I've never reviewed a hotel or vacation spot anywhere, so you know I feel strongly about this. We vacationed here from July 13-20, 2013. Honestly, we paid $3,400 for the week to stay in a 3rd floor unit in "B" Building right in front of the lazy river. We have stayed in places East of Destin for about $1,500 for the week, and had a much more relaxed and nicer experience. Bottom line for this review: we had a nice time, but won't be returning to Waterscape.
1. Our unit was beautiful and well-appointed. Beds were comfy. Shower had wonderful pressure and was huge. Ceiling fan was broken in 2nd BR, but was promptly fixed within 10 min of calling. Unit had a side-view of gulf...it was a much nicer view than expected.
2. The grounds are GORGEOUS and well-maintained. The pools and deck are very clean.
3. The beach is a nice, easy, short walk from condos. Nice showers to get sand off when returning.
4. They did have various activities scheduled throughout the week for the kids. (mine were 9 yr old boy and 7 yr old girl) For an additional fee, we had sno-cones ($2 each) and tie-dyed t-shirts for $10 ea. They also had 2 movie nights on a blow-up screen by the pool and karioke night.
5. Our 2 BR 2.5 Bath unit had two bunk beds just for the kiddos in a little alcove area. THEY LOVED THIS!
1. The cost. This is one of THE most expensive condos in Ft. Walton. If you go, consider staying in the cheapest unit you can find. The "view" is indeed nice, but it wasn't a full-on view and for the price we paid, we could have stayed for 2 weeks with a full-view elsewhere.
2. RULES RULES RULES. It's been said on this site many many times, but they are indeed RULE NAZIS here. I thought, it really can't be that bad. Yes, it is! Yes, it's crowded. Yes, it's peak season. Yes, it's July. But honestly folks, for $3,400 for the week, I should be able to put my stuff on at least ONE CHAIR by the pool at 8am without having to go "tag" my towel, unfold it, lest it be confiscated by the "TOWEL NAZI" repeatedly throughout the day! My kids are 9 & 7. They want to swim for 45 min...then go to the beach for 45 min.....then go to the room for 45 min...then back to the pool. THEY ARE KIDS. THEY ARE IN CONSTANT MOTION! It is not at all relaxing to have to worry about whether or not my towel will be "folded" as a warning, then confiscated if I'm not actually sitting in my chair for 45 min. You know what...it's first come, first serve. Get your butt out of bed and go get your chair. End of story. Now, I understand the rules are there for people who may come reserve 8-10 chairs right by the pool. That's just rotten behavior and shouldn't be allowed. But this policy SERIOUSLY needs to be re-thought by management. Perhaps you should get a clip...ONE per condo rented. You SHOULD be able to just go down and clip it to your chair and have it be YOURS FOR THE DAY, or until you decide to vacate it!
I got yelled at for drinking a BOTTLE OF WATER...IN PLASTIC poolside on a 95 degree day. I had to sit by the edge to make sure my 7 yr old (who is not a strong swimmer) did not DROWN. It wasn't a glass of soda or an alcoholic beverage...it was a stinkin plastic bottle of WATER!
My daughter was told that she couldn't have her own inner tube in the lazy river....on the last day we were there. She has used it the entire week without a problem. It is the EXACT size and shape of their inner-tubes, only it has an enclosed bottom so she can SIT in it. Theirs don't. Many other kids were jumping in the lazy river (also not allowed) and had all sorts of their own flotation devices in there...and snorkels...and fins...etc. I never once saw anyone approach them about "breaking the rules."
We are not rule-breakers. We are dream-renters...the kind that mop the floor and make the beds before we leave a unit. We are a doctor and a lawyer. We are upper-middle-class people with money to spend....our kids are well-behaved.
I was also asked to "leave" the hot tub once because there were "too many people in it."
Was also reprimanded when my daughter brought her inner tube floaty in the main pool...it wasn't even crowded that day. The pool Nazi said "well, can you imagine what it would be like if we had seven of those in the pool?" Um, you didn't.....you never did....not one....all week.
One time, I snagged two chairs right in front of the snack bar...on the END. Got there at 8am to do so. I came back only to find that some REDNECK woman with NO MANNERS had dragged 3 pool chairs from across the way, set them up right next to mine, BLOCKED the walkway for everyone, and essentially left me in "the middle." Not ONCE did anyone yell at her for doing that.
On the first night, my husband was yelled at for bringing raw chicken breasts down in a glass casserole dish to grill. NO GLASS AROUND THE POOL OR GRILLS. Um, okay fine BUT THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE IN THE CONDO TO BRING THE MEAT DOWN IN EXCEPT FOR A GLASS DISH!!!!!!! Make the owners furnish their units with metal pans if you're going to yell at guests for this. Also, again, saw many others with glass dishes, bowls, etc. poolside and never once did I see them get reprimanded.
VACATIONS should be about relaxing. This place made me very uptight.
3. If you get a unit over looking the pool area, be prepared to lose some sleep. We are "early to bed, early to rise" kinda folks. My whole family is usually asleep by 8pm and up by 4-5am, yes even on vacation. I did not like hearing awful singing on karioke night well past 10pm right outside my window. Nor did I appreciate hearing the noise from the outdoor movie night past 9:30pm. I am a light sleeper and was kept awake.
4. Forget the beach. People get down there at 7am to "stake out their claim" for a chair, which I thought was just hilarious. We got down there by 9:30am and got a 2nd row chair that we just plopped our stuff on, never actually sat in. People eventually bring their own towels, chairs, and umbrellas and SET UP RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE RENTED FIRST ROW....so don't even bother to waste your time. I never got another chair....I'd just take a towel and sit on it...as I said, 45 min later, my kids wanted to do something else.
5. The lazy river is WALL TO WALL INNER TUBES after 10am. If you like floating elbow to elbow with strangers, then by all means jump right in.
6. There was NO BROOM in our unit! As I said above, we are "dream renters" and actually leave the place better than we found it. The vacuum was useless trying to get the sand off the floor and we even tried mopping it. Eventually, we just called down and a broom was sent up. There was NO WOODEN SPOON in the condo! We felt so bad, we went out and bought a set for $0.89 just to leave in the unit for the next family.! Also, salt and pepper shakers would be nice. I don't need a whole spice rack....but a simple salt and pepper set would be really really nice.
For $3,400 per week, I expected alot more. But the RULES part killed it. Won't be coming back...sorry.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Waterscape Condominiums, professionally managed by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, are located on beautiful Okaloosa Island, which is infamous for its emerald green waters and white sandy beaches. Waterscape was constructed as a U-shaped property to house the "heartbeat" of the facility; the tropical oasis and pools. Waterscape has a two tiered pool deck separated by a 10 foot waterfall. The lower pool deck includes a large zero entry pool with spray toys and lily pads for the young at heart. The resort's lower pool deck features a long lazy river for you to float down on resort inner tubes. The upper deck houses a seasonally heated pool. There is a children's splash area on the upper pool deck that features toys for toddlers and a covered play area for maximum sun protection. There are two hot tubs located in the tropical oasis for your relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Waterscape Condominiums Hotel Fort Walton Beach