OCEAN CITY – Clients who book a stay at the Port-O-Call Hotel are different in many ways from those who spend a week at a condo on the island.
They tend to be more spontaneous, reserving a weekend stay with far less notice than the six months advance warning that many families reserve for their summer vacations in a condo.
And General Manager Glenn Losch said they want to be treated like guests, with amenities such as room service and turn-down service complete with chocolates on the pillows and juice and cookies waiting for the children.
"We have generations of families who have been coming back here for years," he said. "It's due to the special attention to detail we offer."
The "pink hotel" on the Boardwalk was built in 1966 overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and 15th Street beaches.
Losch, of Mays Landing, said the Port-O-Call projects a sense of luxury with frequent remodeling to offer the latest in decorations and interior design.
This year the upscale hotel renovated its tenth-floor penthouse suite, which has a spacious living area, full kitchen with Italian granite countertops, a private den and a wrap-around rooftop deck overlooking the entire city from beach to bay.
"We want to keep things looking fresh. The rooms are done simply with services people expect," he said.
The services provided by the hotel are those most in demand at the moment in national travel, said Chris Klauda, vice president of lodging and research services at D.K. Shifflet & Assoc. in McLean, Va.
"The high-end travel market has held up better than the lower end. It is the more affluent people who are traveling. The higher end tier has held up in the recession," she said. "So it's more profitable for hotels to appeal to these high-end travelers. There's more wiggle room."
The Port-O-Call is open year-round and offers discounted rates in the off season. But bookings go fast in the summertime, so making reservations is recommended, Losch said.
Each of the hotel's 98 rooms has a private balcony, granite countertops, designer furnishings and Keurig coffeemakers. The hotel also has a separate two-story residence called the Porthouse, a three-bedroom home with oceanfront decks that can be booked with all the services of the hotel.
"It sleeps eight people and has all the same hotel amenities, including fresh linens, towels and room service," Losch said.
The Port-O-Call has its own on-site spa and fitness center. Its most prominent attraction is its private gated pool and deck tempting passersby on the city's 2.5-mile-long Boardwalk. The pool has its own restaurant called Flipper's Grille that offers lunch items and drinks.
The hotel's dining room has a special kids' section decorated with a circus theme with video games and the Disney Channel playing nonstop on a big-screen television. The hotel's Pink Parrot Grille serves breakfast and lunch, with children's favorites such as grilled cheese and chicken fingers along with adult treats such as crabcakes and salads.
The hotel also offers Kids' Camp with free supervised children's activities daily to give parents a chance to break away for shopping.
"It's great for parents," he said.
Contact Michael Miller:
Location: 1510 Boardwalk, Ocean City
Owners: Scully Co.
Employees: 80 in season
Revenues: Not disclosed