Beachside Resort- Panama City Beach- Review

Beachside Resort Hotel

Update given below…..

As I mentioned, I recentlywent to PCB, FL.

As with most things in my life, I procrastinated on making the decision to go until a couple of days beforehand. Unlike usual, I wanted to go ahead and reserve a room because I knew that I would not be arriving until around 2am. Typically, I am more of a “wing it” kind of gal, waiting until arrival to visually determine which places look pleasing.

I used Google Maps to look at hotels along the beach and then searched those names to look at the website.

I came across Beachside Resort after looking at the standard franchise hotels. Even though the time frame was after the usual summer season rush, prices were still high all around. Beachside seemed to be on the low end.

Upon looking at the website and reading reviews, it seemed like a safe choice.

http://beachsideresortpanamacitybeach.com/

The General Good:

  • The resort is a smoke free hotel. All rooms are non-smoking, so as a non-smoker with an allergy, that was a big plus for me.
  • The resort is located on the beach, so no crossing the street or finding parking for public beach access.
  • Most of the rooms have private balconies.
  • There were plenty of luggage carts at the elevators which were located next to loading zones.
  • Nice big parking lot with an overflow lot across the street.
  • It isn’t too far from the madness of PC, nor is it far from local stores.

My Room:  I reserved the two queen, two room, balcony, wetbar room. Yes, that is what they classify it as.

  • I had a private balcony located on the top floor (7 total) which was also a special request,
  • Upon walking in the door, you are in the bedroom. That was odd to me. The room had the bed, a side table with lamp, a long ottoman, the ac wall unit (like most hotels/motels) and a small area for hanging clothes. There was also a door to the bathroom.  There was also a long, narrow window near the ceiling that extended the length of the wall. It was a decent size room but again, a strange place for the room. There was no t.v but there was an alarm clock/radio and plenty of outlets.
  • Continue going straight, and you are in the kitchen. Yes, the room was not classified as a kitchen because it lacked a stove. There was a full size refrigerator complete with separate freezer. There was a medium size microwave, a sink and cabinetry. The small coffee maker and cups were also there but being a non coffee drinker, that was no biggie.
    It was a narrow area but nice.
  • Continuing on through, you come into the main area. The bed, large writing table and wing chair, a chair and ottoman, bed, two side tables, dresser and tv were located here. There were lamps and another alarm clock.  There was another wall ac unit. The bed felt new and plenty of pillows were provided. The window in the main room was the entire length of the far wall and could even open. There is also a door leading to the single bathroom.
  • The bathroom had a very small shower, toilet, and sink. It was spacious enough and had enough light and a fan.
  • And finally, you come to the private balcony equipped with two chairs and a table. There was no way the neighbors could see you on your balcony which was nice. The railing was sturdy and the area clean. What a fabulous view from inside the room or the balcony.

My complaints: If I had to complain about anything, it would be the layout of the room and that the beds were more like full size rather than queen size and that the elevator (equipped with security camera) was extremely hot but it was fairly quick.  The resort advertises smoke free and no pets but I saw plenty of dogs and people smoking in common areas outside. Also, some of the walkways to the beach were overgrown and smelly.  The water pressure in the bathroom left lots of room for improvement as did the size of the shower. For a beach hotel, there should be handheld shower heads to help get to all the places the sand seems to find, especially since the pressure is more like a trickle. There could be more ice machines as well or ice trays in the freezers.

I also had emailed the general manager, John Lee, previous to my booking my room with questions and never received a response. I called and spoke to Greg Castleberry, assistant general manager, and was spoken to like a novice traveler. He tried to tell me that rates couldn’t be adjusted because what was in the system couldn’t be over-ridden and the nature of the business. Really?  Funny, how all other hotel, motel and resorts I have stayed in have been able to adjust rates given different circumstances (and I’ve been on a cross country trip staying at lots of different lodging facilities). I would have rather him be honest and just say that he wouldn’t adjust the rates then tell an unrealistic lie coupled with a lecture of business (did I mention I have a degree in business)?

Recap: In general, I enjoyed my stay. The beachfront views and access to the beach made all the other things insignificant. I really liked how this hotel was away from the madness of Panama City as it was the last hotel on the strip before the condos and rental homes.

*Just a last note, many reviewers mention poor housekeeping, but we had no problems with that. And although resort is in the name, it is a regular hotel. My stay was after the big influx of summer breakers in early September.

******UPDATE******

I posted some of this review on Tripadvisor.com at the same time I posted the blog and received a response from the hotel. To be fair, I am posting their response here as well:

John L, General Manager at The Beachside Resort, responded to this review

September  2013
I wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts and feedback and the blog. First, let me apologize for the email snafu. Regrettably, there are times when I don’t get ever email. In the future, feel free to contact me at jlee@innisfree.com and I’ll be sure to answer you as quickly as possible. You mentioned the layout of the rooms, unfortunately, having an older building has its pluses (we’re closer to the beach than anyone else, and are views are pretty good) but also its challenges (like the layout of the rooms). The concrete construction of the building almost forces you to take the building the way it is – the only other option would’ve been a total demo of the property, but we felt that too many properties have been lost along our beach. Our vision was to restore this property so that another generation could enjoy the beach the it was meant to be enjoyed.

You also mentioned the size of the bedding. The bedding is an upgraded Sealy bed that is also featured in many mid-level national properties (like Hampton Inns). I understand it may have felt “fullish” , but let me assure you it was indeed a Queen.

Also, I want to apologize for the interaction you mentioned with my assistant. I have spoken with him and he asked that I pass along his personal apology as well. Again, thank you for the feedback and we hope you’re able to come back and in enjoy our views sooner rather than later.

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