We did lots of research about lodging for our first trip to Destin, and in the end decided on Huntington by the Sea at the recommendation of a close friend. Thank goodness for intelligent friends!
HBS was perfect for our week-long stay and comfortably housed our family of four (two adults and two children under 6) plus my husband's 23-year-old sister. The condo was spacious, clean and comfortable. There are no frills, except for the magnificent view which we took full advantage of for every sunrise and sunset. The small complex boasts less than 30 units, which means daily prime real estate on the private beach. The pool is small and shallow, but our kids loved it. They also loved the free DVD rentals at the nearby Crescent complex, and being walking distance from the beach so we could catch crabs every night. We loved the appliances, dishes, etc in the kitchen that allowed us to eat several meals there and save some money to splurge on dinners out. (See my separate reviews of the restaurants we tried.)
It wouldn't be fair to say everything at HBS was 100% perfect, though it was close. Our iron in our unit was literally in pieces and it took multiple calls to receive a replacement - which was also broken. The good news is the humid FL air allowed us to hang clothes outside to steam. Even more annoying than the iron issue was related to the beach chairs and umbrellas. HBS contracts with a local company to provide chairs and umbrellas every day for it's guests. Our first day was great. Chairs were up by 8:30a and we didn't have to fight the crowd to secure a spot. Every morning after that first day, the team showed up later and later. I was at the front desk one morning trying to settle our iron issue when someone else from HBS called to complain about the chairs. The employee gave an unsatisfactory excuse - saying rain was slowing them down. In fact, it had sprinkled for 10 minutes and the men were next door for an hour putting up the Crescent's chairs - we watched from our balcony. Still, this is an easy blip to work around by bringing your own chairs and umbrella!
Finally, also bring paper plates, paper towels and trash bags. HBS provides two trash bags per unit per stay (and would not give Jaime more when we asked on our last day). They also provide only two small packages of dish detergent. So if you have a family, like we did, you'll need to wash dishes more than twice or opt for paper!
Also, HBS has a washer and dryer on site - one per floor - that can be used for a fee. There is not a washer and dryer in the condo. This didn't bother us, but possible renters should know in advance.
All in all, HBS is a great place for a family vacation and at a much better value than what we could find anywhere else. We can't wait to go back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.