Destin West Vacations3.0 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
I typically never leave bad reviews, in fact I think this is my first one. I understand things happen, but this experience, over a few weeks ago, still sits raw for my family and I. The day after we arrived, we started to smell electrical "burn" and when we opened the washer/dryer door, we saw sparks and smoke burst out. We immediately exited the condo and called the condo management company. They sent a repair man, who examined the unit and found water in the top dryer. His first question to me was to ask me if my kids - 8 and 13 - had poured water into the dryer unit. I was not impressed with this, but told them we hadn't even run the unit since we had been there the day before. He then turned off the breaker and wanted to let the unit air out before looking at it again, we left for the pool to keep the kids minds off the experience, but when I came back an hour later, the unit was still smoking. A different maintenance man came, pulled the unit out, and found water coming in from the dryer vent (see image), and with the smoke getting worse, he turned off all the breakers and we were told to pack our stuff and taken to another downgraded room that was open. I was told the manager would call me with details and to let me know what they were going to do about the room. I never received a call and the next morning went to the front office to see what was happening with our room. I was told they were still looking into it and that the manager would call me to let me know what was going to happen. I asked to speak with her then, but was told she was too busy with calls. We had to move out of the temporary room as well because it was booked - our 3rd move so far. I went back to the office that afternoon and demanded to speak with the manager, who had not called me yet. She told me she expected me to be horrible to her because my wife had gotten upset with her staff the day before. Mind you, I NEVER yelled at her or her staff once. So after that, was I polite, no, not really. I ask you, you have two kids who are freaked out and you've been jerked around for two days with no communication, and basically homeless far from home, how happy would you be? After our back and forth, I asked what was going on with the room. The manager looked confused and told me her staff had been in constant contact with me and she was told we had already moved back into our room. I laughed and let her know the only communication had been me walking to the office to ask what was going on, that we had not moved back into our room and that our luggage was at another guests room. At this, she apologized for "miscommunication" and let me know the room was ready and fine, just no washer and dryer unit. At that point, I wanted nothing else to do with this place and asked for a refund so we could go stay at a hotel, we didn't feel safe at this location. I was told there was no way that would happen. We moved our stuff back to the room for the fourth time and found the washer and dryer unit pulled out. Upon inspection, maintenance had checked fire detectors and actually REMOVED one from my kids bunk bed area and DID NOT REPLACE IT - see the attached image. I was flabbergasted and called the front desk, reporting the issue. Maintenance had removed it because it wasn't working - mind you this was right next to the electrical fire on the washer/dryer unit - and when they sent maintenance back to the room, he had to call the other maintenance guy to find out he removed it because it wasn't working and no replacement was on site. So their solution was leaving a live wire less than a foot from my child's pillow. After this, I finally received a call from the manager, letting me know the smoke detector would be replaced in the am and that the washer and dryer unit wasn't going to be replaced during our stay, then offering us a $400 credit. So, to date, we got the credit, but we've not been given our initial deposit back after multiple requests that are now being ignored. Stay at your own risk!
We tried this place instead of our usual Mid Island location on okaloosa that is Oceanfront. my wife wanted to try something different with the pool and lazy river I suppose. I would have given this place probably at 3.5 she would have given it a 5 so overall I'm going to give it a four out of five. But beach access and over crowding of their "private beach " would get a 1.The unit itself is fine it's classified as a one-bedroom but it has a small side room with a bathroom and they put a bunk in this side room Unfortunately they put the top bunk too high that my 22 yo daughter could not easily get on and off so she ended up sleeping on the couch they need to lower it so the person getting on the top bunk will not hit their head. The "resort " has a lazy river several different pools hot tubs palm trees you do look on to the Bay it's a horseshoe-shaped set of buildings and we were in the bend of the horseshoe so we didn't get much Breeze because the buildings probably blocked it as well as there was not much Breeze off the bay..not like off the ocean but the ocean is across the Highway actually. They have a large catwalk that goes across the highway which is nice but it's a little cumbersome having to do this 2-3 times a day for me anyway. So the routine was we are on the 6th floor so you take an elevator from the 6 floor down to the ground floor then you walk over to the building that has the catwalk you take the elevator up to the third level you get off you walk across the catwalk you get on an elevator to take you down to the ground floor then you walk around and finally get to the boardwalk down onto the beach and there you're greeted with a scene that looks like off of Jaws on a holiday weekend there's blue umbrellas 3 deep!!..tents, shelters,music blaring, everything from Baby Got Back to Luke Bryan occasional whiff of cigarettes..the problem is the density of West Destin is too much for the small strip of private beach they own. It would have been a disaster if I had to sit even one row back little alone 3 rows back of seeing people's backs and you're literally close enough you reach out with your hand you can touch the chair next to you and you may get next to someone that smokes or that's playing the radio it's not something that I would find relaxing at all . We did it Sunday and I told my wife this is going to be a disaster if this is like that all week but I started exploring and walking. beach rental is $35 a day for one umbrella and two chairs. And there's a line about 10 to 15 people that starts forming around 8:30 because the service opens at 9. I'm a Florida native so I have my own beach buggy two umbrellas and chairs so I made a left and you walk through another supposedly private beach ..green umbrellas..single row..until you get to a section that's next to John Beasley Park.. I counted the steps from the boardwalk to my destination it was about 200 yards I did this whole scenario everyday I would go down in the morning I'll come back up at lunch stay out of the Sun for a few hrs then go back down in the afternoon. Typically I'm used to an oceanfront condo were when I'm sitting on my balcony I'm looking at the ocean and I have a relatively shorter and quicker walk to the beach.. but I would not even stay at the West Destin oceanfront condos... just because of the terrible beach access. I think this property is better suited if you have small kids ages 4 through 13 that maybe would enjoy the pool or the lazy Rivers but it's not really for my demographics I have two kids in college but they seem to like the lazy river and pool some days..but again they're not lugging all the stuff down to the beach like I was. The pool area was a little noisy but not unexpected I told her before we even went what the demographics were going to be like and I was correct smaller kids screaming in the pools and lazy river we were up 6 stories so kind of got used to it.. they don't open the pool till 9 a.m. and they do close at around 9 or 10 p.m. the resort at night looks pretty with a different lights as you have seen on photos all the employees were nice the grounds were kept up nicely .a little hint You need to bring extra garbage bags they only give you one same with toilet paper. I was hoping for $2,000.. extras would be provided ..The unit we were in had a keyless lock which was nice so we didn't have to worry about keeping up with the key. They also did have a garage full of carts and chairs and umbrellas but they were nowhere near as good as mine so we didn't use them but again the beach is so packed and crowded it's almost useless you would need to find a new stretch of Beach either to the left or the right of Destin West Beach but the problem is other condos have private beaches on either side of them so you have to walk past those as well. So for us it was a different experience but unfortunately we will not be going back for the reasons I stated above.. I think if your not wanting to have a view of the ocean every day and had small kids I think it would be better suited for you. The first two pictures are the reality in July and August at least of the absolute packed Destin West Beach private Beach property.. the green umbrellas are the condo next to it so you can't use those umbrellas or stay their they will kick you out and the other pictures are when I walked and through all the private property beaches to John Beasley's National Park where I had finally some more open space and a true relaxing Beach experience that I'm used to
My family and I stayed on the bay side. The bay side has the huge lazy river, four pools, and two hot tubs. Be warned the hot tubs are extremely hot. The beach side has two pools. There is a sky bridge to go back and forth across. The resort is quite and very clean. We stayed in a penthouse with a roof top balcony which was great. The kitchen could have been better stocked but all in all it was good.
We rented the Huron 303 condo for the third time and again we found it to be wonderful accomadations for our family. The grandkids love the location and amenities of this facility. As for the adults we enjoy the sense of seclusion but availabilty of fine restaurants and activities for all. The condo is on the bay side and in a corner location, plenty of outside balcony and great view of the bay. This condo is well managed and updated on a regular basis. We will return I am sure!
We stayed in Heron 407 which is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo on the bay side of the property. Our condo was clean, nicely decorated and the beds were very comfortable. The AC worked really well which is great for those humid days in Florida. The lazy river was awesome. We never had an issue getting tubes to float in. I do recommend for those that struggle getting in the tubes to stop by walmart and get a floating chair (it costs $5.88) and is much more comfortable. This is not a high quality float but is perfect for the lazy river during vacation. We left our floats behind for the next guests to use since we flew and didn't want to pack them. It definitely is a haul to walk to the beach from the bay side. So if you have little kids I would suggest taking your vehicle and driving over to the public beach access area (very close by). Skip the area by the gulfside resort because its just full of umbrellas set up to rent to you and you have to walk really far to find an open space to set up. This is probably only an issue during peak season. My kids are older so the walk was not an issue for them plus our condo provided us with a nice beach cart, chairs and umbrella to use at the beach. I have to say that the resort was kept up nicely. Crews cleaned the pools in the morning and set up/wiped off tables along with straightening up the loungers. All the staff was pleasant and friendly. Even the guests were all very nice. We didn't have any major issues during our stay at the resort. We visited on Jul 6-13 and I would come back again. Oh and my kids did like the grotto pool at The Island hotel which is next door to the gulfside. It was kinda tricky to get there because some of the access gates on the gulfside were chained up. We figured it out but had to maneuver around a bit.
This was a wonderful place to stay. Our condo was perfect! It was clean, updated and beautiful. Destin West Beach and Bay Resort had many pools, great views, close to many activities and a relaxing lazy river. We are very happy we chose this condo, Sandpiper ph-08, and booked our vacation through Coastal Vibe Vacations.
We were in the pelican bld #404. It was a very nice condo with a king bed, bunk beds and a fold out sofa bed. Very clean, no issues at all. The amenities are great, the lazy river is nice, never had an issue with finding a tube or chair. There are multiple pools between both sides. Our email from our owner said there was a shared splash pad between the hotel beside us but later learned it no longer existed after trying to find it. The walk to the beach is a haul but our condo had a buggie and all the beach necessities including chairs, umbrella and and even toys. When you get to the beach, there are a million beach chairs and umbrellas set up to rent. That was a little annoying but we found a good spot to be able to see the kids. The bayside is very nice for site-seeing and the dock is very nice for a walk. The only suggestion I have would be to have a place to rinse off on the bayside when returning to the beach. We rinsed everything off at the beach but by the time we got over to the bay side, our buggie had sand on it again. We did not want to put it back in the closet with sand all over it. There are showers by the lazy river but no way to get the buggie down the the steps. That is a minimal issue compared to the fun we had. No issues with parking. Always plenty of spots. We will def go back.
We stayed on the Destin West Bayside for the week of July 7-13. We have been coming for many years and continue to come back as we like to have access to both the lazy river, beach, two other large pools, and beach access. Pros: pool options, beach access without having to drive (walk-over bridge), units are roomy enough for a family to spread out; on site staff could be seen every day cleaning grounds, closer to Ft Walton Beach and Mary Esther which are smaller and quieter (don't have to drive into Destin to shop and eat), if you are staying on an upper floor the pool noise is muted Cons: If you have small children or any mobility issues, the beach access is a long walk if you are staying bayside, some units are aging and need updating, some parts of the property need updating, if you are staying on a lower level the pool noise may be loud
This was our second time staying in a condo here. Since we had our children and grandchildren, we stayed in a two bedroom/2 bathroom condo facing the gulf- room 301. Very nice condo. Enough space for all 8 of us. It was clean and ready when we got there. I love all the extra amenities you get when you stay here including private beach access for the condo complex and all the pools to choose from. I do have to commend the rental management. When we arrived, our glass stove top was shattered. Here we were with $200 worth of groceries and no way to cook. Though it was never fixed while we were there, they did go out and buy a griddle for us to use. During the week, maintenance came and removed the glass top, but unplugged the range so we couldn’t even use the oven. I understood why that would be necessary, but made me have to bring $25 worth of cinnamon rolls home on a cooler and hope they didn’t get warm on our 14 hour drive Bottom line is, they did the best they could with an unfortunate situation, and when you are at other people’s mercy, that’s all anyone can ask. It didn’t ruin our stay or vacation. We still had a fabulous time and hope to come back again. The only thing I wish is that they rewarded their loyal customers with some kind of discount for booking again. Maybe someday. One plus, we didn’t have to pay a dime to watch the dolphins swim and play. We sat on our balcony and watched! Yes
My family and I just returned from a week at Destin West at the end of June 2019. We stayed in Heron 304 on the bayside. The condo was pleasantly decorated, well-furnished and clean. Everything in the kitchen was spotless, the furniture was in good shape, and the linens were clean except for a little coffee stain on one of the bed skirts that was easy to miss. The large patio with the view of the bay and the pool area was just as good as what you see in photos and it was very nice to sit out there with a morning coffee or an evening drink. You could hear some noise from the pool area until things settled down later in the evening (the pool closes at 11 PM), but it seemed quieter in our unit because we were as far as possible from the pool area. Speaking of the pool area, there are multiple pools of various sizes and aesthetics, as well as a lazy river. It was somewhat crowded at the pool, but we never had a problem finding 2 or 3 chairs together and never felt cramped. The crowds in the lazy river ebbed and flowed all day and night as kids and families went in and out, so at times it was hard to find an inner tube to use. I would highly recommend taking floats for kids so they always have one of the right size available to them when they want to go in the river. The pool area had several restrooms and two hot tubs as well – one designated for adults only and one for family use. There was a pool attendant going around periodically checking wrist bands and making people take their drinks out of the water (they are supposed to be back 4 feet from the pool). I will also give kudos to Julie and her team at Destin West Condos. From the moment we requested information and even after we checked in, they were proactive in answering questions and providing all necessary information. Julie stopped by to check in on us personally and I saw her on the property constantly throughout our stay, always either on her phone or busy overseeing maintenance and assisting guests. It’s obvious that she takes great pride in the condos she manages and cares about her guests’ experience. Additionally, the parking situation was easy – there was always a parking spot a short distance from our room. There seem to be questions about taking the bridge and how convenient it is to get from one side to the other. From Heron 304 we had to take an elevator from our condo down to the ground, walk the length of the bayside property to a different building, take an elevator from there up to the bridge level, walk across the bridge over the four lane highway to the other side, take an elevator down to the ground again on the other side, and then walk across the length of the gulfside property to the beach. With two little kids and all the beach gear in tow, this was not ideal. Our kids kept losing their flip flops and meandering close to the parking lot, so we stopped a lot and had our guard up the whole time. It took us longer than we would have desired. Unfortunately, we had no idea what we were in for when we reached the beach. Upon arrival, our condo contained a letter from the management company explaining that the gulfside had enacted a new rule the prior week banning any beach equipment with the names or phone numbers of rental companies from being taken onto the beach. They were in the process of modifying the signs and labels on all their carts, chairs and umbrellas with tape to comply with the new rule. There were signs on the gulfside coming off the bridge also highlighting this rule. However, we were told the equipment was in compliance and to call if we had any issues. On our first full day, we took the cart, chairs and umbrella provided by the management company over to the beach on the gulfside. I was getting wary of all this drama about the signs, so I decided to avoid any trouble, I would simply cover the sign on our cart with a towel that I was truly willing to leave there the entire time we were on the beach. When we finally reached the beach access, we were greeted by Shirley, the general manager for the gulfside property. She was initially pleasant when checking our wrist bands, but her demeanor changed when she said, “I just need to check something on your cart.” She lifted the towel, shook her head, and said, “I’m sorry, but this cart is not allowed on the beach with this sign on it.” I said I had covered it with the towel and was willing to leave it covered if it was a problem, even though we were assured by the management company that the sign was in compliance with the rule. She said it didn’t matter because there was a rental company name on it and that the towel would not stay covering the sign once we were on the beach anyway. She told us we had to take everything back to our condo or we would not be allowed on the beach. That’s right – that whole inconvenient trip I detailed had to be repeated back across and then back again with two little ones! This was getting ludicrous, so as instructed in our letter, we told Shirley we were calling Julie for assistance. Immediately, Shirley said, “Well, wait, let me look at it again. Oh, okay, never mind; it’s actually fine. I didn’t notice how it was worded.” We were amazed and said, “Oh, because we’re calling her now all of a sudden it’s perfectly fine?” When we told Shirley that Julie was on her way, she smugly replied, “I’m sure she is.” The entire time, Shirley had a condescending tone and displayed a complete lack of empathy for our situation. We were an unsuspecting family with two little kids caught in the middle of some petty, arbitrary, ambiguous and hastily enacted rule change on day one of our beach vacation. Nonetheless, with Shirley’s permission, we went onto the beach and looked for a place to set up. We hadn’t even found a spot yet when Jared, the self-identified “manager of the beach”, started the same hassle again about the cart. He also took an adversarial tone under the passive aggressive guise of doing us a favor by making sure we weren’t evicted from the beach just after we had set up! I told him we had already talked to Shirley and if he had a problem he should talk to her. He called her. We didn’t hear the conversation, but he left without a word. We finally set up near the shoreline, but by now, one of our sons was crying. We asked him what was wrong and he said he was upset because his mom and dad kept getting in trouble. He didn’t want to come to the beach anymore and he wanted to go home. That’s right, folks. A difficult two day car trip from the Midwest down to Florida, and on the first morning our kid was crying and asking to leave because these folks were bullying the family from Ohio over some stupid administrative minutia. We finally got him calmed down after the better part of an hour and started actually having our beach day when a third guy approached and started the hassle yet again. At this point it was unmitigated harassment. I just said sternly, “Go talk to Shirley. I’m not talking to you about this.” He got on his phone and then walked away. We were left alone the rest of the morning, but they were harassing other guests on the beach in the same manner. They were pointing to signs on carts, telling people they couldn’t put up their umbrellas and telling them they couldn’t sit here or sit there and had to move their stuff. Let’s just say that upset would be an understatement to describe how we felt when we got back to our condo. We called the management company and asked what the heck was going on and they explained that the gulfside and the bayside have separate condo owners associations. Julie, who runs Destin West Condos, is actually the president of the bayside association and they are responsible for everything on that side, including those pools and the lazy river. The gulfside association is responsible for the other side and the beach. I don’t know the history of the property or how two associations cropped up, nor how it benefits any of the stakeholders, especially considering that they are now feuding. Julie said they had to comply with the gulfside rules concerning the beach and that they were trying, but they were causing problems about the signs. For some reason, the gulfside association decided to enact a new rule with virtually no notice right in the middle of the high season and didn't even bother to phase it in or in any way consider the impact to guests' experience. Between that and the treatment we received from staff - right up to the general manager - tells you how much they care about guests. We were the first family from the bayside on the beach on Sunday morning when everything took effect, so we were apparently the first ones in the line of fire. That evening, after the kids went to bed, I sat down with my iPad and did what I often do to relax – investigative research on the internet. Apparently, unbeknownst to many of us Midwesterners, conflicts over public and private beach property rights have been going on across the country for some time – especially in Florida. Many beaches in Florida are public beaches. They may prohibit pets and they don’t let you leave your stuff out on the beach overnight, but there are generally few rules and hassles. Even vendors offering beach chair rentals are required to stay back 20 feet from the water and are not allowed to encroach on or move anyone’s belongings if they’ve staked their spot before the vendor sets up. Private beaches are another matter, however. On Okaloosa Island, where the Destin West resort is located, only a handful of beach parcels are actually private, and Destin West and its adjacent properties happen to be among them. The condo owners association can set its rules, though it’s unclear to me whether they can legally evict you from the beach for noncompliance. So what’s going on at the beach at Destin West? Well, the gulfside association is looking out for the interests of the rental company with which they’ve contracted. I believe there may be a conflict of interest there, but I’ll leave it at that. Suffice to say that these rental companies pay handsomely to have exclusive rental rights on private beaches, and in turn, any competition to those rentals is strictly banned. Even though the equipment from the various management companies is not being rented out for a fee, anyone who has access to carts and other items from their condo rental does not need to rent beach chairs or umbrellas, and that cuts into the vendor’s revenue. By construing the signs and phone numbers on the equipment as advertising for competitive rental companies, they are effectively trying to force guests into expensive rentals in order to set up on the beach anywhere worth sitting. They set up multiple rows of chairs specifically to block your view and limit your options unless you’re willing to pay. During the low season when rentals are down and condo owners might actually be on site, this doesn’t happen. But the minute high season rolls around, you’d better believe the squeeze is on. I guess if you're a guest at the Island next door, you are a Sneetch whose belly has stars, and we know those are the best Sneetches on beaches. Staying at Destin West? Those Sneetches have no stars upon thars. And lest you think that by taking a “compliant” set of equipment over to the beach will mitigate your problems, understand that if you don’t rent the chairs, they force you into a small area of crowded sand with no views or any decent proximity to the water. There are signs telling you where you can and can’t set up while you enjoy the atmosphere of your neighbors around you being harassed. I saw people arguing with others who rented chairs about how much space they had for their feet, blocked views and so forth. This just further invoked conflict from the beach harassment team. We’d had enough and decided we were salvaging our beach trip with a workaround. Instead of dealing with the attitudes, crowds and conflicts on the private beach, each morning we awoke at 8 AM, packed our cart right into the back of our minivan on our rubber mat, and we drove one minute (that’s right – you wait longer to turn right out of the property than you do actually driving) over to the boardwalk across the street. In addition to multiple great restaurants, shops, public restrooms and a public fishing pier, you have access to the public beach. We parked our van right next to the access and walked the short distance to the tide. Being on the other side of all the threatening signs posted at the property lines, it felt like being in West Berlin looking back on the misery of the East. There were a handful of chair rentals set up near the water that no one rented the entire week; they were not obstructive to our view or positioning in any way. We were able to set up right by the water every morning that week and hardly had anyone near us. The lifeguards and deputy sheriffs passed by periodically patrolling on ATV’s, but never said a word to anyone except one guy who had his dog on the beach against the rules. The water was crystal clear out to your waist, the people were happy and pleasant, and it was actually faster and easier to load up our van right by our room and drive over than it was to trek over the highway and through the parking lots via the aforementioned bridge route. I observed the Destin West beach from where we were at the public beach and there were probably 4 or 5 times the number of people crammed into a much smaller area. I guess no one bothers to walk the beach (the mean high water line from the last 18.6 years is always public, so you can walk freely anywhere it’s wet) and see how serene and totally different things feel just a couple hundred yards away. If you have a vehicle equipped to take your beach stuff over to the public beach, you can skip the pandemonium entirely if you’re willing to make the short drive. In that case, I would recommend considering Destin West. If the answer to either of these conditions is no, and the beach is important to you, I would stay away until gulfside management and policies change, and these changes are manifestly and unambiguously communicated to prospective guests. I sincerely hope that the gulfside association gets its act together and starts to represent the best interests of the guests instead of whatever myopic and ill-advised Kool-Aid the board is chugging. If guests have a great experience, condo owners have reservations, good reviews and repeat business – and they thrive. If guests experience what we did – or are even simply spooked by hearing about it, rentals will decline and owners will eventually demand change. Putting the interests of the rental company over the interest of guest experience is so fundamentally counterintuitive to me that I can’t believe this is even an issue, but it is what it is at present. Community colleges offer introductory courses in business, but you can’t teach common sense. I am truly sad to write this because it doesn’t represent all the amazing things the bayside property and the Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island area have to offer. Julie and her team don’t deserve a negative review either. But the properties and amenities are shared, so I can’t cover my ears and sing “la la la” when telling the truth about our experience. My wife told Shirley, "You know, you guys all share the same Tripadvisor reviews, so this stuff just hurts everybody." Shirley simply replied, "I know." Alrighty then. Here's mine.
- Walking distance to Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
- Free parking
- Beach bar
Destin West Vacations places you within a 5-minute walk of Wayside Park and John Beasley Park. This 140-room, 3-star condo resort welcomes guests with 8 outdoor pools, a beach bar, and free in-room WiFi.
For your convenience, a buffet breakfast is available for a fee. Satisfy your hunger from the comfort of your room with room service.
Each condo is individually decorated and features a kitchenette and a balcony. A TV comes with cable channels, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi. Other standard amenities include a coffee maker and a ceiling fan.
At Destin West Vacations, guests enjoy 8 outdoor pools, a lazy river, and a children's pool. If you plan to drive, free parking is available. Front-desk staff can help with tours or tickets, and provide local restaurant recommendations. Other amenities at this beach condominium resort include a fitness center, 5 spa tubs, and free WiFi in public areas.
Reviews from Trip Advisor
77.0% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 476 reviews