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WaterColor Inn & Resort

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

This is a great place to visit but we are consistently reminded of a lack of investment into the staff's training (especially in the Gathering Spot) as well as tired amenities and room décor. We've never taken the time to write a review before, and hate that the first time doing so is to write a negative one. To be clear, we will come back to this hotel...its just too good of a location and the kids love the area. However, we are very disappointed by (a) the level of service in general and (b) the state of the rooms (the towels are stained, as well as the robes and one of them was frayed and nearly falling apart). This place used to be a gem!! The staff is our biggest complaint. One of the bartenders in the Gathering Spot was extremely rude, going about her business, ignoring us as we waited for her to attend, then forgetting our order twice. Not what you expect from a $600/night+ establishment!

We are so disappointed with the Watercolor Inn! We booked our 4 night stay more than 4 months before our stay, and even booked our beach chair rentals in advance. Our kids were so excited! Less than 48 hours before check in, with the car packed, we received a call from the hotel saying they were unable to accommodate us because the ac on the floor where our room was broken. They offered us a room at another property in another town that is a good distance from the beach. We had originally booked this hotel because it’s right on the beach, with a pool & restaurant, so we declined. They made no further effort to make things right such as offering us a discounted stay at another time. Thankfully, after a panicked day of scrambling to find another place, another local company was able to accommodate us. So we’ll still get on the road tomorrow to take our kids on the beach trip that we’ve planned for months.

The room was very functional for a family of 4 - the only blemish was that, when turned into bed, the couch was comfortable only for the kids. It was a relief to not experience nickel-and-diming as coffee/sodas/pop-corn/ice creams were readily available and included in the hotel fee, and so were bicycles, access to other resort areas, etc. The staff was impeccable - from the front desk, to the servers, to the cleaning crews - 5+ stars. The food at the restaurants was tasty and of good quality. Only problem was the sea as, due to the often rainy weather during our stay, there was a lot of algae afterwards. Overall, this is not a cheap option for a hotel but we left feeling that it was worth it. Definitely recommend.

Huge Cons: Beach Chairs: Beach chairs are right next to a stranger, cost is $150 for 4 PER DAY, can’t get one until 9:00 every morning. Currently standing in line for 45 minutes to get them, on the back row where there are two rows that block your view! ( you can book way in advance so do this when you make your reservation!) Crowds: Don’t come in high season! It is way too crowded Trash: There was trash on the beach, I’m sure due to the mass of people Towels: One per person. You may not get one for each in your party, everyone must have their own wristband before they will hand you one, very inconvenient (Just pack your own) Not relaxing! You can go further down the beach with your beach chairs and umbrella but it would be super inconvenient. Or you could drive and park at the public parking at Grayton Beach for a less crowded beach. But then why stay at Watercolor Inn? Pros: So Pretty Very Nice people/visitors Good restaurants in Seaside and Grayton Beach (did not try FOOW) Beautiful bike/walking paths Extremely kid friendly! We did not stay in the Watetcolor Inn but stayed in one of their cottages and (booked through Dune Vacations) It was $700 a night for our party of three. It was nice. I think there may be better options across the street to rent a home. We couldn’t even see the ocean from our cottage so it would not have made a difference to be across the street. There’s another rental agency called 360 Blue that might have good options. I can’t speak to the actual hotel rooms or hotel amenities. It looked nice. I believe they use an independent company that does the towels and beach chairs but don’t know that for sure.

This was our first time visit to this area as we always stay in Alabama when coming to the ocean. I am writing this review as we are driving away so everything is fresh on my mind. I struggled with how many stars to give the Inn and here’s why... The Inn is absolutely wonderful! From the moment we walked in until the time we left, we were 100% happy with our stay. The staff was always so friendly, attentive and so accommodating. We stayed on the 4th floor and had a great view. The room was nice and the bed was over the top comfy! According to my girls, the sofa bed wasn’t bad either. The snack room was an awesome bonus as were the cookies left for us every evening. They even brought us champagne and Shirley temples to our room one night as a gift. The restaurants were conveniently located and the food was good. We loved having access to their bikes and being able to ride around the area. We also utilized their fitness gym which was great! We were literally treated like first class guests while at the Inn. Here’s my struggle with rating the Inn. While the Inn was everything we could hope for, the beach was not. We would tote all out beach chairs (4), umbrella, cooler, toys, towels, etc to a spot on the beach. Unless you pay approximately $70 for two of the Inn’s chairs, you do not have access to front row ocean side. We were asked to move two different days so they could move paying guest and their chairs to our spot. The Inn sets up their chairs every morning but obviously reserve the right to move them as they please even if you’re already set up with your family. We questioned as to why we had to move and we were told because it’s Watercolor’s Property and they had the right to tell us to move so that they could move their chairs there. We told them we were paying guests at the Inn to which they responded it didn’t matter. So in other words, had we paid the extra $70 times 2 ($140 per day) then we could sit way in the back as they had at least two rows of their seats. There was a state park beach beside Watercolor’s Property line which was an option but unless you set up your spot at 6:00 in the morning you couldn’t get a good spot. Seems like the almighty dollar won out in this scenero. While we absolutely loved the Inn, we obviously came for the beach. To be treated as second class guests on the beach after paying what we did to come here was unacceptable in our eyes and definitely a deciding factor in whether we return to the Inn for our next beach vacation.

My husband and I stayed here with our 2 year old son for 4 nights. I cannot say enough about the kind staff. The service was second to none. As most families know, traveling with young children can be difficult. The service and amenities at Watercolor Inn make traveling with a young child as easy, relaxing, and fun as it can possibly be. Everyone from the housekeeping staff, to valet, to front desk service coordinators, to the managers were top-notch. We took advantage of all that Watercolor Inn had to offer and it did not disappoint. We had the pleasure of getting to know many of the staff, and by the end of the stay most of them all knew our son's name. He even lost a toy car in the library while we were looking at movies to rent, and Christina, one of the fantastic managers, recognized the toy and brought it to our room. Not only was the staff incredible, but the room was beautiful, clean, and provided everything we needed for our short stay. We had a stunning view of the gulf with a fantastic wrap-around balcony. We enjoyed the Popsicles provided in the "Treat Room" at the end of a long day at the pool. The location of Watercolor Inn is perfect if you want to walk or bike during your stay. We only got in the car twice the entire trip. We walked to most of our meals either in Watercolor or Seaside and took advantage of the hotel shuttle service (which was always timely) to go to Camp Watercolor. I have no doubt we will be returning to Watercolor Inn again!

Great location. Clean, white sandy beaches. Clear water. A great resort. Room was large and built with the beach in mind. We had a very nice view of the beach from our balcony, a nice large shower, plenty of hooks on the walls. Very comfortable, clean, white and was perfect for our stay. Every staff member was helpful and friendly and especially Shiloh at reception and guest services - he helped to make our stay extra special. The food at the Gathering Spot and Fish Out of Water was very good. Really, everything here is top notch. Bikes were fun and the other Watercolor venues nearby were perfect - pools and dock house. An easy walk into Seaside. We were there for a family vacation and took 3 rooms. Everyone wants to come back to the Watercolor Inn. It will be even nicer once the pool and 2 restaurants open up next door. Can't go wrong here unless you dig deep looking for little picky problems. We were there to have a good time and they exceeded our expectations.

This is a great hotel with good food food, service and beach access. We had a great view of the gulf, even from the shower! Fitness center and carpets in the room were the areas that need improving but overall we were impressed. Free snack bar on each floor, and the Camp Watercolor pool was great.

My Wife and our two girls (8 and 11) stayed here for 6 nights in June. Born and raised in Atlanta I have been to 30a numerous times. I have stayed from Panama City to San Destin and everywhere in between (high rises, Condos, private homes on the beach and 2 plus rows back, etc...). We always make our way into Seaside and I always look at the Watercolor Inn and wonder if it made sense for a family of 4. This year I wanted a vacation where I didn’t have to plan a thing.Before I submit my review I will share a few things. We flew into Panama City Airport and rented a car for the week and we stayed in Rome 412 which is the top room in the Inn. The views are insane. The room gets cold. The fans work. The sound machine is perfect and the lemon grass sent is great. Two adults in a king size bed and our girls in a sofa bed. It worked. 4 people in a room. There was a small kitchen with a sink, cabinets, and a college fridge(you know what I’m talking about). Big shower, two bathroom sinks, and a large shower. Yes space is limited but when a team of folks are helping twice a day it works. However on the way to the beach you can grab your complimentary backpack and yeti cooler and towels. For the price of a room per night for 6 nights you could get a 2500 square foot house in Watercolor I think.... but not on the beach. Nor would you have fantastic staff that takes the time to learn your children’s names and provide a clean room every day with an additional turn down service with amazing cookies. I’m not going to get into the additional discounts and services you receive. Just check the website. What I will say is that with all the hustle and bustle of the 30a this place is different. Things slow down and that’s a good thing if you like it. The entire team (Shout out to Michael) at the Watercolor Inn cares about their brand. The Gathering Spot restaurant and the FOOW (both Jessica’s at FOOW) restaurant are great. The beach is a walk outside your room. People will put up tents at 6 am but that’s fine. When the tide drawls back you will have tons of room. Just grab some towels because you won’t be spending the entire day at the beach. There are multiple pools to choose from including the adult pool. Which is just for adults. Respect that! When it raIns and it will you can just walk back to the Inn and grab some food and drink and then play some board games in the study. You don’t have to worry about taking down your tent and your chairs and etc.... when the storm passes in 30 mins you can go back out or finish your game. The Watercolor Inn. The official place for those that just want a bit more and are willing to give up space to have it. Shout out to @regularcars because at 7 am I was at the adult pool with coffee watching their them.

My wife and I love Water Color Inn. We park our car when we arrive and often don’t get back in it until we go home several days later. We can walk or ride our bikes just about anywhere. Plenty of activities and lots of good restaurants. I almost have nothing but good to say about the resort. Only a couple of minor criticisms. We love all of the foreign staff. They are friendly and seem to really enjoy being here. We have encountered a couple of them who spoke such little english, that we could not communicate. Not a big deal though. The biggest complaint we have are the beach chairs. Mediocre quality, not the best design, they are old, and cost a lot. $80 for they day. I wouldn’t mind paying $80 for top quality. As I said, only a couple of minor complaints. We will continue coming back quarterly, but will bring our own beach chairs. Also, read my separate review on Fish Out Of Water.

34 Golden Rod Circle Santa Rosa Beach FL

Hotel highlights

  • Steps from Seaside Beach
  • Free WiFi and wired Internet in rooms and public areas
  • Free valet and self parking
  • Onsite dining

Located in Watercolor, WaterColor Inn & Resort is adjacent to Seaside Beach and within a mile (2 km) of other popular sights like Grayton Beach State Park. This 60-room, 4-star resort welcomes guests with 5 outdoor pools, 3 restaurants, and free in-room WiFi.


Enjoy dining at Fish Out of Water, one of 3 onsite restaurants. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service, or get a quick energy boost at the coffee shop/café. For your convenience, a full breakfast is served for a fee each morning from 8:00 AM to 11 AM.


A flat-screen TV comes with cable channels and a DVD player, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi and wired Internet. Pillowtop beds sport Egyptian cotton sheets and the bathroom offers a hair dryer and free toiletries. Other standard amenities include a furnished balcony, an iPod dock, and a sitting area.

Property features

WaterColor Inn & Resort features 5 outdoor pools, a children's pool, and a health club. Free valet parking is included with your stay. The 24-hour front desk has staff standing by to help with dry cleaning/laundry, luggage storage, and concierge services. Other amenities at this beach resort include outdoor tennis courts, free WiFi in public areas, and coffee/tea in a common area.

Room options

Premium Gulf View Room

King 1 | Sleeps 4


King 1 | Sleeps 4

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

82.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 536 reviews

*Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.