Hotel Reviews

Review of the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

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We love the Fort Walton Beach area. We’ve stayed in different hotels and condos over the years when we go out there. When planning a long weekend, I was excited to see a new Holiday Inn was being built right on the beach on Okaloosa Island, the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach.

The interior reminds me of 1960s beach décor (but new) and had an open, spacious feel to it. It had only been open one or two weeks when we went there, signs were literally being put up while we were there. So I’m going to give them a break on the food service part of the review since I know they were still working out the kinks of just opening.

Since my husband is an IHG platinum we were able to get an upgrade. Not to a suite (they were full) but we did get an ocean-view room instead of the parking lot.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Later that evening we could see three weddings on the beach from our balcony.

First wonderful thing about Holiday Inn’s that I forgot, kids eat free. For every meal. We didn’t have to order an adult meal for each free kid’s meal either. I could order them food whenever.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Not the kids meal, but I can’t oversell the sweet potato tots. 

They also have kids activities during the summer months. There was movie nights by the pool. Also a great time to order food and hang out on the deck. My oldest kept going back and forth between swimming and watching the movie. During the day they had pirate shows, face painting, and mermaids in the pool.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Cute pirate not included with the room

It was great having a nice pool and the beach right there so if the ocean was too rough the kids could swim in the pool (and loved it). We had a hard time getting them to leave.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

They were literally in the pool until 30 minutes before we had to check out.

The resort is in within walking distance of the boardwalk area with the Gulfarium, Howl at the Moon and a few restaurants, but we opted to drive out to our favorites instead.

For wings, go to Buffalo’s Reef. No need for cute flavors here, they do the hot wings right. If you can stay, go on a wing ding (all-you-can-eat-wings) day. If you can’t, you can always order them to-go.

For steak/burgers/beer go to McGuire’s. Try to go a night Rich McDuff is playing. He splits his time between Destin and Pensacola. Make sure to request “Old Dun Cow” and tell him it’s for Patrick and Tiff. 

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Rich performing in Destin

Order the senate bean soup (only 18 cents as long as you order something else), and get one of their own house beers, I recommend the Red. They do have an extensive wine list and a full bar if you’re one of those unfortunate souls who can’t drink beer (sorry Jeanne ). Walter is the best bartender there if you’re lucky enough to get him, but everyone is good.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Us and Walter. 

Definitely put a dollar on the wall or ceiling, just please don’t put it on our family wall.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Our dollars have stayed intact for over 10 years. Other dollars are starting to close it so it probably won’t be around much longer.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

Don’t forget to kiss the moose while you’re there.

For pizza go to Helen Back. You can eat it there or order it to-go. They make it from scratch so you may have to wait a little bit, but not a bad place to have a drink while you wait. The owner’s from Maryland so Yuengling’s considered a domestic draft.

For a high-end seafood restaurant, Louisiana Lagniappe. Everything is good, but the best thing on the menu is their BBQ shrimp. Also a great wine list that includes some Ferrari Carano wines. I prefer sitting outside with the view.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach

The view from outside.

I love the gulf coast and use any excuse I can to go back for a visit. I don’t always get to go to my four favorite restaurants when I’m there, I’m usually happy if I can just get to two out of four. Being an IHG member and getting a room with points plus dollars I think the Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn Resort will be my new go-to place to stay when we’re there just the four of us or with a small group of people. For larger groups, I’m probably going to have to look at other options.

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.


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