I chose this hotel after reading the reviews on Trip Advisor, and was DELIGHTED with the results. All the praise is true and the staff at this hotel are working hard to keep it true. The facility itself is great, with large rooms with usable balconies, right on the beach with sugar pure white sand, a nice pool, convenient parking, fairly good wifi and a roomy and attractive lobby and patio with plenty of room to relax. The place looks pretty new and was very clean and fresh. The staff in the hotel were very friendly and helpful and we would certainly go back there. We were there on Spring Break, but are a family and appreciated that it was not overly wild or crowded. We had a great time!
Now we did have one small encounter which soured our experience on the beach. The hotel has sold a license to an outside company to set up and rent chairs and umbrellas on the beach. This group has set up a large number of chairs with umbrellas spaced in clusters of 4 or 6 chairs about 15-20 feet apart. These are of course at the exact perfect distance from the ocean; not so close you have to move with the tide or have people stepping over you, but not so far back you are bothered by the lifeguard vehicles running up and down the beaches. The first day there we only planned to spend about two hours on the beach, so we took our own chairs and blankets out and set up in one of the spaces between two clusters of chair. We were one of the very few people on the beach, and we had a great time playing in the sand and relaxing in OUR chairs. The shade from a rental umbrella partially shaded me, but we did not touch their stuff and there were plenty of unoccupied chairs all along the beach. After an hour or so, I was approached by a rental guy who said I needed to rent the chairs or move; that we couldn't use the beach there (right in front of our hotel!) without renting chairs. Of course we had every right to be there, and we were not causing any loss of income for them, but they were bored and rude and so they argued with me. When I said I would go in and complain to the hotel and find out whether we really could not lounge on the beach without paying them, they changed their claims and said we could only set up in front or behind them but not in between. One guy then backed and told me not to bother going in and asking, we were fine unless someone wanted the chairs near us. We tried to go back to having a great time, but we were repeatedly interrupted and harassed by the other guy, then he would get back up from the guy who kept claiming they were being polite, friendly and reasonable....Lies like that. This was so annoying and upset my kids so much that I told them to leave us completely alone or I would get the hotel staff involved. The one guy came back and apologized and offered to help set up our tent for us if we came the next day and begged me to just forget the whole thing. I planned to do that, but as we were leaving the beach the other jerk stopped me to harass me and my family a bit more! We were LEAVING and he was still inserting himself into our vacation and hassling us! They were way over the line and so upset my kids that we complained at the hotel desk. I never heard if they addressed the problem but I asked them to. These guys insisted they owned the major part of the beach and we could not be there without renting chairs; if so the hotel needs to warn guests of this deal. If not, the hotel needs to rein these guys in and protect their guests' experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- EVERY room at the Holiday Inn Express Pensacola Beach overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Located away from the crowds(our next door neighbor is a sand dune preserve)but close to everything. Our 100% smoke-free Pensacola Beach hotel offers an outdoor pool and a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. Each beachfront hotel room features a private Gulf front balcony. Whether you are in Pensacola Beach for business or leisure, our hotel provides a premiere serene location with comfortable amenities. The white sands of the Gulf of Mexico are literally in our backyard. Historic and scenic Fort Pickens National Seashore is a few miles from our hotel on Pensacola Beach. Diving, fishing, snorkeling and boating are fun activities nearby, and Quietwater Beach Boardwalk, within walking distance, offers shops and restaurants. Our great island location provides you with endless possibilities. Getting to meetings and conventions is easy as the Pensacola Civic Center is eight miles from our hotel in Pensacola, Florida. The Pensacola State College, Pensacola Christian College and Naval Air Station Pensacola are 15 miles away. Our hotel near Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS) is the perfect place to stay during your business trip. Come Stay Smart with us at the Holiday Inn Express Pensacola Beach and see that the only thing we overlook is the Gulf of Mexico. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Pensacola Beach Hotel Pensacola Beach
- Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach
- Holiday Inn Express Pensacola Beach Florida