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. :)
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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