Trip Advisor to me, is one of the trusted online places I personally depend on for my decision making for my travel reservations. This time the reviews really let me down. Next time I will read on before making any reservation based on a quick check as I did and also saw they won a trip advisor award this year. Totally disappointing!
Unfortunately when I booked this motel in a hurry one night, I had only read the first page of reviews before I made my online booking. What a mistake that was, live and learn!
I was very very disappointed with my accommodations; I had booked a cabana room on the beach, which I did receive. Upon arrival, I was greeted nicely by the front desk staff and check in went smooth and fast, although I did find it a bit odd they have you initial a paper with 4 or 5 things on it that you must read and acknowledge, one being there is NO REFUND for early checkouts if you decide to leave for any reason (so keep this in mind, as this is important later you will see why).
Normally I book a condo for a week but I was only staying a few days on my way back from my birthday celebration elsewhere and wanted to enjoy a few days at the beach on my way home.
Pictures from a distance are certainly deceiving. The online pictures of the rooms, etc. make it look nice and clean, etc. but close up, when you are actually THERE, you can see all the stains on the bed sheets, the worn, tattered bed linens, and these things are very outdated, worn, my bed blanket had holes in it and the other blanket I'd never even think of putting up on me, as there were hairs all over it! The sheets when I pulled them up over my head, were so thin you could see thru them. And the bed sheets had a foul odor to the point where I could not get to sleep for the longest time and even after I checked out I swear I still had that odor in my nose for hours! It was awful, I don't know what it was, but it certainly grossed me out.
We had a room with 2 beds, and the mattresses were very old and worn, and even bowed!! Mine was the worst, it dipped down very bad in the middle and was very noticeable from the start. The one bed had pieces of foam falling from it onto the floor. (I have pics I am going to post as a follow up.)
I then wondered what I got myself into. It was late, it was rainy and I was tired from driving all day to get there. So for the night I decided to try to make the most of it and ride it out.
The rooms are now smoke free (I am to understand it wasn't that way before; I don't smoke, so no problem); but it's way too late for that in my mind, because the smoky, musty stale smoke odor is still in the rooms and carpet, drapes, etc. and it is gross.
Outside of my room, I sat on the patio and you could see everywhere you looked, cigarette butts everywhere in the sand on the beach; it's like a giant cigarette butt litter box outside of the beachfront rooms. Sad that people have to throw it out there like that and can't pick up after themselves.
The carpet in the room is so old and dirty, you can no longer tell what color it used to be. It's the worst motel carpet I've ever laid eyes on! The whole time I was there I kept my shoes on, there is no way I'd walk in bare feet or even socks on that grossly dirt laden carpet! (I took photos of this too and will post). If you have kids, please don't let them on that yucky carpet!
There's an ancient iron (it's super old, worn, and probably the oldest dirtiest iron I've ever seen in my life) and an ironing board of the same quality, to go with it. They appear to be as old as the hotel. There's a super old hairdryer, all excessively clogged may I add, with other people's hair and that was gross. Another one of those "old as the hotel" looking items.
The acoustical tile ceiling, wow that was awful, it was all sagging, each tile was tattered, stained, or falling, and you felt like you were staying in somebody's old cramped, messy, musty, stale smoke odor riddled basement; and over by the bathroom there was one of the tiles that was lifted up into the rafters and anything could have crawled in thru there I am sure! I didn't see any bugs thankfully, but trust me, I sure expected some and had my eyes out for them. If I had seen any, I would have been at that front desk pronto for a check out. That would have done it for me.
The rooms certainly lack style and charm. It's just a basement feel and very dingy at that.
Door to our room, oh that lovely door that I quickly learned to hate. First off it was very dirty and messy on the inside and was the dirtiest door inside of a room I've ever seen. Looks like it needed a good cleaning for many years now. And it would not close! It would not latch, and it would NOT LOCK!!!! The chain on the door was missing, and those things aren't worth much anyways for safety. I kept slamming and slamming and slamming the door trying to get it to shut and stay shut; finally after about 10 minutes I got it to shut and finally lock, then I wondered if I would be able to get out in the morning. Thankfully I did but the door shutting/locking issue needs addressed; guest safety lacking on this issue really raised my eyebrows.
The room has very little electrical outlets, so bring an extension cord if you are bringing a laptop or something; as there's nothing near the table, the closest outlet is over at the refrigerator/microwave area across the room. Speaking of the refrigerator, it was old, dirty and had some hair I had to wipe out of it, but I must say it was ice cold! And the microwave I'd not even think of touching, as it was all slimy/smeary on the outside and I wasn't going to open it to even see what was on the inside! Hadn't been cleaned in forever by its' appearance.
The motel is older yes, and I was aware of that when I booked it; but is also very very run down and in need of some improvements desperately. They have a great location and would have a great place if they would remodel the rooms and put some capital into it.
If you are staying on the lower levels you have to walk past these low light, murky water laden hallways to get to the other sets of stairs that you have to go down to get to your room. At the time of our arrival it was raining, and all the walkways and stairs were very slippery; and the hallway area near laundry and maintenance after the 1st set of stairs, had water running from overhead down onto you.
I have to point out that there are a few good things about this place, one is that the A/C was so cold we almost froze (however this was because it would not adjust and was evidently broken while set on the lowest temperature); the front desk staff was friendly and efficient; and the maid I encountered was very friendly and nice and so was her gentleman helper. The next morning as I was leaving it was pouring down rain and he offered to help me with my luggage, and saw me having an issue trying to close the motel room door so he stopped. He told me not to worry about the door, it's "always like that". In my mind, I just shook my head in disgust over the non closing/latching door. I couldn't wait to get out of there and on the road to home.
And yes, I left, the very next morning. I felt compelled to stay there our very first night since it was paid for and all and we gave it a chance; but I couldn't even envision staying there another night. I knew to talk to them about the situation would do no good, they know what the situation is with their hotel I am sure; and checking out early I'd get no refund; (remember they have you initial that paper I mentioned earlier to this effect!) so I cut my losses and just went home.
Let it be known I have never in my life, left the beach early.....and this is the very first time in my life that I did. Couldn't get out of there fast enough!
They do have on site laundry, the location is great right on the beach, the employees we encountered were nice; but over all this place really needs gutted and remodeled, and I would certainly NOT recommend it for anyone nor will I return. Save yourself and go stay somewhere else.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Panama City Beachfront motel sits on a 500 foot stretch of sparkling, emerald green Gulf shoreline. Relax beside our lagoon-style, gulf side pool. Take a leisurely stroll at sunset. Grab lunch or a daiquiri at Treble Hooks, our pool-side Bar & Grill. Whatever you desire, the Chateau Motel is conveniently located close to the best Panama City Beach attractions and offers guests 150 ocean-view rooms with 5 floor plans to choose from. Located in the heart of the Miracle Strip, there is no better place to stay! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau Motel Panama City Beach, Florida
- Chateau Hotel Panama City Beach