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“Gotcha by the short hairs by the sea”

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Beach Tower By The Sea
Ranked #19 of 48 Hotels in Panama City Beach
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Gotcha by the short hairs by the sea”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I really hate leaving a bad review because the view from the rooms is fantastic. However, that can be said of many other beachfront hotels in this area. In addition to poor room conditions, most of the customer service here is terrible! We arrived on a Sunday evening, and were given room 308. We asked if they had another room higher up (which was requested in our reservation). The clerk (the younger guy) was friendly enough but said he could not approve it, it would have to be addressed in the morning with the manager.
We checked into our room (a double queen with kitchenette) and found the room was very dated, with rust on the refrigerator, a tiny stove with tinfoil lined burners and a tension rod with flimsy curtain to serve as a "closet" door. There is barely enough room to get by the desk in the first room and the edge of the bed. There is a single chair in the room which has to be moved to right by the entrance door in order to use the desk otherwise the path is blocked. There is very little room on the bathroom counter in which to place toiletries and not even a lid on the toilet.
As we semi-unpacked, hoping to move to a different room the next day, we found the TV in the beach side bedroom area was completely snowy and the cable was loose in the wall. Being a modern family, everyone searched for an electrical receptacle to charge their device. The plugs kept falling out. Nice maintenance! Nothing a propped up chip bag can't handle.
The beds were not very comfortable, with those yucky scratchy polyester bedspreads. A single pillow per sleeper was provided.
The next day, we went down to speak with the manager and asked for a different room. He told my husband to come back later after the check outs. We went to a late breakfast and on the way back in we checked back in with the manager, and he told us he couldn't move us. There was vacancy, and he refused to move us. Basically, sorry, you paid up front (I will never stay at a place that does this again! I got burned in Marathon last summer with the same type of deal). So, no refund, no moving you, you just have to deal with it. I can never recommend this place. So I will repeat, the view is great, but if you want a decent room with decent customer service and value your $, stay elsewhere!!!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank BKS_MB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
Dear Modern Family,

I apologize for the unpleasant stay you experienced at the Beach Tower in June. We never guarantee room locations or room numbers when a reservation is booked. We try to honor request of such when a reservation is booked, but cannot guarantee it. The reason we could not move you was due to the fact that all our kitchen units were booked for the time period you were there. Our kitchen units are the most popular. The manager tried to move you after reviewing the arrivals we had coming in the day you wanted to move, but could not fit you in a kitchen unit because the number of days you were staying were shorter than those of the arrivals for the same style room. I agree 100% with you that the front room is very small. We have tried to limit the furnishings in that room to get more floor space, but we upgraded our bed size from full to queen 2 years ago, this taking up the 6 or 8 inches that would normally be between a night stand/chair and bed. Regarding the "comforters", those are simply cotton/poly blend comforters that are used in all our rooms, I make no apology for them. The rusted front on the refrigerator, well that is being replaced this week. Being directly on the water with salt air, appliances, furnishings, etc do not escape the rust. This refrigerator should have been replaced before now. Again, i do apologize. The outlets, i don't have an excuse or reason for them not holding your plugs in tact. In 2012 we did a renovation on the electrical in the rooms. The plugs are standard, universal plugs. The aluminum liners under the stove elements are used in place of aluminum foil, for easy cleaning between checkouts.I am so sorry that your stay was not one of being problem free. I do appreciate you giving us a high rating on the view, which is one of the main reasons people stay on the beach side when traveling to the emerald coast. Regarding our policy paying in full at check-in and no refunds for early check-outs. I have been a motel owner/operator since 1995 in Panama City Beach. This has always been the policy at both properties i owned as well as every other motel/hotel and condo on PCB, We are all considered vacation resort destinations and have to stick to a tight policy regarding early check-outs and payment in full as well as minimum night stays during our peak seasons. In the future i recommend when traveling to a vacation destination you specifically ask policy regarding refunds, payment in full at check-in as well as guaranteed room numbers and location, this would avoid another disappointed trip for your family, Respectfully yours, Sharon McLaughlin, Owner
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
KY.
Level Contributor
73 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

They have upgraded all the rooms since our last stay and they are SO SO much better!!!! We loved our stay!!! J.R. and Carrie at the front desk are SO SO nice and helpful. They did everything to make our stay with them GREAT!! Our room was great the people at the front desk (JR & Carrie) were great. our trip was wonderful love this place!!!

Room Tip: 5 floor and above
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gatlinburgky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Dear Gatlinburg Return guest,

Thank you for the very complimentary review. We have indeed completed a renovation nearly 2 years ago. Our first time guest as well as repeat guest seem to approve. Carrie and JR do go out of their way to help our guests in any way possible. Thank you for returning for a summer visit with us here at The Beach Tower. I apologize for the rude guest you encountered during your stay. We hope to see you again real soon, Regards, Sharon McLaughlin
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Albany, Georgia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

The motel itself is very clean & accommodating. Everything was just as described on the motel website. Beach access was perfect! The only thing I did not like was some of the guest were rude & when reported to the front desk nothing was done to resolve the issues...but they were handled none the less. Everything else was great!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tasha P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Dear "very nice"

Thank you for the recent review about The Beach Tower Resort Motel. We appreciate the time our recent guest take to go on-line and post a review after their stay. I apologize for the rude guest, but we really can't control them. If people would just come to the beach with the attitude that "any day at the beach is a good day", maybe they wouldn't be so rude while here. I hope you caught a great beach attitude while here, thank you for staying with us. Hopefully you will return and find that the beach attitude could be contagious, lol, Respectfully yours, Sharon McLaughlin
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2014

My trip to Florida from Tennessee and stay was wonderful and would stay in Beach Tower Motel again. JR was a welcoming clerk who sold me on my selection to stay at a great location right on the beach. The room was clean and all the aminities were right there to enjoy to include a shower from the beach before entry back into the hotel for a quick clean up. The pool was great as well. The southern charm and welcomeing spirit will be remembered. It is all about the desk service and follow through. The room was just great with the large bathroom. Excuding the noisey "senior trip group" I would recommend this establishment( I am not sure how I would have handled this situation). I felt that I knew the family that owned the place.They were my kind of people!

Room Tip: ask about if there are large groups of youth being there if sleep is important...you will love the b...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Charles C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Dear "Nice Stay",

Thank you for choosing The Beach Tower Resort Motel for your recent trip to Panama City Beach. I appreciate the comments you made regarding our friendly staff and southern charm. Unfortunately for our families who get to come to PCB right when schools let out for the summer, they do have to risk staying at a property where "Seniors" from various high schools come to celebrate graduating from high school. This was the situation when you were here. I like the suggestion you wrote in your review for future guests, "inquire about groups" being booked during the same time you are planning your trip. We normally do not book this type of group after the first couple of weeks in June. The remaining part of the summer season consist of couples and families. We certainly hope that you will plan to stay with us again very soon. Respectfully yours, Sharon McLaughlin
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Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

We just happened to be driving through pcb and decided to see how much this motel costed, and it was very reasonable compared to the other places around. I definitely recommend staying here! The lobby is super cute & they always have tea and coffee available for you. There's a great outdoor area with comfy seats & a flat screen. The pool is nice and you're right on the beach!! Great location! The rooms were very clean and the beds were extremely comfortable!! Also the water pressure in our shower was amazing! It was like being at a spa :) our room even had a little kitchen in it, which made it feel homey. This place is great!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TinaQ105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Dear Ms. Tina Q,

What a charming review! Thank you for all the compliments regarding The Beach Tower Resort Motel. I am thrilled that you decided to stop in and check us out. We are probably one of the smallest "mom & pop" properties remaining on the beach in the shadows of all the high rises. We are small enough where we can take the time to add those special touches to our common areas and guest rooms. Hopefully you will "drop in" again very soon to pay us a visit. Heres wishing you a wonderful summer, Regards, Sharon McLaughlin
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Cumming, Georgia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

When calling to make a reservation the desk clerk, Craig, said he had a room with two queens and it was X amount. I said, "O.K. we will take it". I waited as I heard a small sigh/grunt noise then silence. I waited for a moment to give him my information including payment info. After a few seconds a very impatient voice said, "Ma'am you will have to PAY for it!". I said, "Yes, I know." He sounded surprised as he said, "Oh.." Then we got there he very frigidly checked us in. It was 930 or so. We were too tired to swim but I out of curiosity asked questions as he checked us in. I asked what the pool hours were and he informed us he was about to close it. There were people still swimming after 10 pm. Signs stated things like, "no wet swim suits in lobby" but that was the only route to the rooms from the pool or the beach. A young man in my party went down to ask for something, there was no one in the lobby and although he waited quite a while the person never appeared. He really wondered if the person was in the office ignoring him. He called and called but no one came. I would see the desk clerk out front smoking a lot but he said he was not out there. Later during the stay, I brought groceries to the front to unload and was told I needed to move my car. I told him I had a bad neck and was just unloading the bags by the door and would move. He coldly insisted I move the car and that he would watch my bags. I asked about pool towels and was told by a lady who I think could have been the owner (her picture was framed on the table) that we were not supposed to use our room towels and that we should have brought towels. There was screaming and cussing at night in a room near us. There was nearly a fight at the pool where one lady got up cussing another lady because they "were there first". I think one of the young adults were splashing two ladies who were on floats. The beach service resold our chairs when we took a break to go to the room for an hour. The room was supposed to have a kitchenette but the pots and pans were in bad shape so you really could not cook anything safely although we tried. The can opener did not work. The drawers had crumbs and stains in them. Our balcony door would not completely close and the latch would therefore not fasten. The list goes on but generally I felt like I was treated with disrespect, like I was always trying to get something I did not deserve and that I should be happy to have a room period. I did not expect this from Panama City, but I always stay in condos. I kept wondering why the place had what seemed to be great reviews. As we checked out, a lady (the owner) who did not ever seem very approachable was finally nice and asked us to give her a great review on Trip Advisor. As she handed me the card I wanted to laugh since I had nothing good to say and could not believe she was encouraging me to review the place. Don't stay here unless you want to bring your own towels, dishes and pans,. trash bags, etc. Things like this are hard to come by here!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Angela S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
Dear Recent Guest of BTR,

I am the owner of The Beach Tower Resort Motel. I do appreciate you taking the time to give us a review on Trip Advisor, but disappointed in how you responded to the experience you endured. It sounds as though you were of a negative opinion from the time you called to place the reservation, until the time you checked out. When you made the reservation over the phone, you made it sound as though the reservationist was uptight and unpleasant. I really don't know why anyone,including a reservationist, or in this case, The General Manager, would want to come across as being uptight and unpleasant. Upon checking in you inquired about the pool hours. Our pool does close at 10:00. At times, especially during our summer months, guest will stay later in the pool,but it is not because we have not informed them that they need to start thinking about leaving the pool area due to closing. The best i can figure out here is that you had a negative taste in your mouth from making your reservation, and was going to find something to keep you in that mood throughout your stay. Now the issue about "wet bathing suites". Yes, we do have signs posted at the entry doors directly to the lobby stating "No wet swimsuits in lobby". You stated that the lobby door was the only route to the rooms from the pool or the beach. You are mistaken, we direct guest to the entrance to the east of the bldg, only steps away from the lobby entrance, which accesses the elevator to your rooms through a hallway. We do this for the safety of our guest. But maybe you have never walked across a tiled floor with wet feet and fallen. This measure is to prevent that happening to anyone. I can not give you an explanation why no one was at the front desk when the young man in your party came down to ask for something. Our clerks do leave the front desk for a number of reasons throughout their shifts i.e. letting guests into their rooms if they have forgotten their key in the room, i.e. getting bags of ice for our guest, which the ice machine is located on the patio, outside of the office, i.e. from time to time, if the clerk is not busy checking in guests, or taking reservations on the phone, he will walk around the property to make sure that no one is loitering on the property who are not registered guest, or sometimes, they will go out and remind guest that the pool is or has been closed for the evening. Now for you parking in a "fire zone" Yes maam, you pulled your vehicle up in front of the building in a "fire" zone. I won't say anything else regarding that situation. We do not provide "pool" towels. Most people plan to bring a beach tower with them when the visit the beach. We supply 4 - 6 towels per room for guest to use in their room during their stay. The lady who told you that we did not supply pool towels was not myself, she was a desk clerk who has been employed with BTR for 5 years. She is the one in the picture on the counter, Another case of mistaken speculation on your part. About the screaming and cursing in the room next to you, let me ask, did you call the front desk and complain and ask if we could address the issue. I don't believe you did. How can management rectify a problem if they are not aware of the problem. Again, negative mindset. The pool situation, the manager did go out to the pool and solved the issue. The can opener not working...the pots/pans....did you call the front desk to get you a working can opener, new pots/pans brought up....I don't believe you did. Now the one problem/complaint you had regarding the door sticking...that is a common problem along the entire beach, due to the salt air, rusting the door frames causing difficulty in closing. Again, did you report this to the front desk. we could have sent maintenance up to adjust the door to where it would not be so difficult to open/close. Ms. Angela i am so sorry you did not enjoy your stay here at The Beach Tower on the Worlds most beautiful beaches, but I don't think anything we would have done to assist you with any of these complaints would have been of satisfaction to you. If you look on our Trip Advisor page (and you said you did), you will not find any negative reviews for a long time. I acquired this property 2 years ago, did a complete room renovation on it immediately upon the end of the summer season it was purchased. Tens of thousands of dollars were put into this property to make it a nice place for families to enjoy while being here on the beach. I do take offense to your continous complaints, not giving us the chance to correct any of them. P.S. I was not the lady at check out that handed you the Trip Advisor card, that was the lady in the picture on the counter you referred to earlier in your review. Sincerely, Sharon McLaughlin
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Level Contributor
88 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014 via mobile

This Tenn girl ; just got back from a great vacation ; Loved this wonderful place to stay.. So clean ; comfortable beds.. private balcony. . It is just steps to the beautiful beach.. Everyone is so nice there.. My first time staying here ; I will make this my new place to stay in Panama City.. Thanks Sharon and everyone for making this a great vacation trip for my husband and I.. It is hard to find places like this to stay in Panama City ; all them high rise places is not for this Tenn girl.. Thanks Beach Tower Resort Amanda and Drew Kegley from Roane County Tenn

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sissycat84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
btr001, Owner at Beach Tower By The Sea, responded to this review, 1 July 2014
Dear Amanda and Drew,

Thank you for staying with us recently here at the BeachTower Resort Motel. Also, "thank you" for all the very nice compliments you gave us. I am so happy that you have decided to make this your vacation spot when you return to The World's most beautiful beaches. We appreciate all our guest, but especially guests who return year after year. We are small, but we do strive to give our guest a nice clean, comfortable room for a good price. Hopefully we will see you soon, Regards, Sharon McLaughlin
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Additional Information about Beach Tower By The Sea

Property: Beach Tower By The Sea
Address: 12001 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407-3403
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Panama City Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Panama City Beach
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Panama City Beach
#14 Romantic Hotel in Panama City Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Beach Tower By The Sea 2.5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Beach Tower By The Sea, family owned and operated. We are here to ensure that your stay with us is your time to relax, unwind, and enjoy our beautiful beaches. Our gulf front location is conveniently located across from Shipwreck Island and is within walking distance of restaurants, popular night spots, shopping, local attractions, and the Bay County Pier. Our beautifully appointed rooms and suites feature private balconies, facing the Gulf of Mexico, and overlooking our pool which is heated seasonally. Our friendly staff takes pride in providing guests with clean, comfortable rooms and outstanding customer service. We offer several floor plans to meet your needs, most featuring full kitchens. Other amenities include:* Free in-room Wi-Fi * Coin Operated Guest Laundry * Beach Bar * Each room comes equipped with hair dryers, irons & ironing boards * Beachside grilling deck * Cabana covered poolside patio with 50" flatscreen TV & music system * Covered parking and security cameras * Full Beach service - Parasailing, Jet Ski, Umbrella/Chairs * Volley Ball court * 24 hr Coffee in Lobby *WE DO NOT ACCEPT PETS. Monthly rates available from October through February. Free local calls, no parking fees. THE BEACH TOWER IS A NON-SMOKING PROPERTY EXCEPT IN DESIGNATED AREAS. Thank you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beach Tower Hotel Panama City Beach
Beach Hotel Panama City
Beach Motel Panama City
Beach Tower By The Sea Panama City Beach, Florida

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