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“GREAT Place!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Camp Gulf

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Camp Gulf
Certificate of Excellence
Texas
Level Contributor
66 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“GREAT Place!!”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We recently returned from Camp Gulf and it was a wonderful experience! We found the staff to be extraordinarily friendly and helpful and the overall condition of the property to be very good. My wife and I were there sans kids :-) but from what we saw, there was a lot of stuff for them to do....whole place seemed very kid friendly. We have a 40' Class A motorhome. Let's take the good and the bad further:

Good: the location!!!! Can't be beat as you're right on the water/sand depending on what you reserve. We also found the check-in procedure, staff, and layout of the park top-notch. Our site was, in my opinion, adequately sized and reasonably flat - we were just about in the dead-center of the beach parking. Neither of us enjoyed either of the two pools available, but both looked clean and a lot of fun for the kids. Likewise, the central fishing pond looked like fun! We also felt the park was safe, beautiful, and clean overall.

Bad: we felt the sites were lacking, in general. We had a beach-front site and the lack of grey water dump was a bit of a bother....stinks not being able to shower/wash clothes w/o worrying about filling the tank. I also had some issues with the power supply: I always check when I hook-up and I had one leg reading at only 112V and the other at 105V. Too low to be safe. I did show this to the staff and their electrician was able to boost it up to acceptable levels, however....not sure how he did that. In addition to that, we saw some camp sites that - in my opinion - we're dangerously sloped. There's no way I'd have parked my rig in some of those slots! I saw a few where the site slope was easily 10"-16" left-to-right....NOT safe for any sized RV!

A few more words: yes, you're gonna get sand everywhere. Get over it - you're on the beach! The water was cool, clear, and an absolute joy to swim in. I did feel that the park should make some sort of walkway or path in the center of the beach-front sites (there are paths on each side already) so that people wouldn't feel obligated to march through your campsite to get to the beach. Everyone we talked to was VERY friendly and we didn't mind so much, but I can see how it'd be a problem for some.

Final thought: if you're in a Class A (or larger Class C) motorhome and select a beach-front site, be aware that the hook-ups are at the front front of the site and not at the rear as is usual. Not a problem if you've got extensions, but make sure you bring them. The only good news is that the main office does sell extensions and they don't gouge you on the prices, either. I paid less than $120 for a "Power Grip" 30' 50AMP extension....about what I would have paid at Campingworld.

Room Tip: Inquire about the level of your site and/or ask for sites towards the center of the park as they see...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HermanSnerd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 5 August 2014
Thank you for taking the time to make such lengthy comments. Glad you enjoyed our beach front sites. They are too close to the water to have sewer pipes in the ground. As you can imaging during a a high surge hurricane they would be underwater. We can pump you out everyday if you wish. I assume by your comment that there was two people with you. (small font and spell correction on this site sometimes causes difficulty with what gets posted) Your tanks are usually enough to last 2-3 days on your RV tank capacity (Class A will usually have gray and black water holding tanks). 100% of our other sites have sewer. Your internal volt meters are not very accurate (no mater what brand coach, no offense but they are cheap). We did not do anything to increase your voltage but likely you internal ones are not reading what is accurately at the box. As far as our site slope goes; we have 200 sites, 16 are (level) beach front and not concrete for obvious reasons, we have 8 more that are on the high 3rd row retaining seawall that are not concrete (they are scheduled to be poured concrete next week now that the new seawall has been installed. These are very level too) and the entire rest of the park is concrete pads! That are level. I am really unsure what you may be saying as unlevel because we do not have any sites like what you described. Some are angled for easy in and out and there are some sections of the park on retaining walls, so that when you drive by they may give the illusion of unlevel but a sure you that they are level. Thank you again for your kind comments about the park and staff! We hope you make us your favorite beach camping RV Resort! Happy Camping!
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

My family of 5 stayed in our travel trailer @ Camp Gulf July 2014 on beachfront site 800.

Let me start by saying we had a wonderful time overall. The camping on the beach experience is something we will never forget. If you don't want sand in your camper, don't stay on the beach because it get's everywhere!! {It didn't bother me, but did my hubby.} My kids 8, 10, and 12 had the time of their lives and we would like to visit again! The view is exactly like the photos and the ocean view lived up to expectations!

We arrived and were welcomed at the office and shown to our spot by a very friendly staff person on a golf cart. Given the closeness of the sites, it was very helpful - especially after 2 ten-hour days to get there! Our site was on the end and we booked it (in February) thinking we'd have a little extra space. I think the online map should indicate that the space to the west is a public access point to the beach because EVERYONE came by our site to get on the beach. I wish the person making our reservation had told me that because we would not have chosen that site.

People like to visit the beach around the clock and Camp Gulf cannot be held accountable for people walking loudly to the beach in the middle of the night or early morning. These people, for whom Camp Gulf cannot be held accountable for, constantly knocked on our slide out and walls, opened our grey water tank, and used our trailer's shower hose as their own. We did talk to the Camp Gulf staff about this and they listened, but insisted they can't control the public. Point taken, lesson learned. I would suggest putting a few feet of space between the site and a fence so that the guests who are paying $185 a night are not constantly dealing with beachgoers.

That said, we had a tremendous problem with people walking through our site. We and the campers next to us put our cars directly in between the sites, and even with our awning out, carpet down, chairs out, and stuff there, people consistently walked through our site. We realize that Camp Gulf cannot control the public, it's just a part of being on that site. We mentioned that to the staff and they told us to get their site numbers and report them and action would be taken. We didn't have the time or energy to do that. Perhaps a posed sign would help that problem.

It would benefit everyone for another trash can to be put out on the beach as well, or if the one there was emptied more frequently. Every day, there was trash overflowing and stacked next to the small can to the west of site 800.

Lastly, because that site is right at the access point, everyone parks their golf carts there. There needs to be labeled spots and clear signage that indicates where people can park. Twice we were pinned in by carts when we needed to leave. While I realize Camp Gulf cannot control campers actions, Camp Gulf can and should have designated parking, signs, fencing etc. on this specific site to ensure visitors on site 800 a good experience.

Like I said, we will be back, just at this site! I think the photos on the RV section of the website are a tad misleading. The beach shot of the two RV's, the one on the right is a Raptor model, led me to believe the sites were that spacious. Having been there, there is clearly a site in between them and to the right of the Raptor RV. We were surprised at the small spots, but took it in stride - we didn't spend much time sitting at our camper anyway!

While there, there was flooding and an electrical outage on the beachfront sites only. The staff worked quickly and efficiently to get things fixed. We appreciated that and were thankful.

Again, the trip was fantastic and I would highly recommend staying at Camp Gulf. Just know it's a beach experience, the sites are smaller than most, the staff is great, and you can't control the actions of the public!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dawn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 5 August 2014
Wow! Thanks for such a great review! Glad your family "had the time of your lives". You had the most popularly requested site on the Front row. It is next to the highly trafficked Beach Access walkway. I need to mention that it is Not a 'Public Beach Access', but rather an access for the campers that are here in our secured park. That does make a difference, as the general public is not allowed in here, however it does make for a busy area. I would recommend the opposite end for more seclusion. Thanks for understanding about the power outage. It was Gulf Power and was not a usual event. Happy Camping!
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1 review
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We have come to this place for 15 years, used to love the place. The location is great and beautiful beaches. My issue with it is the rules are getting out of hand. Rented a golf cart for our stay, first evening coming back from the beach one of the employees tells us we are not allowed to use the golf carts after dark, (golf cart has head lights.) We had a small motorcycle so next night we drove it only to find out it's not allowed either and it's a tagged inspected motorcycle. Came to find out even bicycles are not allowed after dark. Next issue is the lack of respect for guest sleeping, every morning about 8:30 some employee would come out with a gas powered blower cleaning the sand off the roads/ empty camp sites. Who's in charge of this place and why wouldn't you notice your employees are doing task when they want to not when it should be done out of respect for your guest. Yes, even Sunday morning at 8:30 the employee was firing up the gas blower.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank JimmyFallin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 30 July 2014
If you have come consistently for 15 years you know that only one rule has changed in the last 4 years; that is no wheeled recreational type vehicles are to be driven after it gets completely dark. We do let folks return from vents they were at before it got dark, but not to 'cruise' around late into the night. When it is summer it is light here late into the evening. We have limited night lighting pollution here and that makes for beautiful views of the stars, walks through the park and on the beach. We do not want to fill the park with street lights everywhere, in fact we are in the process of adding landscape lighting to several areas that will make it safe and pleasing. This wonderful improvement will provide for removing some of the street lights and possibly later times to keep the pools open! The lights are colored, making for different lighting in different seasons and much better lighting at the pools and entrance. We will not be 'over lighting' the streets to enable street cruising with bikes and golf carts late into the night. We have found that most child related wheel/riding accidents have occurred at night. This is a choice that was made after several serious accidents for the safety of our guests. We are sorry that you do not see this as the proper balance for your fun. Exceptions are made for handicap and for those with limited transportation to their RV for out-of-the-park trips. We have researched your complaint about blowing off sites in the morning. We have a strict policy that nothing is to be run before 9:00am. While you may have lost track of time we did not use anything mechanical or motorized that makes any noise while you were here before 9:00am. We looked up your site and spoke to every employee in the landscaping department and none of them violated this policy. It is a very strict policy, as we know that our guests are here for relaxation and sleeping in. We do not even allow the Trash Service in the park before 9:00am. Sorry you must have your time confused. This is NOT a "Great Place Gone Bad", but a Great Place that let you down this time, A Great Place that tries hard to keep you and your family safe during a wonderful camping experience!. We hope you will give us another try sometime, if you do not, we understand and wish you the very best. Happy Camping!
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Hiram, GA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

My family just completed a week long beach vacation here. I selected this location after much research, based on proximity to the beach and other visitors reviews. I appreciate honest reviews from others since I myself take them into consideration when choosing a spot for my own family. That being said:
Pros:
1. Staff was VERY friendly and helpful from the get-go. Approached us at the gate, led us to our site, and helped us back in with no problems.
2. We stayed at site 613, behind the "SandCastle" rental. We wanted to walk to the beach but also wanted full hookup, so this site was perfect.
3. Resort has LOTS of planned activities for kids. Although we didn't take advantage of them so much because our six yr old wanted to be on the beach all day, it was nice knowing that activities were available. Heard lots of folks raving about the animal adventure/demonstrations.
4. Water slide is pretty cool. My daughter had a blast. Two swimming pools that were clean and well maintained.
5. Although there was some flooding due to heavy rain, staff quickly attended to the problem with water pumps. Wasn't an issue for us; stuff happens.
6. Proximity to the beach - PRICELESS. It just doesn't get any better.

Cons:
1. Sites were a bit tight. It wasn't a deal breaker, just would have been nice to have a little more wiggle room.
2. Showers could have been a little cleaner. Maybe I picked times when everyone else had already been there first, but I felt the showers needed a good deep clean more often maybe.
3. Toilets had no seats. Just a porcelain bowl. For sanitary reasons maybe? Just a little bizarre.
4. One of the pools has an inflatable sort of jungle gym called a Wibit. My daughter could not wait to play on it. Now, there is a sign stating rules for this activity (no king of the mountain). Now I have to say that the first thing I would have done on this thing if I was a kid is start a game of king of the mountain, so I really didn't mind the kids doing it. Unfortunately the larger kids got rowdy and pretty soon kids the size of adults were getting on it and grabbing young girls. Several parents including myself began to intervene, and eventually we and other groups went to the other pool. This isn't a reflection on the park, but maybe an employee could just ride by every now and then to check on the size of kids on the equipment. Maybe an age limit? Not necessarily a CON but something to be aware of.

Tips:
1. If you don't like kids or can't handle them having fun, don't stay here. This is a family campground where kids are a priority. Bicycles, skateboards, kids walking. I loved the atmosphere of family and kids having fun. My daughter is an only child and there was no shortage of kids to play with, which I appreciate.
2. Go to the beach EARLY to set up chairs/reserve your spot. We learned this the hard way. Beach
spots fill up quick.
3. Try the pizza place across the street (Jordanos). They deliver to the campground and it is pretty good.
4. Dewey Destin's Seafood Restaurant is fantastic.

Overall we had a great time and would come back to Camp Gulf.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Arewethereyet013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 30 July 2014
Thank you for taking the time to make such a thorough review. We appreciate you recognizing the level of friendly service we provide, all the kids activities, the clean pools and Hippo Slide. We wish you had more of a chance to enjoy the activities for the kids, which is our primary guest in the summer (Families). You stated in your 'tips' section that if you did not like kids then you should not stay here. Allow me to say that this is true in June and July, however the rest of the year the activities are for all ages and we do cater to a fall group of 'empty nesters' and 'snow birds' through the winter. Yes, 614 is a tighter site. We put you as close to the beach as we could with your smaller unit. The majority of our sites are compatible for big rigs. Glad you see the reason for the sign about 'king of the mountain'. It is fun until bigger teens get too rough with the small kids. We do monitor the pools every 15 minutes. The sign is there to help you when you intervene as you and other parents did because we do not have life guards and we expect parents to 'self govern' the kids at the pools for their own safety. You can see the balance that is needed (Fun & Safety) depending on who is at the pools at all hours of the day. That is best handled by the parents who are responsible for their own kids. Glad we could accommodate you with another pool to go to. The beach bath house (#3) get 'pressure' from the whole park during the day because everyone ON the beach uses it (hence the easy clean toilets with covers). I can assure you is it cleaned and sanitized several times a day and we are known for our high quality clean bathrooms. We are sorry you came in at a bad time. Two thumbs up to the Jordano's Pizza and Dewey's Seafood. Two we highly recommend and glad you enjoyed them! Happy Camping!
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Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

This was our second year that my family and I have stayed at Camp Gulf. Both times we have had a great time. You can bet the location and having beach access while camping. We are going again next year. Need I say any more.

Room Tip: We have stayed in spot 414. This location is almost twice the size as some of the other sites So it...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DrouinC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
So glad to hear! Our new online reservations system will let you pick your specific site AND see the dimensions! Travel safe, Happy Camping!
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

Our neighbors on each side had probably 12 people in each camper, so needless to say we had no place to even park our cars. They were very loud past 10 which is the "quiet time". The restrooms didn't even have toilet seats on the toilets. We were told we wouldn't be in the sand and of course we were. I was very disappointed, especially considering the price. I don't mind paying to stay somewhere but this was a little much! I WILL NOT be wearing out my brakes here again!!

Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
9 Thank Billie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
It would be nice if I had your name and knew where you stayed, or if perhaps you would have expressed to us that you were unhappy while you were here! For future reference any stay anywhere, that is the way to resolve issues to to make management aware at the time you have questions. We do enforce the rules here and would have resolved the noise issue after 10 if it was obvious or if you told us it was bothering you. I notice that you said that you had "cars" at your site also. That would imply that you had several people too. Most sites can accommodate 2 cars and then we ask that you park extras at the bath house. I doubt that you were told by anyone on staff here that you would not be in the sand, especially if you were in the 'Beach Area' which it appears you were. We ARE a beach destination camping resort. We are sorry that you did not have a great time enjoying the fantastic weather we have had and the awesome activities, beach, shopping, fishing, golfing, and so much more. Maybe your next 'braking event' will be a 'glass is half full experience'! Happy Camping!
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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

We stayed on a beachfront side directly on the Ocean. Predictably, the sites are extremely tight especially if both you and your neighbors have slides. However, this does not really matter since you set up your gear/chairs, grills directly in front of your rig on the beach. We had forgotten our shade awning, but a trip to the local Walmart solved that issue. It was really cool to have a seafood boil directly on the beach on the provided picnic table. The only way to experience this destination is with a site directly on the beach. If you select any other sites besides beachfront, I believe you will be disappointed. Be sure not to select sites that are next to the beach access points otherwise you will have lots of people walking within feet of your camper front door. Also, there are no sewer hookups for the beachfront sites so you will need the pump out service ($10/day - they come by around 10:30 AM). The showers/bathrooms were pretty good with private rooms that included the shower and toilet facilities. They have have a daily kids activity, 30 ft slide, and two pools. Even though virtually every site in the resort was taken, there were still chairs and shade to be found at the pools. The WIFI is so intermittent it is useless so make sure your bring your wifi hotspot. One last thought, you really do not need to bring the kids bikes along since there is really no suitable area for biking (3 inches of sand in the roadway).

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Dean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PatrickONeill, Manager at Camp Gulf, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Thank you for your response and comment! Yes, the beachfront sites are beautiful and are one of the best places to park. They are the tightest, though over 60' in length and includes lots of space in front of your unit that others don't get; along with the direct view of the Gulf! The other sites in the park all have sewer and do not require pump outs, are a short walk to the beach and provide very nice paved asphalt roads for bike riding. We do keep some sand over the road in the Beachfront area to make it easier on your feet when walking. Glad you had a chance to enjoy many of the resort activities. Yes the wifi is slower now that every site has about 5-10 devices in it trying to connect and trying to avoid download fees from their cell service. We are constantly adding more AP's and increasing bandwidth. Love the technology race! Glad you were able to enjoy and relax! Happy Camping!
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Additional Information about Camp Gulf

Property: Camp Gulf
Address: 10005 Emerald Coast Pkwy., Destin, FL 32550
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Destin
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 56 Speciality Lodging in Destin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Camp Gulf 2*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp directly on the WOrld's most beautiful beaches! There is no other private RV Resort like this. We offer full amenities and Deluxe cabins. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Camp Gulf Hotel Destin
Camp Gulf Destin, Florida

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