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“Pleasantly Surprised” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Matador

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El Matador
3.5 of 5 Condominium   |   909 Santa Rosa Blvd., Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548   |  
Hotel amenities
Tennessee
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We made last minute reservations last week and that is always risky when you get what's left. The internet photos were only so-so. Our unit #255 was just right for three of us with the queen sleeper sofa. From our balcony we have a gulf view. Unit was on 5th floor and elevators were not busy. The walk to beach was minimal and the rinse off showers worked at the beach walkway-yay! Not always the case in even the best of accommodations. Our unit had a kitchen that had everything -even a food processor. The dressing area was separate from the shower which was good. The shower area was quite small though. If you are large-you will be cramped because of the way the door opens in. It needed a pocket door badly. The king bed in master slept great and both sets of patio doors opened. El Matador is located on Okaloosa Island just before you get to the Eglin AFB land-which is private. The water was crystal clear but it was a funky color green/brown. We could see the bottom clearly at eight feet. The sand was perfect.

Room Tip: The first floor units appeared to have large groups and they could walk right onto grassy areas. We...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    33
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    3
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    2
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2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

After NUMEROUS visits to Pelican Isle....we finally tried El Matador unit 165 for our 3 day weekend/High School Reunion (for me). I am from this area and realized that this might have been one of the first condo's on the beach (circa 1973). We had some difficulty in late check in (midnight) probably my fault but eventually found our unit.
Building 1, Unit 165 on the 6th floor. It has been very recently remodeled. Entered unit... first impressions... LARGE Balcony. It is "Ocean View" but not "Ocean Front". Could NOT see the ocean at night (too far away) but during the day you have 3 different views of the ocean around other units. I was blown away by the large LAWNS here... might have been very attractive 'back in the day'. Our unit had a small dishwasher.... plentiful dishes. The laundry is a coin operated laundry on the floor, not in the unit. Bathroom had no Bath Tub. Shower was a drizzle... NO water pressure whatsoever. I'm sorry my pictures are not "clean" but it was a very emotional weekend with my 30 year High School Reunion. I really love El Matador now having stayed here.... because Hubby and I LOVE the private aspect of the military beach nearby. I brought Paper Towels and Blow Dryer as I've been trained to with condo's... the unit did have a blow dryer but no paper towels...The Condo asked for us to dispose of trash before leaving but we never found out where to dispose of it ? I think that is all. I probably will stay at El Matador again. Maybe even buy here if I win the lottery ! LOL.... It is a very quiet corner but we like that.

Room Tip: Look at an aerial view of the buildings before you book. And remember "Gulf Front" vs. &q...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

My family and I spent a week in unit # 442 and were very pleased with the accomodations. It was exactly as advertised by the pictures. The resort is very quiet and peaceful and in a great location. It was nice to be in a unit that overlooked the beach with an amazing view. The resort itself was great. The buildings are a bit older however they appeared to be very well maintained. All the amenities were in excellent condition (tennis court, swimming pools). The only thing I would like to see done is to have the beachfront pool heated. The water was a bit too cold to enjoy a swim in it so we spent our time in the pool by bldg #6. The people around the complex are very friendly and welcoming. Overall we had a great time and would recommend it to others. We would definitely come back again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrensburg, Missouri, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We were very pleased with unit 138. The unit was exactly as advertised in the photos; very clean, spacious and private. We could not hear any of the neighbors and we had a great view of the beach and gulf. We are looking forward to returning next year.

Room Tip: We were in the middle of the building and did not have any disturbances from the neighbors. Very qu...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wirral
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

We stayed here for a week in October and had perfect weather in this corner of paradise. We had a tiny apartment in Block 6 which suited us just fine. It is so nice to cater your own breakfast rather than face a hotel crowd. We loved the pool and the beach. The complex is located at the end of the island so it is nice and quiet. I plan to go back with a friend in April and I'm already looking forward to the laid back beach life style.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

This condo was totaly updated. The kitchen is beautiful great furniture and beds.
Beautiful views from the kitchen and balconey. I have been coming to El Matador for over 30 years. Building 4 is our favorite and we will allways stay in 432 now. Sunset Resort Rentals
are great to deal with and this condo is the nicest unit in El Matador. Thanks for making our stay special.

Room Tip: Use Sunset Resorts they are the Best .
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minden, Louisiana
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

My family and I have stayed at El Matador for 20+.years. This place will always hold a special place in my heart since I started going there with my parents and they have since passed on but this complex has gone down the tubes.

1) Outside Management company that seems to run most of them there. The units they run, well you need to run from. They may have their owner/clients "update' their units to rent more but that is just to 'pretty them up'. The other items in the unit that also matter like, the sliding doors, they might not work because they are so old and have not been updated and get stuck and you have to sleep with the door open until husband himself fixed the next day (old track) wo WD40 helped throughout the week, Or the 'new' fridge breaks and you could lose your food before they respond but they blame it on the owner but they don't call you back right away to inform you of anything. Like not even the same day. Or best one yet, shower head falls on sons head because the whole unit was loose the first night there. Their response: Ok and.how does that affect us? Where did customer service go?? They are responsible for these units, the owners PAY them for this but yet, they could care less!! There are more stories but this should give you a jest of what you could deal with.

Maintenance of grounds - grass not cut timely, dead roaches and spiderwebs in and around building and saw several maintenance/maids walk by these for several days without cleaning up in Building 3/4.

Security Officers that harrass WHOLE Complex: Walking back from beach at 10 pm one night, we encountered a security guard that stopped us, 'required' us to stop really and asked where were we headed and when we told him we were guests and started walking again, he JUMPED in front of us and proceeded to shine his spot light in our faces and started asking which building, and to tell us how it was quiet hours (me and my wife were not even talking as we walked) and we needed to get back in our condo 'Pronto' .I We walked away but then stopped and turned around to watch him proceed (run) on to his next victim, the courtyard was very populated at that time so he was kept busy. It very quite disturbing to say the least. Was there a mad man on the premises, an escaped convict, maybe a wild animal??...Nope, just a Barney Fife wanna be. We even saw him stop a child playing in front of her patio and ask her where her parents were and did she know what time it was. When she responded by pointing at her parents on the patio about 25 feet away, he didn't go to her parents but proceeded to run to an eldery couple walking up from the beach.

I could go on and on but wanted to warn everyone that this place may not be your piece of paradise for your vacation. Glad that we decided last year to look into other places and start new memories and traditions elsewhere and with a much better, more professional and happy to have you management company that truly wants you to have a piece of paradise for the week or two and not a pain in our hinny that unfortunately this place has become. It use to be a wonderful place but no longer.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Matador

Address: 909 Santa Rosa Blvd., Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Fort Walton Beach
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Fort Walton Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Matador 3.5*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Fort Walton Beach condos are located next to 17 miles of uninhabited beach. To make your Florida vacation as memorable as possible, our 12 acre beach resort offers an array of amenities which includes two pools, tennis and basketball courts, a fitness center, whirlpools, saunas and more! Our staff has dedicated themselves to making certain that the time you spend with us will be the most enjoyable vacation experience you've ever had. You'll experience recreation, sightseeing and world class dining all within minutes of our vacation resort. You'll find beautiful beaches, sugar white sand, emerald green water, one of a kind shops, magnificent scenery and everything else that makes for a perfect stay in paradise. Our Fort Walton Beach Condos are beautifully furnished and fully equipped for your comfort, convenience and offer stunning views where you can enjoy beautiful beach sunsets. Don't waste another minute, contact us today and book your dream vacation condo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Matador Hotel Fort Walton Beach

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