Portofino Island Resort

Portofino Island Resort

7.89 reviews
Ranked #2 in Pensacola hotels
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10 Portofino Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
1 (888) 271-2681Edit info
Lots of room for groups, even family! in the condo suites, with gourmet kitchen, huge terrace overlooking the water. Proximity to the Gulf Islands National Seashore and to funky ... Read more
Pensacola Beach, plus all the usual onsite spa amenities.

Amenities

Bar
Swimming Pool
Spa Services
Fitness Center
Free WiFi
Internet Access
Free Parking
Laundry Services
Meeting Rooms
Business Center
Childcare
Bathtub
Air conditioning
Room Service
Kitchen

Member Reviews(9)

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7.8/10
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Evansville, Indiana, USA

Never, never, never again.

We went all out money-wise, something we rarely do, for a week's family vacation to the Portofino Island Resort. We booked the trip several months in advance. The property itself is beautiful, five (5) tall towers located away from the commercialized section of Pensacola Beach and nestled neatly between the ocean beach and the bay, within short walking distance to both. Our room on the 6th floor proved to be very nice, with a balcony view of both bodies of water. We experienced no issues with the room itself or its amenities during our stay. In addition, most of the non-management staff we'd run into on the grounds of the resort were very friendly and were always quick to wish you a good day.

The major problem we ran into was this. The day after we arrived, 2,500 middle- and high-school youth on a church retreat arrived at the resort aboard approximately 50 charter buses. You read that right - 25 HUNDRED youth and their chaperones. They would be staying in the resort the exact same week as us. Did the condo owner who rented us the unit through VRBO inform us of this? Nope. Did anyone at the resort or with guest services inform us of this? Nope.

In fact, Kari R. with guest services went so far as to sell us an extra "extreme" adventure activity package, which was to include various watersport and other activities. This extreme package cost us an additional $850, which Kari indicated was a heavily "discounted" rate. What we of course didn't know prior to purchasing that package was that the kids from that youth group would be there, and that they would essentially overrun the resort, thereby making it nearly impossible to do any of the activities we paid for, at least WHEN we wanted to do them. On our 4th day of dealing with this situation, we went to guest services to talk to Kari directly and asked for a full or at least a partial refund of our extreme package. Because let's face it - guest services HAD to have known the impact this group of kids would have on other guests and their activities. She "seemed" to be caring and understanding about our predicament, and said she would need to talk to her boss and get back to us. A day later, after not hearing anything, my wife contacted Kari again and was told that there would be no refund at all. However, we could be upgraded to "premium" member guests for the remainder of our stay (only 1 day left). That was an empty offer, because premium status doesn't get you much more than the right to sit in one of the blue umbrella chairs located on the beach. In other words, management pretends to care, but in reality all they want is your money.

Other problems with the 2,500 kids being there on site:

1) They basically had the run of the main pool from 12pm-4pm each day, which is premium sun time (since it rained most mornings). The pool was still open to others, but who else wants to be there with that many kids taking up space?

2) During that 12pm-4pm window, the kids also had access to all those watersport activities we were promised with our "extreme" package - things like jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, eclipse boards, inflatable obstacle course, etc. So we couldn't do those activities then - we were limited to a tiny window between 10am-12pm. Far from the "all-day" access we were to be afforded with the extreme package.

3) The elevator situation was abominable. Because of all the kids, the wait time for the elevator was way past ridiculous. Numerous times we had to take the stairs. For us that was the 6th floor, but we certainly felt sorry for those on higher floors (that went up to 21). In addition, the kids were 'supposed' to stay off the middle elevator and leave it for other guests (they were to take the two side elevators). That rule went generally unheeded the entire week.

4) The number of kids on the beach. Ugh. Don't get me started. Let's just say it was far from a relaxing time in the sand and surf when they were out there (though we did find some opportunities to be on the main beach when the kids weren't around).

5) Because of the excess number of guests, there was an excess amount of trash. Much of it was disposed-of food that the chefs had cooked for the kids. The staff allowed the trash it to collect and overflow in putrid smelling dumpsters that were scattered throughout the grounds. In our particular tower (Tower 1), the dumpsters were kept in the covered parking garage and the horrid smell wafted through the halls and even into the elevators. When you were in the parking garage, you literally had to hold your nose because of the smell. The dumpsters also constantly leaked a nasty and foul smelling liquid all over the concrete where they sat.

To make matters worse, the condo owner who sold us the VERY expensive week's trip (and who also didn't inform us of the youth retreat - something that happens there every year so there is no WAY they didn't know about it) has been completely unresponsive to our attempts at communication to discuss this horrible situation.

We are contemplating legal means in an attempt to get our extreme activity fee refunded, and even a portion of our room fee since we were unable to enjoy the resort in the manner it was KNOWINGLY sold to us.

So in summary, if you're going to Pensacola Beach, choose a different resort. The management at Portofino only wants to up-sell you on their activities, and they could care less whether you are happy with your stay. If you have problems, in their eyes it’s just “too bad, so sad”. Their mindset is another sucker will come along and take your place.

Stay far away….

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West Hartford, Connecticut

Great beach with rental chairs and ability to order food/drink on the beach.

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San Francisco, California, USA

The staff is rude! More specifically managment.
Problems
1 no rooms available although we had reservations
2 staff unable to tell us anything about resort or surroundings.
3 refused refund
4 roaches throughout hall
5 compromised credit card
Worst vacation ever

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Local from Pensacola

Come explore the sand, surf and sky as you hike, bike or kayak along the shoreline. Dine on Pensacola’s freshest seafood, succulent steaks and other fine cuisine at Portofino’s restaurants. Awaken your senses with pampering spa treatments. From the moment you arrive, Portofino’s highly-trained staff will spoil you in one of nature’s last unspoiled playgrounds.

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Salem, Oregon

We won a trip to this resort. It was fabulous. We had never been to the gulf area before and we were so pleased with our trip. The resort had several great pools, a wonderful spa, and a great activity area for the kids. The views and the rooms were to die for. We will definitely plan another vacation there!

Recommended for:Family Travelers
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Santa Fe, New Mexico

Lots of room for groups, even family! in the condo suites, with gourmet kitchen, huge terrace overlooking the water. Proximity to the Gulf Islands National Seashore and to funky Pensacola Beach, plus all the usual onsite spa amenities.

Recommended for:Family Travelers
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Santa Fe, New Mexico

It's a luxury condo building, I suppose, but it's perfect for two or three couples or a family because there are 3 and 4 bedroom suites with 3-4+ bathrooms, generous living room, great kitchen, and big balconies -- can cook and hang out. There's a spa and good restaurant but the best thing for us was its proximity to the Gulf Shores National Seashore -- completely undeveloped, unspoiled and beautiful. Saw our first manatee from our kayak (they're big!, not the kayak the manatee) - and it's just so peaceful paddling along.

Recommended for:Luxury TravelersFamily Travelers
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San Antonio, Texas

Portofino Resort is one of the best vacation rentals out there. This is home away from home! Each year our family pack our cars and drive 8 hours to spend a week at this wonderful and relaxing resort. We literally don’t even leave this resort.

Portofino is in Pensacola, Florida which is known to have one of the finest and whitest sand in the world. Why wouldn't anyone want to check that out. From the 18th floor balcony, every morning, you will wake up to a breath taking ocean view and red orange glowing sunrise.

This is really a great place for everyone. People who love to fish, there is a pier that isn’t too far away. For those who love the ocean, the beach is just in walking distance. Portofino has its own private beach which provides umbrellas and chairs or hammocks. For people who like to stay away from the sand, there plenty of pools to pick from. There are two main pools, one is indoor and the other is an outdoor pool.

Portofino even has a spa and separate sauna for men and women. There are complimentary water and fruit for you as well! It is the little things in life that make me smile.

Many of the condo has three bedrooms, two baths, and a half bath. The space is huge!! For the master bedroom, the closet is practically the size of a room. Each and every one of them is decorated differently. Some are modern while others are classic. After being there for 5 years, I have not been disappointed. Also, each condo provides different games such as scrabble or Pictionary, HDTV’s, and free internet. The beds and pillows are just luxurious and even the bath towels are fluffy and soft and might I add complimentary? :D

Activities

Besides the pools, each year they have something new for their guest to do. One year they had a viewing party for a movie with a inflatable screen. You can also jet ski or take the boat that they provide to go to the Pensacola Pier where there are gift shops and restaurants. They even have a trolley for you to get you to and fro. My favorite thing I’ve done was rent a bike and biked ride along the coast. The ocean view is just amazing. Every morning I try to wake up early enough to catch the morning sunrise.

Advice and helpful hints:

This is definitely a great place for a romantic getaway or even a family vacation. However, it is best to bring your pots and pans. You’ll more likely have to cook unless you want to eat at the pier. Other than that I LOVE IT!!

If you are looking for a place to relax and chill, (even if you aren’t even a beach person), this is the place to be!

Recommended for:Luxury TravelersFamily Travelers
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Santa Clara, California, USA

Portofino is an upscale resort located along the coastline in Pensacola, Florida. The beaches are sandy and white. It's a quiet beach town and is a gem along the Florida panhandle. Plus, the resort is nice with a great gym, swimming pool, and resort suites.

Recommended for:Luxury Travelers
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Amenities

Internet Access
  • Free WiFi
  • Computer station
Dining & Drinks
  • Poolside bar
  • Coffee shop or cafe
  • Snack bar/deli
  • Grocery/convenience store
Fitness & Recreation
  • Concierge services
  • Barbecue grill(s)
  • Picnic area
  • Shopping on site
  • Beach sun loungers
  • Beach umbrellas
  • Terrace
  • Indoor pool
  • Pool sun loungers
  • Pool umbrellas
  • Spa tub
  • Sauna
  • Spa services on site
  • Full-service spa
  • Spa treatment room(s)
  • Steam room
  • Health club
Parking
  • Parking height restrictions apply
  • Free self parking
Traveling with Children
  • No cribs (infant beds) available
  • Supervised childcare/activities (surcharge)
Pets
  • Pets not allowed
Services & Conveniences
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Laundry facilities
  • Smoke-free property
  • Meeting rooms 5
  • Wedding services
  • Conference space
  • Gift shops or newsstand
  • 24-hour business center
  • ATM/banking
Bath
  • Private bathroom
  • Free toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • Shower/tub combination
  • Jetted bathtub
  • Second bathroom
Bed
  • No rollaway/extra beds available
In-Room Dining
  • Microwave
  • Room service (limited hours)
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/tea maker
  • Refrigerator
Media & Technology
  • Phone
  • Cable TV service
  • Television
  • DVD player
Other Room Amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • In-room climate control (air conditioning)
  • Separate sitting area
  • Ceiling fan
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Balcony
  • In-room safe
Property Info
  • Total number of rooms - 720
  • Number of floors - 21
Portofino Island Resort

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