If you want a place where you are pampered, this is the place. Beautiful rooms and the staff cater to your needs.More
If you want a place where you are pampered, this is the place. Beautiful rooms and the staff cater to your needs.MoreShow less
Thank your for the kind words. Pampering our guests is something we take a lot of pride in and its great news that we are being successful at it. It's hard not to feel a little arrogant when saying our beaches are the world's most beautiful, but if it's true, why not. Thanks for the reassurance. We can't wait to have you back.
We traveled to Destin for the Florida State H.O.G Rally. and had a wonderful time . The Emerald Grande was just beautiful & everyone was so nice. Resturants & shopping within walking distance with lots of options to drive to. The rooms were clean & well decorated.We slept like babies in the comfortable beds.If you go to Destin you have got to stay there. We cannot wait to go back next year. If you can stay in the 3 bedroom w/bunk room do that, the views of sunsets & sunrises are breathtaking & the breezes are great. you will not be disappointed.
Pros: Good central location for walking to restaurant, boardwalk activities. The food we had in the GV café was very good and there were a couple pleasant waitresses there. In our week there we did locate a total of two other pleasant, professional, and helpful employees; a bellman (C.) and a maintenance man (N.) Parking was great, once we found the right level next to a convenient elevator (information not shared by the front desk). EG has the potential to be a great resort option.
Cons: Lack of management, poor attitude of desk agents, horrible housekeeping, lack of responsiveness to guest concerns, attempts to increase fees/limit options promised, very noisy late into night, WiFi intermittent at most, very slow restaurant service (30-45 minutes for breakfast). Expect a major disappointment if you are looking for a customer service oriented resort or first class experience.
Bottom line: would not recommend this place to anyone unless you need to stay there one-two nights in order to attend a wedding or conference as you can likely endure most things for a few days. Definitely do not consider if you are looking for a luxurious family or couple vacation. Our one week stay at the EG was a major disappointment.
We apologize up front for the length of this review; there are many aspects to address in order to understand the continued pattern of poor hotel actions since just one or two glitches could be forgiven.
The beginning: In March 2010 we stopped by the Emerald Grande while in town on business; there was to be a wedding nearby in October 2010 and the bride (deployed at the time) asked us to look at the lodging options as she expected that 40-60 couples might stay at the EG due to its proximity to the wedding venue. We explained our mission and asked to see a sample condo. They refused to let us see a condo saying the owners forbid showing the rooms to prospective guests. This should have set off a warning light of things to come.
We called four months prior to the wedding to reserve a condo; we called early to ensure we could get the top corner 3 BD/3 Bath room with view we wanted. Although the bride had told us a wedding rate was set, the reservations agent we spoke with insisted that there was no wedding rate unless the wedding was being held at the EG (it wasn’t, it was on a nearby military beach). We also asked about a military rate. The agent gave us a rate which she said was better than a military rate and better than if there was a wedding rate. (Unfortunately, she did charge us a $500 deposit instead of the $250 rate promised on the wedding rate agreement.) She also included that we would get two complementary breakfasts each day as well as either a fishing or golfing excursion for the two of us each day.
About a month later we mentioned to the bride that EG was not honoring the wedding rate commitment that the matron of honor had signed. The EG contact then confirmed that the agents should have honored a wedding rate. We called the contact (L.J.), explained the situation and asked whether there was a better “wedding” rate than the rate we reserved. She told us no, our rate was actually better, particularly with the breakfasts and excursions included. However, to our surprise, she said she needed to switch us to the wedding rate; we said absolutely not, we would retain the reservation we already had as clearly it made no sense to switch to a higher rate and lose the amenities promised. She agreed she would not change our reservation.
When we arrived to check in for our one week stay ($$$$), the front desk clerk began with an attitude stating that we’d already been there so clearly we didn’t need any information. We told her that no, we’d never stayed there. She took our credit card, we signed the slip, and she handed us room keys without any further instructions. We then asked how the breakfasts worked; e.g., did we need a coupon for the complementary breakfasts? She told us we didn’t get the breakfasts because we were with the wedding group. We explained that indeed we were to get them and we had the confirmed reservation; she grudgingly scrolled through the file and finally admitted, yes, we should get the breakfasts. We then asked how we did the free excursions; we went through the exact same attitude, denial that we got the excursions, and eventually a grudging yes, we were entitled to the excursions, but that we could only have one a day for one person (that’s quite the excursion privilege, one spouse could fish or golf by themselves one day and the other spouse could go solo the next day); which meant of course it wasn’t much of a benefit, as we had allowed four extra days simply to do couple activities, solo excursions were of no benefit (they did offer that a second person could go with a 20% discounted price). So, in the seven days we were there, husband went deep sea fishing solo once; the other six excursions were not used. That was the extent of all “check in” information provided by the unpleasant front desk.
We got to our room, unpacked and began to get situated. We travel extensively, and unlike all hotels where we’ve stayed in developed countries, there was no guest information in the condo; no info on WiFi, no info on facilities, no room service info, etc. We called down to the WiFi code, but simply didn’t know the right questions to ask about anything else. We found out that room service was available only by the trays left in the hallways all day long. We found out toward the end of our stay that our “resort fee” entitled us to use a shuttle to the beach as well as get beach chairs; by that point it was too late in the visit and we unable to fit in any beach time in the last two days. We do not know what else we might have been entitled to that we weren’t told about. We tried to find information online but the WiFi kept disconnecting so we gave up. Since the agent at the activities desk wouldn't her eyes off her computer to talk to us, we didn’t learn much there.
The condo itself had obviously seen better days, e.g., the carpet was stained and our shower had mildew around the caulking. An eye-opener the first night was when we pulled out the placemats to use for dinner. They were caked with dried food and stained. We called the front desk to ask them to swap the 12 placemats for clean ones. We were then told that was an owner’s prerogative to keep the placemats in that condition and they could not be swapped out—however, we could try washing them, but be careful not to shrink them! (Yes, this is really the response we got.) We were also surprised that in a 3 bedroom unit there were a total of two forks included—this would lead to the first of many unanswered calls to housekeeping. The lack of attention to basic appearance and upkeep was systemic, e.g., there was mismatched paint repairs on our walls, in our bedroom the KS mattress was so worn there were deep indents that one rolled into, after a lack response from front desk/maintenance on switching the mattress, we “turned” the mattress with the help of two pleasant housekeepers which helped somewhat.
Although some of the housekeepers were pleasant, the housekeeping was abysmal. We’re not finicky lodgers and had no special requests; we simply wanted the “neat tidy” each day (fresh towels and beds straightened, more coffee and toiletries as needed). Yet, this failed to happen each day; one day a housekeeper stopped by handed us some coffee and left. Unfortunately, because housekeeping NEVER answered their phone in the seven days we were there, we were had to rely on looking for carts in the hallway to get coffee, soap, tissues, etc. It became a bit of a joke to us, but it was simply poor service and poor management. Calling the front desk was of little help and we never could find a supervisor of any sort, and no supervisor ever called us after we noted concerns with front desk. The once a week “deep clean” consisted of fresh towels, bedding changes because we were in the unit and said yes, change the sheets. The bathroom mirrors, sinks, shower, toilets, floors, etc. were not touched. The kitchen floor was not mopped and the vacuuming was about three minutes in the center of the living room. (The housekeepers also left our door open after leaving coffee one day; thankfully no one stopped in.)
A frequent topic of conversation among the five of us in our suite was the fees added to guest accounts whenever possible. One of the most egregious experiences dealt with the breakfast area on the GV level. We came down one morning to enjoy our two complementary breakfasts. We saw two couples we knew finishing up their breakfasts and they had two empty seats at their table. We opted to share their table so we could visit. To our collective surprise when the waitress came at the end with the three bills, she said she had to add a 22% service charge to the bill of the two couples who’s table we shared because now this was a “party of six”---however, to sting even worse, because our two breakfasts were free, the waitress said she had to add 22% of the value of our “free” breakfast to their two bills. So, one couple had a subtotal of $26.90 but had a $9.41 service charge added (35%), the other couple had a $19.95 subtotal and had a $6.98 service charge added (again, 35%). We attempted to get this absurdity corrected to no avail; so not to spoil our good moods and not to make a scene the couples simply paid the extra charge.
Lack of management was evident throughout; no one appeared to be overseeing the front desk staff or the activities desk. If so, they would have noted and corrected the employees’ attitudes and treatment of guests. Here is just one example to illustrate their treatment of guests: the bride had left 40 “wedding bags” to be given, one per couple as they checked in (starting on Thursday for a Saturday wedding). Since we were staying there, the bride asked if we could check with front desk once she got feedback that couples were not getting the bags. We stopped at the front desk and mentioned her concerns and asked if there was a way to resolve the problem. It appeared the young man (J) was going to be helpful as he pulled a listing of hotel wedding guests and began showing it to us. However, it was not to be as the phone rang and he answered it; we, of course, expected him to put the caller on hold and talk to the real live humans in front of him; however, he then proceeded to ignore us and continue his phone conversation about a future reservation. We stood there for about a minute, stunned at the lack of consideration and respect and then walked off to our room. As we waited several minutes for the elevator (yes, you always need to wait for elevators, a major time waste) the agent came over saying, wait Ma’am we can help you. We cordially (really, we were still in shock at the way he treated us) said this was an example of horrible customer service—a basic rule is that you always help the human in front of you. He said, well we’re busy and we have a lot of customers, we mentioned that we were customers and in fact were there to discuss an issue that involved approximately 40 couples of customers staying here and his behavior was inappropriate--his response was to simply repeat that there were a lot of customers and he was busy.
Bottom line, if you just need to be at this location for a couple days for a wedding or conference the EG is convenient (do bring your own Charmin, though, they use the cheapest single ply). If you want to stay someplace for a nice vacation with good customer service and positive attitudes, this is not the place for you. We were provided the contact information for the rental manager (L.K.) We attempted to contact her halfway through our stay about our disappointment but got no response to several phone messages left. Particularly frustrating about the whole experience is that every single issue we brought to the attention of hotel staff was “fixable” if management cared to do so; there was nothing of grave magnitude such as a ceiling leaking or a bed bug infestation that would have required room movement or other extreme measures.
As they say, to add insult to injury, while we were typing this review earlier this month, an email came in from Emerald Grande: “Just book a new reservation on or after Oct. 4 (our stay was October 4-11) at a participating Emerald Coast property and begin your stay before Nov. 7, 2010… Emerald Coast Money Cards are available to visiting guests who have paid a minimum two-night overnight accommodations reservation at a participating lodging facility in Destin…” With this type of offer out on the table, any resort with a customer focus would have at least offered one of these gift cards to disappointed guests.
I would travel to the Florida Keys but no more after spending a week in Destin and the Emerald Grande.The Emerald Grande was exquisite with charm and hospitality and the staff and service were all first class.Look for my return in 2011.
Attended the 2010 Florida State HOG Rally, and The Emerald Grande was our host hotel. They exceeded our expectations. The condos are beautiful and every one on the
staff went over and above to make our stay a great one. We have already booked a 5 night stay for next years rally to be held again in Destin at the Emerald Grande. Already looking forward to our next visit.
First rate accommodations. Clean, easy access, good eating and weather was
great. Will lstay there again next October.