I read many sparkling reviews of Club Intrawest in Sandestin. Unfortunately, this property did not live up to the hype for several reasons.
1) Service: The staff was not very friendly and certainly did not go out of their way to do anything for you. This includes small things such as never greeting you when you walk into the lobby. We also had an issue with being "exchange members from Hilton" and they refused to provide us with the ammenities that Club Intrawest owners enjoy. Even though we were told prior to our arrival, and then again by the front desk, that we would be getting 2 complimentary beach chairs each day during our stay, once we arrived at the beach they completely changed their tune and told us that it was not included since we were not owners. After a call to the front desk and explaining that we were told on multiple occasions that we would be getting beach chairs, they still refused even though there were lots of empty chairs. But, they did apologize and ask if there was anything else they could do for us. Um, no, we just told you what you could do and you did not do it.
2) "Beach" Towels: This is a small thing, but the tiny towels that they give you for the beach and pool are hilarious. They were not beach towels at all, but rather small, poorly made bath towels that were coming apart and discolored. When they handed them to us, we seriously laughed. They covered nothing. The fact that they hand them out to guests does not reflect well on the hotel.
3) Beach access: This property is not close to the beach. It is not within walking distance and the tram service is not good. When we did go to the "private" beach, it was the most crowded beach we had ever been to and it was full of seaweed! It was quite off-putting. The crowds are likely due to the time of year, but it was just a sea of bodies and you could not get away from the seaweed. It was not cleared off the beach either. We ended up driving to the public beach on 98 and it was much prettier and about half as crowded as the private Sandestin beach.
4) The Tram Service- The tram is shared by many resorts in Sandestin, so this is not just a Club Intrawest issue. We took the tram to the beach the day of our arrival and it arrived at our hotel almost completely full, so we had to cram onto it since we just wanted to go and relax at the beach. That was not a huge deal and we did not mind too much. However, the tram ride on the way back was horrible. The tram driver did not ask anyone where they were going and we had a full tram. So, we went to at least 3 different resorts where no one got off the tram and none of the people waiting could even get on because it was full. Common sense would tell you to ask people where they were going. So, this frustrated everyone smashed onto the tram and the people waiting, most of which ended up getting their cars and driving where they needed to go. This was about an hour long tram ride. Not fun. Needless to say, that was the last time we took the tram.
Some positives of the resort:
1) Pools and hot tubs: There are 2 pools and 2 hot tubs overlooking the bay and they are well-kept and very pretty. We really enjoyed them!
2) The condo was very large and easily accomodated 6 people.
3) The arcade is free and had lots of fun games. We enjoyed the arcade on several occasions!
4) The movie theatre was cool as well and the gym looked nice, but we did not use it.
Overall, we had a good trip and this resort will not ruin your trip, but it certainly did not enhance ours. If being close to the beach is a priority, this resort is not for you. But, if you like the pools, you will enjoy.
You will get a good room if you are a Club Intrawest member, but you do not get a choice if you are...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.