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“Read the reviews - it's not the Ritz - but great”
Review of Driftwood Lodge

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Driftwood Lodge
Ranked #4 of 48 Hotels in Panama City Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Dickson, Tennessee
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Read the reviews - it's not the Ritz - but great”
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Last minute trip in the middle of peak season, it was the first vacancy we found. The two young ladies at the desk, Monica and Tiffany I think, were a pleasure. They only had one room left, and even though they were busy, Tiffany took the time to show us the room, and explain that the balcony is not private, and the room is a little dated. She was very nice, and honestly, we would not have rented the room if it had not been for her helpfulness. Don't expect much with the lodging in room 135, but do plan to have a nice time. The hotel goes out of its way to make your stay pleasant. Activities every day, and everyone is nice, even though they were very busy. If you are wanting a beautiful room, with granite counter tops, and fancy showers, etc - book a condo early. If you are happy in a motel 6 type room, but convenient to everything, and a staff that sincerely seems to want you to enjoy yourself - then this is the place. I suspect our room was one of the worse, being last minute and all - but we have stayed at many condos and hotels in the area, and we were happy and had a great time. A couple of suggestions - put a string or something around the keys to help make it easier to keep up with, and I would have liked a little light music around the pool area.

Room Tip: Second floor means stairs, but better view of beach and ocean.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pethsm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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335 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
Mo
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014 via mobile

We were looking for a reasonably priced hotel for our family to stay at that was on the beach, with a view. While we knew this was nothing fancy, we were disappointed in what it was. We were in room 143. There is absolutely no privacy on the back porch. You can look from one end to the other and see your neighbor. This is awkward and really annoying when you have drunk adults / rude people / kids screaming from the porch to their friend down the line or even in the pool! Speaking of the pool, it was quiet time at ten but it was never quiet. In the way of the view is the pool and cabana room. Some rooms probably had a decent view but not ours. The ladies in the front office seemed overwhelmed during check in, although one did seem to actually care about our wait. Personal opinion, I dislike when a hotel asks you to wear wrist bands. Driftwood asks you to wear them & if you lose them it's an additional fee. I'm on vacation and don't want to worry about getting a fee on a stupid rubber band around my arm. No elevator. No ice machine. Parking was right off the street & Very cramped. Employees didn't seem to care that people were screwing up parking by taking two spaces because it happened every day. The other parking was across the street. Housekeeping was decent. Except they didn't leave us kitchen towels/washcloth. They also didn't hesitate to enter your room if you didn't come to the door within 30 seconds of their knock. So you better be dressed! The AC was Very loud. It's within walking distance to pier park and about half mile to sharkys. One souvenir / beach shop right across the street as well as a helicopter tour. Two or three more shops within walking distance. Wifi was sketchy and there is no service there. And bring your own pans to cook because theirs are not non stick and a pain in the butt to clean. Also we had to use the toaster on the floor because of a lack of outlets / space in the "kitchen". My stay was enjoyable because I spent most of the time on the beach. I had been to pcb before so I knew to expect loud cruising on front beach road. Most of these listed things are minor but it was very disappointing to not be able to enjoy the back porch.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Kaybee2424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
O'Fallon, Illinois
Level Contributor
91 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

It is not a classy hotel but it useful, in a great location and quite comfortable. Last week was the first time I have ever stayed there but I would do it again! It may looked dated but it is clean and well maintained. Very family oriented and quiet, excellent location away from the hustle and bustle of the main PCB area but a walking distance to Pier Park. Bonus is being right on the beach and plenty of activities to rent from. Definiteyl would stay again!

Room Tip: There are different styles of rooms so select what fits you best. We did not have a full kitchen on...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank hockeygoon96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014 via mobile

I had a room on the first floor with my parents and good friend. Every time I went to the pool it was never over crowded and was always fun and clean. Also an easy walk to the beach, off to the right and down the walk ramp ya go and your on the soft cool sand of Panama City Beach Florida. Some of the other guest could be loud but at least I could only hear them when I'm outside so I could enjoy my sleep. I also loved the fact that whenever you wanted to leave, you could leave from the beach side of your room or the street side. I loved being there always!

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Sierra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roanoke, Alabama
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

this place has everything for families, from watermelon everyday to a movie night on the deck. Staff is wonderful and amenities are great. The scenery is great and you have the choice of beach or pool, or relax in the hot tub. Even have a cool beverage from the tiki bar. shopping is just a block away at pier park.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Camelrider2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumming, Georgia
Level Contributor
131 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014 via mobile

We were very disappointed. This place was listed as #4 of 50 some hotels. Yes, they said it was dated, we were prepared for that.
The driftwood was dated but reasonably clean. Nevertheless, it had other problems. It had an air conditioner that kept us awake with its loud clanking.
The one bedroom plan is poorly designed for temperature comfort. When we made the living /kitchen area comfortable the bedroom was hot. When the bedroom was cool enough the living area was freezing.
The place did not even provide tissues.
The parking was not ideal and there isn't an elevator. Carrying everything up a flight of stairs was difficult and they Didn't offer any help.
Warning! If you have an emergency and must leave early after a few days stay, you won't receive any refund for unused days.
Location is good for pier and the Pier Park. As for us, we won't go back!

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank vjmsuma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Due to the Driftwood Lodge's HIGH ranking on TripAdvisor, our family chose to stay at this #3 ranked recipient of the 2014 Certificate of Excellence.

Thorough research and CAUTION advised before booking here. We STRONGLY advise reading & taking heed to the lower scored and older TripAdvisor reviews. We now know they are still applicable even though overlooked due to current high ranking.

1. Free Parking =
1) A small parking lot located on the bumper to bumper, busy, street (WITHOUT a crosswalk) across from the hotel. The lot is next to a business called "Snappy Turtle" and a Helicopter landing pad (giving frequent tours).
AND/OR
2) A parking garage with tiny spaces by today's vehicle size standards. (Tight fit for our full-size four door car. Felt bad for the families we witnessed squeezing their SUV's into the spaces just to leave the spaces because they couldn't open their doors.) Witnessed several dinged doors.

2. Family/Kid Friendly = (Ultimately, we each weigh the feedback and research then decide whether it's a healthy environment for our families or not. Some may be okay with the current conditions while others may find it unacceptable.)
1) Alcohol specials for adults.
2) Children frequently unsupervised (right next to unenforced signs stating children must be accompanied by an adult).
3) Daily summer activities. Some cost to participate & some are complimentary e.g. watermelon seed spitting contest. Sounds fun. However, the staff demonstrated lack of training handling kids left in their care. The outside movie viewing was nice. Make sure to physically claim good seats for your family two hours in advance by laying towels over the chairs you'd like and hope no one moves them. Very crowded and seats fill up fast.
4) Great place for folks who enjoy LOUD VEHICLES CRUISING, HONKING, and people SHOUTING NON-G Rated verbiage in front of the hotel from 4:30 pm until 2:00 am DAILY. Street side is an absolute "Spring Break" ATMOSPHERE when it is NOT "Spring Break". Ocean side is very nice away from the hotel.
5) NOT an easy walking distance to Pier Park with young children.

3. HEALTH =
1) NOT recommended if you suffer from any MOLD, MILDEW, RUST, SMOKE or DUST allergies.
2) Balcony is in need of repair. Old boards painted over. And rust found on almost every metal fixture. Balconies are NOT PRIVATE. There is potential for more private dividers. Even lattice would be better than nothing. Hopefully you're comfortable sharing the view with your neighbors and their habits.
3) Kitchen had gnats when we arrived. Grime on inside of cabinets.
4) Non-Smoking room had smoke residue in and on everything.
5) First night, noticed our room air conditioner was loud (airplane propeller loud). They were quick to replace. Two male employees came in carrying a rusted, banged up, USED air conditioner and put it in. This happened 3 more times! They were always quick to replace, however, should a family endure 4 air conditioner changes resulting in loss of sleep, time, comfort, and cool air in a 7 day visit? In addition to staff, being strangers, coming in to replace each time? We witnessed housekeepers time after time, room after room, leaving the HOTEL DOORS OPEN while they cleaned the rooms for 20 plus minutes. It just made those old used air conditioners work/clang even harder. During our stay, we witnessed several others put out by their poor air conditioners, also.
6) No elevator for those who have trouble going up and down stairs with or without suitcases/personal items.
7) Careful in the bathroom. It's tiny. Wall to wall approx. 4ft x 5ft. Doesn't accommodate much more than a few towels, wash clothes, bar soap and 3 one ounce, rip open packages of shampoo and conditioner (enough for one person a day). No cabinet space for personal items.

I would give a negative (-) ranking if it was an option. It's disappointing. Restored older places can be such a great experience. They can be booming with excellent customer service for new and/or returning customers. And they can exhibit genuine care by showing each customer concern for their experience. As well as, genuine concern for the building and its surroundings. Also, they can show concern for their facility by having adequate life-cycling processes in place to create a more comfortable environment for their customers. If they have that for your stay..congrats! They were not evident on our week long stay.

I hope they improve or are in the process of improving management/leadership skills and providing management & front desk training in customer service for future customers.

Room Tip: Don't stay. However, if you must...don't stay over a day or two, especially if you have alle...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Michele O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Driftwood Lodge

Property: Driftwood Lodge
Address: 15811 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2596
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Panama City Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Panama City Beach
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Panama City Beach
#10 Romantic Hotel in Panama City Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Driftwood Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Driftwood Lodge is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. A large shady palm lined courtyard wraps around our beachfront heated pool and sundeck. The courtyard is where our guests find themselves making new and often lifelong friends. Throughout the year there are planned activities, ranging from cook-outs and sunset parties to Easter Egg Hunts and other children's games. Pier Park shopping and entertainment district is located within easy walking distance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Driftwood Hotel Panama City Beach
Driftwood Lodge Panama City Beach, Florida

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