Not within walking distance of downtown attractions and nightlife
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front is a mid-range hotel with 206 guest rooms, all either overlooking the Gulf of Mexico or with a view of the Santa Rosa Sound. While the nightly rate is higher than other area hotels, the beachfront location and family-friendly amenities -- namely the pool and 250-foot lazy river -- are major draws. Guest rooms are simple and modern, with flat-screen TVs and touches of blue and green decor complementing the turquoise Gulf waters. The hotel is a good choice for families planning to spend most of their time on the beach or at the pool, as the attractions and culture of Downtown Pensacola are 20 minutes away.
Family-friendly beach resort with lots of kids' amenities
The hotel draws families to its fun common areas, particularly the indoor and outdoor pools, and video game arcade. Another highlight is the spacious outdoor tiki bar, with a high straw ceiling, TV, plenty of bar stools, and high-top tables under the sun. Guests also gather at Riptides Sports Grill, a casual spot with TVs and a sports bar atmosphere. The lobby lounge is a comfortable place to relax, with earth-tone sofas accented by turquoise armchairs and lime green pillows, plus free coffee and newspapers daily.
Beachfront property, not within walking distance of downtown
The resort sits along a strip of several hotels overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on Pensacola Beach. While guests praise the views and say balcony rooms are worth the splurge, the hotel is about eight miles from the historical sites, shopping, and attractions of downtown Pensacola. Water sports, bicycle rentals, and skydiving are available nearby.
The decor is simple but attractive, with white linens accented by turquoise bed skirts and matching curtains. Each room has a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, and alarm clock radio with iPod docking station. Bathrooms have granite countertops and shower/tub combos. Gulf-front family suites include wooden bunk beds, TVs with video game systems, beanbag chairs, dining tables with four dining chairs, couches, and kitchenettes. All rooms include free Wi-Fi. Some suites overlook the Gulf of Mexico, with private balconies furnished with plastic beach chairs.
Great kid-friendly amenities, beachfront location, and sports grill
This beachfront resort has two pools, including a a small indoor pool with beach views and serene, pale blue walls. The main draw here is the winding outdoor pool, with its waterfall and 250-foot lazy river where kids and adults can float around on inner tubes. There are also two hot tubs on the property. Further upping the resort’s family-friendly vibe are a video game arcade and kids’ suites with bunk beds, bath tubs, and in-room video game systems. Other amenities include a small fitness center with beach views, and coin-operated washer and dryer -- although the detergent vending machine was out of order when we visited. The casual Riptides Sports Grill offers a full menu of sandwiches, seafood, steaks, and the like, although more than a few guests complained of slow service even when the restaurant wasn’t full.
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