A Pensacola Beach vacation with the family can be great fun especially when you know the secret to avoiding the crowds and giving yourself a little more vacation space. ResortQuest offers a number of beach condo rental options in the Florida Panhandle area but the Portofino Island Resort in Pensacola is perfect if you want a little condo living with the beach resort lifestyle.
After passing the retro welcome sign and taking the drive over the waterway bridge, the busy beach community of Pensacola Beach will greet you. A slow 10-minute drive past the hustle of the town and colourful beach houses will take you to a quiet collection of five towers standing on their own. Welcome to the Port0fino Island Resort, a gated condominium community that offers spacious condo living with resort perks.
Image: Resor Quest
Unlike a beachside hotel a Portofino Island Resort condo through ResortQuest offers a lot of home-away-from-home essentials.
Walking through our double door entrance we were greeted with a vast living room space framed by floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. While I took in the view the kids scattered sussing out the bedroom situation and deciding where everyone would sleep. Our 3-bedroom condo gave us a pick of sleeping spots plus there was even a pullout couch in the living room if our traveling party was larger than our family of five.
Not only did we not have to share beds, each room had its own private bathroom complete with shower and tub. Of course the master bath had a separate shower stall and Jacuzzi tub because we all know mom needs a little sanctuary when vacationing with the kids.
Vacationing usually means dining out but that can get pricey rather quickly especially on an extended stay. Cost aside, finding good food in parts of Florida can be a struggle but the large open concept kitchen in our Portifino Island Resort condo through ResortQuest made this a non-issue. Preparing our own meals not only saved on our travel dollars but it also avoided food struggles and allergy issues, a great point made by one of our readers.
— Anaphylaxis/Allergy (@theallergymom) August 18, 2014
You may be rolling your eyes about cooking when on vacation, I’m not a fan of household chores in my own home let alone when I’m on holidays, but making breakfast or washing up the lunch dishes didn’t seem so bad when my view was the Gulf of Mexico.
Another chore I’m not a fan of is laundry yet I was pretty excited knowing our condo had its own washer and dryer. This meant I could pack half as much for our 2-week road trip. I just brought some laundry soap from home (the TIDE PODS were actually pretty convenient for travel). Though with the amount of closet and storage space built into our condo I could have brought all of our belongs and still had plenty of room. Of course the kids loved drying their swimsuits after a morning swim so they could slip them on again for an evening swim without that cold, icky wet suit feeling. Who doesn’t like that?
We did a lot of swimming when staying at the Portofino Island Resort in Pensacola. Our resort tower was just steps from the sandy Gulf of Mexico beaches. At first I thought being so far from the busy town center of Pensacola Beach would be a drawback but it was a bit of a blessing offering a quieter beach experience with less crowds. We also found beach chairs and umbrellas in one of the storage rooms of our ResortQuest condo, enabling us to enjoy a full day at the beach without having to rent beach equipment. Nice!
Often we would spend time at the beach in the morning jumping waves, looking for shells, and digging in the sand, and then we would head back to our tower to swim in the pool. Each of the resort’s five towers had its own swimming pool, which cut down on an overcrowded swim too.
After a busy day in the water, nighttime was about hanging out in the condo. Catching the sunset from our expansive balcony was one of my favourite nighttime rituals. I never tire of seeing that orangey-pink sky over the water. Even when vacationing together as a family we all need a little separation. Each of the three bedrooms and the main living room came equipped with its own television and DVD player plus the satellite channels. You heard no fighting over who wanted to watch what which is a vacation in itself. Of course I savored the free WIFI so I could stay connected sharing photos on Instagram. I could even send email sitting on our spacious balcony.
A beachfront condo vacation just outside of Pensacola Beach is a great family vacation option, like living the dream of owning a beach home, but staying with Resort Quest at the Portofino Island Resort gives you the added bonus of enjoying the resort life.
I mean you are on vacation. It’s nice to have the convenience of a kitchen and laundry facility in your suite and the added space of separate bedrooms and bathrooms but a little pampering would be nice too right?
One of my favourite resort features has to be a nice pool with service. The Portofino Island Resort has pools, one for each of the five towers, but two spacious freeform family pools in the leisure center is where things happen. These lagoon-like pools each had their own hot tub and provided a lovely view of the cove. There was fun music playing over speakers, a large poolside bar, plus servers who would take your food and drink order right at your seat.
Another nice resort feature is on-site dining, when we didn’t feel like cooking in the condo or driving into town to find a restaurant. Terrazzo Grill located in the patio area beside the pool offered a nice casual outdoor dining spot. We snacked on nachos and ribs and I was even impressed with the cocktails. No pre-mixed drinks here. If you’re looking for something a little finer inside you’ll find the white table linen restaurant Terracotta. My husband was must excited about the Starbucks coffee counter on the second floor It became a morning ritual to walk over to the lifestyle center, checkout the pool, and grab a coffee.
Speaking of pampering, the Portofino Island Resort also has an on-site spa offering massages, facials and other treatments. There’s even a private indoor pool for spa guests (no one under 18 allowed). Located within the leisure center makes it easy for mom to escape while dad watches the kids in the pool for a change.
If the swimming in the pool or hanging out on the beach isn’t enough activity for you Adventure Cove will make up the difference. From water equipment rental and cruise experiences to bike rentals and water park access, you’re bound to find something to entertain all members of the family (additional fees apply). We even found a quiet secret beach plus you’ll find a wonderful pathway taking you through the dunes for a nice walk or bike ride (you can rent those for the day).
Florida is a popular family vacation destination but if you’re looking to live the beach life with a few resort perks staying with ResortQuest at the Portofino Island Resort is highly recommended.
Thanks to the folks at ResortQuest for their hospitality.