12 Best Wilmington Beach Hotels

Written by Meagan Drillinger
Nov 27, 2020

The coastline of Wilmington Beach, North Carolina is defined by three island beaches: Carolina, Kure, and Wrightsville Beaches. This spectacular stretch of Atlantic Coastline is home to a world-class boardwalk, restaurants, outdoor activity, and, of course, miles of uninterrupted beach. The Wilmington Beach hotels offer something for everyone.

From quirky and quaint beachfront motels to historic bed and breakfasts, comfortable brand names, and charming golf resorts, the hotels of Wilmington Beach are varied, comfortable, clean, and, most importantly, affordable.

When visitors are not soaking up the rays on the beach, Wilmington, North Carolina is a vibrant riverfront city that is all about its Southern charm. From the walkable river district to its Southern cultural charm, moss-draped trees, brick-lined historic district, and, of course, the miles of pristine beach, Wilmington is a prime summer getaway offering something for everyone.

Ready to see what Wilmington has to offer? Check out our list of the best Wilmington Beach hotels.

1. Blockade Runner Beach Resort

Photo Source: Blockade Runner Beach Resort

The coolest part about the Blockade Runner Beach Resort is that it's surrounded by water on all sides. On one side is the Atlantic Ocean, while Soundside is on the other, giving two very different types of waterfront experiences.

Guests can choose from rooms that either face the sea or the harbor. Rooms are bright, clean, and spacious, with outdoor balconies.

With so much water everywhere, you can imagine that one of the highlights of staying at this Wilmington beach hotel is the variety of aquatic activities. Guests can enjoy swimming, sailing, surfing, kayaking, sunset cruises, fishing, and more.

The resort itself has plenty of amenities, like a hot tub; sauna; fitness center; and the EAST Oceanfront Dining, which serves fresh local seafood, vegan, and vegetarian options. The pool has a poolside café, as well.

Visiting in the summer? The Sandcamper Kids' camp is a half-day adventure camp for kids, offered right at the hotel.

Address: 275 Waynick Blvd, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Blockade Runner Beach Resort

2. Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront

Photo Source: Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront

Perched right on Carolina Beach, the Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront is one of the best beach resorts in the area. In fact, it's the only oceanfront Marriott in the entire state of North Carolina, just a short drive to the North Carolina Aquarium, the Southport ferry, and downtown Wilmington.

Guest rooms are ocean facing and have private balconies with sweeping views of the Atlantic coast. Guests can book a standard room or one bedroom. The hotel has several accessible rooms, as well.

On-site, guests can dine at The Bistro, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is even a Starbucks here.

A heated indoor pool and outdoor pools are open in the warmer months. But the main attraction is the scenic shoreline, which is right out front, as well as the proximity to Wilmington Beach's dining, shopping, and historic downtown.

Address: 100 Charlotte Ave, Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront

3. Atlantic Towers

Photo Source: Atlantic Towers

Centerstage on Carolina Beach, Atlantic Towers condominium rises 11 stories, with one- and two-bedroom suites. All are fully furnished with full kitchens, living areas, and private balconies. The best part? Each room has a view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Also on property, guests will find an oceanfront pool, as well as an indoor heated pool, sundeck with grilling area, video game room, and even laundry in the building.

Atlantic Towers' location right on the beach is what makes it so appealing. So, naturally, guests are going to want to enjoy the beach. Atlantic Towers has teamed up with Wheel Fun Rentals for chair and umbrella rentals on the beach. They also rent out surfboards, boogie boards, and bicycles.

There is no dining establishment at the hotel, however guests can stock their fridges and cook, or enjoy the nearby restaurants.

Address: 1615 S Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Atlantic Towers

4. The Admiral's Quarters

Photo Source: The Admiral's Quarters

The Admiral's Quarters is a convenient beachfront hotel with a retro vibe but updated in-room amenities. Its perfect ocean-view location is what makes it a cut above the traditional motel. Some rooms are equipped with kitchens; others have balconies, but all are clean and comfortable.

Amenities include two oceanfront pools, as well as an oceanfront gazebo. While there is no restaurant on-site, The Admiral's Quarters has grills and a picnic area. Plus, the motel is within walking distance to all the restaurants in the area, as well as the pier.

The motel offers several specials, including discounts for military, returning guests, and those who stay more than three nights.

Address: 129 Fort Fisher Blvd S, Kure Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: The Admiral's Quarters

5. Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast

Photo Source: Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast

A 1940s beachfront boarding house-turn-charming B&B, Beacon House Inn is one of the most quaint beach hotels on Carolina Beach in Wilmington. With only six rooms, it's all about intimacy and attention to detail, from the brick fireplace to pine flooring and walls throughout.

But the thoughtful touches don't end there. The bed and breakfast also has a massage room and several packages that feature spa treatments and yoga.

Each guest room is decorated in its own unique style, from the Pineapple Room to the Romance Suite. Beach cottages are available, as well, directly behind the Beacon House Inn. Each cottage has a full kitchen, and several of the cottages are pet friendly.

Of course, come for the charming decor, but stay for the breakfast. Beacon House Inn prepares locally sourced breakfasts served as "chef's choice," though guests can provide the hotel with food allergies and dietary restrictions before arriving.

Address: 715 Carolina Beach Ave N, Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast

6. Carolina Temple Apartments

This historic building was constructed in the early 1900s, and was once Station 6 on the Wrightsville Beach Trolley Line. Steeped in history, today it is one of the most beautifully maintained hotels, dripping with Southern charm, with wraparound porches and large rocking chairs, hammocks, and more.

Carolina Temple Apartments has eight apartments, which are available as one or two bedrooms. Each is air-conditioned and has a fully equipped kitchen. All rooms have convenient beach access and a pier with docking and fishing access.

Carolina Temple Apartments is close to downtown Wilmington, as well as Wrightsville Beach and all the attractions the destination has to offer, from golf and tennis to sailboat and motorboat rentals. Guests can also arrange fishing charters, surf lessons, scuba trips, and fishing.

Address: 550 Waynick Blvd, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Carolina Temple Apartments

7. Beau Rivage Golf & Resort

Photo Source: Beau Rivage Golf & Resort

Elegant, stately, and oozing with Southern charm, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort is a refined option near the Wilmington coast. Though technically not directly on the beach - it's two miles from Carolina and Kure beaches - it's still considered one of the top resorts in the coastal area.

The real reason visitors book a stay at Beau Rivage is for its golf course. The 18-hole championship course is one of the best in the area, and one of the more unique for coastal courses. It is a par-72 layout that has 40 to 75 feet in elevation changes. Golfers love the Clubhouse, as well.

In addition to the golf course, there is a Pro Shop, grill restaurant, two tennis courts, and a seasonal outdoor pool. Of course, the beach is not far away, so guests can easily arrange for a day to enjoy the sand. Take advantage of the nearby hiking trails and the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, which is six miles of beach and trails through salt marsh.

Address: 649 Rivage Promenade, Wilmington, North Carolina

Accommodation: Beau Rivage Golf & Resort

8. Beach House Inn and Suites

Photo Source: Beach House Inn and Suites

A family-owned motel with five-star ocean views, Beach House Inn & Suites has 22 rooms and suites right on the Carolina coastline. Rooms are clean and basic, but the views are unobstructed and right out to sea. All rooms have kitchens, as well. A wooden walkway from the motel leads directly onto the beach.

The resort's amenities are basic, with an outdoor pool, Wi-Fi, and parking. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but its location is what makes it one of the best hotels in Wilmington Beach, especially for travelers who want to make the most of the outdoor activities.

Just two blocks from the marina, guests can arrange for fishing charters or sunset cruises. They can also walk the boardwalk to fish off the piers.

Local attractions include the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, as well as the USS North Carolina WWII ship.

Address: 412 Carolina Beach Ave N, Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Beach House Inn and Suites

9. Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Photo Source: Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Of course, not every fabulous hotel in Wilmington Beach is actually on the beach. Some of the best hotels in Wilmington, NC are located within the city itself - though the beach is never very far away. Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is arguably one of the best hotels in the city.

The 274-room hotel has an enviable location right on the Cape Fear River. It packs in great views and a front-row spot on the Wilmington Riverwalk. Here, you'll find restaurants, shopping, and historic sites all within a short distance.

Rooms are fresh, clean, and comfortable. Guests can choose from a river view or city view. Three restaurants include Ruth's Chris Steakhouse; a casual coffee café; and the Board & Barrel Coastal Kitchen, which offers indoor/outdoor dining on the waterfront.

The hotel is about a 30-minute drive from the beach.

Address: 301 N Water Street, Wilmington, North Carolina

Accommodation: Hotel Ballast Wilmington, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

10. Surf Suites

Photo Source: Surf Suites

The outside may leave something to be desired, but the beachfront The Surf Suites is certainly a hidden gem on the Carolina coast. The 45 renovated oceanfront suites all face the sea, and feature kitchens, living spaces, and private balconies or patios.

Downstairs guests will find an oceanfront pool, sundeck, and a gazebo. Staff provides 24-hour desk service, as well as daily housekeeping. Laundry is located on the premises, as well.

You'll be hard-pressed to find better views and a better beachfront location, with direct access right to the sandy, swept shores of the Atlantic.

Address: 711 S Lumina Ave, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Surf Suites

11. Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach

Photo Source: Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach

Just five minutes from the beach, Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Wrightsville has 120 rooms surrounded by well-manicured landscaping. Tucked amid tropical plants, trees, and even a pond, the hotel may be part of a chain, but it certainly exudes its own personality.

The hotel is near the Summer Rest Trail, which is a mile of trail that leads to a dock area with boats and lovely views.

The hotel also has an outdoor pool, and breakfast is included. A steakhouse is just down the street, while the many restaurants of Wilmington and the beach area are just a few minutes' drive away.

One mile away is Airlie Gardens, while Chandlers Wharf shops and the famous Cotton Exchange are within a 15-minute drive.

Address: 1989 Eastwood Road, Wilmington, North Carolina

Accommodation: Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach

12. Drifter's Reef Hotel

Photo Source: Drifter's Reef Hotel

Drifter's Reef Hotel is a small, family-owned motel with 61 rooms just three blocks from the ocean and the famous Carolina Beach boardwalk. Right in the heart of Carolina Beach, the motel is a quick walk to all the fun, entertainment, and beautiful beaches.

The motel has its own outdoor pool, as well as an on-site restaurant and sports grill, The Lazy Pirate. Guests love The Lazy Pirate because it's packed with activities year-round, from cornhole and live music to beach volleyball. Guests get 10 percent off at The Lazy Pirate, as well.

If families want to bring their furry friends, there are 13 pet-friendly rooms all on the first floor. A dog park is available at the hotel, as well.

Address: 701 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Accommodation: Drifter's Reef Hotel

Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired.

More on North Carolina