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Reviewed 6 August 2018

We are locals but we have stayed here, had company party here and as a local we come to swim and enjoy the poolside bar. Locals get discounts at the restaurants while guests will get free kids meals with purchase of an entree. They have entertainment for the kids and service is not bad either. If you are looking for the beach / Florida vibes, this is your place to be.

Stayed: May 2018
Thank 322lindsayp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
funandmemorable, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2018

Thank yo for taking the time to share your review with us, 322lindsayp! We love our locals and are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the poolside bar, local discounts, and the entertainment for the kids too. We look forward to welcoming you back for another getaway one day soon! --Krissy

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Reviewed 28 July 2018 via mobile

We are a family of four. Middle income family. We collect holiday inn points. Collectively we have been to Hawaii, Cancun, South Padre Island, the Keys and Destin before this trip.

I’ll list the cons first, because that’s what most people are alert for.

Cons:

I won’t give this hotel a five star because it is not rated as a five star hotel. The highest it can rate is a four star. Because it claims to be a resort, it is expected to meet the standard of a resort. That and the following reasons is why it earned only two stars.

There are no security features. Anyone can enter the hotel from the front entrance or beach entrance without being checked.

Several times I went to the front desk there was no one at the front desk. I needed to call the hotel during the stay and the phone rang four minutes without any answer. Yes, I checked the number (850-301-9000).

The hotel connects with a Hilton garden inn. You can access their pool just as easy as they can access the holiday inn pool. Basically you get two pools. The difference, is they have a secure door feature that requires a key or cell phone entrance into the hotel. This minimizes locals and other beach visitors from entering their hotel.

You will absolutely notice the locals taking advantage of the hotel pool, beach access and towels. I don’t blame them. I would do the same for my family. The difference is, as a paying customer of “resort” rates, I shouldn’t have to fund someone else’s staycation. Holiday inn seems indifferent.

When most families vacation at the beach, they are wanting a tropical or peaceful experience, not the hip hop and hillbilly country music the hotel blasted all day and night at the pool. They need to consider some families will not approve of that music. The rooms are quite, but the extra you pay for to have a coastal balcony is disrupted by 9am with their music. So if you like to drink your coffee and appreciate the beach in the morning, leave your hotel.

There are limitations to good food. The only good restaurant we ate at was in Destin. Many places close by 9pm or they are closed certain days. There is $10 parking fee in Destin

Pro:

On arrival, we noticed there was a leak with the AC unit. The next day the staff moved us into another room. They were very responsive and helpful.

The staff are very friendly.

The beach is beautiful. The beach behind the hotel seems to have less foot traffic than the other hotels, so it is not as crowded as other parts of the beach.

They have movie night for the kids starting around 8pm. When the weather is good it is outside in front of the pool. It really is a great time for the kids. Great job holiday inn.

There are several activities scheduled for the little kids every day throughout the day. The only problem is it is near the pool where all the hip hop and drinking goes on.

Suggestions:

When you arrive, go straight to a shop, Walmart or Target. Get yourself a couple of $20 beach umbrellas. Buy your beach chairs there too. It will save you money to avoid paying for the umbrellas and chairs from the rental company ( $40 per day).

The rental company sets up very early, waiting for customers to claim chairs. Our position is, if no one has claimed a spot, set up in front. Don’t let a company “claim” the front row view for only chairs. You will definitely pay for this hotel, get your value.

There is a lot of waste mentality here. We were able to pick up two chairs that were left behind and saw three others. The hotel could score some bigs points by setting up a spot for departing guests to donate beach toys, chairs etc. We also picked up some other toys for the kids to play with on the beach. Society is moving and expecting more recycling, setting up a donation station will support that.

Get your food for breakfast and lunch at a grocery store and pass on the hotel kitchen. Save your best meals for dinner.

There are plenty of things to do in Destin. Snorkel, dolphins tours, parasail etc. Destin is close and we urge you to take advantage.

Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank setemupjoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
funandmemorable, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2018

Thank you for taking the time to share your review with us, setemupjoe. We're happy to hear that you enjoyed the nice staff, the beautiful beach, movie night as well as the activities for kids too. Also, we have passed along your valuable feedback to our management team and sincerely apologize for the lack of customer service and locals using the pool too. We appreciate your suggestions too and will take these into consideration. It would be such a pleasure to welcome you back for another getaway one day soon! --Krissy

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Reviewed 26 July 2018 via mobile

Staff was really great. Very helpful. Definitely will come back again thanks to them. The staff included Dominque, Ashley, and Imani. They all work at the front desk. I would recommend everyone to get attended by them. Very nice people. & the beach is awesome.

Stayed: July 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank mirelesp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
funandmemorable, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2018

Thank you for the five-star review, mirelesp! We're so happy to hear that you found the staff to be great and the beach to be awesome. We look forward to passing along your compliments to Dominque, Ashley, and Imani, thanks for letting us know. We look forward to welcoming you back for another getaway one day soon! --Krissy

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Reviewed 26 July 2018

This place made our family's first beach trip an amazing experience. We were in awe of our Gulf View room (worth it!) and the beautiful decor and cleanliness of the whole area. The friendliness and prompt attention of the staff despite it being very busy was impressive. (a little patience may be required but once I brought something to their attention someone was quick to resolve.) The "kids eat free" was a great incentive but what made it 1000% better was the quality and portion size of the food was AMAZING and exceeding my expectations for "hotel" food. With the high quality of food, service, and on-site entertainment for the kids (pirates, mermaid, animal educators, dive-in movie), easy access to a non-crowded beach, and lazy river pool, I told my children that we didn't have to go anywhere else! I highly recommend and we are already planning a trip back next year. Keep up the good work!!!!!

Room Tip: Splurge for the Gulf View towards the center. Otherwise you are looking at the parking lot or listening to the commercial ACs all night.
  • Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank atobias01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
funandmemorable, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 27 July 2018

Thank you for the terrific review, atobias01! We're so pleased to hear that you had an amazing stay with us and enjoyed the friendly staff, the high quality food as well as entertainment for kids too. We can't wait to welcome you back for another getaway one day soon! --Krissy

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Reviewed 19 July 2018 via mobile

Fort Walton is where we will stay when visiting this area of Florida. Clean. Friendly Staff. The staff go out of their way to provide fun activities for the children. The beach is awesome not crowded like Destin beaches. Close to great restaurants. Pool is clean. The lazy river is awesome. Breakfast is typical of hotel breakfast - prices typical. Would highly recommend this hotel.

Stayed: July 2018, travelled with family
Thank LeeannLikesFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
funandmemorable, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 20 July 2018

Thank you, LeeannLikesFood, for your five-star review! We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay and loved the cleanliness, the pool and lazy river, our wonderful staff, and proximity to other attractions. We are thrilled that we helped make your vacation a pleasant one and we can't wait to welcome you back on your next trip! –Kelly

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