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“Loved it”
Review of Henderson Park Inn

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Henderson Park Inn
Ranked #1 of 39 Hotels in Destin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 17, 2012

My review is long over due, we went in May to celebrate our 1 year Anniversary. The staff took care of my husbands special request to have a bottle of Crystal with an engraved box saying happy 1 year anniversary. It was so special and so wonderful that they were able to take care of this for my husband on short notice according to my husband. I think any room you stay at is wonderful. We stayed in two different rooms during our stay and I will say that the second building was our favorite. The bathroom was a good size and the room itself was big and roomy. I just loved everything about this place from the breakfast to the free lunches and snacks. Water, sodas, candies, AND lemonade and cookies after lunch! I do hope we visit again next year. The beach was gorgeous, it never felt crowded. We had such a laid back stay it really felt like the way a vacation should feel like. Dont know if this was just during our stay but there was more of an older crowd there but that didnt bother us at all. Its better than having nosey young people ruining the vacation although it wouldve been nice to have some of our peers there to mingle with. Will definitely be back! I assure you you will NOT be disappointed!

Room Tip: Try out the restaurant for dinner! And if you can stay in the second building. Either or you'll...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank GT_Rachel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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593 - 599 of 781 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2012

My husband and I celebrated our 15th Anniversary here based upon the other TA reviews. The location is superb, far enough away from Destin's "strip" - but within short drive to other restaurants, shopping, etc. We LOVED the daily breakfasts from 2 very nice and talented chefs. This is no Hampton Inn breakfast included type meal.....most everything from omelets to the baked goods, grits, etc..were homemade. They also had plenty of fresh fruit and yogurt, etc... The boxed lunch was great also, took it to the beach everyday. The happy hour was also a big plus - you could get your drink and mingle with the rest of the guests who were a lot of fun and had been coming to the Inn for years or, you could take back to your beach chair and watch the sun set.
Also based on TA reviewer's, we reserved an Executive Suite on the 2nd floor of the newer building - roomy terrace to watch the sun rise, set and dolphins in the morning.....As other reviewers noted, they probably could update the bathroom, but it was more than fine and you are really not in the room that much so I did not see this as an issue. I would stay away from the 3rd floor of the main building, the terraces were VERY small.

Room Tip: Newer building on the 2nd or 3rd floor all equal, so I'd go for whichever rate is better
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank chrstn43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

It's a beautiful place, the service is excellent, and it is indeed a very romantic location. However, their smoking restrictions aren't exactly as stated up front. Smokers should be made aware BEFORE committing to the hefty rate, that smokers really aren't welcome at all. Most reviews of the Inn, and the Inn's basic statement of policy, state that smoking is allowed outdoors, which implies it's okay to smoke on the balconies and the decks and on porches -- i.e., out of the sun and rain (yes, it does rain in Florida). However, upon registering we were required to sign a full-page acknowledgment that smoking is ONLY allowed in 2 places: one adjacent to the kitchen dumpster and the second in an exposed section of parking lot -- no shade, no cover. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in a $300 fine per incident. And if you wander away from the designated areas, the Inn's security staff will bully you about it. We've vacationed there for years and this is a fairly new development. Yes, the Inn is romantic but they really should post their smoking policy on their website and mention that the smoking areas aren't sheltered. I'm sure there are non-smokers who consider this review a plus, but judging from the numbers of disgruntled smokers who shared the dumpster/parking lot smoking area with me last month, I think this review is appropriate. Henderson Park Inn has been a yearly getaway for us for several years, but I think we'll try somewhere a bit less officious next year. Too bad, I miss the laid back Margaritaville attitude that used to be the norm there. One last note about the accommodations, the mattresses are really getting lumpy and should be replaces, and the furniture is gettting shabby. Something has changed at the Inn, can't quite put my finger on it.

Room Tip: Umbrellas are available in the lobby at both buildings. The restaurant has good reviews, it's wo...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank Martha K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

My husband and I recently honeymooned at the Henderson Park Inn for 5 nights. We originally booked an executive suite, but the innkeeper himself called us on the afternoon of our arrival to let us know that the air conditioning unit in our chosen room was experiencing issues. As such, he upgraded us to a corner suite and gave us a $100 gift card to the on-site restaurant - what a wonderful surprise and class act. The room itself was well-appointed and fairly large, with an lovely scent that persisted throughout our stay.The bed was extremely comfortable - the sheets felt like butter. We looked at the tag, hoping to buy a similar set for home, but research proved the sheets were hundreds of dollars. As others have mentioned, the bottle of wine, grapes, and daily chocolates are southern hospitality at its finest. The bathroom was a decent size and the whirlpool tub was romantic and relaxing. Breakfast in the morning was superb. I have Celiac Disease, an autoimmune condition that requires me to eat gluten free. Chef Greg was more than accommodating. I enjoyed made-to-order omelettes, delicious breakfast potatoes, and my personal favorite - grits with cheese sprinkled on top. Henderson Park Inn even offered a free cooking class to re-create these great breakfasts at home! One of the breakfast employees noticed that I didn't have a spoon for my yogurt, so took it upon herself to bring me one. We loved eating breakfast on the deck each morning. Lunch was boxed from Honeybaked Ham, and I was able to order my sandwich without bread (I brought a gluten-free loaf from home). Candy Bars and free bottled water made wonderful afternoon snacks. The beach chairs available free of charge were weathered (to be expected), but more than adequate. Did I mention that you don't even have to worry about beach towels, as they are provided free of charge? The beach itself was beautiful - we'd never been to Destin, and were surprised at how warm and clear the water truly was. We didn't once make it to happy hour, but that's also included in the cost of the room - we hear it's a great chance to mingle and meet new friends. The other guests at the Inn were so friendly and always wanting to help us out - whether it was snapping a picture of us when they saw we were struggling with our camera or offering us their boards to hit the waves. We took advantage of our gift card to the on-site restaurant, BeachWalk Cafe, and were pleased with our dinner. They accommodated my gluten free diet superbly. It was one of the most romantic nights I've ever had. On our last night, we ran into the innkeeper and mentioned that we had a 14 hour drive ahead of us. He offered to pack a breakfast for us if we planned on taking off earlier than the standard breakfast hours, but we couldn't resist one more gulf front morning after all. The only "downsides" of the property include a somewhat noisy a/c unit (though I'm a sensitive sleeper) and bathrooms that could use some minor upgrades (but were still lovely and clean). We are already planning our trip back for our 1st anniversary!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kussa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

We enjoyed our stay from beginning to end and are already planning our next visit. Room was beautiful, staff was wonderful and everyone went above and beyond to please. We looked forward to happy hour at the Tiki hut every day. What a wonderful breakfast buffet.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank maxster7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

...and I mean that in the most positive way possible. The prices on the rooms are higher than most in the area,but they give you so much. If you stayed at a cheaper hotel and had to buy breakfast, snack, and lunch, you'd end up spending the same amount anyway. But it goes so much further than that. I have never felt more at home on a vacation than I did on this one. The style of the Inn feels like a home instead of a hotel. The employees make you feel like you're a friend who has come to stay with them for a little while. They want to make sure you have everything you need for a comfortable visit, and they'll carry on a friendly conversation as if they're truly interested in your life. I loved the smell throughout the place. I never asked what it was, but I think it was juniper.
I would suggest getting some new beach chairs. There is a broken one that falls apart if you don't sit in it just right. Also, we were in room 207, and there seemed to be some sort of generator or something behind the wall which made a helicopter noise throughout the day and night. It didn't bother me, but my husband is a light sleeper so if you get that room, just have a sound machine or something to block it out.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank PMann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2012

We agree with the many positive comments of the overwhelmingly glowing reviews fro this wonderful B&B ... and find some of the negative comments perplexing, at least based upon our four day stay.

Bottom line, this is truly a unique place. We have been visiting the Gulf Coast two to three times a year for our entire lives, and we have never experienced a locale like the Henderson Park Inn. In fact, you can check it out the beach and grounds on the Inn's live webcam on its website.

Our luxurious and plush rooms, the superb food, the over-the-top service, the laid-back relaxed atmosphere ... even given all we had read on Trip Advisor, the Inn still exceeded our expectations.

We just returned from a long weekend at this fabulous inn! I read all the reviews before we booked our room and I must say they are spot on. This inn is a true gem. It is a bit pricey but worth every penny. A the location next to and overlooking Henderson Park is truly wonderful. We enjoyed many walks on this nearly deserted state park beach ... and we were there in August!

Room: Despite so many reviewers recommending second floor rooms with a balcony, a staff member (? Tammie) talked us into staying on a first floor in the east building. We're so glad she did! The view of the beach and gulf from our balcony was amazing. The waves crashed on the beach only 50 yards or so from our balcony. In fact, we were able to open the french doors onto the nice-sized private balcony and listen to the waves. We used the balcony for evening wine and cheese and long talks.

Our room, two doors from the Presidential Suite was large and elegant (we stayed in Room 110, but Room 109 or Room 111 would have also been fine ... with Room 111 being at the end of the building). Despite being on the first floor, the insulation was fabulous. We did not hear our side neighbors or any noise from above. Our room's foyer did have a bit of a moldly smell, but not the room. The bathroom was large (soaking tub/shower combo). The towels huge and plush.

The furniture and art work were very nice. The king-size bed was very comfortable and pristinely clean (I always check mattresses). We had no problems with the TV or stereo (even though we almost never turned the TV on). Feel free to bring your own books, DVDs, or CDs or pick up some on the shelves near the lobby). The wi-fi was a bit slow from our room but not a huge issue.

We liked the Mr. Coffee in the room and enjoyed making a pot each morning. Okay, a coffee maker that makes individual cups would not be a bad addition. And, it was less than 50 yards to the main building and the complimentary hot chocolate/coffee/latte/cappuccino machine. The wine, cheese, and chocolates we received on arrival were very nice, and the evening chocolate truffles were delicious.

Food: We ate breakfast and lunch at the inn every day. Frankly, there's no reason not too. Chef Greg (a Baton Rouge and LSU man) was amazing. Your breakfast is cooked to your order and can be served in as many courses as you want. Sit inside overlooking the beach and adjoining State Park or sit on the outside balcony and enjoy the sounds of the ocean and a gentle breeze. The Grits Grillades (pronounced GREE-yahds) were delicious (as good as anywhere in New Orleans) and Chef Greg even gave a class on how to prepare them one day. Nearly everyone in the Inn came.

Grits have never really caught on with most folks from up north. I don't understand this because a lot of northern folks go crazy over Polenta, which is basically a yellow version of Grits. I personally think it's all about the name; Polenta flows from the tongue and sounds upper class, while the word Grits comes from your mouth like a shotgun blast and sounds a bit rural. Well, not in Chef Greg's hands (his grits are made with half-and-half and real butter ... loosen your belt and take an extra statin!)

The boxed lunches (from the Honeybaked Ham Store) were a nice touch with a large number of choices, and we enjoyed being able to eat anywhere we liked -- even on the beach.

We had dinner at the beachwalk cafe one night during our stay and it was the best dinner we had our entire trip and that is saying something! Even though the restaurant was very busy, our table was prepared and ready. No wait at all! The view of the sunset from the restaurant deck during dinner was a special gift to us from heaven.

There are also lots of nearby excellent restaurants (but none better). Nevertheless, the staff is happy to make great recommendations and reservations.

The daily happy hour was also very enjoyable, including the delicious hors d'oeuvre served right to where you were seated on the Inn's spacious deck (but, as others have observed, it lasts exactly and only one hour).

Staff: Very friendly, outgoing, and helpful. We had NO issues during our stay, but if we had, I have no doubt they would have resolved them very quickly.

Of interest, when we talked to staff about some of the negative comments on Trip Advisor, some of which we wondered were planted by jealous competitors, the staff seemed truly hurt by them ... to the point of taking them to heart. In fact, they had reasonable explanations for nearly all. For example, one staff member told me, "I told the client when she called to book that the room she wanted was our smallest and most cramped room by far. She still insisted on booking it. When she checked in, she complained bitterly and I instantly moved her to another room (luckily one was available). She said she was happy, but still filed a terrible review." Hmm!?!?

I encouraged the manager to file responses on Trip Advisor to unfair and unreasonable complaints ... certainly to explain them to those of us who carefully study Trip Advisor before booking a place to stay. I've enjoyed reading those responses in other reviews. To me it helps keep the reviews "fair and balanced."

Beach: Quiet and peaceful. Sugar sand. Beautiful water colors. Dolphins frolicking off shore each day. The beach chairs and umbrellas were set up every morning and there seemed to be plenty for every guest -- no need to make a reservation (which you can't do anyway).

Since our room was only steps from the beach, we stayed on the beach under our umbrella most of each day ... coming up to the Inn for occasional snacks (drinks [water, soft drinks, coffee, lattes] or candy bars are complimentary), to pick up our lunch boxes, or to take an afternoon bike ride down the quiet beach street (the Inn provides the bikes for you) followed by an afternoon nap in our room. The staff was happy to refresh our room twice a day.

We were sad to leave but are already planning our next trip back! We loved this place and everything about it.

Room Tip: Our room, in the east building was beach side and two doors from the Presidential Suite. It was larg...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ColoradoDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Henderson Park Inn

Address: 2700 Scenic Hwy 98 East, Destin, FL 32541-3413
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Destin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Destin
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Destin
#4 Family Hotel in Destin
Price Range: $209 - $590 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Each guest is welcomed with a complimentary bottle of wine, fresh grapes and flowers upon arrival. Start your day with a complimentary full breakfast overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at our Destin beach restaurant. A delicious selection of cook-to-order omelets, made from scratch biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, pastries, scrumptious bacon and sausage and so much more. Next, cruise down to the beach, but first stop by our community refrigerator to grab some beverages on the way down and then relax under an umbrella and on our complimentary beach chairs. Soak up the sunshine, go for a bike ride or take a long walk for a relaxing stroll down the beach. After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop in for a complimentary lunch (excluding holidays). For a quick snack stop through the lobby for lemonade and cookies as an added treat. Before dinner, mosey down to the restaurant for happy hour nightly while overlooking the Gulf Coast’s most beautiful beaches and colorful sunsets. Arrive back to your room after a day of relaxation and indulgence with gourmet chocolates and a complimentary turn down service. Each Suite is a perfect place to enjoy the charm and grace embraced by the peaceful shores of the Emerald Coast. Handicap-accessible units available. Come see why Henderson Park Inn is one of the hotels on the beach in Destin, Florida. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Henderson Park Hotel Destin

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