Ocean Front vs. Ocean View Hotel Rooms

Bahia Principe Resort
Jasonbook99 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Although an ocean front room may sound similar to an ocean view room, the quality of the view typically is very different, as is the price. Most of the time an ocean view room only shows part of the ocean or water, whereas oceanfront opens onto the sand (or has direct, birds-eye views).

Ocean Front Room

If you choose to stay in an ocean front room that means your room will face the ocean and offer one of the resort’s best views. Although an ocean front room is more expensive, it can be worth it, especially if you’re on vacation. Few things are more relaxing and refreshing than being able to gaze out to the sea to your heart’s content. Sometimes, ocean front guest rooms also have balconies or patios that open right onto the beach.

Ocean View Room

An ocean view room means you will be able to see the ocean from your room, but you may have to look hard to find it. Any visible patch of ocean, even if it requires looking out the window at an angle to see, will bring your room under the umbrella term “ocean view.”

The term is a bit of a marketing ploy and has no relationship to whether your view will be a good one. That being said, there are many ocean view rooms that offer lovely perspectives on the resorts’ landscaping and ocean. It often depends on just what room you’re assigned (and the hotel's layout near the beach).

How to Get the Best View

Talking with the reservation manager can make a difference in getting an upgrade to a room with a view. While online research can give you good information for negotiating the price of a room, it’s best to call the hotel directly to book the room, especially if you care about your view. Talking to a person can also help ensure you’re able to ask about such niceties as whether the room has been renovated recently or if it’s near the elevator.

Something else to consider: Sometimes first-floor ocean front rooms don’t offer as attractive views as those on the second floor or above because of shrubbery, trees, or such. So consider that, and ask the reservation manager for an opinion.

After you check in and before you unpack, take a good look at your view. If it’s disappointing, you can always ask to switch rooms if a room with a better view is available. And for sure, don’t stay in a room you’re paying extra for the ocean front view if it has an obstructed or otherwise bad view.

Was this page helpful?