I get this question daily. Guest call in wanting to know, ” Really which one is better?” Both buildings have things that I love and maybe some things that I would change. I’ll tell you about them from my point of view and hopefully this will help you make an informed decision about where your next stay will be.
Let’s start with The Dunes she is the matriarch of The Dunes Community. The first building here and the anchor of this last little community on the island. The Dunes was finished in 2001 and the owner have had the option to be a rental condo from the beginning. The Dunes Building sits about 300 yards from the edge of the Gulf and every condo its beautifully calming waters. This building has a westerly facing view of the gulf which allows for sunset views from virtually every balcony in the building. Over time the community has grown and some of the views have become obstructed. with homes. You do still have a great water view from the pool deck and if you are on the 3rd floor and above. This building was built on a Dune so it naturally sits well above sea level and has had no storm damage to speak of in the years it has been open. In fact this building is one of the safest places to be!
Lets talk interior!!! The Dunes has seven floors of condo with 10 condo units on each floor with the exception of the 1st floor which has 8. The first floor also houses an office for Sunset Properties, a fitness center, sauna, His and Hers restrooms, and an indoor pool. The interior of most of the condos still have the original Formica counter tops and white cabinets. However, we are beginning to see owners upgrade their cabinets to the more modern granite counter tops and install new cabinets. Now that the building is getting a little older most of the owners are putting efforts into upgrading their interiors as well. New furnishings and paint through out!
Each floor includes one bedroom, two bath condos, two bedroom, two bath condos and three bedroom, two and a half bath condos. The one bedroom, two bath condos have master bedroom with an attached bath, a set of bunk beds built into the hallway, with a bath across from them. A full size kitchen, living area that over looks the Gulf, and a washer and dryer. Most of the one bedroom condos also have a sleeper sofa. These condos sleep up to six and are a great option for small families or couples on a budget.
The two bedroom two bath condos also sleep up to six. The master still has an attached bath but instead of being located at the entrance of the condo the Master bedroom in a two bedroom is located on the Gulf side of the condo with its own balcony door. The two bedroom condos have a second bedroom near the front door which has a Bay view if you are on the 3rd floor or above. this second bedroom also has an attached bath. these condos also have the full size kitchens, washer and dryer, and living area that over looks the Gulf! The two bedroom condos are great if you have multiple couples traveling or just want a little more space to spread out!
The three bedrooms truly are the show places of the building. Located on the east and west end of the building these condo have gorgeous sweeping views of the end of the island multiple balconies, and plenty of space for everyone in your party! The master bath room has private toilet shower area away from the sink and vanity. The bathroom is attached to the master bedroom which has its own balcony and balcony door. The other two bedrooms share a large bath that is situated in the hall and attached to one of the rooms. Both of the extra bedrooms are located at the north side of the building so they overlook the bay. The living area has a large balcony that gives a great space for the entire family to enjoy the Gulf view. There is an additional half bath off of the living area just past the washer and dryer closet. The full kitchen is the most open off all of the condos sizes and there is a great bar area for people to realx or just have breakfast.
The Dunes has ample parking for multiple vehicles and even a place to store your boat at the ends of the parking area. The Dunes requires parking passes at different times of the year. be prepared to pay for the $12 passes for your vehicles. Dogs of 35 pounds or smaller are welcome at The Dunes in pet friendly condo units, but not in th pool area, and you must leash and pick after your dogs at all times you are outside of the condo. If you are staying at the Dunes you have access not only to The Dunes indoor out door pool but also The Dunes Community pool about halfway to the beach. Over all the Dunes is a fantastic family friendly place to stay!
The Indies was finished in 2005 and also has 7 floors. The Indies has some very strict policies that you should be aware of prior to booking. It is not pet friendly! Also, The Indies has as they call it a “No Sharing Policy”! This means simply that they do not share their amenities with the rest of the community. The guest staying at at The Indies only have access to the amenities at The Indies because of this policy. They also have parking passes just as The Dunes does but they are $22.00 per pass. You also do not have boat storage at The Indies. You will need to plan ahead and set up boat storage at the marina across the street, as your boat will be towed from the Indies parking lot.
The Indies is a great building! It has a beautiful roof top terrace for sunning, complete with lounge chairs. The pool deck has multiple pools for The Indies guests. You have a sunning pool, that waterfalls into the regular condo size pool. The association has converted one of the hot tubs into a kiddie pool and there is also another traditional hot tub. There are plenty of lounge chairs on the pool deck to soak up the rays while on vacation. There are also multiple fitness centers for your use. The first door on your left as you enter the breeze way is the security guard office and business office. this is where you can pick up your wrist bands for swimming at the pool and any extra parking passes you may need. The Indies condos have large garden tubs, and shower combination. All of the units of The Indies face directly south toward the Gulf of Mexico. The Indies sits on top of a parking garage which put it well out of the way of storm water as well. The parking garage has limited parking. Do not assume it is ok to park ther most likely your condo does not have a parking place. Most of them do not!
This building has one, two and three bedroom condos as well just ina little different situation than the Dunes. Where The Dunes has mostly one bedroom condos, The Indies has mostly 3 bedroom condos.
The Indies also has a three bedroom, three bath condos which are located on the east and west end of the building. These large end units are considerably larger than the 3 bedroom, 2 bath condos in the interior of the building. The large three bedroom, three bath end condos have fantastic wrap around balconies. These balconies allow beautiful views on the west end you can even catch the sunsets. Because this building looks directly south you can tell the sun is setting but you cannot see it from most condos. The view is still beautiful with Indies sitting equally back from the water you can see the gulf from each room third floor and above.
The interior three bedroom, two bath has a master bedroom that over looks the Gulf while the other rooms are sit on the north side of the condo. The mast bedrooms have their own bath while the other two bedrooms share a hall bath. The living area has a beautiful view of the Gulf out the main patio door. The condos all have granite counter tops and the majority have stainless steel appliances in their full size kitchens. The large hallways allow easy access for those who may need wheelchair accessibility this is not a benefit that The Dunes has. There are not pull bars or roll in showers in these condos, however.
The two bedroom two bath condos look toward the gulf through their main sliding glass door. Just in side the door is the main living area and the fully equipped kitchen. The Master bedroom also has its own door that allows access to the balcony and a private bathroom. The second bedroom also has its own bath and is located at the north end of the condo with a window that looks toward the bay.
The building only has a hand full of one bedroom condos and each of these only has one bath. The bedroom in these condos is located on the north side of the building. these condos also have bunk beds in the hall. Most of the one bedroom condos sleep six which means they are wonderful for small families. The one bedrooms are located in the middle of the building. They all have a similar balcony that looks toward the gulf with a door that leads in the main living area. The living area and the kitchen are one shared space in all of the condos. This condo is a great choice for those who want to stay close to their conod and want the upgrades that came with this building from the beginning.
My hope is that with knowledge you can make an informed decision about whihc condo building would be best for you and your family when you com on your beach vacation! See you soon!