LeCiel was renamed (from Bayside name) between approximately 2011 and 2013, when it was partially renovated. This old multistory hotel at Sandestin Beach Resort is a rather dark, homely building located right on the bay at the "bayside" side of the resort. Water views are very nice from higher levels, which have tiny balconies overlooking the bay. Rooms are similar to an average Ramada or maybe a Best Western; not as nice as an average Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express. But rooms are clean, some have new carpet, and the bathrooms have been partially renovated, painted, and seemed clean. Rooms have microwaves and refrigerators, and tiny coffee pots with very bad coffee. Best of all, the beds were super comfortable.
The parking lot at night is very dark, a little scary if you're alone, and the entrance to the lobby is poorly lit. I didn't see any signs on the building to indicate I'd arrived at LeCiel, although discreet signs along the route indicated I was going in the right direction. Public rooms are decorated in a funky old world leather and metal style that I didn't quite understand, kind of like a new age pirate ship or something. A glass wall bay viewing room overlooks the porch, with giant scopes and metal/leather barrel chairs. The front desk closes at night, but registration after hours is accomplished at the Grand hotel a couple miles away, inside the Resort. Front desk employees at both places are friendly and gracious.
LeCiel is a bus ride to the beach; or drive your car four or so miles and take your chances for one of the few parking spaces at the public beach access points. For a beach vacation there are far superior accommodations along the beach at one of the many rental houses or few Sandestin hotels; or go a few miles further west off Highway 98 in Destin where thousands of hotel rooms are right on the beach. The beach is absolutely perfect... be sure to check out the walk down to the beach from whatever hotel you choose, because some locations have very steep and long stairways from the road to the beach, while other locations are situated right on the flat beach area.
Sandestin Beach Resort is about more than just the beach. The enormously child friendly play area near the Village area just a few minutes ride from LeCiel has a zip line for kids, remote controlled boats on a small pond, a ropes course for kids, child friendly eating spots, an old fashioned carousel, and other activities... including an old timey candy store. Take money, and lots of it. Every single activity is about double to triple what we expected, Two adults with two children for a half day runs about $500 if they enjoy several activities before stopping for candy or ice cream and then lunch.
LeCiel is adequate, inexpensive at the $200.00 we paid for a two-night weekend, which included taxes. Next time I'd try the major hotel at the Resort, The Grand. It looked much nicer.
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