Francis Scott Key Family Resort

Address: 12806 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, Maryland, 21842, United States | Resort
Searching for availability...
*Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.

How has this resort rated in the past?

  What's this?
Discover trends in hotel experiences based on real traveler reviews and ratings. Mouse over circles to see what some travelers had to say.


This resort, located on 12806 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, is near Boardwalk, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, Ripleys Believe it or Not!, and Trimper's Rides and Amusement Park.
Map this resort



    Historical Traveler Reviews Francis Scott Key Family Resort Ocean City

    1st time I stayed at a hotel out of spite


    I was really hoping to write a great review for this hotel, especially since I booked the hotel based on a response given by management to a tripadvisor member review. To me, that meant that management not only read reviews here, but felt responsibility to respond. However, our experience was mixed because:

    The good news:

    The Caribbean Key indoor pool - a definite plus if it rains (and it did on our trip). This is top priority if you do nothing else at the motel.

    2 outdoor pools, 1 with a bar

    On-site restaurant (though too pricey for us)

    On-site laundry facilities

    Comp shuttle to the boardwalk

    Lou the 'breakfast guy' who gives great recommendations on where to eat

    Very close to great stores and food chain and next door to a Starbucks, which is good because...

    The bad news:

    The 'grab and go breakfast' is pretty sparse. You get your choice of a banana, apple or orange, a mini muffin, mini Danish or mini doughnut, a 4 oz juice or coffee - that's it. It's just enough to hold you over until you can get to a real breakfast. Speaking of coffee, we got the room with the kitchenette, which does, indeed, have a coffee maker in it, but if you like to make your own, bring the filters along with the cream and sugar. If you forget, the Key will be happy to SELL you a 'coffee kit'.

    Our toilet ran until you stopped it (fortunately, I knew how)

    Mattresses were UNBEARABLY HARD; when we called management to ask them if they could change the hardest, we think they merely switched the mattresses that were already in the room. This was not the solution we were hoping for, but we might have expected it because...

    Most of the staff were from Eastern Europe and English proficiency was not always present

    The fridge was VERY LOUD

    The air conditioning was INCREDIBLY LOUD, I'm glad I brought my earplugs

    The lights were dim, it was impossible to read, unless you had your paper right under the bulb.

    But I think I would have taken these problems a little more in stride had it not been for the worse offense. The hotel staff insisted that our credit card, the same one we used to hold the room, was not clearing to pay for the rest of the stay. Of course, we kept trying and I'm sure you can figure out that the payments were actually going through. By the time we got to our pre-arranged, but not pre-paid, parasailing date, the card was maxed out and we couldn't go. Only THEN did I call my bank to find out what was going on. It turns out that their VISA rep put the charges through, but didn't confirm it to the hotel. Fortunately, the money was replaced, but not until the next day. The hotel would not take responsibility for the snafu, either.

    We booked the hotel to get a free day and after the credit card fiasco I was tempted to leave 2 days early. But next morning I decided to tough it out; why should I leave and give them the opportunity to make money on some other poor family.

    Suffice to say, that even though there are some nice amenities there, we won't be going back.


    Need wheelchair ramps


    I have a child who is nine and she is in a wheelchair. I did ask before I booked the stay if they had wheelchair rooms. They told me that the room I would be staying in only had two steps to the room door. Well, try four steep steps just to get to the hall that leads to the room door. I had to take her out of her chair, carry her in the room first, then pick up and carry the wheelchair. When I was doing this other guest would just stand there and watch me struggle. NO ONE offered to help me. Then the outside pools had no ramps, just steps. So I could never take her swimming in the outside pools. Plus the main house had no ramps, so to check in I had to leave her in the van. The only ramp they had lead to the in door kids pool. Plus, they had no rules on parking, so you could not park in front of your room. Then one morning I woke up, some one ran into the back of my van and left damage. Because the parking was so bad. It was a free for all when it came to parking. I will not be staying at the FSK hotel ever again, untill they get ramps for the rooms and the rest of the place.

    Good Value for the Cost


    Fot the price you can't beat this motel in the Ocean City area. This is a great place for children. The grounds offer many activities for kids. If you are looking to spend a romantic getaway I would not recommend FSK. If you are a family on a budget, this is an excellent choice.

    Note: The motel has well water. It smells like sulfer. If this bothers you, do not stay here.

    Pleasantly Surprised by the FSK


    I was wary of staying at the Francis Scott Key this Memorial Day as I had stayed there a number of years back and had only bad memories of the quality of both the accomodation and the customer service. However, it was in a perfect location for my recent plans in Ocean City, MD, and the price was absolutely unbeatable for Memorial Day weekend, so I booked it. The room I stayed in was in the main building, which was renovated about five years ago, I think, and it was certainly spacious and serviceable. The carpeting did have a few stains on it, but the room was clean on the whole. Some fixtures in the bathroom had been replaced, although the bathtub and shower showed significant signs of age--but everything functioned properly, so who can really complain?

    The only problems I had with the FSK was that the walls of the room were quite thin, so when one of our neighbors had a screaming match with someone else at 3 a.m., the entire third floor heard it (and also heard the security guards who promptly responded to the noise complaints), and that when I left a bag of snacks on the bureau, I found ants crawling onto it the next day. On the upside, FSK offers complementary continental breakfast--coffee, mini-muffins, juice, fresh fruit, milk (there's a Starbucks a few doors down, too, if you're a coffee snob)--and has a plethora of activities for those who don't feel like venturing off the large property (including a small lending library, board games, horseshoes, volleyball, basketball, and three pools), as well as a surprisingly nice fitness room and a small arcade. You can even take a complementary shuttle over to the beach in Ocean City proper, which alleviates the need to find parking once you get there.

    The restaurant in the motel, the Marlin Moon Grille, is incongruously upscale but the food quality is fantastic, and there's a shopping plaza just across the highway with a sushi place, a number of outlet stores, a large supermarket, and a go-kart track if you wish to eat offsite without going too far. On the whole, I would recommend this motel but would advise guests to stay in the main building--not the unrenovated "outbuildings"--and ask for the third floor (what with the thin walls, the noise from the downstairs restaurant and bar might travel up to the second floor rooms). It's very reasonably priced, the service is fine (excepting a couple front desk workers), and the accomodations good enough to bear even for this hotel snob.

    *Mobility-impared guests, be aware that I did NOT see any elevator in the main building, so you may wish to call ahead to ensure that you have a way of getting upstairs rather than trekking up the staircases.

    Fantastic place to stay with kids!


    We have been to the Francis Scott Key several times in the past few years. It is the best place to stay for families on a budget. The outdoor pool is perfect for small children and teenagers. Everyone that works there is friendly. I have nothing bad to say about the place except I wish it was ocean front. We have continued to stay there for all the above reasons but the one thing that I love about the place is a sense of community. Mostly families stay and my children make new friends every year. We will be going again this memorial weekend and I will send a review of the new indoor pool. If you are a mother who wants to have a great time with the kids but have some peace of mind at the same time this is the place to stay! I am getting married in OC on August 30th of this year and all of my wedding guests have booked at this motel. I know they wont be disappointed!

    Very Affordable Family Getaway


    We have stayed here for the past 3 years, and have never been disappointed yet. My kids love the theme pool and arcade and my husband and I love the hot tub and the outside poolside bar. Very clean and affordable, but we do bring our own water to drink as we don't care for well water. The restaurant ajacient to the motel has the absolute best lobster tail!!! That's another thing that keeps us coming back. We love the shuttle that runs during the summer from the motel to the beach (for free!). Saves parking expenses. Everyone is quite friendly. The kitchenettes are wonderful. Helps save money on food. We'll keep coming back! For the price and location, you can't beat it.

    Yellow water


    We stayed in a cottage, which had a sitting room, two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The water was completely yellow, the showerhead very rusty. Upon arrival, the toilet was stopped up and the tub would only drain very slowly. They did fix the toilet, but requests for burned out lightbulbs to be replaced were ignored (most of the light fixtures took three bulbs, and all had two of the three burned out). There was a very musty smell that permeated the building, especially in the closets. My clothing took on this smell. The sheets had holes in them. We even found a slug crawling across the bedroom floor.

    The location was good and housekeeping did work around our schedule, but overall the stay was very disappointing.

    TripAdvisor Reviews Francis Scott Key Family Resort Ocean City

    4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

    Travel Blogs from Ocean City

    Change of scenery

    A travel blog entry by mustseemore on Sep 25, 2015

    9 photos

    ... 30-40 mile an hour winds.

    We stopped for a picnic lunch in Cape Charles, hoping to catch a glimpse of the lighthouse which bears its' name. We did not find it - instead seeing a town water tank painted to resemble an iron lighthouse. Someone here has quite a sense of humour.

    We have ended the day in Fruitland - a place where most people, like us, are "just passing through".



    A travel blog entry by gurufamily on Sep 15, 2015

    8 photos

    This morning, woke up at 7:00am and Legend was ready to go outside. Beautiful brisk morning. I have on pants and jacket. The sun feels good! Legend is getting used to going to the bathroom with cars buzzing by on the highway. Jess and I spent some time today at the outlet mall next to the hotel browsing. We tried a very popular seafood restaurant this evening too. It was crowded at 5:30 with a 20 minute wait....when we left, the wait was over an hour. It's ...

    Our day in Rehoboth Beach begins

    A travel blog entry by gurufamily on Sep 14, 2015

    7 photos

    Ryan and I awoke early and headed outside with Legend. The air is brisk....I had my jacket on and Ryan wished he wore his. Invigorating and awesome!! We had breakfast and coffee and are preparing for the day. I will work from the lobby for a few hours and Ryan may have to go to his testing for work soon. Matt and Jess are still ...

    Horses, Sea Glass & Crabcakes

    A travel blog entry by happytrails123 on Aug 28, 2015

    3 comments, 22 photos

    ... what we're going to be looking for on our future beachcoming!

    Next stop was "linner" as Barb calls it, at her favorite crabcake restaurant, Captain's Galley II, on the waterfront in the Ocean City harbor. We three enjoyed the crab filled cakes and adult Orange Crush drinks.

    Thanks Barb for a wonderful visit! Time to move up the road…Annapolis, MD is our next stop and a hopeful boating ...


    A travel blog entry by rgc4857 on Aug 13, 2015

    6 photos

    The Conaway's and the Beauchamp's left Stockton, MD at 5 p.m. and the Porter's fell in the convoy in Snow Hill. We traveled to Cumberland , MD and slept in a Walmart lot. This night start enabled us to avoid the morning work traffic from the Bay Bridge north. 281 miles traveled.