First part of the stay was for business. The conference rooms were in a good location, but the round table set-up was unusual, and not ideal if you had to sit facing the speaker and away from the table. If our conference host knew the hotel was undergoing major construction, they didn't pass that on to attendees. More on that later...
The beaches here are always beautiful, and the weather fantastic for this trip. Some smelly sea slugs and seaweed, and occasional jelly fish, brought in by the recent storm, marred the beach only slightly. This hotel sits on the eastern edge of Sandestin, so you can walk forever to the east without encountering many people. Also east on 98 is Baytowne shopping area, with good restaurants (Travinia for Italian), Donut hole with pastries on down 98 about 5 miles with Wal-Mart directly across. Going further east on 30A is a scenic drive to Seagrove, with the BEST restaurants. The hotel has a couple of nice pools, but the jack hammers were relentless, at times dueling jack hammers, for the renovation that was going on. If you require much poolside assistance, it was nonexistent, for most of our stay, but we actually liked that. The Bare Foot poolside bar had great workers, and food was ok. I would NOT suggest getting food to go, as the grouper sandwich was cold, sauce runny, french fries droopy and over salted. The chicken quesadilla and burger earlier in the week served at a table was better.
Back to renovation. The spa has an excellent director and workers (thank you, Lisa), and services are discounted, but the ambiance is definitely effected/limited by the current renovation. I'm anxious to see the new facilities next year with the complimentary pass they gave with this service. That was a nice touch.
The beachview deluxe suite is nice, and could actually sleep several with the additional bunk beds at the entry. The kitchenette area is well equipped with mini fridge & microwave, and Brittney in housekeeping was always helpful. We were facing away from the jack hammers, and away from elevator traffic, so a nice quiet area. We got lucky.
The restaurant, Seagar's in the hotel is convenient with extensive wine list, even though our first choice wasn't available.. Pass on lobster ravioli, steak was good but undercooked. Caesar salad and bananas foster, both very good, are made at the table and designed for 2, as was the huge twice-baked delicious potato. After dinner drinks very good, and live piano. Upper price range, but worth a visit.
Ready to return next year to this area! (After the renovation!)