Cedar Point is one of the few true destination theme parks outside of Orlando and California, but you won’t find the same breadth of hotel options in Sandusky, Ohio.
Which may explain why Cedar Fair owns five different hotel properties on or around the Cedar Point peninsula. The cheapest of those five is Cedar Point’s Express Hotel, located just about five minutes from the park’s parking lot and where I stayed for one night in May 2022 for $91 using my Cedar Fair Platinum Pass discount.
Following a 2017 overhaul, the former Breakers Express offers a comfortable, reliable stay with a few touches that boost the property above its value hotel status. Considering my disappointment with my stay at the pricier Hotel Breakers (read that full review here), and the similarly-priced options being shady motels with a potentially high risk of bedbugs, comfortable and reliable is high praise for this property.
The 419 rooms at the Express Hotel are comparable for those at a well-maintained Best Western or La Quinta. Check out the video room tour for a look around and to hear more of my thoughts on the hotel:
Besides the lack of any real on-site dining, I found the amenities at Cedar Point’s Express Hotel to be a step above what you’d expect for a Sandusky hotel at this price point.
The hotel got a refreshed lobby and pool area as part of its 2017 overhaul. The latter especially feels nicer than what you’d expect at this lower price point.
The pool is heated, is a bit larger than you’d find at similarly-priced hotels, and includes a splash pad area for kids alongside a nicely-landscaped courtyard with plenty of seating.
The Express Shop offers Cedar Point merch along with some snacks and coffee in the morning. It’s not an extensive shop, but I actually found more in-park merch here than at Hotel Breakers and having any snacks for sale inside your hotel is welcome at this price point.
Like guests at over Cedar Fair-owned hotels, you’ll get to enter Cedar Point one hour before the official opening by staying at the Express Hotel. While you won’t get the separate entrance that Hotel Breakers and Lighthouse Point guests enjoy, early entry is still a significant benefit for anyone who’s not a season passholder, as you should get at least two rides with minimal waits during that extra hour.
The final verdict: When you (and shouldn’t) stay at Cedar Point’s Express Hotel
At the risk of repeating myself, the Express Hotel is clean, comfortable and reliable. That may not seem like high praise, but it’s definitely a compliment for a value hotel in an area where there seems to be a dearth of options between overpriced three-star accommodations and risky motels.
If you’re staying at Cedar Point for a weekend or up to three days, and you’re going to spend the vast majority of your time in the park, the Express Hotel offers the right balance of a cheap room with an above-average pool that can offer some entertainment after the park closes. If having longer mid-day breaks or dining outside the park is important to you, the Express Hotel may not offer quite enough.
I think most Cedar Point visitors fall into the latter group, so they’ll spend most of their time enjoying the park’s amazing coaster collection, not lounging around a hotel. The Express Hotel offers just enough to keep them satisfied when the park is closed.
DISCLOSURE: This review is based on my own opinion and perspective. I paid for my own stay at the hotel and was not granted any special access, nor was hotel staff aware that I was conducting a review.