My wife and I just came home from a 3 day, 2 night stay at the Carillon Beach Resort Inn and overall it was a good experience. I’ll start off with the negatives: the furnishings are in need of an upgrade. The couch, arm chair, end and coffee tables, as well as the TV stand were quite old and worn. The carpet was a light brown and needed to be replaced. IMO, no beach destination should have carpet at all – tile is the way to go. The kitchen and the bathroom, while small, appear to have been upgraded recently. All of the appliances and fixtures were newer and the kitchen was well stocked with dishes/pots and pans. The bed was a king and had a fairly new mattress which was reasonably comfortable. Although you are right next to Hwy 98 and you can hear traffic noise at night…do like we did and bring a white noise maker with you.
My main problem with the property was the bugs and the spiders. Maybe it is the time of the year, or because we had a mild winter, but spider webs and bugs were everywhere outside the room. We were on the 4th floor and our balcony railing was almost one continuous web. The corners of the balcony had webs, as did the iron patio furniture…dead bugs covered everything. It was obvious that the patio had not been cleaned in a while. Luckily I got there before my wife, and cleaned it up a bit – otherwise she would have turned right around a left. The walk-ways to the rooms were exactly the same – spider webs and dead bugs covered almost every inch of the white railing. The light fixtures outside the rooms were also covered in webs and bugs. The Inn could do a better job of cleaning the public areas every morning.
After reading my first two paragraphs you’re probably wondering how I could possibly say it was an “overall good experience”. Well, the beach and the pools will make you forget all about anything else! The Emerald Coast has the best beaches in the world and Carillon Beach is no exception. The sand is sugar white and the water emerald green – just beautiful. The property has four pools, if you don’t like the salt water, and they are very nice as well. The largest pool is just to the east of the Inn and has two Jacuzzi tubs. My wife commented that it looks like the pools you see in music videos. The others are smaller but nice as well; one is elevated and actually overlooks the gulf.
The best thing the Carillon Beach Inn has going for it is its location – it is under five minutes away from 30A and the towns of Rosemary Beach and Alyss Beach. These two communities are amazing with their restaurants and shopping. Rosemary Beach looks like something right out of Europe with its architecture and stone streets. All the little restaurants are café style with indoor and sidewalk seating. Our dinners are something we will remember for a long, long time. Alyss Beach is more modern in its architecture and has some great restaurants as well.
So you can stay at Carillon Beach, and have a 30A vacation without paying the 30A accommodation prices. Next time we may try staying at one of the Carillon Beach Houses, or at least try a different time of the year. Hopefully the bugs won’t be as bad. But it really didn’t affect our vacation that much…all we did at the Inn was sleep. The rest of the time we were out and about.
A couple of other things to keep in mind… the lobby is only open from 8 am – 8 pm. If you need anything: towels (for the room or the beach), toilet paper, or anything else for the room, you have to get them in between those times. There is a $30 charge if you don’t return your beach towels to a person at the desk…you can’t just drop it off. The people behind the desk were quite nice…one in particular (I wish I could remember her name); a young woman with red hair was very, very pleasant and helpful. On top of the cost of the room there is also a 15% resort fee…and don’t forget taxes. It added an additional $43 a night to our bill. Castaways is the only restaurant on the property (more of a sports bar than restaurant) and it doesn’t serve breakfast. If you don’t bring your own food you’ll end up driving at least 5 minutes east to some fast food places near Hwy 79, or west to 30A. Not really a big deal, you just have to plan for it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC