We recently returned from a stay at the Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach and we loved every second of it! Cocoa Beach is one of the best beaches near Disney World and makes a great day trip from Orlando, but it’s also a great place to spend a weekend, especially if you’re exhausted from all that time at the theme parks! Take a look at why we love this hotel in Cocoa Beach, Florida and why it’s such a perfect family friendly resort!
Hotel review: Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
About Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
The Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach has been part of the Westgate family since 2016, and was fully refurbished in summer 2018. It still has that quaint, old Florida charm from the outside, but on the inside the rooms are sleek and modern, with more than enough amenities for a family to spend the weekend relaxing and unwinding. Literally steps from the beach, the resort also features an incredible water park with a pool, splash pad, and a lazy river, and is within walking distance to some great restaurants and activities, with a complimentary shuttle to Cocoa Beach Pier, which is also owned by Westgate.
An access key is needed to get in the resort from the outside, which made me feel really secure when traveling with kids, and there was plenty of complimentary parking available. The resort is divided into six different ‘buildings’ and we were able to park right outside of our building. Across the street is an additional building that houses the fitness center and lounge, and then the beach is just a few steps from there.
Rooms at Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
All of the rooms at the Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach are two bedrooms, making them perfect for families – you can also request connecting rooms if you’re a larger group and want to make the villa a four bedroom instead. With a large living area, kitchen bar and dining area, fully stocked kitchen, and two bathrooms, there is more than enough space to stay here comfortably. The rooms are modern and comfortable, with everything a family might need for the perfect beach vacation.
Traveling with kids, I always look for resorts that offer space like this since it makes the vacation so much easier! The kids have their own sleeping space so that once they’re in bed, parents can relax without worrying about waking them, there are multiple bathrooms so everyone can get ready at once, and a full kitchen means not having to go out for every meal, which is a huge money saver as well as a big convenience with little ones in tow. I travel with a picky eater and being able to make him food he’s familiar with means I’m not worried that he’s spending the whole trip hungry – and I’m not wasting money on food for him when we go out! It also means I could make the kids breakfast in the morning when they were awake bright and early, and they weren’t waiting for me to get ready to go and get food. We made breakfast every morning in the room, and once the kids were in bed each night, I got to relax with a glass of wine and a movie without worrying I’d wake them.
Our room was on the ground floor and I was worried it might be a bit noisy since the pool was right outside – but we didn’t hear anything from outside during the day or the night. It was literally a few steps from the villa door to the pool, which was perfect with the boys.
The first bedroom is a master with plenty of storage and a master bathroom with a large luxurious shower. There is also a separate sink in the bedroom as well as the one in the bathroom, and a large TV on the wall. The room was plenty big enough for me, and I loved all the space to unpack and store bags. Having my own bathroom was wonderful for showering and getting ready in the mornings without worrying I was hogging the bathroom or waking sleeping kids.
The second bedroom has two twin beds and its own bathroom. Any mom of boys will understand why I was so thrilled to have a bathroom just for them! Harrison slept in here just fine, but I ended up moving Grayson into the king bed in the master bedroom with me; at three years old, I was too nervous that he’d fall out of the bed and since it was so high and the floor was tile, I was worried he’d get hurt. Another year older and I’d be fine with him being in there. This room also has a ton of storage and a TV on the wall.
The second bathroom has a bathtub, which is another thing I always look for when traveling with kids; Grayson is still a toddler and he’s terrified of the shower, so being able to give him a bath was a huge plus. It also provided a very handy place to rinse off beach toys after we returned from the beach. There were complimentary toiletries in each bathroom, plus a hairdryer and ironing board. There were also a lot of towels, which I really appreciate with a beach hotel; it’s so easy to go through towels with three people in the room and we had more than enough.
Wakulla Falls Water Park at Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
My kids favorite part of this resort was the amazing water park, which takes up the entire interior courtyard of the resort. This really is an incredible use of space, with something for everyone – we spent hours here!
There are actually two pools: the main adult pool (in the foreground of the picture) and a little kiddie pool (you can just about see it in the back!) The kiddie pool was shallow enough that Grayson, who hasn’t quite overcome his fear of water yet, could happily splash around to his hearts content and not worry about getting out of his depth. The main pool was deeper, and Harrison loved playing in it. I really liked the fact that they roped off the deeper end; it meant I could give Harrison a boundary for where he could play without worrying about him going too deep. There was plenty of seating available, including sun loungers and shaded tables and chairs.
The pool has complimentary towels, life vests in all different sizes, and a huge Connect 4 game for kids to play (although I saw plenty of adults playing this too!) What I really loved about the pool were the services offered; someone came around with complimentary sunscreen in the morning and complimentary aloe in the afternoon (for those who missed the sunscreen in the morning!) They also offered complimentary sunglasses cleaning, something I took advantage of after my kids got hold of my sunglasses! Having these things as complimentary services is fantastic, especially when so many resorts these days seem to nickel and dime guests for every little thing, which always leaves a bad impression. It was little touches like this that really took this resort to a higher level of service, and it’s things like this that keep guests returning year after year.
The Lazy River
At the other end of the courtyard and closest to the beach is the lazy river. Again, there were complimentary towels, life vests and tubes available for both adults and kids. The kids loved floating around in here and squealed with delight every time we went under one of those fountains (I did not squeal with delight, I wore a tube over my head to protect my hair!) In the evening I saw adults floating around here in peace once the kids were all in bed, and it looked lovely and relaxing!
The Splash Pad
When I was showing my kids pictures of the resort before our stay, it was the splash pad that elicited the most excitement! Sure enough, they could have spent the entire vacation here – they had to be dragged away to do anything else! With numerous slides and fountains, every kid I saw playing in here was having the time of their life. My favorite thing about splash pads is that there isn’t any deep water, so I can sit down and observe rather than having to have the kids within arms reach the whole time, and since each area of the water park required a room key for access through the gates, I wasn’t worried about them wandering off without me. The water at the bottom of the tube slide was as deep as it got at about a foot, so if I had an unsteady toddler I would definitely watch that area, but with a six year old and a three year old, I was happy to let them run and play.
The fact that Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach has this water park really puts it above other beach resorts in the area. So many times we’ve stayed at a beach resort that just had a tiny pool because I think the assumption is that most people will be on the beach instead. In reality though, most kids would rather be in a pool than on a beach, and since the clean up from a pool day is so much easier than a beach day, most parents are happy with that too! Having both beach access and an incredible water park make this resort a stand out in the area.
Next to the pool area is a kids activity center in case your little ones need further entertainment. Harrison made a couple of friends at the pool and together they went to play with the giant checkers set and Jenga, as well as participating in other activities like sand art, board games, and coloring. Friday and Saturday night they also show movies at sunset, which is a great way to end the day. Again, all of this is complimentary.
Beach access at Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
Across the street from the property is the beach – and it’s a beautiful beach! I think a lot of people picture Cocoa Beach as being very touristy and crowded, but this stretch of beach was never busy so there was lots of room for the kids to play and it was always fairly quiet. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent, and all of the services offered at the pool (towels, sunscreen, etc) are offered here as well, as well as surf lessons. There are also complimentary beach toys available, which is a fantastic amenity (it meant I didn’t have to lug a huge pile of toys to the beach every day!) and there are fresh water showers leading from the beach back to the resort. One of my favorite things was that they also have Bluetooth speakers so you can play music; the people next to us had a great beach playlist going that we loved listening to!
Being on the Atlantic, the water here was a little rougher and a little colder than you’d find on the Gulf, but it wasn’t nearly as cold as I thought it would be and the kids loved jumping over the waves. We found some beautiful shells and even saw a dolphin one morning when we were there extra early!
Where to eat at Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
The Tiki Bar is located literally steps from the pool, and serves tasty lunch options like salads, burgers, and sandwiches. We ate here before we left on our last day and the food was delicious, just what we needed for the drive home. My only regret was not getting to try one of their tropical cocktails – I’d had my eye on a Rum Runner in a Tiki souvenir cup all trip! I did get to pretend with a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri though, and I can confirm that it was delicious!
Since Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach villas have a full service kitchen, it makes sense to bring some food for the room. We brought breakfast items and snacks with us, and then stocked up on things like milk and ice cream from the gift shop at the resort – you could also pick up things like pancake mix, coffee, and cereal from here, so there’s not really any need to bring things like that with you unless you have a picky eater. If you’re looking to cook full meals, there’s a Winn Dixie within walking distance of the resort, and we discovered a Target a 15 minute drive away (because apparently not a day goes by without us visiting Target, even on vacation!) There is an outdoor kitchen with complimentary grills and tables to use next to the pool (and these are really nice grills!) that are available on a first come first serve basis. The gift shop also sold sundries like toothpaste and painkillers in case you’ve forgotten anything – and of course, you can pick up souvenirs here too (yes of course we came home with something!)
As previously mentioned, Westgate Resorts also owns Cocoa Beach Pier, and there is a complimentary trolley service to the pier every hour on the hour that stops right outside the resort. The pier is less than a miles walk from the resort and if my kids were a little older we would definitely have walked the route instead, but since they still have little legs, we took the trolley to the pier to try one of their five places to eat. We ate at Pelican’s Bar and Grill, which overlooks the ocean and provides amazing views of the waves below (and an incredible sunset view if you can time it right!) The food and drinks were absolutely delicious, the service was fantastic (request Ashley W, she will take great care of you!), and the boys were kept busy with coloring sheets. The menu was very family friendly, but great for adults too with lots of fresh seafood options. There are also a huge number of Cocoa Beach restaurants within walking distance of Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach, with everything from chain restaurants to local seafood places on the beach.
Other amenities at Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
Across the street from the main building of Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach there is another building that is still awaiting room renovations, but it does hold the lounge and fitness center. The lounge is a great place to come if you have a little work to do (because we all know that sometimes work comes with us on vacation!), there are places to plug in laptops with a view of the ocean, and a printer in case you need to print off documents or boarding passes, a coffee machine and a vending machine in case you need a snack.
Next to the lounge is a fitness center with all of the usual fitness equipment, as well as water machine and cool towels. You can also pick up bicycle helmets here in case you want to rent a complimentary bike – something else I’d love to try once the kids get older! Since the kids are still young and it was just the three of us, I didn’t get to try the fitness center on this trip, but it did occur to me that if they were a bit older, the lounge next door would be a great place for them to get homework done or watch a movie on an iPad (with headphones of course!) while I worked out since I could see them the whole time.
Something I could sadly only look longingly at was the Makau Lanai adult only relaxation area, complete with a fire pit and lots of very relaxing looking chairs. My kids are far too young for me to leave them alone by the pool, but since this area is right next to the pool, it would be perfect for those with older kids (and even better for those traveling without kids!)
Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier and other things to do near Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach
The complimentary trolley to Cocoa Beach Pier leaves every hour on the hour from 9AM to 10.30PM every day, and is a great way to get to the pier if you have kids in tow. At the pier you can find places to eat and grab a drink, places to shop and pick up beach supplies and souvenirs, surf lessons, beach rentals, fishing, sand volleyball, live music and more! We spent a whole evening here after dinner catching the beautiful sunset and playing in the surf, and the kids had the time of their lives. Read through this post on my other recommendations for things to do in Cocoa Beach with kids.
The Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier also has fantastic new event space with a sweeping ocean view and amazing catering options from award winning chefs. If you combine this brand new function space with the newly renovated rooms at the Westgate Resort Cocoa Beach, it would make for a fantastic upscale Cocoa Beach wedding venue for those looking to tie the knot on the beach.
We were hosted by Westgate Resorts on this trip and received a complimentary meal at Pelican’s Bar and Grill. As always all opinions are my own.