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“Worst visit ever.”
Review of WaterColor Inn

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WaterColor Inn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 May 2014 via mobile

We have visited Watercolor Inn on numerous occasions since it opened and have stayed in condos in Watercolor. This was by far the worst visit we ever had. We were here Saturday thru Monday night. Saturday there was a wedding reception and Sunday night a corporate event both with loud music that went until 10 pm. In the room with doors closed you could still hear the bass. The staff tried to be helpful but could not change the location of our room or do anything about the noise level. The whole attraction of this location has been the small size, location and views. It felt like being in a hotel in South Beach with the thumping bass. I understand the economics of group business. We stay in many fine luxury properties that do quite a bit of group business but it has never marred our experience as leisure travelers. Obviously St. Joe Paper who owns Watercolor Inn and developed Watercolor has made a business decision to favor group business over the leisure traveler. I guess they've sold enough property in Watercolor! We almost bought a place in Watercolor when it first opened back around 2000 but I was concerned about the size of the frontage on the beach relative to the size of the development. My concerns were warranted. If you come in the summer or hi day weekend plan on an episode of the Jersey Shore - 3 rows of beach chairs packed butt to cheek. As beautiful as the beach is between the excessive noise marring your evening trying to listen to the ocean and extreme overcrowding on the beach I say Fuggetabout it. I will never spend a night at the Inn again and instead stay at Seaside or Seagrove Beach where they still cater to families not group business.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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4  Thank Tbrownlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with a candid review of your recent experience with us at The WaterColor Inn & Resort. We strive to provide all of our guests regardless of the source of business with an outstanding vacation and it sounds like although you have experienced that in the past, that this visit was not up to par and we truly apologize. Group business and weddings are definitely growing all along the coast, but we do not value their business any more or less than our leisure travelers and will share your feedback with our operations team to ensure that we strike a better balance between the two desires. Your business is valuable to us and we would hate to lose you as a customer. We hope that you will give us the opportunity to address your concerns and win back your trust during your next 30a beach vacation.

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193 - 199 of 492 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

My husband and I stayed at the inn last weekend for 3 nights. We had a room on the 4th floor and beautiful view of the ocean. The room is very pricey for the quality. The carpet desperately needs to be replaced. We stayed here last year in another room and the carpet was filthy. We complained but the management did not listen to comments. .This place prides itself on its service and amenities which are all great but why don't they spend the money to make it look clean and fresh. The fabrics on the sofas are worn and need cleaning or replacing..

The beach was perfect and the water was beautiful. Close walk to seaside and seagrove or borrow a bike from the hotel. .Great pool for adults only and also a great pool for kids and parents.

I would also like the hotel to get a new chef. Nothing on the menu is great just mediocre. No pancakes, waffles, muffins, or scones...just biscuits and lots of grits. The dinner menu needs an update to. The items are very pricey for what you get

Room Tip: go for the fourth floor
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Veetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know about your experience at The WaterColor Inn & Resort. We truly appreciate your candid feedback and please know that we do hear you and take the feedback into account as we continuously evolve our operations and services. Your business is important to us, so we hope that you will give us another opportunity to exceed your expectations and host your next beach vacation.

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Reviewed 30 April 2014

I have been fortunate to stay here a couple of times a year since The Inn opened. Have noticed many, many changes over the last few years. Tried to withhold judgment hoping management would notice and rectify negatives, but hasn't happened.

We paid nearly $500 a night for our room. Still we were told we couldn't take the "pool towels " to the beach, but would have to walk to another pool and "check out" the towels. And one must walk all the way back there to return them at the end of the day. Below standards of a true luxury hotel.

Beach chairs - the over $500 / night room did nit include them. Reserving them requires dealing with a separate company. The experience was ridiculous. Although we were paying top dollar at the Inn, we couldn't get chairs on the front row. And the chairs we got were packed in lie sardines. One could literally reach out and touch the stranger sitting in the adjacent chair. Also, on several occasions, although we had paid for the chairs for the full day, we were told we had to get up and leave early because weddings were being held nearby on the beach.

Speaking of weddings, we were staying in the largest room overlooking the "quiet" pool -and also a wedding reception which went on for hours. We got to hear the sound of the tools setting up the reception tent all one day and the DJ spinning tunes for the reception for hours the next night. The resort is huge. Why set the reception tent up merely feet away from the Inn? Or, if going to do that require the wedding guests to rent the whole Inn.

And why the plastic bracelets to access the Beach Club pool? One already has to show a room key to access the Beach Club Pool. The bracelets make it all feel tacky.

One final thought -on several nights our turn-down was before 5:30 in the evening. We d often turn in early, but that was early even for us.

Between the extremely crowded beach, the poor service regarding the towels and beach and pool service, the extremely noisy parties and general attitude of management, Watercolor Inn no longer feels like a luxury resort. Customers seeking one should look elsewhere, particularly if willing to pay for a luxury experience.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Traveler111161
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Our goal is to provide an extraordinary vacation for all of our guests and provide the services that create a truly memorable & luxury experience. During certain times of the year there are definitely more guests eager to enjoy WaterColor but we still strive to exceed our guests' expectations and we are always disappointed when we fall short. Your business is important to us so we hope that you will give us another opportunity to provide a luxury WaterColor Vacation at the Inn.

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Reviewed 26 April 2014

While there wasn't anything wrong per se, it just failed to live up to our expectations for a 4 star resort. The resort itself lacks what we consider to be basic features such as an indoor pool on the grounds (all 4 pools were outdoors), and as another reviewer mentioned, getting a daily wristband and checking out towels daily by the pool and returning them there was a bit of a hassle. Staff wasn't unfriendly, but they didn't exude southern hospitality either. The final decision not to return came after we got our final bill, when an additional charge showed up - $50 for beach chair rental. We didn't have the option of first or second tier, they only set up the first tier that day, and we had no idea the charge would be so high. We've stayed at comparable places such as the Hilton in Sandestin (far more family friendly) and LaPlaya in Naples (far better service and more luxurious) and had much more enjoyable trips there, especially for the money.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Becky M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Becky,

First and foremost, please accept our sincere apology that we did not exceed your expectations during your recent visit to the WaterColor Inn & Resort. There is always a fine balance between providing exclusive services for our guests and implementing the procedures necessary to restrict access to those benefits, so we apologize for any inconvenience we hope that you were able to enjoy the amenity.

Florida enjoys a tremendous amount of sunshine each year, so we have not provided an indoor pool for our guests at this time, but we appreciate this candid feedback and will definitely evaluate for the future.

We truly value your business and hope that you and your family will give us another opportunity to exceed your beach vacation expectations at the WaterColor Inn & Resort.

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Reviewed 25 April 2014

Our stay at WaterColor was a combination of business and extended vacation. The setting is great, the beaches are pristine, and to its credit, this resort offers not only beach time, but a "quiet pool" for adults, away from the cacophony of the family pool.
As a business group, we were treated extremely well, and the catering/banquet staff did its very best to be helpful while at the same time discreet (not disturbing meetings). In fact, the entire staff has an excellent attitude and obviously cares about the guests.
Our top-floor room was bright and spacious and the bathroom, with big shower and two sinks, was well designed. High Adirondack chairs on the balcony allow water views.
Food in both the lobby bar and "Fish Out of Water" was good, though pricey.
The library has books to borrow and 400+ DVDs to check out - although 3 of the 4 we borrowed needed to be cleaned before they'd play in the in-room player. Good diversions for a rainy day.
WaterColor is obviously a destination, but there are some elements that are missing, and therein are the puzzlers.
1) Dining choices are limited. There's not a casual dining or family place, either at the resort or in Water Color Village, and breakfast choices were particularly limited.
2)There's not "grab and go" food of any kind...no store offering yogurt, snacks, bottled beverages. That element is sorely lacking.
3) The Inn is four blocks west of downtown Seaside, and very walkable, but the resort does not offer any shuttle service into Seaside itself. With a fleet of Suburbans and "short busses" in the parking lot, you'd think guests would be offered access to the town every 30 minutes or so. But that's not the case. What do elderly or disabled people do? That's another shortcoming..
4) There appears to be an odd relationship between the town (Seaside-where the Jim Carrey movie "The Truman Show" was filmed-and it still looks like a movie set) and the Inn. No good maps or retail listings available at the Inn's front desk, and staffers were reluctant to make restaurant recommendations or ideas on "what to do."
WaterColor has a lot to offer, and it deserves its reputation for "guest care and attention." But its' operating philosophy could stand a review, and necessary updating.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on the third and floor floors, to view the oceans. Lower floors are behind a high san...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Pete836
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Dear Pete -

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide a review of your experience at The WaterColor Inn & Resort. We want you to know that we're listening to your feedback and will be working to implement many of your suggestions.

We appreciate your business and hope that we will be hosting many more of your beach vacations on 30A for many years to come.

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Reviewed 24 April 2014

Beautiful quiet beach for a restful get-away. Great staff, food (many options), and facilities. Spent time watching the ocean from 3rd and 4th floor private balconies (worth the upgrade!), walking quiet beach which adjoins a preserve area, paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing on a peaceful waterway, swimming (both adult-only and general pools are great), and wandering the town areas. Love Watercolor!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Elizabeth V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2014

Elizabeth -

Thank you so much for taking the time to let everyone know about your positive experience with WaterColor Inn & Resort. It looks like you were able to take advantage of many of the amenities that we hope create a truly memorable vacation experience for our guests.

We appreciate your business and hope that we will be able to continue to host your WaterColor Vacation for many years to come. See you soon!

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Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

An amazing family getaway to Watercolors. Family friendly, food friendly, friendly friendly.

Special thanks to Joy for the Beach Chairs and Michael Clauson for the late check out.

Watercolors paints the perfect palette for your family at the beach.

Stayed: April 2014
1  Thank Kevin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watercolorinn, General Manager at WaterColor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide us with this feedback. We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and we hope to be hosting many more beach vacations for you and your family for years to come!

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Additional Information about WaterColor Inn

Address: 34 Goldenrod Circle, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Santa Rosa Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Rosa Beach
Price Range: £279 - £526 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — WaterColor Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WaterColor Inn, nestled on nearly 500 acres of sugar-white sand beach, is surrounded by 1,400 linear feet of beachfront and pine forests alongside Western Lake, the state’s second-largest naturally occurring coastal dune lake. The 60-room Inn offers deluxe accommodations designed by David Rockwell, each overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and donning a pair of Adirondack chairs on the patio (and on the first floor, a private outdoor cabana shower). Perfectly encapsulating the spirit of an intimate beach getaway—while providing the functionality necessary for a family vacation—the freshly redecorated beachfront rooms bring the outdoors in, mere footsteps from the sand. From the soft linens to the spa-inspired toiletries, every well-appointed room offers a relaxing and comfortable seaside oasis. Owned by St. Joe Club & Resorts, this distinctive hotel property affords guests access to a bevy of the private membership club’s amenities. These include private golf and beach club access; complimentary bicycle use; kayak, canoe, pontoon boat, and discounted YOLO board rentals; and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Watercolor Hotel Santa Rosa Beach
Water Color Hotel
WaterColor Inn Florida/Santa Rosa Beach

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