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Ocean Towers Beach Club in Panama City anyone?

malyons

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Has anyone stayed at the Ocean Towers Beach Club in panama city recently who might be able to give me their thoughts on the resort? I looked it up in the reviews section of TUG but the most recent was from 2006 and obviously a lot could have changed since then. II offered it to us as an "alternate" to an ongoing request for that area and I don't know what to do. Our request was for Destin but we don't completely object to Panama City and know Destin may be harder to get into. Also have been offered the Marriott in PC but would prefer to be on the beach. Thanks in advance!
 

tombo

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What do you like doing, what time of year are you going, and how luxrious do you need a room to be to enjoy your vacation? Those answers will determine whether you would be happy here or not.

The resort needed updating 3 years ago and I am not sure that has happened. I had a little problem with the furnishings etc and I am not too picky, but someone who was picky would have a problem with this resort. I can only assume the resort needs updating worse now. It is not Marriott type accomodations but it does have fantastic views from the den and balcony. This resort is in the middle of party central, so if it is during the spring break weeks in zMarch or April, or even summer time, I hope you like to party. You will be a short walk from what is billed as the world's largest night club, Club Lavella. This is where MTV films Panama City spring break and Girls Gone Wild parks there bus. When school is out you can't drive anywhere in this area faster than 5 MPH (with long stops where you don't mve at all) from dark until 2am as teenagers cruise the streets. If you like Mardi Gras, you will like this area of Panama City. If you like quiet and relaxing stay away from the east side and Thomas Drive.

I am older and I do not even go near the east side of PC where the Ocean Towers Beach resort is unless school is in session and the kids are gone. I like the west side of PC and resorts like the new Wyndham (not in II), the new Tropical Breezes ( only a couple of years old), and the Landmark Holiday beach resort (older but well maintained and recently refurbished). All of those are totally ocean front and every room has it's own beachfront balcony. The west side has the new Pier Park shopping complex where there is a Margaritaville and other restaurants, bars and shopping Very few kids here when I was there and a pleasant experience overall.

http://www.pcbeach.org/pierparkdemographics.shtml

Destin has the Holiday beach resort which is older but it is ocean front, Bay club of Sandestin (not on the ocean but it is on the bay), and emerald grand at harbor walk which looks great in pictures but I have never laid eyes on this resort.

If you like quiet, hate drunken kids, hate traffic jams don't stay at the ocean towers, stay at the Landmark or Tropical Breeze. If it is late Apri, May, August, September, or early October( and you aren't too picky about furnishings )the Ocean Towers might work out great for you.
 
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malyons

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thanks for the reply tombo, that is helpful. It'll me my wife and I and our 2 kids, one will be 3 and the other isn't even born yet and will be 5 months old at the time. we plan on going in August so i know it'll be hot but i can't take off of work in september and i can't wait til october! we're doing the disney thing already in 09 so wanted a laid back beach vacation, which it sounds like this resort might provide at that time of year, although there appear to be better options. our ongoing search with II is for the emerald grande which is really the type of resort I think we want, although I'm not too picky about furnishings as long as things appear clean and work properly. I think destin is the ideal spot for us but am still open to panama, so if anybody has any other thoughts i'd appreciate them as well.
 

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The Holiday Beach Resort in Destin is great. There is an older building and a more recently built building on the grounds. It is my understanding that these units are well maintained.

The area that tombo mentioned on the west end of PCB is where all the action is today at PCB - shopping, dining, movies, etc.. The Wyndham is to die for. I want to stay there on day. All-in-all you are not that far away from the Sandestin area when at the west end of PCB.

On thing is certain, you will not find better beaches ANYWHERE than the Destin - PCB strip. Shell Island across from Marriott's Legends Edge has snow white beaches with water so clear I could see my toes in five feet depth.
 

malyons

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just curious - how long does it take to get to Shell Island (or the shuttle to Shell Island) from MLE? is it walkable or do you drive there?
 

tombo

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It is a 20 minute drive or longer as best I can remember. Marriott Legends Edge is located far away from everything but the golf course it is located on. The resort is nice, the location is terrible.
 

tombo

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This week 18 2 bed room 2 bath at Escapes to Tropical Breeze was listed today with a buy it now price of $387. I own a one bed room here and I have promised my wife I will not buy another week anywhere at any price, so even though I want buy it really badly, I will keep my promise to my wife and not purchase this week. I am instead posting this listing for TUG members in case any want it.

http://cgi.ebay.com/FLORIDA-PANHANDLE-WHITE-SAND-BEACH-TIMESHARE-GOLD-CROWN_W0QQitemZ160311175633QQcmdZViewItemQQptZTimeshares?hash=item160311175633&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66:2|65:10|39:1|240:1318

Week 18 is not a great summer week when the kids are out of school (May 2-9, 2009), but it is a nice time of year when it is not too hot and not too crowded. This is a great resort in a great location. I hope this week works for a TUGGER. Let me know if anyone here buys it.
 
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malyons

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interesting, I'm not in the market to buy another, but Escapes is available to me to trade into a 1BR certain weeks that might work for me. Would you consider this a nicer resort than Ocean Towers? I'm only pulling a 1BR for Escapes but could get a 2BR at OTB (although I don't really NEED the extra space with just a 3yr old and an infant)
 

thinze3

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just curious - how long does it take to get to Shell Island (or the shuttle to Shell Island) from MLE? is it walkable or do you drive there?
It is a five minute drive to get on a "tour" shuttle boat. The adjacent Marriott hotel has a direct shuttle boat. Marriott Legends Edge is a golf resort on the Bay with a full service spa within the Marriott complex. The views looking over the pool and golf course are great. We love watching the boats head out of the bay each morning and returning in the evening.

MLE is not a beach resort! Saying the location is terrible based on its distance from the beach is like saying Manor Club's location is terrible because it's not on the beach. :shrug:
 

tombo

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interesting, I'm not in the market to buy another, but Escapes is available to me to trade into a 1BR certain weeks that might work for me. Would you consider this a nicer resort than Ocean Towers? I'm only pulling a 1BR for Escapes but could get a 2BR at OTB (although I don't really NEED the extra space with just a 3yr old and an infant)
Ocean Beach Towers did not qualify for a rating of any kind in RCI.Ocean Beach Towers would be one of my least favorite places to stay in PC, and not in the same class as Tropical Breeze.

Escapes to Tropical Breeze is Gold Crown with RCI and has received the top rating with II too. This resort was built from the ground up 3 years ago, so it is basically a brand new resort. Look at the pictures on this ad and you will get an idea. I like this resort better than the new Wyndham ( however both are very nice) because it is only 4 stories tall so the beach in front of the resort and pool aren't crowded.
 
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tombo

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It is a five minute drive to get on a "tour" shuttle boat. The adjacent Marriott hotel has a direct shuttle boat. Marriott Legends Edge is a golf resort on the Bay with a full service spa within the Marriott complex. The views looking over the pool and golf course are great. We love watching the boats head out of the bay each morning and returning in the evening.

MLE is not a beach resort! Saying the location is terrible based on its distance from the beach is like saying Manor Club's location is terrible because it's not on the beach. :shrug:
For some people the ideal vacation is at a resort located directly on a golf course. I on the other hand prefer to go to the beach and stay directly on the beach, not a short drive from the beach. That is simply my personal preference. I almost never stay at any beach location (including Hawaii and the Caribbean) that I don't have a view of the ocean from my room. I love watching Dolphins and sting rays swim in the Gulf from my balcony every morning as I eat breakfast and each evening as I have a cocktail watching the sunset. The sound of the waves is great therapy and relaxes me for hours at night as I sit on the balcony. Sometimes I fall asleep in the chair and wake up later and go to bed. Many times I sleep with the sliding glass doors open to listen to the waves all night.

I also like being able to take stuff to the beach and leave it. I take a pop up tent down to the beach the first day and leave it there until I pack to go home (I do take the top off at night and when storms blow up). I leave my chairs, cooler, toys, and towels on the beach all day every day. When an afternoon shower blows in I walk to the elevator, go up to my room, and watch the rain fall on the beach and ocean from my balcony. After the rain ends I go back down to the beach. I don't want to have to load up in the car, leave my parking space, drive back to my room, see the sun come out, load everything back up and go looking for another parking spot so I can lug everything back down to the beach. I don't want to have to get in the car and leave to eat lunch. I simply want to go to the room, eat, and then return to the beach without lugging anything but me up to the room and back. When I wake up in the morning Idon't want to have to drive to the beach so I can do my early morning walk looking for shells. If I get hot or tired I want to be able to get to my room, take a nap, or just cool off while watching TV without having to load everything and everyone up in the car to go with me. If a family member doesn't want to be on the beach any longer they don't take the car stranding the rest of us, they simply go up to the room. I have parked my car for days at a time without ever even cranking the motor when I am at the beach on vacation.

My best friend owns at Legends and came over to the Landmark Holiday Beach resort for drinks while we watched the sunset from the balcony. After visiting me in Landmark Holiday beach resort he bought a week at Landmark which he now stays in every year. He now trades his Legends Edge for other locations almost every year, and he is a serious golfer. His quote while we sat on the balcony was " Why do I drive all the way to the beach to vacation near the beach?" To each his own, but for me if my choice is Manor Club NEAR the ocean or a less plush resort RIGHT ON THE BEACH, I will choose RIGHT ON THE BEACH every time. I have roomy accomodations with plush furniture at home, but I don't have beach front access with a view of the gulf from my deck.
 
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maddaug

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My 2 cents. We always went to PCB when the girls were young. We could drive there and loved the beaches. Fast forward a some years. Just went last summer and WOW how PCB has changed. We didn't even recognize it. Pier Park has really got it going. The best thing for the city. Lots to do and nothing to do if you like. We had a blast. We would go up there every night and have dinner, do a little shopping and people watch. I can't wait to go back.
I wish I would have not looked at that Ebay listing. That is a tempting.
 

tombo

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Someone bought the Panama City Beach Tropical Breeze week I posted for the buy it now price. I hope it was a tugger and I hope you enjoy. This is a great location and a great resort. I kept watching this auction myself because I was so tempted to buy it, but I resisted because I prefer to sleep in the house over moving to the dog house during these cold winter nights. PM me if you got it and don't want to list that fact on the thread.
 
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malyons

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i wish i could have, but am maxed out for another 30 years or so until i retire :D , i did add it to my request list with II along with the landmark holiday in PC and the holiday in destin. based upon suggestions in this thread i think any one of those resorts will provide the type of vacation we are looking for. thanks for all the ideas!
 
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