Florida Panhandle Hotels › Kid-Friendly Hotels
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Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach is a pretty, sprawling property with a total of 1600 rooms. It is organized like a little town that can be broken down into four resorts and 30 separate neighborhoods -- each with different decor and price range. Depending on the size of their group and budget, guests can choose between a standard hotel room, condo, villa, or town home. In addition to a village and market full of shops, restaurants, and entertainment, this resort is brimming with recreational activities: a 98-slip marina, 15 tennis courts, 19 pools, four golf courses, and over seven miles of beachfront.

Margaritaville Beach Hotel

Margaritaville Beach Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The first hotel to open under the Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville brand, the Margaritaville Beach Hotel offers a relaxed, tropical atmosphere right on a beautiful stretch of sandy coastline. The hotel's white and blue color palette, wicker furnishings, and palm trees add to the beachy atmosphere, as do the seasonal live entertainment, and a poolside Tiki bar. Rooms are sophisticated, clean, and airy with huge balconies, flat-screen TVs, and free Internet. The sweeping views of the white sand beach and Gulf of Mexico, viewable throughout the property and from the sleek outdoor pool, are a highlight. This hotel is definitely unique for an area full of chain options, but some guests complain about jellyfish on the beach.

Portofino Island Resort & Spa

Portofino Island Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls

Portofino Island Resort and Spa offers a total of five Mediterranean-inspired towers with two- and three-bedroom condo units. All rooms have balconies with great views over the beaches to the Gulf of Mexico or Santa Rosa Sound. Convenient perks in the condos include fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryers. Each tower has its own outdoor pool and the resort offers a long list of water and land sports, as well as a free dolphin cruise and a floating water park. While there is no direct beach access -- the beach is across a street -- this resort does offer spa services, a total of three restaurants, and free Wi-Fi.

WaterColor Inn & Resort

WaterColor Inn & Resort Rating: 4.0 Pearls

The WaterColor Inn & Resort is reminiscent of its name, with beach-y whites, blues, and light greens dominating the color scheme throughout the lobby and rooms. The inn offers an airy and relaxing atmosphere, and sits right on a beautiful private beach. It's part of a larger resort community that's packed with amenities, including four restaurants, water sports, bike rentals, and a long wooden pathway leading to the beach. While there are several pools for sunbathing, some guests complain about the wristband and strict towel policies.

Shores of Panama by Oaseas Resorts

Shores of Panama by Oaseas Resorts Rating: 3.5 Pearls

As the name hints, the Shores of Panama by Oaseas Resorts sits right on the lovely white sands of Panama City Beach. Each of the 796 rooms offers balconies with beautiful ocean views, a full-size kitchen, and washer/dryer. A huge pool deck features a sprawling free-form pool and tall tropical palm trees, providing a tranquil feel despite the resort's size. There are special activities here for kids including face painting, movie nights, and Rock Band tournaments. The fitness center is modern, if a bit dark, with cardio machines featuring individual TVs, and there's a full-service spa. But there are hidden cleaning fees associated with rentals, and the decor and maintenance of units varies widely; guests may end up with a dated, worn condo.

Cabana Cay by Oaseas Resorts

Cabana Cay by Oaseas Resorts Rating: 3.5 Pearls

Cabana Cay is a bare basics condo-style resort in Panama City. The pool and outdoor spaces are large and attractive, but the view of the Gulf is interrupted by unsightly industrial space and another resort property. Cabana Cay lacks features like a lifeguard and a restaurant or pool bar. The condo scheme means that service is on the scarce side, but units do have full kitchens and washers and dryers. This basic but adequate resort is best for families or couples looking for value over service and a decent jumping-off point for the attractions of the area.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Pensacola Grand

Crowne Plaza Hotel Pensacola Grand Rating: 3.5 Pearls

The 210-room Crowne Plaza at Grand Boulevard is located in a restored train depot from 1912, and the interior reflects this history, featuring dark mahogany moldings, brick walls, a grand chandelier, and plenty of natural light from skylights. Despite these details, the overall feel is definitely that of a mid-range property. Rooms have generic decor, but floor-to-ceiling windows and white linens make them feel bright and fresh. Amenities include a guest library, fitness center, and two restaurants, but some guests complain about train noise and lack of direct beach access. The business center, and the downtown Pensacola location near both the Civic center and the airport, appeal to business travelers.

Carillon Beach Inn

Carillon Beach Inn Rating: 3.5 Pearls

The Carillon Beach Inn is a 70-room, all-suite property with modern furnishings and sharp decor located on Lake Carillon in a sprawling, village-like resort complex. While the location doesn't offer direct beach access, the sand is less than a five-minute walk away, and guests get access to the many amenities of the Carillon Beach resort community. Suites are immaculately clean and comfortable with kitchenettes featuring stainless steel appliances. Cute, playful touches include sand dollar and fish-patterned pillows and chairs. Some suites have lovely fireplaces and outdoor private Jacuzzis, while all are equipped with flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. While there are few options for nearby off-site dining, Sweet Taste Wine Bar is located within the property.

Emerald Beach Resort

Emerald Beach Resort Rating: 3.5 Pearls

Emerald Beach is one of Panama City's high-rise beach resorts. This condo property shares common spaces with the Wyndham, which is a bit unorthodox, but the pools are big with plenty of lounge space. Condo units have full kitchens, washer/dryers, and dishwashers, but decor can vary wildly as some units are privately owned. The upper floor Sky Bar is a unique feature in the area, offering nightlife including music performances, karaoke night, and football games on TV. While the resort has some strict rules -- like no coolers or drinks by the pool -- the beach is beautiful and condos offer big balconies with Gulf views.

Grandview East & West Condominiums

Grandview East & West Condominiums Rating: 3.5 Pearls

Grandview East and West is yet another Panama City high-rise for the beach lover. The white sand beach here is gorgeous, but the two pools are both small and have a utilitarian feel that is incongruous with the gorgeous Gulf views. Condos are pleasant with large bathrooms and balconies, although decor varies wildly between units and some furnishings are dated. As with many area condos, services and amenities are slim, although Grandview does offer a sunny fitness center with great views and Gulf-side grilling platforms with picnic tables.

Dates


Oyster Pearl Rating

  • Award-Winning

What's Your Style?

  • Kid-Friendly
  • Beach
  • Luxury
  • Resort
  • Romantic
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Locations

  • Destin
  • Fort Walton Beach
  • Panama City
  • Panama City Beach
  • Pensacola
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Amenities

  • Air Conditioner
  • Balcony
  • Basic Television
  • Business Center
  • Cabanas at Pool
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Brands

  • Comfort Inn
  • Comfort Suites
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Hampton
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