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“Very impressed with the entire experience at this hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

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Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach
Ranked #1 of 29 Hotels in Fort Walton Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Gaffney, SC
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Very impressed with the entire experience at this hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2014

This is a wonderful new hotel in the very beautiful and popular area of Florida's Emerald Coast. I was very impressed with the entire experience at the hotel. The lobby is neat and well-designed, check-in was easy and quick. The rooms are large and spacious; we had a "specialty room" with an area for kids that had a set of bunk beds with its own TV and XBOX, which was wonderful when we all needed to be a little less "together." The pool area was definitely the highlight of the hotel; it had a waterfall and a lazy river in the outdoor pool, a hot tub outside, and a nice indoor pool. The outdoor pool deck was very nice and well-furnished, it had access to the hotel restaurant and even had waiters coming by to take orders of those relaxing by the pool. And if you are really lucky, a pirate or a mermaid may spend the afternoon with you. The walkway to the beach was very nice, it had a ramp to make the beach accessible to all. The hotel restaurant was nice. The breakfast buffet was very good and easily carried us through lunch, so we did not have to stop playing to eat. The restaurant had a good, varied menu, and the prices were in line with other restaurants in the area, a huge bonus were kids ordering off the kids menu are FREE for hotel guests. Though the price was steep, we will definitely plan on making a return trip to this hotel because it has all the right plusses!!!!

Room Tip: If you have children that need their own space, consider requesting one of the "kids rooms"...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AutumnCole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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528 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (187)
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English first
Maumelle, Arkansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2014

Our annual trip to Destin area was almost ruined by this hotel. We used Holiday Inn's search engine to find a room for Two adults and Three children. It listed several and we booked for a week's stay. When we arrived after a 12-hour drive, we went to our room to find a teeny-weeny room that had little space for four people, much less five and luggage. There is no sitting area, a very small t.v., and NO space for a roll-out bed (which we were told the hotel was 'out of' when we requested one). Please, learn a lesso from our family's hassle; don't stay here if you are 4+. And, if you have a problem, it will take forever to resolve. As, we didn't stay here, because we didn't want one of our children sleeping in the closet, we had to find another place to stay (yeah Wyndham). Holiday inn put a hold on our credit card for the week's stay, and didn't fix the issue until I called my bank and handled it from my end. After all of that, this hotel STILL charged us for one night's stay. Again, we had to make numerous calls to remove a $299 charge for a tiny room that they recommended for a family of five. Stay away from this place! Dishonest, misleading, rude management....many other great places to choose from. My hope is that this review will help other families.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank MWaite75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this review, June 29, 2014
Dear MWaite75,

Thank you for taking the time to review our property. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience the room condition may have cause you and your family. I want to assure you our hotel is very proud of its level of service, cleanliness and quality of its product. I would love the opportunity to regain your faith and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your stay in further details. We have sent you a private message to obtain additional detail regarding your stay.

Again, thank you and I look to hearing back from you very soon.

Sincerely,

John O
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2014

I am a very particular traveler; I often spend hours reading reviews online in order to find what I'm looking for. I want upscale, roomy, beachfront (if going on a beach trip), quiet, and an excellent/competent staff. The Holiday Inn Resort in Fort Walton is not there yet, but is on its way.

The hotel itself is excellent. Contrary to what two reviewers prior said, the hotel is brand new (as of spring 2014) and not refurbished. The aesthetics as well as the layout are pleasing and the facilities are clean and upscale. Not like a true resort, but definitely great for the area and for a chain hotel. The staff elevator/kitchen/laundry is directly across from the guest elevator. There is a distinct, odd smell in that area. It is not bad, but unusual...probably a combination of food and laundry.

We checked in around 4:15. I was initially concerned as it was very loud and very busy and I like a calm, quiet resort. However, we only waited a minute or so for a receptionist and our room was ready. We went up to our room and despite specifically asking on our reservation to not be near an elevator and to be in a quiet area we were given the room directly by the elevators. We went back down and despite a look of concern on the attendant's face she found us a room one level lower (second level) but toward the end of the hallway. Despite being only on the second level we still had a magnificent view of the ocean. I am assuming they just don't pay attention to requests made when booking the reservation; it was odd that we were put right next to the elevator when the only thing we requested was to *not* be next to the elevator.

We had booked a two queen bed standard oceanfront room. The room itself is very small and slightly cramped, this is my only complaint about the room. The refrigerator was a counter height refrigerator - we were able to fit plenty of milk, juice, lunch meat, fruit, etc. in it. The linens were nice quality, the beds and pillows were comfy. The room was aesthetically pleasing. We were a group of four women having a long girls' weekend. There was enough room for all our stuff, but no sofa or much room to move around. It was adequate though as we planned on spending all of our time outside. I would not want to stay here with my family, though. Maybe the kid rooms with bunks are more spacious, but the two double bed rooms are quite small. Too bad they don't offer them as a suite option.

The balcony was a bit small, but adequate.

Housekeeping did a fine job of making our bed but they did not restock our towels fully and neglected to restock the toilet paper. We had to ask for more and despite the front desk saying they would bring some up we ended up having to get it ourselves.

The pool area is gorgeous and has plenty of loungers and a few umbrellas. It is a zero entry pool with sprinklers on one end for the kids and a small, but nice lazy river. The hot tub was nice and hot and also had a handicap lift.

The boardwalk down to the beach is not too long and also handicapped accessible. The beach itself is beautiful, sugary white sand. No complaints at all. We went in late May/early June and it was not too crowded. Loungers with umbrellas are available to rent and there was only one row, not double rows like at another place down the beach. That's a definite plus to staying at a smaller place. We brought our own chairs, though, as we didn't want to pay $30/day. I also had some concern being somewhat close to the pier (I feel like piers are dirty and seem very public) but it is far enough away that it was not a concern at all.

I can't speak as to the outdoor bar and inside restaurant. The hotel could do better with having information and signage available to explain the indoor/outdoor dining and how it works. No one explained it, I could find no information on it, and as a person that tends to not ask questions I never ate at the hotel (outside of breakfast) because I didn't know how it worked.

The hotel is very convenient to Harborwalk Village and Destin. We ate out three nights and found the Fort Walton area restaurants to have no wait but we did have to wait about 20 minutes on a Monday night in Destin.

We had purchased a "bed and breakfast" type deal. The breakfast was delicious and well worth the cost. I believe they charge around $11/person if you buy it there but when we booked it as part of our rate it was $13/two people. I'm not sure about the reports of them charging extra for juice as we didn't get juice. I did drink two pints of milk every morning from the cereal area and was not charged for them like someone else mentioned. They were also glad to provide hot water for the tea bags I had brought. Our servers were not particularly friendly and they never seemed to know what was going on despite our being there three mornings. The first morning we were told omelettes were not included but upon asking someone else we found out they were. Every morning we had to explain that our breakfast was part of our room rate and despite showing them our "coupon" that stated this they didn't know how to handle it. Two mornings they tried to charge it to our room and I had to ask them if that's what they were doing. They sheepishly admitted they were despite our showing the "coupon" and explaining it was not supposed to be charged to the room. (Upon checkout no breakfast charges appeared so apparently it got sorted out, otherwise I was prepared to sort it out upon checkout.) The buffet itself is clean, well stocked, and on par with an Embassy Suites breakfast. Every day there was plenty of bacon, two types of sausage, scrambled eggs, homemade biscuits/gravy, a waffle station, plenty of fresh fruit and yogurt, an assortment of pastries/muffins, and various breads such as toast, english muffins, bagels, etc. Pancakes, omelettes, and fried eggs could be ordered at the window.

Upon checkout I noticed they had charged us $26 more per night than our reservation stated. I showed them the original confirmation and they promptly took care of it.

So while there are definitely some kinks that need to be worked out, and the breakfast staff needs some lessons in manners, friendliness, and competency, it was a very nice stay overall. I would definitely return if it was for a shorter stay (one not necessitating a condo) but I would keep a close on eye on charges, etc.

This facility is a very nice addition to this area and hopefully it will prompt the other nearby hotels to catch up!

Room Tip: All oceanfront/oceanview rooms are going to have a nearly identical view and resort view rooms are g...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank motheringingrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2014

A friend of mine and I used to live in FWB and wanted to try the new Holiday Inn Resort on the beach for our annual visit. From the moment we got there we noticed the very friendly staff. Every employee we encountered was over the top hospitable and helpful. Our room was very nice also and we enjoyed the restaurant and bar. For only being a few weeks old we thought that things were running smoothly. I think it is a very neat thing to leave a hotel and be able to say goodbye to many employees by name. They have created a very comfortable, enjoyable space on the beach!!
Will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bitsyga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slidell, Louisiana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2014 via mobile

We had a balcony room overlooking the beach booked. We arrived early and was greeted by LaRayne. Our room was still under construction so she assigned us another one. That one we waited a half hour for it to be cleaned so LaRayne gave our family a voucher for free breakfast for two days for our inconvenience. Everyone is very pleasant and friendly but LaRayne was awesome. She was always smiling and eager to please us to make sure our stay met our expectations. You must eat at the hotel. The food was amazing. Pool was awesome. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cakegrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2014

Although the hotel is only 2 weeks old, they ARE NOT READY TO BE OPEN! They booked our room and once we got here, they told us they had no room for us to stay in. It took about 30-45 minutes for the manger to come talk to us and then proceeded to make us wait until they checked a room they told us they didn't have. We got to our room and the bathroom floor had trash on it. There is NO hairdryer and NO coffee maker like the hotel promised. The rooms are apparently handicaped, but it is not! Good thing we didn't bring our daughter in a wheelchair. We were suppose to have a 2 bed room, but gave us a "king suite" which has 1 king bed and a pull out sofa. MY daughter had to opened the bed HERSELF and also make her own bed. The best thing about this hotel was when we found a recycling bin in our room. The closet has no rob, so I couldn't hang up my nice clothes. Just a VERY TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE!!!!! This trip is sadly unforgettable.

Room Tip: Make sure you CALL the HOTEL and make sure they actually have a room BEFORE you get here!!!!!!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Haley C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
Dear Haley C,

Thank you for taking the time to review our property. I’m very disappointed to hear about your experience regarding the room condition and its amenities. I want to assure you our hotel is very proud of its level of service, cleanliness and quality of its product. I would love the opportunity to regain your faith in our hotel and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your stay in further details. We have sent you a private message to obtain additional detail regarding your stay.

Thank you for staying with us and I look forward to hearing back from you very soon.

Sincerely,

John O
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2014

This hotel has been completely refurbished and it looks and feels brand new. Our room looks out over the pool and directly out to the stunning beach. Although a bit small, our porch is comfortable enough for the two of us to read and enjoy the beauty of this place for hours. There is a wedding going on right now, so my wife is enthralled. Some highlights: outdoor movies by the pool with the beach as backdrop, small but uncrowded lazy river, zero entry pool and handicap friendly hot-tub/ outdoor spa, full service bar in the lobby that is easily accessible from the pool area.

The place just reopened so there are a few kinks that they are trying to work out. When we first got here they were replacing some of the doors between the rooms but the workmen were polite and considerate. Overall, the staff is energetic and really wants to please. I read other reviews indicating some issues that other travelers have had with staff, but as of right now (and we have spent several days here) I can't say that this is a problem area. One area does need some improvement: the check-in desk is manned with well meaning but unknowledgable folks. They don't know when or what movies are being shown at the pool, what local restaurants are good or even some basic hotel policy, but they are friendly and obviously will learn as time goes on (the hotel has only been open for a few weeks). The negative is all small stuff, really. This is a great hotel with young, ready-to-please staff and a location that can't be beat - just down the beach from great restaurants, a waterside park, an aquarium and the Harborwalk Village in Destin.

My wife and I plan to come back to Destin and this is the place we will stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Property: Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach
Address: 1299 Miracle Strip Parkway, SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Fort Walton 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 29 Hotels in Fort Walton Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach 3*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whatever you want out of your vacation, it’s right here. We’re at your service – helping you have fun and create memories. Our hotel is perfect not just for family vacations, but for romantic getaways, meetings and events, and business travel. We have the best pool in the area with a lazy river, waterfall, and hot tub as well as an an indoor pool, American Grill, pool bar, family suites, supervised children's activities, 'Dive-Inn' movies, interactive pirate and mermaid shows, private beachfront balconies, 24 hour fitness center, 24 hour business center, free WiFi, and free parking. We’re waiting for you here in Fort Walton Beach … what are you waiting for? Reserve your room today. ... more   less 
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