During my road trip vacations I always find one of the places I stay to be my favorite - not necessarily because I like the city or whatever, but because the hotel just fits. The LQ Panama City Beach Pier Park is one of them. I stayed on two different occasions over a period of two weeks because I liked it so much.
The property itself is large and rather new, an original La Quinta as it appears. There is sufficient parking available all around the building. The lobby is large with a heigh ceiling and huge front desk. I found the front desk staff to be extremely friendly and courteous. Being a Returns member I received my room upgrade without even asking about it at both times, which has never happened before. When I extended my stay for a second night based on the previous night's online reservation their front desk PC apparently showed the standard rate. The clerk immediately asked about my previous night's rate and overrode it. Whenever I walked by I was greeted by the employee on duty and frequently encouraged to come see them if there was anything I needed. And it was not only the front desk - being on vacation I did not want to get up early and sometimes spent time in the room during the day. Never once was I bothered by housekeeping, they completely managed to work around my schedule, leaving a note that they would return later, or quickly cleaning up when I had left.
Based on the upgrade I found myself in an executive mini-suite instead of a standard room. Everything looked brand new, the sofa, the beds, the curtains, tables, even carpets - it was all in very good shape. The bed was very comfortable. The room had a refrigerator, microwave and flat-screen TV affixed to the wall. The bathroom was large and clean. I found a USA Today under my door each day and also received all other benefits for Returns members without ever asking, this is often not the case...
Other reviews complain of poor cellphone reception - while I did not have trouble with that, I did have issues with the on-site Wifi. Maybe it was my device, but reception in both rooms I had (near the end of the hallway) was poor, I had to go into the bathroom to at least get a weak but steady signal. Room for improvement here.
All that said, it's time to turn to the location. At the time I made my first reservation there were no reviews available on TripAdvisor so I had to rely on advertisements and maps. Well, they claim that the beaches are .5 miles away. While this is not technically a lie, don't get excited. The real beaches where most of the action is, are a couple of miles to the south east, depending on time of day plan for 10+ minutes in the car. Its easy to find, but you are NOT staying at a beach resort. Quite the opposite, the hotel ist located about half a mile inland on US-98. The location is quiet despite the 4-lane road, but you won't be able (or willing) to walk through the residential streets towards the small beach. Take a car, its simple, but you're doing yourself a favor. For non-beach fun (shopping, dining, entertainment) you'll want to check out Pier Park, which is roughly 3 miles/5 min from the hotel. Again, its easy to reach, just down the road. Food-wise also plan for a drive, there is absolutely nothing near the hotel.
In summary: don't expect a beach resort, don't expect to be in the middle of things, but what you will get is a new, clean, well-maintained, friendly property at acceptable prices that is within a short distance of the area's attractions. I did not try the other La Quinta property in town which is way more central and has comparable prices, but I would no hesitate to recommend this hotel to others and stay again myself.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a 100% smoke free pet friendly hotel,all of our guest rooms are currently going through a modernization upgrade wich includes new pillow top La Quinta Inn & Suites bright morning beds by Simmons hospitality in all guest rooms*laminated flooring in all 1st.& 2nd.floor guest rooms*new carpet in all 3rd.& 4th.floor guest rooms*new window treatment in all guest rooms*new sofa sleepers in all king exec and 2 room suites a new leisure chair in all guest rooms* while a guest enjoy our complimentary bright side hot breakfast as well as our friendly courteous and knowledgeable staff,our beautiful hotel is located 1 mile west of Pier Park and minutes away from the worlds most beautiful beaches let us be your home away from home during your next visit to Panama City Beach. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- La Quinta Inn And Suites Panama City Beach Pier Park
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Panama City Beach Pier Park Hotel Panama City Beach
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Panama City Beach Pier Park Florida