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“Never.... Ever....Again ”

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Beachcomber By The Sea
Ranked #10 of 48 Hotels in Panama City Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Covington, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Never.... Ever....Again ”
Reviewed May 28, 2007

When we arrived even though there was no one ahead of us it took at least 20 minutues for us to check in. The young lady at the desk couldn't figure out how to take off 10% for the AAA discount. She told us she was very new so we were surpised that she had been left there all alone to handle check-ins. She had to keep calling someone on the phone to help her figure our bill and still she almost overcharged us by $150. But thankfully we stopped her and made her call whoever she was talking to again and have them figure it. When we finally got to the room our door key did not work. My husband made 4 trips to the front desk before we had a working key.

The room itself, although a little dated was very clean and smelled very fresh. The kitchen, although sparely furnished with cooking utensils/pans/dishes, etc was clean and all the appliances appeared to be new. We were on the 7th floor and the view was great.

BUT we did have a huge problem with the type of "clientel" this motel had staying there. I pride myself on being very easy going and nonjudgemental, but all weekend we were subjected to the loudest bunch of drunken nasty low class people I have ever encountered. I'm not just talking about kids, I'm talking about whole families (most of whom had little kids with them) who spent the entire weekend so drunk they could not walk across the sand without falling down. We watched from our balcony time after time these people trying to carry their coolers out to the beach and we would count how many times they fell down before they got there. It was very, very sad....

I truly felt sorry for the staff at the Beachcomber who had to clean up after these people as they managed to trash the pool area everyday with all their beercans and cigarette butts. I can only imagine what their rooms looked like after they left.

We had spend our last day up on our own balcony because we could no longer tolerate being around these people. We are not snobs, we are just hard working middle class people who have been raised better than to act like this. I know it was Memorial Day weekend but geez.....no one should have to be subjected to this. They won't have to worry about me again because from now on if I can't stay in a condo......I'll be staying at home!!!!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — Behavior of a lot of the guests
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank dd170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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581 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (118)
Date | Rating
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English first
New Orleans
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2007

We stayed at Beachcomber by the Sea in May '07 and loved it! The room was very clean and the view was to die for. We had a King Suite. I would have prefered to have the bed in the room with the ocean view instead of the couch, but the rate was so great its hard to complain. Down the road there is a sister property with a great bar called Barefoot. This is a great outdoor bar with a fantastic view of the sunset. Be sure to make it a part of your trip. The food at the bar is ok, but the drinks are great and the beers are cold. The beach is beautiful. We watched pelicans grabbing their dinner out of the gulf!

  • Liked — View.
  • Disliked — The bed should have the view.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank imjustbeachy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centerville, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2007

The Beachcomber Hotel: We (my wife, our two children and I) arrived on Monday, May 7, 2007; we checked into room 504; we checked out on Thursday, May 10, 2007; but, we will never, never stay at The Beachcomber again! Please read on to learn why.

Without a doubt the location is spectacular. The view is beautiful. The facilities themselves however were less than expected: lots of plaster missing (especially on the outside, but some from inside the room as well), several exposed rusty pipes, and much of the silvering was missing from the back of our bathroom mirror, resulting in several large black blotches on the mirror. Although the facility is only a few years old, it certainly has a “used” appearance. In spite of these difficulties, housekeeping did a remarkable job of trying to keep things neat, clean and orderly, although they were working under the handicap of deteriorating facilities.

All of these could be overlooked however. What I could not overlook was either the gross incompetence or outright dishonesty of the hotel staff and management. Prior to making our reservations I read the reviews at tripadvisor.com. The only two significant negative reports The Beachcomber received was for the quality of its breakfasts and its questionable billing practices. Both are well deserved. I have never seen anything quite like it. When I made our reservations on line in February 2007, I noticed The Beachcomber’s “Pizza in Paradise Package.” The Beachcomber would provide a large, two-topping Dominos pizza and two-liter soft drink for a three-night stay. According to the Beachcomber website (and this is the same thing their website says today, Friday, May 18, 2007): “Offer valid for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday arrivals only. Three night minimum. Advance reservations required.”

The Beachcomber website gave no opportunity to reserve the Pizza in Paradise Package while making online reservations, so while we were checking in our very first evening I told the front desk clerk we were reserving the Pizza in Paradise Package. Since I had no way to reserve the Package online, and this was still 48 hours before we would use the pizza package it seemed like I had satisfied the necessary “advance reservations”. Unfortunately, the front desk clerk had no idea what I was talking about and asked me to come back the next day.

Since this same clerk was on duty the next afternoon, I waited another day, because I already knew she knew nothing about the Pizza in Paradise Package.

Later that second evening I was checking my e-mail in the lobby. (Oh yeah, their wireless connection only extends to the third floor.) While there, another couple entered the lobby. I could clearly hear their conversation with this same front desk clerk, and from that conversation it was obvious she had earlier given this couple misinformation, and they relied on it to their detriment. The front desk clerk was now taking no responsibility for her mistake, and was offering no further assistance. I know this couple was not trying to rip-off The Beachcomber, because I could understand the conversation between the husband and wife, but the front desk clear could not. These particular guests were German tourists – guests in our country, and they were being treated terribly! I am an American. My family has been in this country since before the American Revolution, but my undergraduate degree is in German. I have lived and studied in Germany. I could understand what this couple was saying to each other. They were not trying to cheat anybody, but they were treated horribly. It was disgusting!

The next morning my wife was also in the lobby checking her e-mail, and came back to the room concerned about the management’s honesty as well. Each suite at The Beachcomber is identical, but she heard another front desk clerk quote wildly different prices to successive guests. Why? The rooms are identical, and we were all staying during the same period of time.

My final dealing with The Beachcomber management was all the evidence I needed to prove their complete lack of honesty and responsibility. Starting early Wednesday morning (May 9) I tried to obtain the necessary certificate for the Pizza in Paradise Package. We had arrived on a Monday; we were staying for three nights; and, I had told the staff at my first available opportunity when we checked in. It seemed as if I had satisfied all the requirements. I could not understand why the front desk staff kept telling me to come back later. I tried two or three times that morning and at least twice in the afternoon. Finally, the Assistant General Manager told me we didn’t qualify for the Pizza in Paradise Package, because we had not requested that package when we made our initial reservations. I reminded him that his website never mentioned any such requirement, and I had told his staff as soon as I could at check-in (almost 48 hours before). Remember, all the website said (and still says) is “Offer valid for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday arrivals only. Three night minimum. Advance reservations required.”

After a discussion at the front desk in which I proved from language of The Beachcomber’s own website we had satisfied all the conditions, the Assistant General Manager then told me he didn’t have the authority to give out a certificate for the Pizza in Paradise Package. I told him this was ridiculous. He was the Assistant General Manager. If he didn’t have the authority, who did? At last he relented. He could no longer defend his establishment’s own disreputable practices.

As I said, the view is spectacular; the facilities are at best merely adequate; but, the honesty of the staff and management are deplorable. You check into the Beachcomber at your own risk.

  • Liked — Great location
  • Disliked — The competency and honesty of the hotel staff and management
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank Hoosier_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTSManagement, General Manager at Beachcomber By The Sea, responded to this review, May 29, 2007
While management understands that there is no pleasing some guests, to suggest that our staff is incompetent or dishonest over a FREE pizza coupon is both ridiculous and irresponsible. We would not be consistently ranked in the top five among Panama City Beach hotels on tripadvisor.com if our staff was either. We take great pride in our service and our product.

There was no deceit on the part of BY THE SEA RESORTS. This was a failure of the reviewer to follow instructions. In edition to the “Advance Reservations Required” disclaimer, it clearly states on our website that you must CALL 888-627-0625 and ask for the packages by name. This guest did not. At this time, we do not have the ability to add packages to our online bookings. This is not some evil, master plan of ours to withhold pizzas from guests, but merely a limitation of our software.

The Pizza in Paradise package was designed as an incentive to get people to book in advance and to stay during the weekdays. As any reasonable person would understand, if we were to give FREE pizzas to every guest who asked for them just because they heard about the package around the pool deck or found it online after checking in, we would go out of business. Additionally, Domino’s Pizza would not be able to handle that kind of volume. With three hotels offering the package, that would be about 23,000 pizzas annually.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2007

We love it here. We've stayed twice and was very pleased with the service and the hotel itself both times. Everything is always in working order and very clean. I highly recommend it!

  • Liked — The cleanliness of the rooms
  • Disliked — The size of the pool
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tootsie_mae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2007

After reading so many great reviews on this property, I decided to book a room there. I was made aware of the cancellation policy upon booking which is a 72 hour advance or you get charged a one night fee and a $25 fee prior to the 72 hour window. I was urged to book as they already have a very high occupancy and said I may not be able to get a room if I were to wait.

I called this morning to book and when I spoke with my husband about it (an hour after the initial reservation was made), he informed me that the dates I'd booked were not going to work out for his vacation time afterall. I called the reservations number about 2 hours after I'd made the initial booking and was charged the $25 cancellation fee.

Although the staff was polite about it and tried to get me to just keep the date and change our reservation later on, I am very irritated that they would not just give the $25 back. When I inquired about the fee (what easy money for them!!) I was told that it was to cover the credit card fees that the companies charge them...I have changed and cancelled many hotel reservations in the past as my husband often travels for work on last minute business trips and I have never had to pay a fee like that, I have even had places credit back the full amount within their cancellation policy window.

In any case, the hotel may have good reviews and the staff was polite to me, but I won't ever stay there in the future and won't recommend it either. Just beware.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank beachbumHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BTSManagement, General Manager at Beachcomber By The Sea, responded to this review, April 9, 2007
The reviewer states that she was told about the $25 cancellation fee. All of our reservations policies and procedures--including the $25 cancellation fee--are also included on the reservations page of the Beachcomber’s website. There was no deceit on the part of BY THE SEA RESORTS as suggested in this review. The reservation process takes an average of ten minutes. It can take longer if the caller asks numerous questions. The administrative fee is not unreasonable when you consider the time taken away from making other reservations. The fee also discourages frivolous reservations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
samson, alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2007

My husband and I stayed for a weekend getaway. Their website is everything they say they are. The room was wonderful, the view from the balcony breathtaking. We just loved it. Will stay there again.
Rhonda
Samson, Alabama

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
6 Thank bama7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hattiesburg, ms
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2006

great hotel, rooms were way bigger than more exspensive hotels i have stayed in. staff was very nice, including giving me and my wife a discount for staying an extra day. location was perfect close to everything. beach was beautiful and very clean. the view from our room.... oh my goodness.... it was incredible. and finally the price was unbeatable. will definitely stay there again. not even interested in another hotel... thanks for a perfect honeymoon beachcomber

  • Liked — price, and size
  • Disliked — no highspeed in the rooms
  • Tips/Secrets — book this hotel
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank jgrif87810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Beachcomber By The Sea

Property: Beachcomber By The Sea
Address: 17101 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2343
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Panama City Beach
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Panama City Beach
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Panama City Beach
#8 Romantic Hotel in Panama City Beach
#15 Family Hotel in Panama City Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Beachcomber By The Sea 2.5*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfort meets convenience at Beachcomber By The Sea, one of BY THE SEA RESORTS' four gulf-front Panama City Beach hotels. The many ball teams, festival-goers and bikers that visit the "Real. Fun. Beach." Prefer the Beachcomber because of its proximity to Frank Brown Park. Families love the heated, gulf-front pool and convenience to the Pier Park shopping, dining and entertainment complex. Couples crave the Jacuzzi suites. Church groups and brides-to-be adore the affordable rooms and banquet room located across the street at the Beachcomber Retreat. All of our guests enjoy perks like FREE continental breakfast and discounts at area attractions. Other amenities include gulf-front accommodations with private balconies and fully-equipped kitchens, a heated, gulf-front whirlpool, a laundry facility, a computer lounge and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beachcomber By The Sea Hotel Panama City Beach

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