My wife and I, as well as two other couples, stayed at the Ariel Dunes the weekend of July 11th, 2008. We booked our stay through book-it and had no problems with our reservations. I believe the problems stated in earlier reviews about unstated charges have been remedied because all of our charges were correct. We payed 687.20 including tax for the 2 night stay. We stayed in room 510, which was a corner room with a view of all of the Seascape Resort as well as the beautiful beaches. To say the least, this Condo was absolutely a cut above the rest. I have stayed in Condos from Colorado Springs to Paradise Island, Bahamas and this is the new standard for Condominiums everywhere. We arrived around 4pm at the Condo and were immediately impressed with the gated entry with security services as well as the stunning view of the Condo and the beautiful green golf course it is positioned on. The check-in counter is in the breezeway between the Ariel Dunes. As I was walking to the check-in area, I noticed the large stainless steel bar-b-que grill that guest can use situated in a little concrete hut area on the grass just before you get to the breezeway where I was then blown away by the beautiful view of the ocean. This set the mood for what would be a beautiful stay. Check-in was very quick and the staff was extremely helpful. We got a little envelope with our room keys, wrist-ring pool bands, parking card, and an ammenity card from La Dolce Vita which is the name of the company that runs the little stand on the beach where you go to get your free chair rental for the day with umbrella that comes with your room rental. We then used one of the many nice push carts by the elevator to load our luggage on and headed off to our room expecting a clean room with a nice view but we were under estimating what our experience would be. As we entered the room, we noticed the nice tile in the hallway as well as the blast of cool air which is great for those hot Florida summers. This condo has 3 rooms and two wrap- around balconies. The decorations were very nice and quite appropriate for a beach area. One room had 2 twin beds and a private bath with shower and a large closet, the other had a queen size bed, with private bath/shower, large closet, and a very large wrap around balcony with a view of the greens as well as a side view of the beach. I then walked further down the hall to the kitchen area which was beautiful with granite counter tops. The kitchen has a blender, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, can opener, portable phone, large pantry with wire shelves, stove/oven, microwave, double sink/disposal, dishwasher, tons of nice silverware and cooking utensils, baking dishes, pans, bowls, large fridge/freezer, wine glasses, regular glasses, coffee cups, plates, and an In-room concierge book with pics and descriptions of area attractions. You then move to the adjoining carpeted living room and dining area which has tables and chairs, swivel rockers, sleeper sofa, entertainment center with cable tv and a coffee table as well as some beautiful artwork. As if this wasn't enough, you then proceed to the other balcony with a view of everything Florida (beaches, pools, condos) and this balcony wraps around the entire living room and also has another sliding glass door that enters the master bedroom. Oh yeah, the master bedroom is off the living room with a comfortable queen bed, entry to the balcony, large chest for clothes, huge closet, private bath with separate garden tub with a framed mirror above it as well as candles and plants and an awesome all glass shower. The unit has a great digital air conditioner as well as a full size side by side washer and dryer. To say the least, this condo is absolutely gorgeous, very clean, and beautifully decorated. There are also trash chutes on each floor next to the elevators so that you can drop your full trash bags in them as needed. Now about that stand on the beach that you reserve your chair at that comes with your room - this stand also rents jet skis, banana boat rides, water trampolines, and large climbing iceberg for the water. The easiest way to get to the stand is to walk down the road by the beach (easier than walking in the sand) until you get to the walkway bridge that goes over the road and then just walk down the hill to the stand or just call the seascape resort beach tram and ride. I believe the stand opens around 9am or 9:30am, but we just picked the chair we wanted at 7am that was on the beach to the left of the stand and then reserved the chair when the booth opened later that morning - no sense standing in a line at an empty stand when you could be lounging on the beach. All you need to reserve your chair is the amenity card and your room number. The 11,000 sq ft pool at the condo is gorgeous as well with the umbrella fountain and zero entry for the kids. This pool is behind the Ariel Dunes and there is a more plain pool also. They are side by side. The restaurant at the hotel is located in the breezeway across from the check-in area, and they have the largest fresh cinnamon rolls you have ever laid your eyes on. The condo is within a mile or two of all the outlet mall shopping and restaurants you could ever want. I do recommend eating at Another Broken Egg Cafe which is in Sandestin at the Baytowne Wharf while you are there because the omlets are fabulous, and the shopping and atmosphere around Baytowne is wonderful. My wife and I also ate at Cafe Grazie for our anniversary, and it was wonderful as was our waiter who was fresh from Italy - now how is that for realism. The food and atmoshpere were great. My family and I will definately be back soon. My compliments to the owners of our condo and the management at the Ariel Dunes. Thank you for a wonderful stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Ariel Dunes Hotel Destin