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“Outdated, dirty”

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Southbay by the Gulf
Ranked #38 of 55 Speciality Lodging in Destin
Reviewed 23 July 2011

We rented unit 76 in Southbay by the Gulf through the management company Emerald Coast Vacation Rental. Unfortunately, this was a last minute rental during there peak season. This was my first time visiting Destin. We had a great time in Destin, but the condo was terrible. The bed sheets and pillowcases were dirty, so I washed the linen. The comforters and pillowshams were dirty. The condo was not clean. There were rodent droppings in the cabinet containing pots and the drawer containing silverware. Small amount of feces in the downstairs toilet. The carpets were FILTHY!! the shower curtain liners were dirty. On arrival, my daughters found the second bedroom shower clogged with hair. The keys did not work properly, we had to get more keys. Deadbolt lock on front door was non-functioning. Not sure why we paid 100 cleaning fee. We will not return. These owners are making great profits. Would they stay in the condo as we found it?

  • Stayed: July 2011
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2  Thank Calexand005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 - 39 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2011

Our family very much enjoyed our stay in unit 57at Southbay by the Gulf. This unit was clean and offered the best of both worlds. We fed the birds off our balcony and enjoyed the lake watching the sunset. The pool was heated so the children enjoyed afternoon swims. The private beach was very nice. This was the best unit centrally located with quick access to the pool and the beach. We enjoyed eating and feeding the alligators at Fudpucker's ! The shopping mall had great stores and a place for a nice lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. It was about a1 hour drive to Wonder Works in Panama which gave us another fun way to spend our afternoon. We topped it off with dinner at Sharky's with a pirate ship playground. Also with a 20 minute drive we were able to check out the beautiful Seaside community on the Emerald Coast. We had dinner at The Great Southern Cafe and tried the famous Grits Ya Ya!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Cheri_SmHa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2009

We stayed at South Bay Unit 43. We rented from Kim Lang see website. http://www.fwbdestincondos.com/ I could not have asked for an easier rentaL Rates were great . Cheaper than a hotel. The deposit return within the week of departure. The home clean. Bedrooms on the 1st. Living room and kitchen on the 2nd floor. This was different, but it was really nice to rest or eat on the deck upstairs and not have another deck over you head. The view was over the lake. The lake has some large bass. You can fish from your deck. (Catch and release). You have 2 pools to choose from or walk to the beach. Many extras beach towels, toy, games, DVDs, video games, cleaning supplies, paper towels, dish soap and too many more to list. The only compalint I have is trying to manuever traffic on Hwy 98.

  • Stayed: October 2009
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2  Thank BosleyKlan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2009

The management company people charged me $187 for an extra day without my authorization and with out so much as a notification. The also alleged we trashed the place. The problem is our group left at 10 am of the day in question, and we left the condo as we found it. The management company representative would not or could not resolve the issue, indicating the only solution was for me to pay. Well the charge is now blocked on my AMEX. This management company has a problem. We won't be back.

Watch out for late charges on your credit card. Apparently they though it would go unnoticed.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank r11217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2009

We have been coming to Destin for over 30 years and stayed @ Southbay many times. My main complaint is my dealings with the owner of this unit. It was listed on VRBO.com here's the link to the dump! http://www.vrbo.com/20248 The price was good and the space was what we were looking for. The place was ok nothing to scream about 70's decor. The sheets on the master bed were so pilled they were like sleeping on sand paper. The queen bed in the other bed room was missing a slat or something, so it sagged badly we had to put suit cases under the bed so my son and his wife could sleep on it . The towels were soured so we had to rewash them so we could use them. We took all this in stride, we should have complained but we didn't, I guess we're just to nice or suckers! We spent our last night there cleaning and packing. Dishes were done fridge cleaned out towels washed, didn't want to leave it a wreak for the cleaning crew.Upon returning we mailed the keys back to the owner as ask. We waited over a month for our deposit to be returned then my wife sent an email asking when we could expect to receive it. We received a response saying we left the unit filthy that the cleaning crew had to work extra cleaning and we wouldn't be receiving our deposit back. This was a crock of [--]! So take it from me don't stay here!!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank tn2destin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2009

I use Trip Advisor to help plan our vacations and was dismayed by the reviews I've seen here of South Bay--this has not been our experience at all. We've been going to the Destin area since our daughter was 6 years old and love it (nearly 20 years) We've stayed at 7 different locations (condo's, hotels etc.) but after looking year, after year, we have stopped looking and have chosen South Bay for the last 9 years.

Destin itself (or Blue Mountain, Ft. Walton etc.) is a wonderful area--it's beaches have been voted some of the most beautiful in North American many times. As it's in the Panhandle of Florida, it's cooler during the summer, but warm enough for us northerners once it reaches late March or April. We prefer smaller complexes and have stayed at Maravilla (twice), Summerspell (very small but fun), Tops'l, Gulf Place (in the more quiet, less-developed part) and South Bay. We've rented from South Bay itself the first few years, then through VRBO.Com directly from the owners.

We've stayed at different several units, and several owners (usually for multiple years) but sometimes the dates weren't available or the units sold, so we had to find new owners. We've been with the same owners the last 4 years and it's been wonderful.

Destin is like a barrier island, as it's between the Gulf and a large bay of water. The wonderful thing about South Bay is that you're on the beach side of the highway, but because it's smaller and older, they don't have the arrogance of the high-rises who over-charge. The units are two story, you get 2-3 bedrooms (generally), fully equipped units with full washer/dryers, dishwashers, and units that are probably abut 750-1100 square feet. There are two pools (one heated, one not), tennis courts and friendly people who come back year after year. We've met people who started coming with their parents, and now come back with their own children. We love being able to walk out of our condo and stroll the grounds or around the lake, or take a short walk to the beach. It's unique to find a large complex on the beach that's not a high-rise.

There's wonderful golfing nearby, a fabulous outlet mall, terrific food and lots of fun or relaxation. The comments about the teenagers unfortunately, can happen anywhere there is a spring break. It's a sad reflection of our society, but the problem is not what you see at Panama City (90 miles to the east), but it's never been a deterrent to us. We've been to other areas of the country for vacations, but we always have to come back each spring to South Bay and Destin

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank Frozen_Tundra_Gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2008

I have been staying at Southbay for over 15 years. The condos are nice especially nearer to the beach. I enjoy the layout and accomodations. It is true that the new management has changed things, but the experience there is still remarkable considering the highrises that continue to be built.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled with friends
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Thank knabri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southbay by the Gulf

Address: 940 Highway 98 E, Destin, FL 32541-2828
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Destin
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 55 Speciality Lodging in Destin
Price Range: £68 - £271 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Truly Unique! One of the last remaining secret gems of Destin. A 15 acre beach front vacation townhome property with a lake for fishing, 2 pools, tennis courts, BBQ grills and centrally located while still offering a seclusion for relaxing. 2 & 3 bdrm townhomes now available! New onsite management is Emerald Coast Vacation Rentals ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Southbay By The Gulf Hotel Destin
Southbay By The Gulf Destin, Florida

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