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How to Staycation Like Royalty Without Breaking the Bank!

Posted by 1FrugalMom on October 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Over the last few years, staycations (vacationing at, or near, home), have become increasingly popular. Enjoying a staycation is a no-brainer for those of us lucky enough to live near beautiful vacation hot spots. And I'm about to share with you what I've discovered to be the very best place to stay on beautiful Pensacola Beach! Plus, I'm going to tell you how you'll get the most bang for your buck while living it up like a King on a Jester's budget!

Hands down, the VERY BEST place to stay on Pensacola Beach is the newly constructed & opened, award winning, Holiday Inn Resort, which is owned and managed by Innisfree Hotels.

I first discovered The Holiday Inn Resort shortly after their grand opening. They were hosting a free event in which they invited the local public to come down and join in the family fun. The place is totally awesome! We found paradise!

And while there, we also discovered that giveaways and contests were taking place on their Facebook Fan Page. Naturally, I started following their page. I even won a few things! And quickly discovered that their fan page, as well as their blog, are both extremely informative! By following them, I receive great updates about local activities & events in the area, plus current specials and promotions going on.

Speaking of special promotions... right now, The Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach is currently running a promotion called "Endless Summer," which offers discounts on room rates from now until the end of November.

And a little birdie told me that soon they'll be running a campaign on their Facebook fan page called "Grab the Moment," which will be offering last minute, super extremely discounted, room rates. So make sure you follow them on Facebook! You can follow them on Twitter, as well.

Also, right now you can enter to win a 5 Night BEACHFRONT Vacation GIVEAWAY on Florida's Gulf Coast!!! QUICK & EASY ENTRY HERE!  

As locals know, right now is the best time of the year to enjoy Florida's beautiful emerald waters, and stunning white sands, along the Gulf Coast! The weather is PERFECT! It's not too hot, and waters are still warm!  Plus, there are no crowds. And room rates are greatly discounted.  

Daytime is perfect for enjoying almost ANY outdoor activities, including swimming! And nighttime is perfect for strolling the beach and relaxing in their hot tubs! And the beds in the rooms are so incredibly comfortable, that you're sure to sleep as well as we did! 

Another great savings opportunity you have with any room at the resort is the fact that every room contains a microwave, little refrigerator, and coffee/tea maker, and free wi-fi.  Just imagine how much you can save with these items available, and conveniently located, inside your room!  And the wifi range is great!  It even works poolside near Riptides.

Another HUGE savings is the Lazy River Pool. Let me explain… their lazy river pool isn’t just shaped like a river, it really is a “river pool.” It has a strong current just like those ones at expensive water parks! And if you’ve ever been to one of those, then you know water parks normally charge more than $20 per person. So think how much you’ll save by not having to visit an expensive attraction because it’s built right into the resort and included for free with your stay! Read more about their amenities here.

The lazy river pool is my son’s absolute favorite part about the resort!  He is more than happy to stay in there ALL day & night!  It offers countless hours of fun & entertainment!  Matter-of-fact, my son prefers the lazy river pool over getting in the ocean.  He enjoyed swimming in it about 10 hours each day!  

What I like about it is that it’s located in the perfect spot. Everyone one can simultaneously enjoy different things while easily staying within view of each other. As a parent, I’m very pleased to be able to can keep an eye on my child in the lazy river pool while at the same time also being able to enjoy the hot tubs, ocean, and even poolside service from the resort’s restaurant, Riptides.

Riptides has some awesome items on their menu to choose from! My favorite is their “Piled High Tide Spinach & Artichoke Dip” made with beer batter cheese soup with fresh parmesan and served on a tasty muffalatta bun and tortilla chips! Mmmmm!! Oh my gosh, it’s soooooo gooooooood!!! Seriously, it’s the BEST I’ve ever had in my entire life! If you’re a “spin dip fan” like me, you do not want to miss this! Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

There are also two huge savings opportunities while dining at Riptides.

The first one is that kids always eat FREE! That’s right, always free! No matter what day of the week, no matter what time, no matter what meal, children under 12 enjoy eating for FREE at Riptides! This alone is a huge savings for many of us with kids!

Secondly, everyone can benefit from the fact that Riptides accepts Restaurant.com gift certificates which can be purchased for pennies on the dollar when on sale. They are often offered online at 80% off. For example, for just a dollar or two, you can purchase a $25 off Restaurant.com gift certificate that can be used at thousands of different locations, including Riptides! This is an awesome savings value for anyone!  Enter to WIN a $100 Restaurant.com eGift Card HERE!

While staying at the resort, you’ll also save tons on gas, and time, because you will not need to drive anywhere. Location is key, and The Holiday Inn Resort is in a prime spot! It’s centrally located within walking distance of everything you could need or want!

Just a short walk across the street is the new 360 Observation Wheel! And the sights from both the wheel, and from our room, were absoutely spectacular! We even saw dolphin from our room each morning!  

The new & amazing 360 Observation Wheel is one big boy that is bad to the bone awesome! Seriously! It’s fully enclosed, air conditioned, 17 stories high, and offers an absolutely spectacular view that you will not easily forget! You can see for MILES!

And I’ve heard that many people whom are afraid of heights were not afraid when they rode the 360 Wheel! I’m guessing that’s because it’s such a SMOOTH and comfortable ride! It was very stable and extremely enjoyable! I definitely recommend it!

Save more by following them on their Facebook Fan Page to get alerts for discounted ride tickets, and special promotions. Checking out the Wheel is a must do while you’re there! The ride was awesome and gave plenty of time to capture “that perfect shot” with your camera.


I cannot express it enough! Staying at The Holiday Inn Resort is PARADISE! It’s the perfect place to relax, recharge, and refresh! The whole entire family will be more than pleased! And you’ll have more time to enjoy your weekend holiday because you won’t be driving around on the go from one place to the next, thus saving not only precious time, but also your hard earned monies as well! I parked my car there on Friday evening, and didn’t move it again until we checked out Sunday afternoon. Because I wasn’t running around, I was able to spend more time relaxing! It was total bliss! 

The property is simply amazing! The amenities are fantastic!  The views are absolutely breath taking!  The service is excellent!  The staff is extremely friendly and helpful! They made us feel like they rolled out the red carpet for us!  And made us feel like the President/King of the World while staying there!  

Our experience at the Holiday Inn Resort was fantastically WONDERFUL!  Life long lasting treasured memories were created! And we’re looking forward to our next weekend getaway there soon! It’s the perfect escape after a busy week!  See more of my weekend staycation photos here.

Insider’s tips:

While staying at the Holiday Inn Resort, feel free to also visit their sister property, and next door neighbor, the Hilton. Many of my photos were taken from the outside balcony on the 17th floor of the Hilton looking down at the Holiday Inn Resort. The view will leave you speechless! And I was told that guests of the Holiday Inn Resort are welcome to also enjoy the pool at the Hilton, which has nice kiddie type water spouts, and poolside hammocks.  Both properties are located directly on Pensacola Beach with walkways just feet from each other that extend right out almost to the water’s edge. No long walks lugging gear in the sand because the walkways land you directly on the coast, just a few feet of sand before you hit the water! It’s ideal!

Comment on their Facebook wall during your stay to receive a free tote bag. And feel free to ask their virtual concierge any questions you may have.

Also, every Thursday on the Holiday Inn’s Facebook Fan Page they have “Random Acts of Fun” where you can win some cool prizes, like free tickets to ride the 360 Observation Wheel! So be sure to watch their wall every Thursday for your chance to win. Usually, they’ll post a photo, and you enter to win simply by commenting on it. It’s that easy! 

One last suggestion… Not only are the rates, crowds, and weather, better this time of year, but so is seashell and treasure hunting because of all the passing storms that have stirred things up and washed stuff ashore. So dust off those metal detectors and bring them on out! I heard a man found a gold diamond ring there just a week or two ago! Woo hoo! How exciting is that?!

If you’re local to the area, or live close by, do yourself a favor, and take advantage of these awesome bargains!  Come get your Toes in the Sand at the Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach!  You’ll be more than glad you did!

WARNING: You may not want to check-out once you've checked-in!  


re-PIN THIS post here.

Special thanks to the following hosts: The Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, Riptides Sports Grill, and the 360 Observation Wheel, for sponsoring a perfect stay, delicious cuisine, and a totally wonderful experience!  As always, opinions are 100% genuine.  And I highly recommend the three!

Categories: Entertainment! And Dining!, Reviews! And Recommendations! , MOST POPULAR POSTS!

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Reply Terri Rickert
5:46 PM on October 28, 2012 
Yea I want to be here.
Reply anonymous
12:45 PM on December 13, 2012 
Love it I want a vacation
Reply Brandi Price
12:03 PM on March 15, 2013 
Love FL. But I have never been to the Gulf Coast! This would be a wonderful place to stay with my family!
Reply Suhani
8:01 AM on May 16, 2017 
Your holiday simply wouldn't be complete without a little entertainment. join in the fun with live shows, kids clubs and competitions.
Reply Deepak
1:27 AM on January 11, 2019 
People should spend their holidays carefully. They always appreciate holidays that get announced beforehand. You should have a balanced holiday where you can rest and enjoy.
Reply Rajeev
1:29 AM on January 31, 2019 
It is necessary for people to save money on their holidays. Usually, the local shopkeepers charge the tourists a lot. They should learn to have a cost-effective tour.