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“Family Vacation to PC Beach”

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Portofino Island Resort
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Pensacola Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Knoxville, TN
Level Contributor
301 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Family Vacation to PC Beach”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2012

My husband and I have stayed at Portofino Island a total of 6 times now, but this time we brought the entire family...including new Grandchilden. Each time it has been a wonderful experience. We used to live in Pensacola, so it is nice to be able to come home again, every once in a while and enjoy the beautiful beach.
First of all, let me say that until this trip, I would have given the overall rating a 5 (Excellent), but there were a few things this time that brought it down to a rating of 4 (very good).
We rented a three bedroom for the first time and were very happy with the layout. It was supposed to sleep 10, but when we pulled out the "pull out couch"...the mattress was so nasty that the two that were supposed to sleep on it....decided to sleep on a blow up mattress instead. The rest of the beds were very clean and very comfortable.
The rest of the condo seemed pretty clean, but when we had to move one bed slightly...to retrieve a Grandchilds pacifier...we saw that the corner had not been vacumed for quite sometime and it was a little bit of a turn off, as we saw lots of dust bunnies and a little bit of trash.
The kitchen was equiped fairly well, but lacked large pots and pans we would have thought would have been pretty basic to have around. It made it difficult to boil shrimp or make spaghetti. They gave us plenty of bathroom towels, but lacked kitchen towels BIG TIME. This was the first time we had rented and only been given one kitchen towel and one dishwashing towel. Not too much of an issue as we just used the hand towels from the bathrooms as kitchen towels.
We have always loved the master bathrooms in these units. The showers are wonderful....HOWEVER, this particular unit had those "low flow larger rain shower shower heads" in all the bathrooms and if you were short..or had long hair....they were worthless! No way you can totally rinse hair with those shower heads. I ended up washing my hair in the tub! It is the first time we have come across those shower heads while renting and I will make sure the next time that the unit we rent does not have them.
Regarding the rules of not bringing your own drinks to the pools... They say you can't bring a cooler to the main pool (They do have a bar there, so you can understand that rule...but drinks are VERY expensive)...so we just made our drinks in tall plastic cups and were not bothered. We also did take a small cooler to the smaller pools and never were bothered. We also were not the only ones doing it. Just make sure nothing is in glass! It is also the only way you can bring down water...which you need if you are laying in the sun all day.
The staff that we came across were all very polite and pretty helpful. They were not running the shuttle to the beach, while we were there....which was missed terribly when you have your kids and their stuff to haul, so we decided to take only the basics to the beach. And in reality..they don't take you all the way to the beach anyway. FYI....There are "cut throughs" from the towers facing the beach and they are a quicker way to get to the beach if you don't have a ton to carry.
The grounds are absolutely beautiful and the cleaniness at the pool and spa areas can't be beat. They certainly give you lots of options during your stay, but most do cost quite a bit, so I would suggest you either save your pennies....or do without. There are also some free perks as well...like checking out dvd movies. Parking was not an issue. On check in...they give you parking passes to put on your dashboard and they assign you parking spaces if you are parking inside. If you are parking outside...you can park where you want. We had three cars to park and did not have a problem.
On several nights we ordered from the restaurants onsite and they delivered to our room. The food was great! Do not hesitate to do this. After a long day on the beach..it is nice to have them bring your dinner to you.
The view from our condo also could not be beat and the Tuesday night fireworks are a wonderful perk. If you rent a condo facing the bay....you get a good view of the show.
We do plan on staying at Portofino for many years to come, but everyone needs to understand that you have to do your homework! Each of the condo units are personally owned, therefore they are decorated and equiped a little differently. Always ask for pictures and explanations of each unit you are looking into. And also remember that this is a condo...not a hotel. You have to bring your own stuff or buy it from a local grocery store. They do provide one small pack of clothes detergent, some toilet paper in each bathroom, a roll of papertowels and usually a little coffee and dishwashing detergent to get you started. The rest is up to you. We usually make a run into Gulf Breeze the first afternoon and get what we will need for the week....including toilet paper and paper towels. Just take home what you don't use....easy enough.
Like I said...we were a little disappointed with several things this time, but we won't let it keep us away. If you end up finding a unit you are real pleased with....then rent it each time you come. Portofino is a beautiful place to stay and it sure beats any of the hotels on the beach. We are already looking forward to our trip back next year, but will rent a different unit. :)

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank gldnpupper27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2012

I don't know how this place hasn't been reported to the health department. We rented a unit which didn't have any cleaning supplies to wash our dishes or wipe down the countertops. We were given one kitchen towel and nothing else to clean with except one roll of paper towels. When I called the front desk to ask for dish soap they were very rude. The sheets in my brothers unit were filthy when they checked in. You are provided with one tiny box of laundry soap to wash your own sheets.
I wouldnt return here if they gave it to me free.
But if you are lucky enough to get to stay here free bring ALL your own supplies even toilet paper!

Room Tip: Try an independent site like VRBO maybe the owners care more since they survive by word of mouth.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Cee G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

Terrible experience. Our bed spread had sperm stains on it. The room was dirty even though we waiting a long time before entering for them to clean it. The beds had mattresses that have seen a lot of years and sunken in the middle.

On the plus side, the condo layouts were great. The area is fantastic. In capable hands Portofino could be the diets inaction spot of the US.

Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
10 Thank Ren A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2012 via mobile

Took my employees on a 1 yr. anniversary trip here during Memorial Day Pride Weekend! All in all a very fun weekend! A few things were a little off regarding customer service, especially at the prices they charge per night.

1 st , there are 4 or 5 small pools located at the bottom of each condo tower and 1 large pool with jacuzzi at the spa/ fitness center. Well, I was surprised when I was told I couldn't bring my own drink to the big pool I had to purchase drinks from them! Your kidding right!? I spend $5000.00 for 2 rooms and I can't carry my own drink to the pool? Oh...you might ask why I didn't go to the other smaller pools...well, apparently the "straight" guest didn't know this was gay pride weekend and they were generally really rude and outspoken if gays were present! PS...the fitness center is great! It has everything for a good workout!

2 nd, upon check in they forgot to mention that it was assigned parking in the towers and that we had tags to display on our rear view mirrors, so I kept getting nasty notes left on my car threatening to tow every morning from locals! I was told "just park anywhere in your tower" from the check in girl.

3rd, all the condos are decorated different. I had 2 units, 1 was gorgeous (tower 4 rm. 1709) and the other was just ok. So I would suggest asking if you could see pictures of the unit you will be staying in before hand. 

There was an amazing fireworks display on Saturday night that was really fun, and I would totally stay here again! Memorial Day weekend is a great time in Pensacola!

Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Trey G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2012

Our experience was not the very best. We were so disappointed that we ended our vacation early. Reasons why are as follows: the staff were less than accommodating, they were rude and obviously not happy with their jobs. The resort had so many restrictions and rules that it really put a damper on our vacation. The journey from our tower to the beach was too long with bags and kids.... apparently their tram was being serviced. Our condo was lovely except for the fact that the linen was soiled and had to be replaced on the first day. also the beds were like sleeping on concrete... so much so that we had to purchase a memory foam overlay from Walmart to endure it. Had Portofino been a little more laid back and not so rigid, a little happier and not so grumpy, a little more accommodating to their guests and not so unaccommodating... then maybe our vacation would have been a little more like a vacation and not like a trip to negative-ville!!! Needless to say we will not be back!! Ever!!!! Ever!!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank 286WRB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2012

This is my second time staying at Portofino during the Memorial Day Pride Weekend. The staff went out of their way to be friendly and accommodating. The grounds looks nice. My particular condo unit was not exactly nice. The furniture was tragic and out dated, but the unit itself was nice and the view was breathtaking.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mmathews24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Louis, MO
Level Contributor
67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2012

3BR 3 1/2BA with plenty of room for everyone. Huge balcony. Pools weren't crowded, crystal clear, and perfect temp. The inflatables in the bay are cool, 1hr is plenty of time to get worn out, no need to pay for full or half day.
Everything costs extra and is a lttle too pricey. Watch for happy hour specials in the daily bulletin. Mosquitos were out of c ntrol all over the property and along beach. You couldn't walk the beach at dusk. The dolphin and other cruises are cool but beware, they drop you off at the "boardwalk" for several hours because the property also owns shops/restaurants there. You are better off driving to the boardwalk to get on and off the boat so you're not forced into spending money at boardwalk.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GoGirlStL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portofino Island Resort

Property: Portofino Island Resort
Address: 10 Portofino Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561-2465
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Pensacola Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Pensacola Beach
#6 Business Hotel in Pensacola Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Pensacola Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Portofino Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 378
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Portofino Island Hotel
Portofino Island Pensacola
Portofino Pensacola Fl
Portofino Island Resort Spa
Portofino Is Resort
Pensacola Portofino Condo
Beach Pensacola Portofino

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