Florida’s Panhandle

OKAY, I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell would anyone want to pay Four Seasons prices for a no-name hotel in Florida’s Panhandle? That’s like paying upwards of $400 for one of those Poconos resorts where they play the dirty version of “The Newlywed Game” and the chef’s idea of fancy is grey Chateaubriand for two.

The WaterColor Inn & Resort, named for the small planned town it fronts on the Panhandle’s charming Route 30A (between Destin and Panama City) is one of those hotels that has had a surprisingly good reputation from the start, for no particular reason. The proof is in the fact that everytime you try to book a stay, the rates are astronomical. That is, if you can even get a room.