Why Panama City Beach Condos are Preferable to Hotels
You’ve decided your family vacation this year is going to be a trip to the sugar white sands and emerald green waters of Panama City Beach, Florida. Your family is on board with the idea and you’re already thinking about what to pack. Now, you have to decide where to stay. Hopefully, this comparison will help you decide between renting a privately owned Panama City Beach condo, or a hotel room.
Factors you should consider when choosing between condos and hotels include location, size, amenities, suitability and price.
Location tops the list of considerations for most travelers. Many condos and hotels share equal billing on the beach. Many hotels offer beach front lodging right alongside their condo counterparts.
Panama City Beach is divided into three areas: East End, West End, and Central. The East End is the older, more established end of the beach and is the closest to St. Andrews State Park and includes Thomas Drive. The West End has some of the newer complexes and is closest to Frank Brown Park and Pier Park—the new shopping, dining, entertainment area of Panama City Beach; as a result, the West End is the most sought after area of the beach. Central is close to Wal-Mart, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Dirty Dick’s, and it provides you with quick access to Middle Beach Road. It’s important to choose an area of the beach where you plan to do most of your off-beach activities.
Size does matter when it comes to your comfort and how well you enjoy your vacation. A family of two may be quite comfortable in a hotel room with just a kitchenette and no divider between living and sleeping areas. However, a slightly larger family may find it crowded and lacking privacy. A beach front condominium offers more space, full kitchens outfitted to prepare meals, separate sleeping quarters, and room to stretch out. Most condominiums offer second bathrooms with showers – making it quicker for everyone to get ready to go out on the town after the sun sets.
Amenities include numerous things like heated pools, hot tubs, covered parking, fitness centers, sauna, a pool side snack bar and kids’ activities. Make sure to ask about the amenities that interest you and your family. It could mean the difference between whether you’re excited or disappointed about your accommodations.
Hotels often do not offer secure parking while many beach front condominiums offer covered, secure parking. Hotels may offer daily maid service, but condominiums offer a washer and dryer in the condo that allow you to keep up with your family’s laundry so you’re not packing a bunch of dirty laundry to take home after your vacation. Who wants to face a pile of dirty clothes after they get back from a great beach vacation?
Suitability is determining if the location and general atmosphere of your accommodations is right for you. Have you ever stayed in a hotel and listened to people running up and down the halls all night? It doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep.
Condominiums offer a more serene atmosphere that gives you a better night’s sleep. Some complexes have more of a relaxed party reputation than others and may not be suitable for families traveling with small children. Some cater to Christian groups and may not be the place for late night parties. Make sure to ask your rental group if the area in question is suitable for your family.
Last but not least is PRICE. How much you are willing to spend on your vacation will have a big impact on your overall experience. You could find a cheap hotel away from the beach without any kitchen or refrigerator and save some serious cash, or will you?
Keep in mind that with no kitchen, you will have to eat every meal out. What you save in renting a hotel room may be trumped with what you have to spend eating three meals a day out in the middle of a tourist destination. For a little more money, you could get a larger space for the whole family with a full kitchen where you can prepare meals for your entire group. Eating in is a great way to stretch your vacation budget.
Ready for your condo?
In summary, a condominium offers more space, privacy, security, convenience, and may very well be more budget friendly than you initially thought.
I hope you find this comparison helpful as you try to decide between a hotel room and a condominium. Call (850) 249-3992 to learn more about what makes our Panama City Beach condos better than hotel rooms.