by Terry Ward
Clean, bright and spacious rooms, soothing ocean views, a wonderful pool and direct access to a wide beach that’s pleasantly removed from Daytona Beach’s crowded stretches make this oceanfront property one of the best of the local bunch.
The hotel is located in Daytona Beach Shores, a relaxed beach zone a few miles south of Daytona’s raucous central party district near Main Street (which remains easily accessible by Volusia County bus routes that stop just outside of the hotel). There aren’t any options for dining within walking distance of the property, but a full service onsite restaurant has affordable meals on offer throughout the day and great deals that allow kids to eat free with paying adults. Many guests take advantage of booking one of the hotel’s suites, all of which have full kitchens that make it easy to save money on dining.
This Holiday Inn has actually been in Daytona Beach for a few decades and attracts many return guests who descend year after year to make the most of a mellow and affordable Florida beach vacation.
What sets this hotel apart from some of the others in the area for family travel are the free kids activities (limbo, bingo and the like) offered throughout the day during high season, and the neat splash area for kids on the pool deck that’s a great place for toddlers to play. The Daytona Beach area is packed with activities for families, with everything from river cruising in the Intracoastal Waterway, visits to the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse (Florida’s tallest!) and mini golf nearby. Families also enjoy forays further afield, such as visits to the theme parks in Orlando (an hour away) or daytrips to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center to the south. For a family beach vacation that’s affordable, fun, and comfortable, this property is likely to win you over.
Our Editor Loves
- Oceanfront location
- Suites with full kitchens
- Beautiful beach and pool area
- Horse Back Riding
- Theme Park
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The hotel's 187 guestrooms and suites with kitchenettes are spread between seven floors. The look is suitably modern and clean, with a mix of tile in the hallway and bathroom and carpeting throughout. All rooms have balconies with ocean views, but the full oceanfront rooms are on the east side of the building, with rooms on the south side only allowing partial ocean views; be sure to specify your preference when booking.
Contemporary decor includes dark wood furniture, 32-inch flat-screen TV's and sleek, brushed metal mirrors and lamps. A desk area with a roller chair and outlets is a convenient place to charge laptops and get some work done or spread out the kids' school work and drawing projects.
Beds all have crisp white linens and plenty of pillows, with extras in the closets, too. Bathrooms are modern and spacious with granite counter tops for the vanities, tiles throughout and shower-in-tub configurations for easy bathing.
All standard rooms are equipped with two queen beds and empty mini-fridges, a microwave and coffee maker. There's no room for rollaway beds in these rooms, so the maximum occupancy is four people.
The suites are all oceanfront with a single king bed, a separate living area with a sofa bed and dining room table and a full kitchen, complete with full-size refrigerators and freezers, a stove top, oven, microwave, sink and prep area. All pots and pans and plateware and glassware are provided to make cooking a breeze. The separate living room area can also accommodate a rollaway bed for an additional charge (with a total capacity of five people).
If you're traveling with more than five people in your group, you can request connecting rooms that conjoin a room with two queen beds to a king bed suite, allowing all parties access to the full kitchen.
Our family stayed here at the resort for three nights. All of the staff was great! Zac was the coordinator for kids recreation and was always willing to find something for the kids to do. Also Karen Holley was the bartender and was extremely friendly, caring, and attentive! Big ups to HER! Would definitely visit again!
meant to have won this over the internet. is a marketing process for Exploria Membership via timeshare.
is a large old hotel. can get cheap place to stay via a member of Exploriaresorts.com . if you want a cheap way to stay here contact us and we maybe able to help you. all these places have resorts fees on top of taxes. get a written detail break down of all costs before hand. to attend any 90 minute marketing presentation, have breakfast beforehand. a sales person is one to one with a hard sales and lots of numbers and specials and just today. if you not want this timeshare walk out after the tour of the venue and do not stop or stop to talk or you will get talked into it, and that makes an interesting legal question of "informed consent". if you are interested, write everything down with lots of notes and do your maths in detail. do not believe "only today". they sell timeshare everyday.
if things need fixing in room, get staff to come NOW to fix or will not get fixed in time.
the lights in the car park shine into your rooms. stupid. can easily be angles to down only.
has own restaurant. expensive as no were else close. check in detail exactly what you want to get, as USA food is poor quality and description. ask ask ask. if they get it wrong do not pay. renegotiate.
uber drivers, can use same driver all time direct and cheaper but will do more things and inside knowledge.
the steak house next to speedway is best place we eat in whole usa, other than cooking for ourselves.
It's all about beach and pool fun at this oceanfront hotel. Spend your mornings on the sand, splashing in the shallow tidal areas that make for the perfect baby pool at low tide or, for the bigger kids, boogie board or skim board in the surf. While the hotel doesn't provide lounge chairs on the beach, there's a privately run kiosk right in front of the property where you can rent two lounge chairs, an umbrella and a little side table for around $30 per day.
If you've brought your own lounge chairs along, the beach is plenty wide and there's lots of room for spreading them out in the area of sand east of the "traffic lanes" (closer to the water). Yes, driving cars is allowed on the beaches in Daytona, and while the speed limit is only 10 mph, you'll want to keep a close eye on your kids as they run between the pool and the beach.
A city-run lifeguard stand is set up right in front of the Holiday Inn, and lifeguards are on duty every day during the busier months from around 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on most weekends, too.
Once your kids have had their share of fun on the beach, there's always the hotel's pool deck for relaxation. It's a nice area with lots of lounge chairs and umbrellas for shade, a few firepits that are fun to huddle around at sunset and a large rectangular pool with the shallow end cordoned off with a rope from the deeper end, which maxes out at about 9 feet. Be aware that there's no lifeguard on duty and bring swim diapers for your children if they're not potty-trained, as there are none to purchase onsite. The pool is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Next to the pool is a smaller hot tub area for adults. And the pool deck is also where you'll find a cool kiddie splash area with buckets that dump periodically, structures overflowing with little water falls and a nice shallow layer of water that's perfect for cooling off and safe for splashing with your toddlers.
During high season -- spring break and the busy summer months -- the hotel has an activities director who runs poolside kids games, such as limbo and scavenger hunts and other indoor games in an activities room on the first floor. Activities might include arts and crafts, bingo or movies. Kids ages 6 and under are required to have a parent or older sibling accompany them as a chaperone. All kids programs are free of charge for guests.
Finally, there's a small game room on the first floor, complete with traditional arcade machines and air hockey; this is where teens and pre-teens like to hang out when they're not on the beach.
H2O Bar & Grill
The hotel's restaurant, H2O Bar & Grill, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is located on the ground floor overlooking the pool deck and ocean, with both indoor and outdoor seating available. Breakfast is served every day from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and is an a la carte affair with items like pancakes, scrambled eggs, waffles, bacon and sausage.
Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and every paying entree ordered by an adult gets you one free kids meal (the same deal applies at dinner, too). For lunch, count on things like burgers, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, club sandwiches and salads, along with all the expected kids menu offerings, such as mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, spaghetti and chicken fingers.
Dinner entrees include simple offerings, such as burgers, but menu items tend to slant pricier with things like mahi mahi and steak on the menu (and the same kid offerings that are available during lunch). The restaurant is very family-friendly for all three meals, with high chairs and coloring books always available.
Room service is available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., as well, if you prefer to dine in your room or suite.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There's an office center, where you can access computers to go online and use the printing services for free, as well as a shop in the lobby that sells basic beach items (towels, sand pails, toys and sunscreen), along with snacks and sodas.
Coin laundry machines are available for guest use on the fourth floor. Detergent is available for purchase in the laundry room, and you can get coins from reception.
The hotel's daily resort fee includes free Wi-Fi in the rooms, lobby and public areas; beach and pool towels; kids activity center access; gym access; two free drinks at the poolside bar; and self parking in an onsite parking lot.
The hotel's small gym, on the first floor, has cardio and weight equipment and is open daily from 5:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
Spring break brings big crowds to Daytona Beach and this hotel, and prices are higher and the property is at capacity during February and March. The summer months are also quite busy, with many Floridians taking in-state vacations, so consider booking in advance if you plan to travel at this time of year. October and November are lovely months to visit, as crowds are down and the beach is less crowded, but still warm and beautiful. April and May are equally agreeable.
Shuttle services are not offered between the Daytona International Airport (about 20 minutes away) and the hotel. All of the major car rental companies have kiosks at the airport. You'll likely find cheaper flights into the far larger airport in Orlando (Orlando International Airport), which is about an hour and 15 minutes away from the hotel, and also has all of the major car rentals available in the terminal for bookings.
If you plan to stay more than a few days, you'll probably want a rental car for making grocery store runs and visiting the area's attractions.
For Mom and Dad
The Holiday Inn doesn't provide babysitting service, but if your kids are old enough to look after themselves, plan a romantic dinner at Azure, a restaurant at the nearby upscale resort, The Shores. The restaurant's oceanfront location is spectacular and Florida seafood favorites, such as cobia and grouper, are often on the menu. For something more casual in the same location, the hotel's Tiki Bar on the pool deck does delicious cocktails and is adjacent to an inviting area with a firepit and Adirondack-style chairs for kicking back with a cold one (the setting offers a true date night feel in comparison to the Holiday Inn).
The Shores' Indulge Spa is another destination worthy of some parents-only time, with lavish 80-minute-long couples massages on the menu.