I visited Destin for 11 days with my family. I have Lyme Disease and was granted a Make-a-Wish trip. I specifically asked if I could stay at Sandestin, because it looked so amazing online, and Make-a-Wish worked with Sandestin so I could. It was...amazing. I don't know if I can find enough words to say how wonderful it was. The room we stayed in was hand-selected for us, and it was beautiful. We stayed in the Beachside 1, on the 14th floor. The balcony gave a heavenly view of the beach/ocean, the living room was so comfy and big, the kitchen was perfect for cooking, and the bedrooms were perfect. I can't remember the last time I slept so well - the beds were like sleeping on clouds. I can't say enough good things about the room we stayed in. It really made all the difference in our trip.
When we arrived, there was a wonderful, sweet handwritten card from Kendra, who's the head of marketing and was the main person in organizing everything with the hotel. It made me feel so welcomed.
We also met some of the beach attendants, who were SO great and SO nice. They set an umbrella and chairs aside for us. We spent so much time in those chairs, soaking in the sun and the feel of the sand in our toes and taking in the view of the ocean. One of our favorite beach attendants was named Phil; he was so friendly and great.
We really loved the strip of Sandestin's beach. The sand was white as snow, the water was beautiful, and it was flawlessly clean. And we met so, so many nice people! Because of all the rain Destin had gotten over the summer, there was a bit of seaweed in the water, and the waves were a little rougher than usual, but it hardly made a difference. We spent lots of time snorkeling in the water, looking for shells and sand dollars and seeing little fish. And every night, my dad and I would walk down to the beach with flashlights, watch the little ghostcrabs skitter around the sand, and look for the big crabs that would occasionally wash up on the beach, then retreat back. It was amazing, something I'm going to remember fondly for a long, long, long time.
The service that came in and tidied up the rooms/restocked shower samples/etc was great. They came in many-a-time when we weren't there, and we never had to worry that something was going to turn up missing. When they came when we were there, they were very friendly and even answered questions we had about Destin. We also received complimentary turn-down service (it was gifted to us because of our being a Make-a-Wish trip) and that was such a treat! Each night we got our bedcovers turned town and two large squares of the most delicious chocolate!
On the first night we visited, we had dinner at the Elephant Walk. It was wonderful. The food was heavenly, and everyone who worked there was so nice! My mom mentioned that I hadn't gotten to celebrate my 16th birthday because I was sick, and at the end of our meal, a bunch of the waiters came to our table with a piece of chocolate cake (with 'Happy Sweet 16!' written on the edge of the plate in caramel!) with a guy who was singing me Happy Birthday with his guitar (we later found out he was someone who regularly plays upstairs). It was so special. Also, the waitress we had was so sweet, answering all of our questions about Destin, giving us suggestions on the best places to go and see, and patiently taking lots of family photos of us in front of the sunset.
We also went to Baytown Wharf several times. We visited the gelato shop, and it was so delicious, along with the candy store, which was so cool and so cute! I did the ropes course, which was so empowering. After being so sick and weak for so long, I was able to go four stories high on this ropes course, which worked all of my muscles. While I was doing it, out of nowhere, a bunch of people gathered down below and started cheering me on! It was so great. My dad and I also did the zipline - it was crazy! I could have done it all day, it was so much fun! We played the little golf game and the ship game by the water, and spent a lot of time taking photos and looking around. It was such a cool place, we went back at least twice more!
Everyone from the security gate guards to the phone operators were so friendly and nice. I really can't say enough about the Sandestin. It was wonderful, and it made my Make-a-Wish trip just...unbelievable. I'm truly never going to forget it. Kendra, and everyone else who had a hand in arranging my stay at the Sandestin, made this trip a healing experience, a special one, one that I'm never going to forget. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you.