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“Great Family Hotel! Will Definitely go back!”

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Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort/Destin
Ranked #10 of 29 Hotels in Fort Walton Beach
Smiths Station, AL
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great Family Hotel! Will Definitely go back!”
Reviewed July 30, 2007

I booked the hotel then read some reviews on here and became a little nervous, but went any way. I must say We were all pleasantly surprised. I went with my wife, our 2 year old son and my wife's friend.

The ONLY negative about the hotel was the room size. We can't really say it's a negative though, because we expected a standard sized hotel room. If you are expecting a condo, don't go here. We stayed in the older part of the resort which has hotel rooms not on the beach. From what I could tell the beach view rooms with balconies are the same size.

The positives about the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort in Ft Walton are many.

The location is superb... right on the beach, no roads to cross. Walking distance to the fishing pier and "The Boardwalk" which has nice restaraunts and a club. On friday afternoon at the beach entrance near a little tiki bar at the hotel there was live music, the guy was actually pretty good and sang country and rock, a small crowd was gathered around and it was very nice.

The grounds are beautiful and the pools are wonderful... One has waterfalls and ranges from 3 - 10 feet deep and also has a swim up bar. The other pool is a basic rectangle and is right by the kiddie pool. This resort has one of the nicest pools I have ever seen.

Kids will love the kiddie splash park (my son did, see the pictures) he played for hours and had the time of his life, The park is enclosed so kids cannot escape and has chairs, tables and umbrellas for the adults, when you aren't playing with your kids. The park is bigger than it looks in the pictures.

The room was very clean and quiet, we didn't hear any noise from outside. The air conditioner blew really cold air. The furnishings, sheets, and floorings all seemed pretty new and were clean. We are non smokers and got stuck with a smoking room, but it did not smell like smoke at all. The room was small but fine for a short stay. it had a small fridge and coffee maker and 2 double beds.

We ate the breakfast buffet at the onsite cafe. It was $10 for adults and free for children. it seemed expensive but was pretty good, about the quality of a Shoney's breakfast buffet, maybe a little better.

The staff was friendly and checkin checkout was a breeze, the lobby is beautiful as well.

I would definitely stay here again, but only for a stay of 1-3 days. I usually prefer a condo that has more space for longer stays. I highly reccomend the Ramada, you should ignore the negative reviews, some people just can't be pleased with anything in life. We were very pleased and hated we could only stay one night.

  • Liked — Pools, Splash Park, Location
  • Disliked — Small Rooms
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank shuguley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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English first
NE Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2007

We celebrated the "end of the school year" over memorial day weekend with 3 kids. 2 of the kids are teenagers of driving age and the other is 10 years old. Normally we have problems on vacation with the age difference in the kids, as one wants to do something totally different from the other. This was not the case this time. They all enjoyed the pool, the beach, getting their own food, etc. We stayed in a suite overlooking the beautiful pool. The suite was great as the kids could watch TV in the living room while the parents could have quiet in the bedroom. Suites have a bar to eat at along with a mini kitchen. The pool is great with a waterfall and swim up bar. This hotel has an excellent location right on the beach and very close to the pier. Also within very short driving distance to grocery store and lots of yummy restaurants. The gift shop prices were surprisingly reasonable and they had a great selection. Also the little "tiki" bar out on their small boardwalk was excellent. Great to sit out on the beach and have a cocktail while listening to their live one man band music and watching the sunset. Also a country music recording artist Trent Tomlinson wondered up from the beach and played a tune, Very Cool! I grew up in South Florida and am a frequent traveler of the Caribbean and I have to say Ft. Walton Beach is the nicest beach I have ever been on. The undertow was wicked but the beach itself is beautiful! I highly recomment staying at this hotel and it will be something our family does on a yearly basis now.

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank julesingeorgia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2007

I almost cancelled our reservation after reading some of the reviews, but I'm glad I didn't. Our family had a great time at this hotel. It is older and the bathrooms are small, but it was clean and the pools and splash park are fun! Our 2 year old and 5 year old loved the splash park . We all enjoyed the pools too. Our room was close to the lobby, but it was still just a short walk to the beach. The beach was beautiful and there were no dead fish during our stay.

The staff was out by 7am every morning cleaning the grounds. The courtyard garden area was pretty. Our room was clean and comfortable, but not large.

So if you're thinking of taking a family, this is a good place to stay. Don't expect a new facility, but do expect to have a fun time at the beach with more pool options than most hotels.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wenwillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2007

Upon arrival at this "resort" I must say that we were disappointed at how different it was from the online photos. We were in the two story part that felt and looked just like a regular motel. There were lots of partiers at this hotel as well so it was noisy at night while we were trying to sleep. This hotel is in fact on the beach and the kiddie spray splash area is nice and the kids loved it. I just expected more from this place since it is around $200 a night and is supposed to be a resort.

  • Liked — Kiddie Spray Park
  • Disliked — The look of the motel, loudness, and lack of parking areas.
  • Stayed June 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank lovetrips6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2007

The good news was that I was fortunate to stay at the Ramada Beach Resort for a work trip so they paid the bill. The bad news was that they picked the Ramada for me to stay for a work trip.

Overall impression of the Ramada was that it was ok, albeit a bit run down place to stay on the beach with a several pools including one with a large artificial mountain with a cave that has a swim up bar inside it.

The clientel was mostly southerners who were bringing their kids down to stay for a few days at the beach. There also seemed to be quite a few crowds of younger folks who had coolers of beer for the beach and were there for a good time. Once again, no issue with that - aside from the fact that I was there for work and had to get up early each day I was there during a 2 week stay. Be forewarned, there are no particularly quiet rooms at this hotel.

The hotel has several sections, a tall, 7 story building that faces the sea and two 2 story "wings" and are enclosing the courtyard with lush gardens, 2 swimming pools and a jacuzzi. Unfortunately I was placed into one of these wings which only had exterior hallways. Due to this design and the lack of sheer drapes, you either kept your room darkening drapes closed so you were in a very dark cave or you were on public display for anyone walking by your room. I guess I was fortunate that my room overlooked the courtyard and not the parking area, which looked like a bad 1970s era cheap motel.

Room cleanliness was a bit suspect, I know over the weekends when I was there - they did not change the sheets but just made the bed with the old ones. My room amenities included a color tv with cable, but no swivel to turn the tv; a round table and side chair, a desk area with chair and 2 double beds; a refrigerator and a coffee maker. I have to say I hate hotels where your only option is to sit in an uncomfortable desk chair or lay on the beds - with no other seating.

The hotel does not provide a free breakfast and only in the second week did I discover that they do have free USA Todays at the Front Desk every morning.

The hotel is within walking distance to a large tourist seafood restaurant complex that people seemed to enjoy as the large parking lot was filled quite often.

There is a large beachfront area with a number of bars to support the crowd on the beachfront side of the Ramada and the beach itself seemed lovely and clean. However, like another poster has mentioned, during the time I was there the beach was filled with dead fish that had washed up on the beach. Someone mentioned that it was due to a red tide, I don't know abut that but it certainly put me off from going into the water and detracted from enjoying the beach.

Parents with kids will be pleased to note that the hotel seems to have a nice little water spray park on the East side of the hotel with water cannons and spray fountains for the little ones.

The hotel also had visible security with men in red shirts patrolling the beach, pool and hotel areas and they did not allow any sort of coolers by the pool or any food or drink of any kind in the enclosed jacuzzi area.

Free high speed internet connections were available in all the rooms although the service seemed to drop at odd times for no apparent reason.

So, would I stay there again? I doubt it. The hotel seemed a bit run down, a bit dirty and a bit rowdy for my taste. If was to visit the Destin, FWB area with my family - I would proably aim for a condo in Destin - it seemed a bit more upscale. If was to stay again in the area for work, I would choose a hotel that caters more for business travellers and there seem to be plenty of those to choose from.

  • Liked — Nice pool setting and great beach
  • Disliked — Dead fish on beach and run down facilities
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank Kingstownemurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
georgia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2007

Very nice clean hotel great pools and bar and food
rooms were clean and nice and the bathroom was small and toilet slow but whatever,

for the snoots this will be just another place to stay but for the average family it will be great
the garden area between the buildings is great and the pools are kid and adult fun and roomy
don't forget the pool in the garden area is heated
so if all the water seems to cold just hang out there it is also nice,they also have there own beach and souvenir shop on site.and you can have most things charged to your room which make it nice

are family was more than pleased with this hotel

  • Liked — cleanliness and pools
  • Disliked — bathroom
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ginsengup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2007

I was extremely unhappy with my stay at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort, FORT WALTON BEACH, FL.

Parking was awful. You will not find a spot near the hotel, because there is a motel (part of the "resort") in the parking lot. The hallways to the rooms smelled like puke. My nonsmoking floor, smelled like it had been a smoking floor for 15 years, and was changed to a nonsmoking a couple years ago. The smell lingered there after the switch. The stairwells smelled like pee and puke. The elevators were not air conditioned.

The room: I would not walk barefoot in the room. I purchased my own sheets to put on the bed because there was a big rust stain on the ones provided and they were very rough. I did not think new ones from the hotel would be any better, so that is why I purchased. The bathroom was sub par. The ceiling was covered in a grid of plastic that covered a florescent light that covered the entire ceiling. When you took a shower, there was a spraying leak from the shower head. This spraying leak hit the plastic grid right above your head, so that the water would drip back down onto you, but it would be cold. It did not make me feel very clean after using it.

This "resort" was boasting to being freshly renovated: I'd guess it was renovated in 1994. Not so fresh in my book. The pictures on the website and brochures do not match the real deal. The pictures show two pools. There is only one. I believe one of them may used to have been in the spot where the motel in the parking lot is. They are the same shape (the pool and the motel). Do not be deceived into thinking this will be any sort of luxury.

On the website, there is a seal of approval by Frommers. That is why I chose this "resort." I'd say Frommers gave it a seal of approval back in 1994 when I'm assuming it was "renovated."

In regards to location, there was a pier close and these big flashy restaurants next to it. These items made me wonder if there was some serious pollution in the water due to all of the eyeless dead fish that were washed up on the shoreline of the beach. Yes, you heard me correctly. EYELESS DEAD FISH. Everywhere.

There were EYELESS DEAD FISH all up and down the shoreline for two days straight (june 23 and june 24 2007). It was repulsive. I do not know if dead fish are a regular thing here, but there was nothing posted about the condition of the beach anywhere in the hotel. I would not get into the water and I can't imagine letting my children in there to wade with decay.

I did not try any of the restaurants in the hotel for fear that they would would be of the same caliber as the hotel itself.

I can not believe that this "resort" is a Ramada. They should be ashamed of themselves for putting their name on something so foul and outdated. I do not believe that I will ever visit a Ramada again due to the shameful upkeep of the space and misrepresentation of the appearance on the website. I feel mislead.
For around $250 per night, you get nowhere near your money's worth.

I left this vacation wishing I had vacationed at home.

  • Liked — the beach looked pretty
  • Disliked — The smell
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank cattravelerAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort/Destin

Property: Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort/Destin
Address: 1500 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-6213
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 Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Fort Walton Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort/Destin 3*
Number of rooms: 335
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Also Known As:
Ramada Plaza Beach Hotel Fort Walton Beach
Ramada Fort Walton Beach
Fort Walton Beach Ramada

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