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All reviews okaloosa island guard shack convenient store white powdery sand military base recommend unit living room quiet beach santa rosa blvd very nice place to stay clean condo great condo beach front full kitchen washer dryer vacation spot spring break
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Reviewed 22 June 2018

Total crap. Dirty room with stained, worn and sticky furniture, ceiling coming loose in places, drawer fronts coming loose, and the list goes on. Our unit was basically a dirty and stained trucker's motel room with 5-star pricing. Very disappointing. Our son used to live at El Matador and we were expecting something a lot better than what we got. The mattress is ok but the pillows are $4 Walmart foam pillows that are very uncomfortable.

The view out the sliding glass door is the parking lot and garbage shed with buckets piled up, so you definitely don't get much of a Florida view. It's not a relaxing place to be because it's just worn out an grungy and dark because you need to keep the curtains closed so you are not looking at garbage. I have no problem with worn out an grungy, but at least be honest in the description and not mislead customers with 5-star prices. We were to stay 3 nights but only stayed one because it was just awful. As an example, I wiped various parts of the floor with a clean paper towel and it left a greasy, filthy residue on the towel. Obviously their cleaning crew does a pitiful job. A layer of sticky grease is also on top of the range hood and other things felt sticky and dirty.

Our cost was over $250 per night which included over $300 in "fees". Total ripoff. You get a couple of trash bags, soap and towels, and that's about it. No hair dryer, no roll of paper towels for the kitchen, and not even salt & pepper (which they do mention in their description). The bathroom plug is so worn out that you have to dry your hair with one hand and hold the plug in with the other or it falls out (we bought a hair dryer from Walmart).

The studio apartment (basically a motel room w/kitchen) is in desperate need of renovation and they should be ashamed of themselves for renting such a dump.

Thankfully the staff was accommodating when we complained and told them we were leaving. They seemed genuinely concerned and alarmed about our experience there, pretty much implying that the owner of the unit is responsible for upkeep. So we left early with no place to go except back home. Everything in Ft. Walton was booked up and we had $100 worth of groceries we didn't want to spoil. We wasted time, money, and gasoline driving to and from Louisiana to Florida for this awful experience.

If you're thinking about renting from El Matador, I would advise talking to someone beforehand so you don't experience what happened to us. Supposedly there are some nice units there, but ours was the pits.

Room Tip: Don't get unit 613. It's horrible.
  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank macusers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMatadorRentals, Manager at El Matador, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2018

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. We are sorry to hear that you did not find your accommodations acceptable. This unit was just painted and had the sofa and patio furniture replaced. We will also make sure that we address any maintenance and cleaning issues. Once again, thank you for your feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2018 via mobile

I've been coming to El Matador annually since I was 2 years old (40+ years). My parents brought my sister and I, and I have continued the tradition with my husband and kids, and my parents continue to come with us. We just returned home today from our visit. I have never been disappointed here. I've stayed in many units over the years. Yes, some need updating, but that's why I scour the website looking at pictures prior to us booking.

No matter where you are, it's a gorgeous view. Even building 5 has a great view of the bay, and its fun to watch the barges go down the waterway. We were in unit 165 and the first picture is from our balcony.

El Matador is at the end of the hotel chain, so the beach to the west is empty, as its all military property. Going to Destin or Ft. Walton is tricky, as traffic is a nightmare, but we plan for that and go out for late lunches rather than dinners, so we avoid some of the traffic. We will also get fresh seafood at Sextons and have a cookout one night on the huge grills they have.

We love coming here, it's like our second home. The management team is amazing. We rent directly through the on site company. It rained/stormed most of last week, however the storms brought in all sorts of shells that we'd find on our walks. We are always sad to leave. We've already started planning next year's visit!

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
Thank Amanda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMatadorRentals, Manager at El Matador, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2018

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. We are happy to hear that you love El Matador and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

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Reviewed 23 May 2018

The only reason this isn’t getting one star is because the management staff is great. This unit is awful though. We’ve stayed her for over 7 years and love this place because of the privacy, large green space and the 14 miles of uninhabited beach to the west. This unit though is in desperate need of updating and TLC. It’s barely furnished, dishwasher doesn’t work, window coverings are old and missing slats, kitchen and bath are very outdated and kitchen has the bare necessities. This should come off the rental program until the owner makes improvements, especially since it’s priced the same as much nicer units. The only positive is the patio view.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank sticks38139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2018 via mobile

Great place, and not crowded on the beach because of the great location. Just minutes from anything you can imagine to do, and fantastic food choices. The gulfarium is a must for the kids. Will definitely return.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Kenny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ElMatadorRentals, Manager at El Matador, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2018

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your vacation! Thank you for taking the time to review your stay.

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Reviewed 30 March 2018 via mobile

Wonderful place to stay. Staff was super attentive and helpful. Clean and welcoming, no rowdy guests either. 3 teenagers with us and they always had something to do. Will absolutely be back. The pools and basketball courts were well used. All of the activities we did were within a 10 mile radius from “home”.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Sheila J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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