More about Sterling Splash
Do not stay here
My room was beautiful but that is where it ends. It was nearly impossible to get to the beautiful room because there are only four elevators for the entire condo. Two elevators in each tower. With twenty floors and over 240 units four elevators do not meet the needs of the guests. There was a 30 minute elevator wait time at check in and I never waited less than 5 minutes on an elevator. Also, The condo experienced flickering power during our stay and instead of informing guests that the 4 elevators were not working they allowed people on the elevators. People continually got stuck on the elevators.
The swimming pools look great on the website, but of course the pictures were taken when they were empty. Our entire stay the pools were over run by unsupervised kids. While in the lazy river I got jumped on several times and I watched a young girl get her nose busted. In the hot tub I was sitting nose to nose with 6, 7, & 8 year olds that thought it was a perfect place to jump into and off of into the other pool. My daughter got knocked down at the bottom of one of the slides. I was there watching my kids but his dad was on the other side of the pool drinking. Posted rules state that all children under the age of 12 should be supervised but there is nobody around to enforce these rules. The one security guard working day shift doesn't have time to be the pool monitor.
The minor glitches that have been blamed on an early opening have not been worked out. Fire alarms and smoke alarms kept going off during our stay. The plumbing clearly has issues. Our condo reaked of sewer gas. When we complained to the management they informed us that when the condo was built workers put soda bottles down in the plumbing pipes. This has caused several plumbing issues that have had to be addressed as they arise. The water park was closed off and on and several evenings the hot tub was closed. One night with no explaination the splash pad turned off at 7:00.
I contacted the general manager to inform him of the issues I was having and he didn't seem to care too much. Bottom line was they already had my 2,500.00 for the week. I am disposable. There will be another family to come along and take my place...but be careful. This place is not all it is cracked up to be.
Not worth the money
Our stay started out horrible. We booked our 3 bedroom condo in March for our family vacation in June. When we arrived at 1:30 (check in was not until 3:00), they informed us that something had happened to our condo and we would have to move to one of their other resorts. I informed them that we have stayed at the one they wanted to move us to and it was nice but did not have the amenities that Splash had and we did not want to do that. They offered to let us drive down to Splash everyday and use the amenities-like that was a real solution!! We told them we would split up if there were no more 3 bedrooms available. They still said that had nothing for us at that condo. Yet parties were checking in on both sides of us. They lied and said they tried to call us on the Friday but I was home all day and they did not call. Because we were clearly upset and getting a little loud (but not out of line) their security guard threatened to call the police to us. I started writing down the names of everyone we were dealing with and asking how to contact supervisors of the Sterling Resort. I informed them that if they moved us to another resort that we would expect to only pay half the price for partial compensation. It was then that they found us two rooms at Splash. We were told by others staying there that the same thing had happened to them. We had some people tell us they were glad to see us stand up for ourselves and not let the resort treat us that way.
In my opinion, they overbook Splash knowing they can move people to one of the other resorts they own.
If you want to stay there, rent from an owner and not through the resort.
The rooms were nice. The elevators are slow and not air conditioned. The amenities like the game room, hot tub and pool areas all closed at 10:00. I thought this was a little early since there are no rooms on the floors where these are located. We heard several complaints about air conditioners not working. In fact they came to our room twice just to make sure our's was working. The room beside us had washing machine problems late one night. The washing machine overflowed out to the access balcony and no one cleaned up the common area. They just left the mess. We had to wade through soapy water to get to our door.
This place has some problems but it's not all bad. After the initial problems checking in, we enjoyed our stay.
You good, the bad, the ugly, you decide........
Okay, we left Splash a couple of hours ago, so I thought I would write while I had time to give a really detailed review. After all of my apprehension and worrying on the boardsI think I should address all of my fears.
First off, the room - by far one of the nicest we have stayed in, it was very plush. The furniture was very nice, and the bed was wonderful, I slept great the whole time. My only gripe was that there was no wastebasket in the spare bath, which we really needed, no mop, and there was no chest to put clothes in, in the master bedroom, only the 2 bedside tables and 2 small drawers in the tv armoir, I had to leave most of my things in my suitcase. The closet was good size, but I really needed drawers. We did have our room flood twice yesterday while trying to do laundry. We were told that this has happened a few times before, in different units. It seem sto be an issue with the wash/dryer unit that is in alot of rooms. The fire alarm did go off several times as well, but it would stop momentarily. There were elevator issues and twice we got in one that just stopped. Thank goodness that we were at floors each time.
The resort - It is in a good area, not right in the middle of everything, but very close. Work is a lways being done inside. The gym is nice and I used it everyday. The elevators are a nightmare. Only 4 in the resort, which is absolutely absurd considering it is brand spanking new, and the sheer numbers of people staying there. It is difficult to get around as it is huge and going anywhere is an ordeal. There is an Alvin's attached to the parking garage for things, but you are definitely going to pay. Go to Winn Dixie or Target. The staff was rude for the exception of a maintenance man, and the bellman, and the lady at the front desk who gave me her full attention when I told her our condo was flooded. Our card wouldn't work on our 1st nite and my 6 yr old was asleep on a pile of towels in front of the door, the young man told me that I would have to go downstairs to get another, seeing I had a sleeping child on the ground! The bellman had let us in with his key when our lock box wouldn't open, so I know the guy was capable.
Pools - omg where do I begin? The good - They look great and the kids love them, they can literally be kept busy the entire day. It is a great concept. They are almost completely shaded. The sun doesn't even get to the pool decks til mid day, so if you are a sun worshipper, you may want to "beach it" in the mornings. The grill area is nice and very reasonably priced. Maybe a bit slow, but I think there is only 1 person there most of the time. They ran out of ice a few times while we were there. The areas are 2 sided as well, so some ppl actually "save" pool chairs, and there are scarcely any, on both sides! I got up early everyday and by 6:30am every morning, all chairs had towels in them. We are pool ppl, but I was on vacation, I didn't want to set my alarm for chairs! The dive in movies are a hit, the kids love to swim around and watch the screen.
The bad- It is absolutely a free for all. Pool rules are not really enforced. The workers look like teenagers. The kids are basically turned loose and I am certainly guilty of it as well, but it is impossible to keep up with them. The areas are very cramped and just overflowing with ppl and kids. The pool decks are terrible. I heard ppl talking about it everyday. I cannot believe that a resort who's theme is a waterpark and pools geared towards kids would have not planned this better, it is inadequate at the very least. True to what we read, a pool was closed every day for at least some period of the day. One day it was poop, one day puke, and the hot tub seemed to get closed alot. However, way too many small kids are in there playing, I would not let my kids in it. They were always cloudy as well, which sort of freaked us out a bit.
Beach - It was nasty while we were there. Slugs all over the beach. Lots of seaweed. I'm not sure it it was the June grass we had read about. The one day it was nice, we got in and found some good shells, also had to get out due to sharks, and saw them from the balcony as well. It was amazing to see how close they were to ppl and not bothering.
Things I must reccomend -
The pirate cruise was excellent. It was very well worth the price, which is $15 per child, $19 for adult. It is 2 hrs of non stop fun for the kids and Capt. Phil interacts with the group the entire time. The kids, ages 3-14 loved it. I can't complain at all. The parents were told to sit back and relax and we did. I just can't say enough good about it. I would probably do the 6 o'clock, it is very hot. Call a few days in advance, it books up.
We rented a pontoon for 1/2 a day from Scotty's. I would suggest the entire day. Scottys was great, they are very friendly and informative, and tell you where to go depending on what you want to do. We did Shell Isl and snorkeled seeing sea anenomes, crabs, clams, and rays. We walked over the beach and it is absolutely beautiful. Not a ton of shells as we had read about. The sand is pure white. We then went to the the area off shell island near the mouth of the gulf between St Andrews Park and the island and the water is beautiful, we snorkeled and got lots of sand dollars. The current can be strong so the kids should be kept close. We also saw lots of dolphins and actually got into the water with them. They are so much bigger than you think, but just being near them is a great experience. We heard that Blue Dolphin did a great cruise as well,but they were booked.
Overall - I can't believe that we have just left a resort with as much potential as this one and said it was average. Splash is very nice, and a great concept if it had been planned better. I would have to say we had a good time but it was a bit disappointing. It wasn't terrible, but we won't stay there again.
I know that this turned into a novel, sorry. Hope this helped some of you.
Overall a Very Nice Week at the Resort
Like Carmen, we just returned from a week at Splash. Traveling with a 6yo, 3yo, and a 1yo, here's our take on the resort and our condo unit.
First the unit. Very very nicely decorated, spacious, and clean. I believe our 2BR unit was called "Wave". We rented it directly from the owner who made the whole reservation process very smooth and painless. In our particular unit, everything seemed to work properly and we actually had more than enough storage space for clothes, etc. Although check-in was supposed to be at 3:00 PM, our room was ready at about 2:20 PM. Much to my surprise, I located a stash of about 15 luggage carts on the skywalk level of the garage and was able to get all of our belongings up to the room by about 2:30. Check-out required a property wide search for a luggage cart for about 10 minutes, but I found one eventually.
The gameroom and the workout room in the resort are both very nice, and the poolside bar & grill was very nice and reasonably priced too.
The entire week we were at the resort, we did not hear any fire alarms going off in our building (East) or condo room. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing being as Carmen heard quite a few.
Regarding elevators, we had waits of around 15 minutes to board 2 times but other than that, we were generally on board within a couple of minutes. I agree with Carmen, however. 2 elevators per building; 4 for the complex total, to support +/- 270 condo units and cleaning staff is not enough whatsoever. There are no separate service elevators at the resort for the staff and their 'carts' to use. The elevators do not have AC and we did hear of them being stuck from time to time.
Regarding staff, every staff member at the resort we encountered for the most part was fabulous. Very helpful, informative, and knowledgable. No matter the time of day, staffers were cleaning the resort's floors, glass, picking up trash, etc.; trying their best to stay on top of things. One (1) of the staffers who walked the pool area generally before Noon (one of the few who looked like he was older than 16 yrs old) was almost too rigid in enforcing the pool rules. I got sent up to my room a couple of times for not having my wristband on. Also - since you have to be 14 or less to enter the waterpark, he absolutely would not even let adults into the waterpark to help their infants / toddlers climb the water appurtenances to get to the slides. A bit too rigid in my opinion.
Regarding the waterpark, the pool decks are very slippery as well as are the floors in the poolside restrooms. I'm not sure what other flooring options there are for complexes such as this in order to reduce slipping, but there's got to be somthing. The waterpark, pools, and lazy river; aside from the floors, are very very nice. The times we were in the various water features, they we all open and we personally didn't witness any of the items Carmen did. The pool areas etc. were crowded, but not as bad as I've seen at some similar resorts in places like Myrtle Beach. Compared to other similar places, I also did not think that the ocean / beach area was overcrowded at all. Lots of people yes, but plenty of room to walk, drink, and set up chairs.
Speaking of chairs, all chairs and lounges around the pool area were reserved with towels by about 6:30 AM or so each morning. We even saw a few people putting towels on chairs around midnight a couple of times. After getting 'burned' by this the first two (2) days we were there, I made sure I was down at the pools with towels before 6:00 AM the remainder of the week.
The area around Splash is very quiet. Aside from Alvin's and the attached food shop, there is not much else within walking distance. Traffic in front of the complex was generally light. Immediately next door to Splash on the west is the Celadon Condominium complex which appeared to be very crowded. To the east of Splash is a row of about 15 - 2 or 3 level apartments, and then another condominium under construction. Very nice views of the ocean and to the east and west from our 14th floor balcony.
Everyone we met at the resort, adults and kids, were very polite and nice. We at no time feared for our 6yo or 3yo kids' 'lives' while they were in the waterpark area from being overrun by other kids. In fact, several kids at several times assisted my 3yo in maneuvering around the waterpark when she needed help.
In summary, we would go back to Splash in the future. From reading other reviews and talking with folks at the resort, it sounds like we were lucky with respect to the elevators, luggage cart, and 'pool contamination' issues. Hopefully these issues will be addressed with the next few months by the resort in order to elimate these 'common themes' from being repeated.
Please e - mail me with any questions. - Brian
For Families With Kids
We've just returned from Splash. We rented a three bedroom condo (one
2 bedroom with an adjoining 1 bedroom), 2nd floor. The decor was beautiful (loved the nice large bath) and everything worked well. Our unit lacked non-stick skillet & microwaveable dishes so we bought
and left there. My husband & I, (60, & 54), my parents (in 80's), and
my daughter and her boyfriend (25 & 29) went. Because of the long walk over the skywalk to the parking garage it was a little inconvenient for my husband (on a cane), but parking was okay otherwise. We just went out less than we usually do. Only complaints we have are: the hottub is located next to the kiddie area. We tried daily to get in the hottub but it was FULL (6-8 at a time) of little kids (perhaps 4-6 years old) with NO PARENTS in the tub. The parents were sitting over by the pool with older kids and just glanced occasionally at all the little ones. The little kids kept jumping in the hottub even thought there was a concrete seat all around the edge. We were scared to death one would be hurt, as well as, they splashed the chlorine water in our eyes each time. We asked them nicely to go to their moms but with no success. We even said to one of the moms we were worried they'd be hurt, but they didn't do anything, just smiled. The other problem is early every morning (before 7:30) people would put beach towels on the chairs around the pool and then leave and go to the beach or not return until 3 or 4 hrs. later. Since signs said towels didn't reserve chairs, when we went down to the pool and removed the towels and draped them over the
rail, people later would come and get upset over having their towels removed. That's even with the signs posted! So we finally started getting up at 7:30 as well, and putting towels down. So our main complaint is the staff that occasionally walked around the pool and hottub area never enforced the rules. Kids were running and slipping all the time. However, in spite of these small problems we had a nice
time. The view from the 3 balconies was absolutely gorgeous--it's in a good location to stores, etc., and there are tons of things for families with kids to do. But since our kids are grown, we'll probably opt for Longbeach where it's a little more quiet next time.
SPLASH......Fun for children, however needs more fine tuning
Our family just recently returned from Panama City Beach after spending 4 nights at SPLASH. I was very impressived initially with the resort, however, was dismayed shortly thereafter. The room accomodations were quite comfortable for our family of 5. The rooms are all ocean front which is an asset. It was very nice to have bath, bed, and kitchen linens provided that were of good quality. It was also nice having so much of the pool area be covered, especially for children to be out of the sun.
I found three negatives with the resort: (1) There are only two elevators for each tower. Considering how many people can be accomodated per tower, the resort really could use at least 4 elevators per tower. Wait time was excessively long. (2) The elevators were not air-conditioned. While this may not be an issue during the winter season, during July it is quite hot and humid. Add to that, approximately 10 - 15 people per elevator going up to 20 some floors. It was very uncomfortable on more than one occassion and really not necessary. If you are claustrophobic, stay away.....(3) Pool area very over-crowded day after day, with no seating available.
Considering this is a brand new hotel, one would think this resort would have considered the listed negatives in their planning, which I believe to be quite poor. I may consider returning, but honestly, I feel for the price per room, I would rather go further west toward Destin.
Won't return to Splash
We stayed at Splash from July 1-7. I actually had two condos rented, one through VRBO and one through Sterling. Our family checked into the Sterling condo on Saturday, but the VRBO condo was not available until Sunday. The front desk staff were extremely nice and helpful on the first check-in. The check in on Sunday of our VRBO unit was another story. The staff was rude, unhelpful and very unprofessional.
I agree with all the comments about the luggage carts, elevators, pools, hot tub, over-crowded pools and pool deck, etc...
The beach was not cleared each morning of trash like all other resorts I've ever stayed in (or if someone cleared it, they did a very poor job.)
The condo furnishings were GOLD, definitely not PLATINUM (if you are familiar with the interior ratings for resorts down there) as in they were nice, but nothing special. When I go on vacation and spend that kind of money, I expect to stay somewhere that's decorated at LEAST as nicely as my own home (these weren't).
All the staff we encountered EXCEPT the front desk were wonderful!! We did not have any problems such as fire alarms going off or no air conditioning. Our washer did overflow the first night we were there, but I'm pretty sure that's because I put too much detergent in there!
Location is o.k. if you normally don't go out often from the complex, however it is a long way from the East End of beach, such as Capt. Andersons, etc..., especially in heavy traffic like we had for the holiday.
Also, if anyone in your party is handicapped or elderly, the walk to and from the parking garage is pretty far.
The water park area was very boring for my 10 yr. old son, but my 7 yr. old daughter loved it.
We definitely will not return, but I'm sure it would be fine for familys with small children that don't leave the resort often.
Great place to stay!!!
After booking this resort, I stumbled upon a few bad reviews which made me nervous about our stay. They were all WRONG, the only thing remotely close to a complaint is the elevator wait time, BUT the longest we had to wait was about 10 minutes in the pool lobby, due to everyone coming in because a thunderstorm was brewing. The staff was EXCELLENT, very friendly and helpful!! We had children ranging from 2 - 12 on our trip, there was something for everyone. The kiddie splash zone was great! All my children loved it! While we were there, the hotel was completely booked and the pools were not overcrowded and I never saw unattended children causing problems. Be sure to check VRBO before booking directly throught the resort, could save you some $. I would HIGHLY recommend Spalsh to anyone who has children, our stay was GREAT!!!
Ok for children
On our arrival to Splash we were amazed with all they had to offer like the lazy river, the kiddy water park, the views of the beach, and security. There were acouple of problems though. The hot tub was broken during our stay and the hot tub is right next to the kiddy water park and there were kids jumping in and out of the hot tub every minute. The internet worked 2 days out of our hole 7 day stay. There are only two elevators per tower and there are two towers to Splash. One of the elevators was always breaking down, there for only having one elevator servicing 22 floors, and the wait for the elevators were about 10 -15 minutes, they were poorly ventaliated and with 8-12 people on the evevator for 5-10 minutes at a time you tent to sweat and over heat. There is a lilttle bit of a long walk from the parking deck to the actual tower, not really good for older folks to have to walk. Althought we had those few problems it was a pleasant trip. Our condo was top notch with all the aspects of home. Once they work out all the kinks and add some more elevators it would be a pleasanter stay.
Splash is a MUST visit for the family with little ones.
Rented a two bedroom condo in the West Tower during the first week of August 2007. We typically have spent one week on the gulf each year for the past two decades and always stay at the high-end resort type condo.
Splash is new construction for this year and the facility is outstanding. Our children are 19, 16 and 11 who all had a wonderful time. My elderly mother also traveled with us and had a great time as well.
The strengh of Splash of course are the pools, hot tub, lazy river and the splash area for the very little ones. I would highly recommend this resort for those with small children.
If you have a low tolerance for the screams and running of the smaller guys this may not be your cup of tea. Our kids seemed to be able to find other kids their age to play volleyball and etc., so it works out great for us.
I read the reviews before making the reservation and was concerned about some of the comments about the elevators. There are two elevators for each tower and at the busy times of arriving/departing and that suppertime rush they are a bit busy I suppose but not at all different than any other high rise on the beach. It just wasn't a problem for us.
There was security around the facility 24/7 which was nice and all in all the place seems rather quiet even though it was filled to capacity this week.
Once again, for those of you who have little tolerance for small children pay special heed to the theme here..."SPLASH"......for those of you like us who enjoy watching the little ones enjoy themselves this resort requires a visit.
Snow crab dinner special
Visual Arts Center