5 Things To Consider Before Booking A Room On Panama City Beach

by May 9, 2011 • 16 comments

5. Pet Friendliness

You’d be shocked at how many vacationers make the assumption that all Panama City Beach accommodations are pet friendly. In fact, the truth is, less than a third allow pets. So many vacationers don’t ask the hotel and bring Fido along only lose their reservation on the account of the hotel/condo not accepting pets. If you intend to bring your dog or cat or your albino Burmese python, you might want to call ahead before you hit the book button. While definitely in the minority, there are some pet friendly accommodations on Panama City Beach and the need for others to get on board is growing. But do call before bringing any furry friends.

4. Gulf View vs Gulf Front

Not all Panama City Beach rooms are gulf front. No, really, it’s true. And even while some accommodations are sitting on the gulf front, not all the rooms within them have gulf views. This is the root of many upset vacationers expecting to wake up every morning to the sound of absconding sea, only to wake up to roadside or a nice blank wall. When booking a room, ask if the room is gulf front. If the operator says “yes, our rooms are gulf view,” this doesn’t necessarily mean that your room is directly facing the gulf. You may have a room that faces the pool and has a gulf view from a particular angle. Don’t be afraid to require confirmation before booking. Is it gulf front or gulf view? These people get paid to answer that question just for you.

3.Spring Breakers Destroy Everything

Every year, from the end of February to the beginning of April, Panama City Beach is overrun with college students looking to take a party break from school. While in the past, Panama City Beach has been the Spring Break Capital of the World, the identity of the city has changed, and so too, more and more, is that perception. Still, though, the kids to PCB come and they come to party. Because of this, vacationers are sometimes reluctant to vacation to PCB for fear those breakers broke everything they could get their hands on. In rare situations this is true, but very rare. All students under 25 are required to pay up front cash security deposits anywhere from $200.00 to $500.00. If anything is broken, they lose that money. So the kids have fun, but desperately want that money back; how else are they going to get back to school? In addition, not all accommodations accept the under 25 crowd and simply don’t rent during that season. Panama City Beach accommodations are required to have security on property, in some cases off duty police officers, to make sure property isn’t destroyed in any way.

2. Costs

This one is a biggy. So you want to book a Panama City Beach room and you believe calling direct, 8 months ahead of schedule, will get you the best rate. While you are more likely to be guaranteed a room by booking early, that does not mean you’ll get the best price. In another scenario, you’ve been reluctant to book early hoping you might save money by taking advantage of last-minute specials, only to find every hotel/condo you wanted completely sold out. It’s a tough go either way you look at it. But, Panama City Beach is lucky to be affiliated at home with booking services like BOOKIT.com. That gives potential vacationers the ability to do some serious price comparisons. Call the hotel/condo direct, get a price, then check out online services and compare. You are more likely to find a great deal as well as a few awesome package deals that include things like food, attractions and even free gas into one price. But do be careful. Some accommodations have additional fees. While you may think you’ve found a great deal, keep in mind that the base rate isn’t the only thing that will determine your total bill. Be sure to ask what taxes, resort fees, parking costs, energy surcharges, and other odds and ends will apply to your final tally. Even if one hotel has a lower base rate, it may end up being a more expensive option once all the extras are added in.

1. Overcrowded/Loud

Most vacationers, including myself, vacation for many reasons, none more important than just relaxing…getting away from everything. Panama City Beach’s biggest myth is that it is overcrowded and loud during the vacation season making it difficult to truly relax. The truth is, yes there are lots of people vacationing just like you, but there’s more than enough space and opportunity to just relax. In fact, many of the accommodations on Panama City Beach have added features like in-house spas, movie theaters, bars and restaurants to allow you full detachment. So you can just sit back, enjoy the beach and really, really relax.

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1 Cathy May 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm

These (5) things to consider are good ones but, I can add a few more to your list.
Always ask how convenient the beach access is at your condo. If you have to climb several flights of steps with small children, or if you are handicap or an older couple this is something to be considered greatly.
Another good point is shade…… where many are at the beach for all the sun they can obtain it is also pleasant to have a bit of shade around the swimming pool such as a pavilion or tables with umbrellas.
If you go online & do some research on the complex you have your eye on it should be able to answer all these questions & then some. If not, just call them….. look at photos and make your own determination. Better to look & ask than be at a place that is not convenient for you & your family.
Have a great vacation!
Cathy/Tennessee

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2 Hermit Crab May 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

Since the people who run this site are real estate people, I have a few questions:

1. Are people who own their own units typically permitted to have pets? Does it make a difference whether they live there permanently? Does the size of the pet (ie. a Chihuahua) make a difference?

2. How common is it for a complex to require owners to rent their units? (ie. “condotel”)

3. What would be the typical monthly HOA dues for a beach front condo with relatively sparse common areas (ie. pool, office, parking lot and beach). In particular, I was thinking of some of the older places, like Aqua Vista, that consist of perhaps two 8-story buildings with a pool, beach and office ?

Thanks for any info that anyone can provide.

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3 Greggt May 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

We own a condo a Seychelles and yes we are permitted to have pets up to 50 pounds, I’m sure each condo might be different but I would guess this is pretty common.
I don’t know of any condo that requires the owners to rent their unit, we have quite a few owners that do not rent theirs plus a couple of full time residents.
You can check with most any real estate agent on this, most of the ones I have seen are around $500.00 a month but this amount can include quite a few things. Our HOA fees include ALL utilities (electrical, water, unlimited long distance, cable, and internet) It would be good to check not only what is included but also check the relative health of the HOA. With the financial issues, some complexes are having real issue with folks not paying their fees.

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4 James May 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I don’t understand why Calypso will not rent to someone who is defending out freedoms in Afganistan.
He is coming home in September and wants to bring his wife and daughter to Panama City and wants to stay at Calypso.
He is 23, his wife is 22 and their baby is 3 years old.
Something wrong with this picture

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5 Greggt May 27, 2011 at 7:56 am

Same reason the 19 year old that is serving their country, comes home after their tour but cannot be served a beer. The difference is that the 19 year old, no matter where he goes will face the same thing, the fine young man you mention James has the choice to go someplace else. The Osprey is almost next door to the Calypso and is a very nice place.

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6 James May 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Will they allow this young man and his family to stay?
if so I will have him call tomorrow.

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7 Greggt May 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I’m sure they will, it is privately owned by the Gilmores. They have owned it and the Driftwood next door for more than 30 years. We stayed at the Driftwood on our honeymoon almost 32 years ago.

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8 Hermit Crab May 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Wasn’t the Port of Call next to the Driftwood? We stayed at both places in the early 70s, but then moved on to the Fiesta.

9 Hermit Crab May 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

FWIW, if I owned a place in PCB, I would probably not rent to that young family either, but would let them stay for free!

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10 Hermit Crab May 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

PS, many heartfelt thanks to that young man and his wife for their sacrifice.

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