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“spectacular beach - somewhat run down hotel”

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Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 39 Hotels in Destin
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Krefeld
Level Contributor
88 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“spectacular beach - somewhat run down hotel”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2012

First - the location is really great. White beaches as far as you can see. It seemed to be totally off-season in December (which I did not expect),so we had that beaches for us alone.
The hotel is located on a private beach. It is a huge complex, but everything is somewhat run down: the elevators, the rooms, especially the bathrooms, the sun-beds... We stayed in a junior suite, which was quite big with a much too small bathroom, provided with a bath-tub (no separate shower). I was very irritated, finding an additional bunk-bed in the entrance. We booked a double room and did not want any extra beds. I don't liked that. There is a lot of renovation on some floors and in the pool-bar. I wished, they let us known that before, because the noise of the machinery was sometimes disturbing.
After all, I was not so much impressed of the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dini646
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HSBGeneralManager, General Manager at Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Dear Dini646 Krefeld,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding your past stay with us. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to those comments.

Over the past decade the beaches of Northwest Florida have been rated as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Though I personally believe October through the end of February is the best time to enjoy the pristine coastline it is considered our slower season, specifically December through February. The weather is cooler but the serenity from lesser crowds is bar none. This is also the complete opposite of the rest of Florida’s peak season of October through April.

Over the past 28 years the Hilton Sandestin Beach has been known to be the premier destination full service resort in the Florida Panhandle.

We have recognized the importance of updating our property in order to continue being the leading resort in our area. This being said, we are just completing a $5 million dollar renovation; like we have for the past two winters. Plans are currently being made for additional renovation next year in order to provide our guest with the most luxurious and modern amenities available in our area. Stay tuned for additional announcements.

I hope that you would consider visiting us again in the near future in order to show you the capital improvements that have been made for the benefit of our loyal guest. If you experience anything that does not meet your expectations please allow us the opportunity to “Make it Right” and do not wait until your departure. For example; we do have various room types that do not have bunk beds and larger bathrooms.

Thank you,

GARY BRIELMAYER I General Manager
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2,406 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (445)
Date | Rating
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English first
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

While searching for locations for our wedding we came across Hilton San Destin. Caroline was very helpful showing us several options for a beach wedding. You can't go wrong if you want your wedding on the beach. This was our initial request when we started planning our wedding, however upon walking in the wonderful, soft, white and sparkly sand we chose not to have a beach wedding. We started to think of our elderly guest having to walk or being wheeled on the sand. Honestly if it weren't for that we would have booked this location.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LaylinaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
78 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

Had our first stay here the weekend of 12/15/12. Diamond HHonors members and a set of mileage runs on Delta out of Panama City put this deal together. We were welcomed warmly even as walk-ins after midnight on Friday. We were upgraded to a junior suite that included bunkbeds in a separate area. Very handy if we had little ones! The room itself was quite large and very neat. There was a partial beach view, although I didn't see it, having to catch a 6:00 am flight.

On our return trip we stayed in a different room, being upgraded to a full Gulf view on the top floor of the spa wing. This room was equipped with both a fridge and microwave as well as offering a snack basket (for a fee) which the previous room did not have.

We slept quite well with the Gulf breezes gently wafting in through the sliding glass balcony door. The bed was super-comfortable.

Although there were only a few guests, the restaurant was open and we enjoyed a nice dinner on Sunday night as well as a full buffet breakfast on Monday morning. A big plus was the breakfast buffet staying on until 11 am, as my last mileage run flight put me back at the hotel at 10:40.

We are the kind of people who will go to any beach any time for any reason or no reason at all. So with that said, I recommend Sandestin in the off season when the crowds of summer have dispersed.

Room Tip: Most rooms have a view. A Gulf view balcony is the room you really want.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dlafky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evans Mills, New York
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here and the hotel was very nice. The spa, pool, and bar area was also very nice and relaxing. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't continental breakfast here. You actually have to pay for it. Overall I would recommend this hotel to anyone that wants to relax and have a good time!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jenn45785
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MS
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

Sandestin always lives up to the expectation of a Large hotel with LOTS to do- however the umbrella beach personnel- have to learn a bit about customer service- the mgr was rude and needed an attitude adjustment -he needs to understand that we are tourists and our 1st day we don't know the protocol on the beach seats.....with that said- service at the pool restaurant and of course seeing AL coach Nick Saban in the elevator was a biggie....and having Hugh Freeze next right next door .....well this Ole MS could not be any happier...lots to do ..sunset parties at the pool...golf, shops, ....all goes with big hotel living.

Room Tip: get something at the end with a view.....love to watch the water!!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debspa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HSBGeneralManager, General Manager at Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 21, 2012
Dear Debspa,

Thank you for sharing your valuable input with us here at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Though we are delighted to hear your overall experience with us was positive please accept my apologies for the experience you encountered with our Beach Services crew. We will certainly share the information you provided with that department in order to be more conscientious of how we respond to our guest.

In the future please do not wait this long to share our shortcomings with us. In fact, we would prefer you give us the opportunity to correct any issues you may have during your stay in order to allow us the opportunity to correct the matter immediately.

We wish you a happy holiday and hope to see you in the near future.

GARY BRIELMAYER I General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plainfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

Hilton Sandestin

The family and I stayed at this Hilton (7/4/12) one more time this year for four full days and 5 nights to cap off our vacation season. It has become one of our favorite hotels in the Hilton family and I can offer my opinion a little better this time around.

Hotel: Clean and well-staffed. Check in can be tedious and lengthy waiting in line if you arrive at the 4:00 check in time. We intentionally arrived later at about 7:00 just for this reason. Views vary from a full gulf view to partials. This time we faced east toward Panama City. I prefer the partial view to the west facing Destin. Yes, you get the catering facility next door but you also get a manicured view of the golf course, partial beach view, very large triangular balcony and for me the most important is the best cell signal (Verizon). The east and south views are obstructed from my cell carrier. As I always take a little work no matter where I am with my mobile hotspot, the west view was best. There are no “inland only” views.

Beach: This is why we come here. The water is a beautiful emerald color and has visibility often to 30 feet in full sun. There are lots of schools of fish that those without masks often don’t see. This trip I saw a remora. We haven’t seen any stingrays yet though. Waves can vary from nearly calm in the am to quite rough midday in the summer months. Our last day the waves were 4’ over the sandbar! It was a blast. If you plan on using a mask then definitely get the snorkel, it makes it all worthwhile. As you swim out over 5’ in depth the sea life begins on the bottom. There must be large sand dollars, but we only found two incher’s. The sand is very white and soft. After a full afternoon of full sun you can still walk on it and it is only warm to the touch. Great for sand castle building too! Oh, hey Hilton, when your guys are putting out the rental umbrellas, leave a path or two for folks to reach the beach. I was constantly squeezing between umbrellas to get there.

Food: “Sandcastles” is the hotel restaurant inside by the lobby. We only had the buffet breakfast. It was excellent but pricey. Get the made to order omelet – load up on the ingredients you want and give them to the chef. The menu was identical both times we breakfasted there but I can’t complain. The coffee is there is freshly ground and awesome (I value my coffee), ask for more in a to-go cup as you leave. “Barefoots” is the pool area bar and eatery. Drinks are priced about what you might expect on a beachfront, so bring a cooler to the pool area and enjoy your own as this seems to be encouraged (just stay away from glass containers.) They serve cans and cups of beer so nothing will look out of place. As for the food, yuck! Quite honestly this was the worst choice for a convenience meal my family has made in almost forever. I’ve had food at minor league ballparks that was far better. My cheeseburger cost $11 and was worse than a frozen patty on my grill. For $9 you can drive down the street to Jimmy Buffet’s Cheeseburger in Paradise and have a truly awesome burger. Whataburger is directly across from CIP, not bad either. At Barefoot’s my wife had the fish tacos. They were served “build-your-own” style and were truly lacking. Want awesome fish tacos, then go east down 98 to either Cantina Laredo or Tommy Bahama’s. These were our two great finds for dining. “Piknix” is the carry out service near the pool. We had a personal pizza and it was ok. I did notice that none of the pre-made wrapped sandwiches had a date or time of creation on them. Around where I live these must have the date and time of creation written on them. This is the place where all the kids get ice cream. “Seagars” is the premier steak and seafood restaurant in the area located in the lower level of the Hilton. While we love this kind of establishment we felt the prices were a little steep compared to our favorite steak house (Sullivan’s.)

Room: Reasonably clean and spacious. (Let’s face it, no hotel room is as clean as we would make it.) The housekeeping staff was very quick and we always found our room made when we returned from any trip. Ours had bunk beds by the door and a pull out sofa in addition to a king bed. The balcony was small with room for only two.
Nearby: Just to the east is a new outdoor mall complex with some great restaurants including Tommy Bahama’s, Cantina Laredo (our favorite), Mitchels Fish Market, PF Chang’s and more. Silver Sands is an outlet mall just to the west. If it’s raining get there by 10:30 or 11:00 as it gets really crowded. On such a day for us, route 98 was gridlocked for one mile each way. You can’t drive more than a few miles without seeing one of the annoying (to me) Alvin’s tourist gift stores. Okay, I bought shirts there. One great time we had was at the Baytowne Wharf on the north side of the Hilton Sandestin Golf Resort. It has some shopping, nightly shows, many bars and gift shops. There are activities ($$) for the kids including one three story climbing rig. The kids wear a harness and latch on to the large gym with a clasp so they can’t fall. They then make their way around and up various situations to get to the top and ring a bell. I’m not doing it, but the kids seemed to love it. Get to the Baytowne Wharf by 5:00 or you face terrible parking. At worst you park at the entrance to the complex and ride a tram to the wharf. Of course, you can ride the tram right from the Hilton, but this could take +30 min per trip. This is a truly beautiful golf resort, and I don’t golf.

We’ll be back next summer.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012 via mobile

A company I work for recently hosted 150-200 Realtors at a Xmas themed function. With the weekend being the SEC championship game we congregated around the bar several hours prior to the event. The bar staff was rude, less than interested in customer service, and extremely short. The best experience of our one night stay was Sonya Wooddell who waited on my husband and I at the breakfast Buffet on the day of our departure.

Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Karissa I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa

Property: Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa
Address: 4000 Sandestin Blvd S, Destin, FL 32550-4279
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Destin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Destin
#1 Green Hotel in Destin
#2 Spa Hotel in Destin
#4 Business Hotel in Destin
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Destin
#8 Family Hotel in Destin
#9 Romantic Hotel in Destin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 602
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa offers guests beachfront paradise with six restaurants, three bars, three pools, two whirlpools, four championship golf courses and Serenity by the Sea Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Hotel Destin
Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort And Spa
Hilton Hotel Destin
Hilton Destin
Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort
Sandestin Resort Hilton
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
Destin Hilton

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