The Wyndham system has some of the best locations and facilities, for vacations, all over the United States. Panama City Beach is no exception to that rule and everything I read was true and more. This location is right on the Gulf of Mexico and has a very nice pool area, beach area and, across the street, a Starbucks and gift shop. You do not have to cross the busy Front Beach Road to get there though, with the Sky Bridge, that goes over the street, and has the 'Sky View' lounge directly over the road to get to the parking ramp and shops.
Let me say at the onset, this was not 'perfect' or 'flawless' since there were some things that were not as good as it could be and I will go over that shortly.
Having never stayed on the Gulf Coast before, this was an opportunity to do so and meet our friends from Texas. They have stayed in Destin and were familiar with the area, which was their recommendation for this trip.
As far as the area, the Wyndham is situated very near many of the activities, restaurants, and attractions that one would want to do and see. Many are within walking distance including the Pier Park Mall and one of the City Piers are about a mile and a half away. So, walking is an option if you are able to walk that far and more. Pier Park has many stores, shops and restaurants for nearly every taste and desire. Behind that is shopping mall with all the standard stores and anchors; so this location can get you everything your need.
The Wyndham has a great, but small, pool area but can be a little noisey if there are some kids around. There is a Tiki Hut that serves any 'adult beverage you like BUT are a little pricey and the music can be loud and occassionally irritating. The beach is also great and you can see stingrays, crabs, and occassionally, a shark swimming very near the shore in the early morning or towards sunset. Here though, bring you own chairs or blankets as the padded lounge chairs are 'for rent' only at $30 a day no matter what time you rent the chair. There is also the other normal beach rentals: jet skis, parasailing, etc., that you can get all up and down the beach.
Inside, our one bedroom unit was one of the roomiest and comfortable we have had at any Wyndham on a beach or anywhere. The great room combined the spaceous kitchen and bar, dining area, and living room. The balcony access was floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass door that gave a spectacular view of the Gulf, the beach and the pool. We were on the 20th floor and the door opens two ways and gave you an eight foot by eight foot opening to the deck and we left that open nearly all the time and turned the A/C off to enjoyed the warm breezes. The balcony is the largest we have had at any Wyndham, being about six feet front to back and at least fifteen feet wide with enough room for a chase lounge and table with two side chairs and not the least bit crowded.
The bedroom was the smallest area but still comfortable and the bed was very nice. The two baths consisted of a full and a 3/4 bath and there were bunk beds in the hall between the entry door and the living area; which was odd to say the least but seems to be standard in the 1-BR units.
Now for the not so good stuff:
As mentioned, the pool area can be crowded and sometimes impossible to get a lounger since people start saving the chairs at 8:00 AM! We were glad we were not there during Spring Break but there were still a lot of kids running, jumping, and screaming (most of which is not supposed to happen) in and around the pool. There are security people at the pool to make sure that you donot bring in any 'unauthorized' items but they seemed aloof to the kids activities. The drinks are too expensive and you do not even get a decent 'buzz' after you just spent $20 to $40!
The floors in the unit were all tile, except the bedroom, and if you like to walk around barefoot, as I do, you will be surprised how dirty your feet get. The first full day there, I was shocked to see that the bottoms of my feet were BLACK! I left a note for housekeeping but the floors never got any better.
The bedroom was on the street side of the unit and there was some noise from the road and occasionally someone walking by and talking or laughing. Keeping the window closed and the drapes drawn helps but does not eliminate it.
The units are not sound-proof either since we could here our up-stairs neighboors walking and/or moving furniture at all hours. When were we there, we tried to be considerate and not move stuff around much or at least very carefully, since the tile floors tend to echo terribly.
When out on the deck, sometimes we could smell cirgarettes and while we cannot do anything about it (at least the people where honoring the 'do not smoke in the unit' policy), it was somewhat annoying. Oh well.
The furniture and the balcony had sand everywhere and we had to literally wash the table and chairs before we could use them and the sand on the deck was constantly being tracked into the great room. Now, I know this is a beach resort BUT we were twenty floors up and sand should not be that big an issue if the housekeepers are doing their job (like mopping the tile floors)!!!
Also, and I have mentioned this many time before in my reviews of Wyndham locations, DO NOT get roped in to attending the '90-minute' seminar/review meeting as it is only a ploy to get you to buy more Wyndham stuff and is not worth the precious vacation time to get a coupon book!! I have been in Wyndham since 2004, when it was Fairfield, and warn everyone I meet to 'stay away!' I even go as far as unplugging the phone and not answering the knock at the door. If you are traveling with others, use your cellphones!
Finally, an annoying fact of being some high in the tower was getting an elevator. During check-out (about 10:00 AM) and check-in (about 4:00 PM) you could wait ten to fifteen minutes to get a ride and then may take another ten minutes to get to the floor you are trying to reach. However, there are eight elevators, in two banks, on the east and west end of the building. The ones to the east are used least, especially during the peak times, and knowing which ones to use and when will get you to your floor quicker, you just need to plan.
All in all, it was a great time and there is more that enough to do in the area that we will be back again someday and enjoy more of what PCB has to offer!
I highly recommend this destination
Higher floors are better for the views and away from the pool noise. Check in after 6:00 pm to avoi...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.