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“Second time back - disappointing”
Review of Aqua

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Aqua
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 April 2014

We visited Aqua in 2013 for spring break and were very impressed. We chose to come back again in 2014, and overall, we were frankly disappointed.
First, the good. There were two of us on this trip, so we were in a one bedroom (708), with an extra room with bunk beds. As was true last time, our room was beautiful, overlooking the ocean and close enough to fall asleep at night listening to the waves breaking on the shore. The room had KitchenAid appliances (frig and dishwasher) and a GE washer/dryer. All pots, pans, utensils, and everything one could reasonably need was provided.
The spring break atmosphere was largely absent at the Aqua, as it appears much more designed for families. Location is good, with quick walking access to Pier Park.
Access everywhere in the building and grounds is controlled by codes, so you have to remember your room code, the code for the gates, the code for the exercise room, etc. It's not convenient, but it does seem effective.
The not so good included instructions in our welcome packet for how to use the Whirlpool washer/dryer. We didn't have a Whirlpool washer/dryer, and the instructions were completely wrong for the washer/dryer we did have.
For almost 48 hours, we had really strong winds from the north. Our main door apparently did not seal properly, so the wind sound through the door was horrendous. It was really loud, very disturbing, and always present. It made no difference if the patio doors to the beach were open or not. It was so bad that one night the howling of the wind through and around the door was impossible to ignore.
The weather was crumby while we were here. Certainly nothing the staff could do about that, but it would have been nice to get some sort of recognition from them about how the crumby weather could influence our enjoyment of our trip. As an example, check out is a rigid 10 am. We weren't flying out until later in the day, and would be on property until 3pm. We asked for a later check-out so that we might enjoy our last day, which was to have better weather. We asked for an early afternoon checkout and were told we needed to be out by 10. No expression of concern, or having staff put themselves in our shoes. Pat wasn't rude, she just was completely unhelpful - even after we told her that we were returning visitors.
In fact, this lack of empathy for guests seems to be cultural and consistent. As long as you don't ask for anything, everything seems fine. But, ask for something out of the ordinary, and the answer is sorry, we can't do that. We ran into this same staff orientation the last time we stayed here. What staff needs is some training in being customer oriented - try and put yourself in the shoes of the customer and find a way to appear concerned about them and concerned about their experience. Being so rules bound may work for owners, but it sure turns off visitors.
We dutifully checked out of our room at 10, and because it was still cold out, we asked for a place to sit inside. They don't have a restaurant or a coffee bar, so we were told we could sit in the lobby. There might be other options (for interest, they have a small conference room), but there was absolutely no interest in figuring out what those other options might be.
Again, it's not so much that staff is rude, as they just don't have a clue on how to do customer service. The customer experience could be so much better with a better trained staff.
Overall, it wasn't a bad experience, but it sure wasn't what a place as nice as this could be. As you consider your options, you won't find many nicer facilities on the beach, but you will find many nicer options from a customer service perspective.

Room Tip: The higher the better for views
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank madisonthom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquaPCBResort, Manager at Aqua, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

Thank you for your recent review of your experience at Aqua. We hope you will book with us soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (323)
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144 - 150 of 323 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2014

You have to have a code to get in parking garage; however they still give you a sticker to put in your car. The sticker does not stay on mirror. Ours feel off onto console. They towed our car 15 minutes away and it cost us $200 to get it back. Customer service could not have cared less. Don't stay in this resort.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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5  Thank Msgarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquaPCBResort, Manager at Aqua, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

Thank you for your recent comments regarding your stay at Aqua. The Association does require parking passes be visible in all vehicles and does strictly enforce the rule. Signs requiring parking passes is visibly displayed at the entrance to the garage.

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Reviewed 28 February 2014

We have enjoyed our visits to Aqua for the past 4 years. The location is excellant, the views great and the staff very accommodating. However, in our unit #1708, the rugs are dirty/tired and living room couch and chair most uncomfortable and in need of replacing. The balcony has only 2 chaise lounges and no table chairs to eat outside or to entertain. We decided that the price increases for next year, just aren't worth it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Gary k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquaPCBResort, Manager at Aqua, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

Thank you for your recent review. We appreciate all comments and will continue to strive to make every vacation experience a positive one.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

Our 2nd trip to Aqua in 5 months! As usual, we are always satisfied with our stay! We have been on the 20th floor and now on the 2nd floor- very happy both places. Both visits have been above & beyond our expectations:) We are considering another trip this year to PCB and will stay only at Aqua! Thank you for another amazing stay!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
Thank Dawn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquaPCBResort, Manager at Aqua, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

Thank you for the kind comments regarding your recent stay at Aqua. We strive to provide all guests with friendly customer service and beautiful accommodations. Your return vacations are as important to us as your first.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2014

Perfect location to all activities in PCB. Quarter mile from Pier Park, which offers anything one might want. Aqua staff are friendly, helpful and attentive. The front desk personnel are always upbeat and welcoming. Facilities, indoor pool, exercise room and grand room are clean and well maintained. There might be others facilities around but this is a winner.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Lee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquaPCBResort, Manager at Aqua, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

Thank you for your recent review regarding your long term stay at Aqua. We will continue to work hard to provide a wonderful vacation experience for all of our guests. We look forward to your return in 2015.

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Reviewed 14 January 2014

We stayed at Aqua twice in 2013 in April in a one bedroom on the 21st floor and again in June in a two bedroom on the 15th floor. Both bookings were made with Blue Sun Properties and each unit was uniquely and beautifully decorated and well maintained. The property itself is gorgeous. It lies nestled between bustling Front Beach Road and sugar white sands of the Emerald Coast. Within walking distance of the property is Pier Park, which is ideal for shopping, dining and night life. Also within walking distance are smaller locally owned shops, restaurants, amusements as well are the City Pier. This location is ideal if you want to minimize driving along the busy strip as there is quick access via side street to Back Beach Road.

The property offers covered parking on the opposite side of Front Beach Road and boasts a skywalk to avoid negotiating traffic. Be forewarned that luggage carts are scarce during common check-in and check-out times. It is recommended that grocery runs and large unpacking be avoided at these times. There are two elevator banks that offer fairly expeditious routes to the floor of your choosing. The common areas could have used a bit more attention during our June 2013 visit as there was some grime and garbage scattered about; however, the overall structure remained impeccable. The passcode protected common areas include two beautifully maintained pools, one of which is an indoor/outdoor. There is also a hot tub and public gas grills available. The landscaping and general décor is impressive. Beach chairs are available for rent just behind Aqua. Also available are various watersport rentals.

Each privately owned unit offered amble conveniences that allowed for home cooking, laundry and general relaxation both within the unit and just outside on the beach and strip facing balconies.

Despite the luster of the property, the main attraction is the breathtaking white sand and emerald waters of the Gulf Coast. The beach itself is well manicured by the property and the natural scenery is unforgettable. On many occasions we could spot sting ray and dolphin swimming along the shoreline in the early morning. The water was pristine during both of our 2013 visits.

I highly recommend Aqua for a stay in Panama City Beach is convenience, luxury, ambiance and scenery are desired. This is a perfect stay for both couples enjoying a romantic getaway as well as families looking to make some lasting memories.

Room Tip: The corner units ending in "11" offer a wraparound balcony facing the Beach and Western di...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Platinumkat7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2014

This year will be our forth year in a row staying at Aqua. We have stayed in units 510 and 1010. The views are absolutely breathtaking! The kids really like cooling off in the indoor/outdoor pool. They think it's neat to have the pools connected. The hot tub is very relaxing. We always get a condo with beach service that provides padded chairs w/ umbrella.

The condos we've rented through Aqua management are always clean and decorated perfectly. The pictures and virtual tour on Aqua's website are exactly what you will see in your condo. Tried going the VRBO route this year but decided I liked dealing straight through Aqua Management there on site. I spoke with Debbie this year and Pat in the past . They were both so friendly that you feel like you are talking to an old friend. A truly enjoyable experience! They seem like they really look out for your particular needs. I know if I ever have a problem, they will do everything they can to fix it.

We have referred three other families from TN to Aqua. They all enjoyed with no complaints what-so-ever. In fact, two of the families are coming back for a 2nd time.

I look forward to my upcoming trip to Aqua! It's too cold in TN!

Room Tip: Use the virtual tour and photos, rooms are exactly like what you see in your unit. Beach chair serv...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Shelly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AquaPCBResort, Manager at Aqua, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2014

We are so happy you will be returning a 4th time to Aqua. It is always so nice to receive positive comments about our onsite staff and units. Hope to see you soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aqua

Address: 15625 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2580
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Panama City Beach
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 83 Speciality Lodging in Panama City Beach
Price Range: £147 - £437 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aqua 3.5*
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From a stunning sense of arrival to an array of luxurious amenities to our perfect location within walking distance of fabulous shopping and dining at Pier Park, Aqua sets new standards for the perfect beach vacation. Stunning 1, 2 & 3 bedroom condominiums all with sweeping Gulf views, water gardens, pools and whirlpool spa. Aqua; The color of luxury. The color of Fun. The most colorful vacations begin at Aqua. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aqua Panama City Beach, Florida
Aqua Hotel Panama City Beach

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