Hotel Icona Diamond Beach
What We Love
- Located on a private beach south of the extremely popular Wildwoods beach community
- New suites with kitchenettes
- Balconies that grab a piece of Atlantic views
What To Know
- The pool is open seasonally (generally May through October, weather permitting)
- One parking space per suite is included in the resort fee
- Check out is at 10 a.m., and parking space must be vacated at that time
- The hotel is popular with families
- This is a quieter stretch of this beach than Wildwood to the north
- Bathrooms are accessible only through the bedroom
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
As you cruise down Wildwood Crest’s Ocean and Atlantic avenues, fluorescent Midcentury “Doo Wop” motels give way to Diamond Beach’s more traditional cottages and new condos. On a private beach between a massive condo complex and a gated residential development, Icona Resort is a delightful artifact of the area’s 1960s and ’70s heyday; its skeleton is an angular, sawtooth-style building maximizing the ocean views.
Bed and Bath
The 200-room motel was gutted and transformed into 108 mod, spacious suites that elevate the traditional Jersey Shore stay with private ocean-view balconies, contemporary wood furnishings, golden carpeting and comfy living areas with queen-size sofabeds. The galley kitchen is ready to cook, with a mini-fridge, microwave, dishwasher, two-burner stovetop, Keurig coffeemaker, cookware and dishware. The bathrooms are accessible only through the bedroom; they’re new, functional and stocked with organic bath products. Suites on the sunny south side catch the best Atlantic views from balconies above the pool. North side suites also have balconies, with partial ocean views.
Icona Resort’s position at the end of Diamond Beach bestows it with New Jersey’s only private beach, a stretch of sand set aside for resort guests and perfect for families with young children. The hotel’s approved beach vendor rents everything you need for a day in the sun, from umbrellas to sunscreen to boogie boards, and lifeguards keep their eye on the rolling surf. Or you can stay poolside all day and then head to Coastal Blue Oceanside Bar & Grill for classic seafood such as blackened fish tacos with mango slaw, guacamole, chipotle aioli or lobster mac and cheese.
In the Area
To the north, Wildwood is a family favorite for its traditional pier amusement park and cheeky Jersey Shore style. The aforementioned beach motels may not match Icona for luxury and space, but their façades are works of art and a blast from America’s optimistic post-WWII past. Explore Wildwood’s “Doo Wop” Midcentury resort architecture with the local Doo Wop Preservation League, dedicated to promoting and preserving a slightly tacky but definitely charming architectural legacy. South of the resort, Victorian Cape May protects a different scene: the largest collection of 19th-century buildings in the country, which now house boutiques, restaurants and galleries.
How to Get There
We have been to other hotels in the Crest and this by far was the best. The staff was friendly and helpful. (The private beach, the restaurant, housekeeping and the front desk all of our interactions with the staff was great.) We had a great vacation and look forward to returning.
This hotel and beach is unlike anywhere I have stayed in Wildwood Crest. It truly has a Caribbean feel. From the palm trees to the beach bar, it felt like an exotic vacation spot. I would definitely recommend this resort to couples or families!
Great place to stay. Rooms are clean, staff provides excellent service. This was our second visit and are already planning our third. The beach bar is just an added bonus. Please add a full service spa.