Thanks for viewing this listing. I won't insult you with all of the sickening hype about how this unit is 'the best on the beach' etc. I will however, give you some facts about us, our condo and what to look for and look out for when finding a place to rent in Panama City.
We are a happily (most of the time) married Christian couple with 4 children, and soon to be grandparents. We have owned this condo for almost 9 years and try to stay there as often as we can. This is not a business venture, this is our vacation home that we also rent/gift out to our friends,so we keep it clean and homey. We rent it out to the general public to help defer the costs. We realize that you have many reasonably priced units from which to choose and we genuinely hope you find what suits you best.
With the overall low cost and availability these days, I don't see any reason to not stay right on the beach. The basic choice is going to be between old and new units. You may be able to get some cheap rates on the older ones, but realize there is a big drop off in quality vs the new. Even if the older units have been rehabbed, they are still not only smaller, they also have low 8ft ceilings and therefore tend to feel cramped. They also smell moldy. So be careful and check out the age.
New units, built within the last 5-10 years, usually have 9 ft ceilings (this does make a difference) and nice modern kitchens and baths. Some have nicer, larger exercise rooms and pools than others. But proportionally some of the condos have so many units that they can get crowded fast in peak season. Inside, they vary in size usually from 600-1200 sq ft. The parking is plentiful across the street in a garage, but you usually have to walk what could be a long distance if you have groceries or someone who is elderly or toting small children.
The beach size and quality is about the same anywhere, but again a bigger building has lots more people on the beach. Watch what floor you are on. The first 3-4 floors can be too close to the pools or beach and can be noisy and less private. Above the 12th floor starts to get a little scary for some. If the building is curved it allows people to see into each others balconies and rooms- it's better if it is flat to the beach side.
Ok now the sell. I'll give you the straight scoop though, not the fake hype. What's so special about our condo? In a phrase - size does matter. Small is good when talking about the overall complex. MariSol has only 10 floors with 45 units total. Ours is on the 9th floor which is perfect for being up away from the beach/pool noise. Also people can't see in at all. We like to keep the curtains and doors open as much as possible to enjoy the sound and sights of the gulf, and I would rather not see or hear anybody, and I don't want them to see or hear me.
Big is good for the individual unit. At 1,500 sf, MariSol units are larger than 95% of the other condos on the beach. Our unit also has 10 ft ceilings (top 2 floors often have higher ceilings). Good or bad weather, you will spend a lot of time indoors. If you have ever stayed somewhere else-you will feel the difference.
A few of the things that are debatably better at other units are probably a function of their large number of units. MariSol doesn't have a large lobby, shops or movie theater attached. There is no parking garage. There are about 45 parking spots right under/in front of the building plus handicapped and 15min spots. I think it's more convenient than the whole parking garage scene. Each condo is assigned a parking space. There is parking for a second car directly across the street in marked areas. There is no indoor pool, but there are 2 moderate size partially covered outdoor pools, at least one is heated depending on the season. I like that they actually sit partially under the building, so in the heat of the day you can relax in areas of the pool without being in the sun.
This is great for people who want to be outside to enjoy watching the Gulf and want to be in the water, but can't stay in the direct sun for long. This tends to be a more sedate pool setting- if you're looking for kiddie pool stuff with lots of kids running around, or a large gathering place to meet people, you may be disappointed. There are two moderate size exercise rooms with a treadmill, a couple of stair stepper-like machines and a few dumbbells. Again, not fancy but functional.
The unit itself is spacious, new and nicely furnished. This is really a true 3 br/2ba unit. The kitchen and baths have granite counter tops and nice wood cabinets. Of course you have all the kitchen items you need. But there are also a lot of the things you don't want to buy for a week or have to run out immediately after arriving. So there are lot's of paper products, towels, napkins, paper plates and cups,garbage bags, dish soap and laundry soap, coffee filters, sugar and creamer as well as basic spices that make your stay easier. On the balcony there is a large tub of children's sand toys that can be taken to the beach(we all enjoy the beach but who wants to be vacuuming it out of the car months later). PLEASE bring your own beach towels. There is also wireless internet.
Please bring your own shampoo and soap-but we have back-up if you need it. The sheets and towels are top quality. The full size washer and dryer are an unusual luxury. The keyless entry is great-no having to search the gulf waters for the key your husband left in his swim trunks while boogie boarding.
Finally, the view from the master and living area is fantastic (sorry about the hype-couldn't help myself) Look straight out and all you see is blue water and sky to the horizon. The sun sets are beautiful.
We would love for you stay at our condo, if you are interested or have questions please contact us.
Thanks- Paul and Synde
I must say this was of the most enjoyable vacations we have had in quite some time!! The entire experience was a breeze. My family's schedule was such that we were unable to stay from Sat to Sat as required by most condos and we did not know when we would be able to go until the last minute, but it was not a problem here. Once I spoke to Syndee by phone and confirmed everything was a breeze. I loved the location and the fact of the complex is not as large as some of the other complexes. No the pool is not huge but we were there for the beach!! (Although the grands enjoyed both!!) As for the unit it is everything described. We like to cook in and this unit is more than equipped with everything you need!!
We did encounter what we thought might be a slight problem when we arrived as our parking passes were not left by housekeeping but this DID NOT turn out to be a problem at all. I called Syndee and we also talked to security and everyone was more than nice and accommodating.
As I said before we could not have asked for a more pleasant experience!! Thank you for allowing us to enjoy your second home!
A+++ on everything!!
I would recommend to anyone! And hope to return in the near future!
We stayed in this condo for 9 days...it is everything the owner says, and more. We had four adults and two teenagers...plenty of room...everything you need. I would rent this condo again, one of the nicest I have stayed in on Panama City Beach. Great linens, wonderful view, you don't have to wait on the elevators....on the down side...the pool is small and the water was very cold.
Close proximity to shopping and entertainment.