OCEAN CITY — On Sunday, April 1, the Dunes Manor Hotel celebrated its 25th Anniversary.
An Ocean City landmark, the Dunes Manor Hotel opened its doors on April 1, 1987.
To commemorate the anniversary, the Dunes Manor family hosted a Special Afternoon Tea on Sunday welcoming friends throughout the community and many former guests and employees attended the celebration that was open to all.
The story of the Dunes Manor began when Milton and Thelma Conner were married in 1940. After working at the Hasting Hotel in the early days of Ocean City, and later working side by side at their Dunes Motel, they dreamt of opening a full-service hotel on an inherited vacant oceanfront block of land.
Many years were spent in the planning stages of the Dunes Manor Hotel. Unfortunately, Milton Conner fell ill. After his death, Thelma Conner received several phone calls asking her when she planned to sell. However, she was determined to see their dream come to life. She would joke that "Some thought I was an old fool to build a hotel at the age of 74 years old.”
With her humorous spirit, the hotel was officially opened on April Fool’s Day in 1987.
Soon after opening, the tradition of an afternoon tea began.
During the 1940’s while working at the Hastings Hotel, Thelma Conner said how nice it was to watch the guests come together at meal times, gathering in the lobby or conversing on the veranda. She noted, “There were many interesting conversations that led to friendships.”
So when planning the guest experience at the 170-room Dunes Manor Hotel, not only were the modern conveniences important, but Thelma Conner also wanted to provide as many opportunities as possible for the guests to interact amongst themselves and with the staff. The tradition of afternoon tea and crumpets was born.
In 1999, Thelma Conner passed away, but her dream of hospitality continues. Afternoon tea is still served daily at 3 p.m., a tradition that has become quite well known and adored.
That tradition is in solid hands with General Manager Vicki Morris and Assistant General Manager Jim Quick, who have both been with the hotel for 25 years.