Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala is a great family-friendly hotel in Ocala, Florida. Located just over an hour from typical Florida destinations like Tampa and Orlando, it’s an ideal stop on the drive in or out of the state. Its central location, free afternoon snacks, and complimentary hot breakfast make it not only a fun place for families, but an affordable one too.
Hampton Inn & Suites: A Family-Friendly Hotel in Ocala, Florida
I recently did a quick weekend trip to Ocala, Florida after a girls week out on Anna Maria Island. Ocala is about 1 1/2 north of Tampa and even closer to Orlando, making it a great stopping spot for a night or two on your drive in or out of town. I stayed on my own in a one bedroom suite at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala. The fun quirks and gems throughout make this a great option for a family-friendly hotel in Ocala.
Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala: The Hotel
The Hampton Inn & Suites in Ocala really surprised me. Sure it’s a chain hotel, but I was really surprised and impressed by the level of customer service and attention to detail throughout the hotel. From silly signs at the breakfast helping me crack a smile at the crack of dawn to the free drinks and cookies in the afternoon, it felt like the hotel placed guest enjoyment and satisfaction above anything else.
Things to do in Ocala are spread out throughout Marion County from east to west and north to south. The hotel is centrally located about 10-15 minutes away from most of the main attractions in Ocala. 10 minutes north to zip-lining. 10 minutes west to Shalom park. 10 minutes east to main street Ocala. 15 minutes south to Gypsy Gold Horse Farm. It was the ideal location for my weekend of eating and adventure in Ocala, the hidden gem of Florida.
Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala: The Rooms
Hampton Inn & Suites offers four types of rooms: two queen, one king, one king + sofa bed, and a king studio suite. I stayed in a king studio suite. The room was large enough that I could easily have set up a pack n play for my toddler in the “suite part,” or unfolded the sofa bed for young kids or teens to sleep on. In between the living area and the king sized bed was a desk running the full length of the room, not ideal for families but great for me traveling for business on this particular weekend.
The bed was piled high with soft sheets, various types of fluffy pillows, and a comforter that just begged me to nap. It took all of my strength to get out of bed in the morning when the only thing I really wanted to do was close the blackout shades and sleep all day. And next to the bed, a small set of peaceful sleep ear plugs that would’ve been perfect for my husband if he’d been with me. Those little things are what makes it my favorite family-friendly hotel in Ocala.
The other thing that really impressed me about the rooms was the green factor. Like many other hotels, Hampton Inn & Suites is trying to encourage being more green by washing towels and sheets less, but the thing I’d never seen before was the split trash cans in the room. The little mini trash cans were split in half, one side for trash and the other for recycling.
I loved the concept, but unfortunately the trash can halves were too small to fit much of anything. I ended up leaving much of my trash (and recycling) on the desk above the trash instead. I would rather see two regular-size containers, one for trash and one for recycling than the split version.
Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala: The Food
Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala offers a complimentary hot breakfast for everyone who stays in the hotel. It’s really a continental breakfast with a few hot options such as make-your-own waffles, eggs, and the Hampton Inn & Suites special, breakfast bagel toppers. The reason the breakfast really shines is the hand drawn colorful chalk signs throughout the breakfast area that
The reason the breakfast really shines is the hand drawn colorful chalk signs throughout the breakfast area that are designed to make you smile. I asked the staff if I could take a picture of the signs, and she mentioned that a lot of people do. They’re quirky, fun, and a creative way to make mornings a little better.
Traveling Mom Tip: If you don’t have time for a hot breakfast, you can grab brown sack breakfasts at the front desk for everyone in your party. They come with cold, non-perishable items like a bottle of water, granola bar, packaged muffin, and fruit. The hot breakfast is definitely better but if you’re pinched for time, the brown bag breakfasts are a nice option.
In addition to breakfast, the Hampton Inn & Suites also puts out free cookies and drinks in the afternoon, complimentary to their guests. (And a huge bonus as a family-friendly hotel in Ocala!) And after a hot summer day in Florida, free ice cold water and lemonade was a great surprise. There is also always complimentary coffee and tea available, but when it’s 100 degrees outside, a hot drink was the last thing on my mind.
Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala: What Makes It a Family-Friendly Hotel in Ocala
- Free hot breakfast for everyone
- Free on-site parking
- Room options with two queen beds and/or king + sofa bed
- Large pool
- Centrally located to many of the main attractions and restaurants in the area
- Affordable prices
- Fun signs throughout the hotel to entertain the kids
Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala: What Doesn’t Work for Families
The only thing I found that wouldn’t work for my own family is that they don’t offer suites with separate rooms. The studio suite was still all contained in one room, which isn’t ideal for traveling with a toddler who needs their own space to take a nap. Otherwise, everything I found and experienced would not only work for families, it’d work well.