avenue, on the corner of 8th Street and less than a block from the beach, the Pavilion Motor Lodge has been welcoming guests for four or five decades. It still has the charm of an old-fashioned, independently owned motel, but it is better maintained than many hotels/motels/motor lodges of its era. The décor has been kept up to date, and our room featured attractive quilts that I would be thrilled to have in my own home. The building’s façade has also been updated, a subdued maroon replacing the 1950s pink accents I remember from my own childhood. (The beach side of the building still sports a large seahorse, which has also been painted maroon.)
The pool is still there, and it was just as refreshing as it used to be. Scattered around the courtyard below the pool are picnic tables with large umbrellas, which provide excellent shaded areas to relax and enjoy time with friends and family while staying dry.
Rates are reasonable, ranging from $60 to $180 per night, depending on the type of room and dates of visit. In addition to regular nightly rooms, the Pavilion offers weekly apartment rentals in adjacent buildings and good meals at the Seahorse Grill.
The motel requires a deposit for the keys and has additional charges for additional people or beds. Guests may also borrow beach tags for a deposit of $10 each, a nice service that provides savings for beach visits. Amenities include the standard ice and soft drink machines, ample free parking, coin-operated laundry machines, refrigerators in the rooms, cable television, and (to the delight of my son) a chocolate vending machine. The only thing I expected but didn’t have was shampoo in the bathroom — be sure to pack your own.
One of the biggest advantages of staying at the Pavilion is its location near the town’s most popular attractions. Two bicycle rental lots are within view of the building, as are an ice cream shop, a small spa, and a boxed-lunch catering shop. The boardwalk ramp nearest the motel is also very close to Music Pier and the center of the boardwalk. The fun is only steps away!