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“The worst experience I've ever had”

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Shores of Panama Resort
Florence, Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The worst experience I've ever had”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

The employees are such jerks. The room was filthy and didn't even have toilet paper. There were dishes caked with food in the dish washer when we first got there. The hotel is crazy about wrist bands to get into the pool that cost $100. No guests are allowed anywhere in the hotel. I will never stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank alove47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2014

I have been traveling to PCB for many years and have stayed at a handful of condos down there. I have been excited to stay at Shores of Panama since it opened. Now that I have stayed here, I totally regret it. First off, as others have stated, the place was a dump! I can not believe that this place is less than 10 years old and is in the condition it is in. The elevators on the west end were atrocious. Since it was Spring Break, I understand the kids trashing it, however, I reported that someone urinated in the elevator and it was not taken care of immediately. Hours later the puddle and stench were still there. speaking of urination, I also reported that someone had urinated on the 12 floor outside of the elevator on Tuesday. As of Saturday when we left, it was still there. On Thursday one of the cleaning staff walked right past it with her mop bucket. You can not tell me she did not smell it. This was not my first time in PCB for Spring Break, but it definitely was the least enjoyable. I think Shores should not market to the Spring Breakers since they trashed the place, and their cleaning staff is not able to keep up with the cleaning of the "resort".
Since I rented from a private owner, I was aware of the amenities fee. However, Shores changed their March policy a week before I got down there. I was told it would be 73 dollars for the week and got an email stating the policy change and now Shores was charging 25 a day for March. Way to nickel and dime people. They state that it is compable to resort fees, but I have stayed at resorts and never had to pay extra on top of what I already pay, plus due to the weather, the Dj they are touting didn't even play on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. The pool and deck are nice, but don't nickel and dime people. One last thing, the pool and deck area were not kept clean, which was common of the whole place. My first trip to Shores will be my last.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Laura W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James A, General Manager at Shores of Panama Resort, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for providing your feedback from your recent visit. As you have indicated that you rented from a private owner, I’m unable to speak to the conditions of your lodgings or elevators as our guests are in different areas. I’m sorry that you disagree with the amenity fees. Again, our guests have those included in their price. Based upon the amazing amenities (300,000 gallon lagoon pool, gym, spa, outdoor 25 person hot tub, indoor heated pool, indoor hot tub plus 13,000 square foot pool deck) I do feel that a daily fee is warranted though the fee is not mandatory if you’re not wishing to use them. Regarding the Club Lavela DJ’s, as it is a pool party, it is weather dependent. You are correct that there were no performances on those three days as it rained all day.

Sincerely,

James E. Ayres
General Manager Shores of Panama Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Germantown, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2014

I honestly do not even know where to start. The countless atrocities committed by the Shores of Panama sort of just blend together after a while. There is literally not enough time in the day to document everything that was hopelessly wrong with this place.

1. Upon arrival, I went through a check-in process that was about as enjoyable as chewing pine ones. The staff was either completely oblivious or too dense to realize what was going on. As a result, the check-in process took literally 5 hours. By the time we finally figured out what was going on and got our wristbands, it was about 9pm. The check-in nightmare, however, had just begun. After getting our wristbands, my party was informed that we would need to place $500 down for a deposit. This wouldn't have been an issue if we had been told of this expense ahead of time, but no. That would be asking for a little too much. Instead, we were forced to scrounge up $500 at the last minute and pay it to the arrogant punk manning the front desk. Then, as if that wasn't enough, I was told that our room wasn't even ready yet. It had to be "inspected". Check-out is at 9am. So, using some of my basic mathematical skills, I calculated that these people had had 12 hours to inspect the room, but instead had just chosen to do it at the last minute. We furiously entered our room at 9:30pm. A whole day which we had already paid an obscene amount of money for had been wasted.

2. You are charged $25 a day to use the swimming pool. Needless to say, the swimming pool was never touched. Must be real nice to have a giant swimming pool that no one ever uses.

3. Having a buddy over? Does he/she have a wristband? No? Well then too bad. If they don't have a wristband, then they aren't going anywhere. There was no guest registration process, no guest passes, nothing. If your friend (just one person) wants to visit you, he/she isn't going anywhere close to Shores of Panama without a wristband.

4. You have to buy your own toilet paper.

5. Upon leaving the resort, I tried to get compensated for the day lost checking in. I was essentially told to screw off by the arrogant staff behind the front desk.

I could go on and on about how cheap and useless the staff is at this place, but I think my senior dissertation would be shorter.
Don't give this resort your money. It doesn't deserve it.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank wreid0992
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James A, General Manager at Shores of Panama Resort, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for your feedback from your recent stay. I apologize that you felt that your stay could have gone better. This is disheartening to me as I know how hard you must have worked to have earned this time away. I would like touch on your observations and help make sense of them. Many of your observations are from Spring Break specific policies and standards that have had to be put into action to protect the property. Please know that Spring Break is a special time of year in Panama City Beach. Our amazing resort needs to take special precautions in this time of year to protect our asset.

1. As the typical Spring Breaker attempts to maximize the occupancy in their room, we have found it necessary to mandate a damage deposit at arrival. This has been communicated to each and every guest over the phone at their time of booking. Perhaps one of your friends booked the room and did not remember this being mentioned? Of course, if there is no damage to the guest room we refund the money at checkout after an inspection. While this seems unorthodox, we are a year round hotel so we do need to minimize damage to the property through whatever steps necessary. This policy is not in effect any time other than College Spring Break.

2. As our guest, the cost of the amenity charge was included in your room. This provides access to Spa, Gym, 300,000 gallon lagoon pool (largest in North Florida), 13,000 square foot pool deck (largest in North Florida), outdoor 25 person hot tub, indoor pool and indoor hot tub.

3. This point is another Spring Break only policy. Many Spring Breakers attempt to sneak friends onto property due to Shores of Panama’s cachet and desirability. We strictly enforce during College Spring Break that you are not allowed on property unless you are a current guest or own a unit.

4. During College Spring Break, the occupancy in the guest rooms can rise. All of our luxurious spacious units are given a full compliment of items. However, once depleted, the amenities in the room will need to be purchased by the Spring Breaker. As a condo Hotel, we do not perform daily Housekeeping service. However, in the remainder of the year, we do offer mid stay cleans and other housekeeping services from our a la carte menu.

5. During College Spring Break, we do not guarantee early checkin (before 9). Many Spring Breakers arrive early in the morning and we do prioritize them. I personally was prioritizing every check in on all three arrival days of Spring Break and never once had a guest wait for more than one hour. Could you please contact me personally at Jamesayres@shoresofpanama.com so that I can learn more?

Thank you for being our guest. We do value your business and hope you change your mind about Shores of Panama Resort. I hope you and yours have the opportunity to be our guest during another time of the year to see the difference. You'll find that Shores of Panama Resort consistently delivers unparalleled positive guest experiences.


Sincerely,

James E. Ayres
General Manager Shores of Panama Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2014

First off I want to state I was extremely satisfied with the individual condo owner’s excellent customer service (but the opposite is the case for the overall Shores of Panama property owner and their employee’s poor customer service). The condo I stayed in was very nicely furnished by the condo owner and extremely convenient access on the 3rd floor with a parking space within 5 min walk to car, no elevator necessary, convenient keypad entry so no card or key to deal with. Condo owner provided nice amenities, free Internet and local calls, fully furnished kitchen, coolers and beach chairs, small cart to transfer groceries or for moving in/out, and accurate restaurant tips. I want to refute James E. Ayres (Shores of Panama General Manager) claims on responding to an earlier review about the wristband policy. I personally stayed at Shores during the month of March and it was an absolute nightmare dealing with the restrictive and changing wristband policy, and understaffed front desk and wristband Tiki Hut when the wristbands were processed. I was told by one property employee one policy, a second employee a conflicting policy, and a third employee another policy. Prior to arriving I was told by the condo property owner that I would be provided wristbands since I would be staying for the month of March and would not have to deal with the daily wristband fees that daily guests did. During a night visit to the desk, I attempted to acquire the 7-day wristbands and was told they stopped providing wristbands for the day and to show up next morning at 10 AM. I did so and was told no they changed the time to 11 AM. At 1045 I have to get in line behind about 15 people, and the employee didn’t show up until after 1120, upon which I was told by another employee “you are waiting in the wrong line” so I wasted my time again. So I go to the front desk to pickup the 7-day wristbands (monthly access not daily) and after waiting another 15 minutes since they were understaffed, was told “you were not given the correct information, everyone has to pay daily $24 resort wristband fees”. I was told this even since had no intention to use the pool/hot tub area but only wanted to walk from the 3rd floor condo to the beach using the property access I had to buy a $24 daily fee wristband since there is no walkway from condos to the beach access walkway without walking through the pool area (which I had no intention of using so shouldn't have to pay for it). Apparently they changed the policy after I checked out of the property due to frustration with the wristband policy (and misleading "steam room available" misleading information since they converted the steam room to another purpose) to provide a beach access wristband when they realized their poor policy. If Mr Ayres actually does provide quality customer service as he claims, why doesn’t he property reimburse those of us like myself that experienced a shifting policy and were charged for the wristbands just because we wanted to walk from the condos to the beach and never used the pool chairs or incredibly cold pool or overcrowded beyond legal limit outdoor hot tub? James Ayres was forced to make a wristband change after so many guests complained but we were never compensated after he realized their poor wristband implementation. This is a horribly designed property if they want to charge outrageously overpriced daily fees for such minimal benefits-very cold unheated pool, severely overcrowded past maximum capacity hot tub, insufficient number of lounge chairs, and the Club La Vela pool “party” which was over-advertised and under-delivered with poor attendance which I personally witnessed, since my condo window overlooked the pool area. This property does not provide valuable benefits such as pool parties with reasonably comfortable pools, or other desirable features to justify the overpriced daily resort fee.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank BeachandSail4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James A, General Manager at Shores of Panama Resort, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit.

I wish you had booked with Shores of Panama Resort. Our Spring Break Special prices include the price of the amenity wristband, which seemed to be the central challenge of your visit. You would then have been able to be checked in at the Front Desk without leaving property and have been able to just enjoy yourselves. It sounds like you purchased your wristband only to access the beach. I’m not sure that you noticed a complimentary beach access boardwalk that’s 10 yards to the East of the property? Our policy has never changed and no guest has been made to pay for wristbands who did not want to use the amenities. As referenced in my other responses, the amenities are substantial with the lagoon pool of 300,000 gallons (largest in North Florida) 13,000 square foot pool deck (largest in North Florida), outdoor 25 person hot tub, indoor pool, indoor hot tub, Club Lavela pool party during the month of March, gym and spa. With these amenities, certainly an amenity fee is warranted consistent with other resorts (many charge much more per day plus charge for parking where we do not). Again, if you do not wish to enjoy these world class amenities, you are not required to purchase the wristbands.

No policies have changed at any time regarding the purchasing of the wristbands. I’m happy that we’ve been able to on nice days, sell them on the pool deck at our new Tiki kiosk.

Kind regards,

James Ayres
General Manager
Shores of Panama Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We rented from a private owner room 1415! Everything about her room is great! Very clean and nice! On the other hand shores of panama is a trashy condo! For it to look so nice on the outside the inside is so ran down! Not worth $1500 a week! I understand it's spring break but at least keep it clean! Elevators were nasty! Hallways were covered in trash! The property workers were nothing but rude other than security people they were always nice! And the wrist bands are a joke! And the parking deck don't even get me started someone did not think that situation out! Took us 30-45 mins to get out! If you are coming with a family please don't stay here! It's not kids friendly at all! And you can't have coolers out on pool deck!! Let's just say we will never stay here again!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jessika213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014

I have stayed at several condos over the years in PCB. The Shores is better then most but still has some things it could improve. It's location is great being right next to Pineapple Willies and close to most things. The parking is great as you get your own spot. The condo we stayed in was very clean and well maintained. This is the part where it gets better then most in PCB. Most condos end up looking tired and over worn. The Shores is not like that.

The downsides were mostly everyone putting towels on all the chairs at the crack of dawn. This meant if you actually went down to the pool at 10 am there was no place to sit or lounge. We ended up just renting beach chairs with umbrellas. The staff should ensure this doesn't happen so everyone can have a chance to lay by the pool.

I would return to this condo if I was going back to PCB as I said it is better then most. The pool is huge and they have activities for the kids. Also, they sell food and drinks right at the pool.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Melindasrq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alliance, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 2, 2014

I am a college student looking forward to a fun energetic spring break. After a summer of working and summer I had the money to pay for the vacation. However when we arrives the rooms smelled and were not ready at the expected time. Finally the absolute tipping point of the experience is the wrist band. The wrist band which are not included in the contract allow you access to the beach and hotel pool. They also allow you onto the property after 10p.m. These wristband cost 125 dollars. If you stay here do not expect access without to the hotel after a fun night out without spending the 125 dollars. It is basically a nickel and dimming gimmick that is disgusting.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jewalsh92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James A, General Manager at Shores of Panama Resort, responded to this review, March 6, 2014
Thank you for your review and recent visit.

Unfortunately, it looks like you were not a guest of Shores of Panama and instead booked through a vacation rental company. Unfortunately, we cannot control those rooms, as we do not own them. I do however sympathize that your visit was not as you wished. The rooms we control were all ready early in the day and were professionally cleaned to our very high standards.

Regarding the wristbands; I do again apologize as our guests get them included with their room purchase so that they have bought them in advance. Our amenities are magnificent and with the 13,000 square foot pool deck, flowing lagoon pool (largest in North Florida at over 300,000 gallons) spa, indoor pool, outdoor and indoor large hot tubs a daily amenity fee consistent with typical resorts is certainly warranted. This year we added extra value, by having Club Lavela (the largest nightclub in the USA) sponsor the pool deck and provide daily DJ's and Emcee's. As you said you were here for Spring Break, I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy them. In regards to wristbands, only registered guests are allowed on property. We have multiple authentication methods to ensure this.

Sincerely,

James E. Ayres

General Manager
Shores of Panama
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shores of Panama Resort

Property: Shores of Panama Resort
Address: 9900 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408-3804
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Panama City Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 83 Specialty Lodging in Panama City Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Shores of Panama Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Under New Management by Counts Oakes Resort Properties" This 23 story gulf front luxury resort is loaded with amenities including a full spa, kids club, 13,965 square foot gulf front pool & hot tub, heated indoor pool and hot tub, covered parking on-site, 24 hour front desk check in, health center with fitness equipment, steam room, 2 tiki bars serving food and cocktails, beach activities and rental services, high speed internet access and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shores Of Panama By Oaseas Hotel Panama City Beach

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