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All reviewsbunk bedsjunior suiteindoor poolsushi barpartial viewself parkingbreakfast buffetper dayoff seasonspring breakbring your ownfamily vacationnice resortemerald coastdestin areaoutlet mallbaytowne wharf
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2,585 - 2,590 of 2,942 reviews
Reviewed July 28, 2011

The hotel is nice. We had a junior deluxe suite. It was you average hotel room plus it had a childrens bunk area away from the main living area. The bunk area had it's own tv.
The resort is always super crowded every time we have visited. Rude guest claim their pool chairs early in the morning and then do not use them until mid afternoon. It can be aggravating looking for an unclaimed pool chair.
Everything is also super over priced at the hotel. My daughter was screaming for a cup of milk one night. I had to get it from one of the bars. It costs $4.82 for 8 oz. Of milk. I could have bought a gallon at the grocery store for the same price. The restaurants are also over priced bc the service is not that great. Sandcastles buffet restaurant was not crowded at all yet the service was super slow.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank lane0413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 27, 2011

We truly enjoyed staying at this hotel, everyone was helpful (loved Robin at front desk-helpful)! It was clean, we loved the room! Our boys loved having there own area with bunkbeds! And the balcony view was also perfect! The beach was right there! We truly enjoyed all the ammenties! Couldn't have asked for better place to stay in Destin!

Room Tip: With kids, get the room with bunks! We stayed 6 days, and needed that so they could play!
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank jackie_n_ortiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 26, 2011

This is a great stay for all whether you are with friends or family with children. They have several pools so it does not overcrowd. There are plenty of chairs to sunbathe in on the pool deck and on the beach. They have a great deck past the pool that overlooks the beach. They make the best tropical frozen drinks and have a good lunch menu at the poolside hut. The conceriege desk is very helpful. It is an awesome place to rent bikes and ride the pathes around sandestin. The outlets are wonderful and Baytown Villiage is a must to go to; especially at night. It is great for singles, couples, and families.

Room Tip: not sure about price value because we used hilton honor points
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank cari23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 19, 2011

We just concluded a week-long vacation at the Hilton Sandestin. We met another family (relatives) there and stayed in two junior suites with three children (7-13) in one, and one child (3) in the other. The management was good enough to upgrade us to beach views in junior suites.

Both families were very pleased and impressed with the service and facilities at the Hilton Sandestin. The rooms were large enough to comfortably accommodate the two adults and three children in one of our rooms. The bunk beds and fold-out couch handled that. The view was spectacular, and the balcony served as a great place for an adult to read, relax, and listen to the surf. The refrigerator and microwave were appreciated, as they could keep and reheat leftovers from the great restaurants in Destin (or the hotel), and allow us to keep beer and wine on hand, avoiding the higher prices of the beach bars (though we did enjoy those on occasion). Maid service (in contrast to others' reviews) was very good; we never saw them in our room, but they had it done each day by early afternoon. Also, when we left notes for the maid, such as "please leave more non-decaf coffee and cream" or "a couple extra towels," they were always there.

At night the rooms were exceptionally quiet. A/C noise was minimal, walls seemed "thick" enough to keep neighboring noise out. If you did not like the surf or outside noise, closing the sliding balcony door eliminated everything. However, if you did like the sound of the surf, keeping the door open provided a soothing cadence throughout the night.

The location is ideal, as the hotel is directly on the beach, with a wide strip of sand in front of it before you hit the emerald water. True, the umbrella set-ups generally take the "first row", but we were usually able to secure an up-front setting with our own equipment, if we went early enough. And really, if you choose to use the rental set-up, ~$40 for umbrella and 4 chairs is not unreasonable.

The hotel spa was quite wonderful. The exercise equipment is top-quality, and the spa has separate male/female areas that include rain-head showers, steam and dry saunas, great whirlpool, and a lounge area with TV, juices, and snacks. Hilton Diamond members are allowed in for free, but even if not diamond, the $20 price to spend an hour or two relaxing is worth it (the exercise equipment is free to all, however).

The food ranged from good to excellent. The best meal we had in Destin was at the hotel. Friday and Saturday nights, the hotel has an all-you-can-eat seafood and prime rib feast in its casual restaurant. Price was ~$25/adult (children's prices were less). The spread was well laid out, kept constantly refreshed and clean, and contained top-notch items, such as snow crab (large, and lots of it), raw and cooked oysters, clams, smoked salmon, big shrimp, and several prepared fish, seafood and pasta dishes (the grouper was excellent). A chef was stationed at a fresh pasta bar, and carved tender prime rib roast beef (not "steamship" roast). We were quite pleased (and pleasantly surprised) that this wonderful meal was available at our hotel.

The patio restaurant had decent food, nothing spectacular, but good enough for a casual lunch. The bartenders and servers were efficient and friendly. The drink prices, I felt, were very reasonable for a higher-end beach/resort hotel. I think domestic beers were around $4 or so.

We ate a couple meals in their sushi bar. The sushi was professionally prepared and very fresh. The miso soup was excellent, and the kids really liked that. On some evenings they had a live piano bar there.

We ate at the breakfast buffet every morning. We had free breakfast certificates as diamond members, and that covered the "cold" breakfast, which contained a great selection of fruit, nuts, cereals, and breads. I appreciated the fact that they did not have "packaged" yogurt, but rather unsweetened, plain, yogurt, which you could add your own fruit, fresh preserves, or nuts/granola to (and calorie-free sweetener). However, I became addicted to the "hot" breakfast after a day or two. Here they had a voluminous selection of scrambled eggs, cheese grits, corned beef hash (my favorite), breakfast meats, etc. All of this was very fresh, not like some buffets, with hours-old food in steamers. Additionally, the omelet bar chef could prepare excellent egg dishes quickly (two eggs over easy on my corned beef hash became my staple), and also made Belgian waffles (with a fixin's bar nearby). The additional cost (on top of the free certificate) was $7.50...well worth it.

We never tried the high end restaurant there (Seagar's), but heard from other guests that the food there was excellent (but pricey). With the great selection of other restaurants nearby or at the hotel (or at the Baytowne Wharfe...a definite to-do, if you have kids), we did not try Seagar's.

As far as the pools, they were crowded with kids and adults, but this is a family place, so it is to be expected. There is no adults-only pool. The water was always clear, and the hot tubs were suitably warm and in good working order. You did have to be proactive in securing chairs early in the morning (by 8 or 9), but this was really not that big a deal. They allow each family 6 large beach towels (sometimes they would run out during the day, so they sometimes limited "exchanges"). The towel staff was very personable.

One night the hotel had a fireworks display (not 4th of July). I was impressed with both the variety of fireworks and length of the display. This was the first time my 3 year old granddaughter had seen fireworks, and she was full of "oohs and aahs." They also had a well-equipped kids room (5-12 year-olds), but we did not make use of it. Not sure what this cost, but seemed well staffed.

My overall assessment was that this was a superb, relaxing experience, with few hassles and excellent facilities and staff. I would say that this is primarily a family resort, so you must be able and willing to tolerate lots of small to high-school aged kids. I think the resort does a very good job of offering enough amenities to keep you on or near the property most of the time. We only ventured out for a few dinners, and once for parasailing (which was rained out). Even the Baytowne Wharf was easily accessible either by car or shuttle, and was a nice place for a dinner or two, and some entertainment for the kids. A putt-putt on the Sandestin (not Hilton) property helped entertain us one afternoon. Additionally, the prices of drinks, meals, and snacks were reasonable for a property such as this. By not taking advantage of us on these items, we ended up spending more of our time on-property.

A word about many of the surprising (to me) negative reviews about this property: These individuals must generally have a low tolerance level. I can understand when something goes really wrong, why that would be upsetting, but I think a lot of the "negatives" are really not that negative. Reserving a spot early at the pool or beach? That happens at a lot of resorts, and is easily remedied by an early trip to secure seats. High prices? Not really...I've stayed at similar resorts in the U.S., Europe, and Caribbean, and have had to pay, it seemed, twice as much for drinks and food...and often there was no alternative nearby. Staff seemed efficient, and mostly friendly, though sometimes the front desk was not overly effusive (but still businesslike), and the restaurant staff was sometimes a bit slow on checking back. Rooms (at least the jr. suite) were very large, comfortable, and well-furnished. The spa was exceptional.

I would highly recommend this property for families with the right attitude. Enjoy, have a beer or margarita, and get into the pace of one of the most beautiful beaches in America, at a very well-run resort.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank Goblu_80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 17, 2011

This was our second stay here. Had a room overlooking the pool and beach. Really nice view of the beach and the grounds are pretty. The beach space is small for the number of hotel guests so they have to line the chairs/umbrellas in 3 or 4 lines, so you can't sit and look at the water unless you pay extra to reserve chairs at the front of the rows. Daily service is $50 for two chairs/one umbrella. Restaurant foods were excellent and the waitresses were plenty friendly. Fitness room great, tho. Housekeeping okay, she kept forgetting to leave morning coffee packets so twice had to call to get coffee packets in the room for morning use but maid was happy to give us extra. The bartender at Barefoot Cafe wasn't happy and it showed. Short with customers and crummy attitude & body language. The wedding party at the pool was too loudly broadcast and went on past 10pm. Noisy at night in the hall most nights, also, so sleep quality wasn't great even if the beds were comfortable. This resort gets a LOT of PR but bottom line is it's just not worth the price. There are too many really 'worth it' places to stay in Destin and this isn't good enough to justify the cost.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank destindreamin060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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