I am going to attempt to be partial and fair to this property as possible. A seperate review will be done regarding the booking of this property but I will intergect briefly so that the full scope is understood.
If going to PCB be aware that most lodging options are done by a central booking company or a private individual not onsite. I had originally made a deposit for a specific room through an individual working with Flipkey. I researched a room, complete with pictures and had corresponded with the manager for quit sometime. The room was listed on Tripadvisor with a couple reviews and I felt good about booking. A month before our departure, the room was transferred to Emerald View (Remember this name and take caution). I had reservations about continuing to give money but was reassured by Emerald View that our room(the original one that I had paid a deposit for, #1009) at the Shores of Panama was secure, even emailing me a week before with the confirmation # and electronic room number for said room. We basically did research on the room and had paid for the room, not the resort. More on this later.....onto the review:
The pictures listed on the Shores of Panama website showing a nice, tranquil pool with dolphin fountains is anything but the case, at least in July 2014.
Parking is an absolute challenge at best. If you like adventure you're going to love the challenge of navigating your vehicle up through this maze of 23 floors of travelers vehicles, pedestrians (that yell profanity because you might ask them to kindly move from the middle of the travel lanes while texting), or the skateboarders.
Our initial visit up this maze was to the assigned room which I booked back in May, room 1009. We made it to the 10th floor only to have a monster truck parked in the assigned parking space. Long story short, after getting my confirmation # from Emerald View and the room code, they gave up our room to someone else.(Done within 4 days) Initial calls to their office, I was offered nothing but "looks like someone made a mistake". We were finally offered 516 and given that their was nothing else available and we had just driven 13 hours, we reluctantly took it. We had no idea what this room looked like, yet had already paid for it.
#516 was assigned and the only improvement was that it was on the 5th floor versus the 10th. This made it easier to get the car parked and to get down to the pool because the elevator was just not an option. At one point, i said I really wished I had my camera! There were 15-20 people waiting for two elevators. We actually took an elevator once and we were on board for about 12 minutes travelling up and hitting about every floor on the way down. Inside it is super hot, dirty and on our one and only trip, I noticed I was standing on an awesome puddle of dip spit.
The stairs was our option every time even though this option was just as bad. Dirty, with again, dip spit or food on the ground and it was hot and humid. The stairwell is narrow so Lord help us if you had to pass on by someone coming or going. The grounds, common areas, are just too large for the cleaning crew to stay on top of.
The room was average. At this point, I was happy that it appeared clean atleast. There was an overwhelming of cleaner smell when we walked in which made us concerned as to what it was covering up for. It was dated with small tube tv's and sticky tacs on the walls where some art decor once was. The balcony was good sized but given the rusty furniture outside, the spit, food throwing, and fireworks thrown or dropped from above, we stayed in.
Regarding the carpeting, lets just say that it was obvious some partying had once gone on in that room and they attempted to clean whatever fluids were once there but the matted, tacky feeling does not go away.
We did not even venture to the fitness center, spa, or indoor pool but based on how other common areas looked, this was a smart move.
Wifi was listed but not really operational nor was a telephone signal (Verizon).
The bunk area was a nice little cove and the bathrooms appeared relatively clean.
The pool looks good from a distance and would probably be a blast back when I was in college. Family trips, it got a bit hairy! Chair drama was a daily occurance. Ball drama was an hourly occurrence, and I am not getting dirty...yet. Kids playing in the pool with those skip balls, having a good time. I saw atleast 8 parents go ham because they accidently took one or one of their children took one across the face. It was so busy and chaotic that you could not relax.
Honestly, during this time of year, it appears to be a spring break for families. Balconies which are a creepers paradise, with your neighbor being so close you can share beers with, a pool with a stage and dance floor directly below, and loud uncensored club music. Not cool when you have young children.
The beach was all rental chairs at a rate of $40.00 for a day. They are so close together that there is no room to set up your own camp near the gulf waters. This was the first trip to Florida that we did not even go down to the ocean.
The tiki bar was a nice escape and for the most part the staff was fantastic as was the front desk staff.
Just after learning that Emerald View doublebooked the room, it was said that perhaps someone from Shores of Panama did it (Emerald View in their scramble to lay blame said this). NOT The CASE! But in our frustration, we were upset and surely unfaily took it out on the front desk. They were sweet and understanding and did all they could to try and remedy so no fault on their part.
It is a busy, very busy, resort ideal for spring breakers. It is located right next to Pineapple Willy's and at the corner of S. Thomas and Front Beach St. This intersection is busy and difficult to exit out of when busy.
We have been to PCB in November and loved it. We stayed at a great resort east of Shores of Panama. Coming in July and staying here was not our speed. The booking issue also set the tone for a lot of stress.
Take caution of how and where you book. Each condo/room is different. If you want to party and like the adventure of "Tokyo Drifting" in a narrow parking garage, and want some extra cardio by taking the stairs all the time when coming down or back up....this could be a place for you.
If you seek some family relaxation, avoid....AVOID!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This 23 story gulf front luxury resort is loaded with amenities including a full spa, kids club, 13,965 square foot gulf front pool & hot tub, heated indoor pool and hot tub, covered parking on-site, 24 hour front desk check in, health center with fitness equipment, steam room, 2 tiki bars serving food and cocktails, beach activities and rental services, high speed internet access and more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, BookIt.com, Tingo, Travelocity, BookingOdigeoWL, Priceline, Venere and Agoda so you can book your Shores of Panama Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Shores Of Panama By Oaseas Hotel Panama City Beach