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“Luau Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort”

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Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sandestin
Certificate of Excellence
Mobile, IL
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Luau Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort”
Reviewed January 9, 2009

We stayed at the Luau on New Years Eve. The line for check in at the Grand (where everyone has to check in) was out the door at 3pm. Of course we understood it was New Years.

Our 2 bedroom condo was on the 4th floor. The condo was really a 1 bedroom suite, and a 1 room similar to a hotel room with a common entry door then 2 locked entry doors to each room.

The 1 bedroom had a king bed and a pull out couch (sleeping 4 comfortably), a dining area, kitchen and washer dryer. Other 1 bedroom had a king bed and a small chair pullout. So it fit 3 people comfortably. We also came away with little bug bites from our bed but no one else complained of that.

BUT...when we tried to take a shower the most horrible smell of rotten eggs filled the whole place. It was the worst smell I have ever experienced and it permeated everything every time you ran the water. We had to open the windows and doors. It took more than an hour to clear out.

We called the desk and they explained that a lot of the condos have this problem as they sit empty for a while. We tried to let the water run and flush it out. But it did not get any better.

My son, a construction worker said they needed new water heaters and in today's economy the owners don't want to put anymore money into the condo's. Which I have to think he maybe right. While we were standing in line I heard many a lament about wishing they could unload their condos.

The grounds are very nice. Only one hot tub worked, the heated pool was ice cold, I think it's heated by a small stream which winds around the property and that too was cold. It was in worn condition but near the beach and it had a nice workout room.

We could enjoy the fireworks from our balcony. The kids liked it so we were happy if they were.

We booked on book-it for $200 a night. The front desk said they'd refund 10% for the no water. We haven't received anything yet.

So what do I recommend? I'll look somewhere else next time and ask about the availability of hot water sans the sulfur smell.

I think I'll stick with the VRBO for renting condo's. They'll have a cliental and hopefully make more of an effort.

Helpful?
2 Thank cherry6905
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Iowa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2008

We have just returned from a trip to Sandestin, Florida. We really enjoyed the trip. There were five adults in our party. We booked our stay through Gibson Beach Rentals. We stayed at the Beachside I number 4040. It was really nice. We got there early and the housekeeping crew let us put our stuff in the room while they finished cleaning. They were very nice. They told us some things to see in the area. Gibson Beach Rentals has the amenity cards available through them in case you want to rent bikes to ride, play basketball, putt-putt, rent beach chairs, etc. Even though the amenity cards were there for us we didn't end up using them. We would have used them to probably ride the bikes, but we usually walked instead. We just really spent our time at the beach since the weather was so beautiful. We also went over to the Baytown Wharf and ate and spent time listening to music they had on Wed. evening. The facilities there on the site are really nice. The golfing was great as well. We unfortunately couldn't take our golf clubs with us so we rented them. They had a discount after 2 p.m. for golfing and then it would have cost us $40 a person to rent clubs but we went to the golf stores in Destin and they had coupons for free golf club rentals so that worked out great. Also, we were able to save money on our beach chairs, etc., because our condo had chairs and boogie boards and toys in the closet so we didn't have to spend the money on renting the chairs and umbrella from the beach guys.
I would suggest this resort to anyone who loves the white soft sandy beaches. They are wonderful. Going this time of year was great because there was really nobody staying at our condo building. It was like having the beach all to ourselves. On the day we left, we went to the Naval Aviation Base in Pensacola, Florida. It has a wonderful museum. I'm not really into museums normally, but this was a great one. They have all kinds of huge planes and helicopters and simulators to ride in. The museum is free. They also have a lighthouse you can climb up in and a fort that you can tour. Neat base!

  • Liked — It's location on the beach
  • Disliked — Not close to an airport
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank smalltowniowagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2008

We stayed at the Westwinds bldg. in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Aug. 23-30. Even though they were still dealing with Fay, we decided to go anyway as we had planned this vacation back in Oct. of '07.

Our 2Bed/2Bath condo on the beach was very expensive but we expected the best. All the hype led us to believe that we were staying on one of the finest properties in Destin. Unfortunately, we were very disappointed. Upon arrival our room had a "worn" look to it. All the patio furniture was piled in the master bedroom due to Fay and no one ever came during the entire week to put it back out doors even though we were told they would.

The bathrooms were dirty with hair from past guests and the toilets and showers were not clean. The counter in the kitchen and kitchen floor was dirty. The living room had crumbs on the couch. The unit just was not cleaned properly.

We were told that our expesive fee included daily trash removal, towel changes and the beds made up. Also, there was to be a linen change (the beds) on Tues. Imagine our surprise when we came in from the beach on Tues. to find a couple of towels put in the baths, one bed made up and the master bedroom still the way we left it-- unmade-- not to mention no linen change.

As upset as we were about htis, we were not ready to deal with what we found when we opened the refrigerator. Our food had been eaten!!! No Kidding!!!! Someone had just helped themselves to our groceries!!!

I immediately called the hotel manager. I was told someone would call me back. After a while, I received a call back and explained the situation. At first, they suggested that we be present during the future cleanings....what kind of vacation is that? They sent someone to clean the unit and finally offered to credit our account for $100.00. This was after we insisted that no one else would be allowed in the unit for the duration of our stay. We ended up having to throw away a lot of food....the "ick" factor was huge....what else had been handled or gone through? I ended up having to clean during our vacation which is not what I had planned on doing. Housekeeping was supposedly going to be notified not to come to our room after this but, even though we kept the "do not disturb" notice in the door, we had to explain it to them as well.

There are no safes in the rooms. The beach chairs and umbrellas are VERY expesive to be so cheaply made. They are $39 for one day. You can't just sit anywhere on the beach. Each bldg. has its own beach area and you can't set up your own chairs 1 inch over the line on the neighbors' area or you'll be asked to move.

Because of the rip tide we were not allowed to swim and we understood this but we were repeatedly told not to even walk along the waters' edge because others might think they could go in the water. I mean we could not even walk in the wet sand. Unbelievable!!

We have traveled all over the world and stayed in many different hotels and condos but we feel so much more disappointed with Sandestin because of the hype and steep price. We've stayed in Holiday Inns that were far cleaner and better run.

We certainly will not return. It is unfortunate that Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort doesn't value its customers highly enough to hire and train better staff.

  • Liked — We were offered the option of changing our dates due to Fay.
  • Disliked — Housekeeping staff.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank LadyinGeorgia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prosper Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2008

My husband and I traveled to Destin, Florida for our son's beach wedding, which was held on 8/8/08. We chose the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort for our own lodging, as did the bride and groom, and then several family members stayed all over the area. I visited my relatives who stayed at other areas, such as Seascape Ariel Dunes, The Palms, and even a $10,000 dollar a week three-story beachfront house. However I must tell you that no where did I see that the grounds were kept as nicely as the place we chose, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. There is every kind of lodging imaginable there, from beachfront, to golf view, to hotel, etc. We stayed in Beachside One, which was a little older, but we rented directly from VRBO, and the owners had renovated to the max, so everything was very updated. The view of the beach was absolutely to die for. I honestly had never been to Destin, but rather always chose to go to the Mexican Caribbean, etc. but Destin has turquoise water and white sand...who knew?? Also everything about Sandestin is upscale, and many restaurants and shops are coming up all around in and right outside of the resort toward the Residence Inn and Marriott. At any rate, I was extremely pleased. We biked there, played golf, miniature golf, etc. There is much to do. I would suggest going to the shops of the village at Baytown, as it is a cute area, and the best restaurant there is Another Broken Egg. The wedding turned out beautifully, the weather was great except for the last day when it rained a little, but everything wedding-wise was already done, so no worries. My son and his new bride stayed in the Luau condos of this resort, and it is an almost new condo building, and has a beautiful pool. Granted the pool areas of the Beachside condos where we stayed are becoming dated, but the views are so spectacular that who cares? I highly recommend the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. There is a Hilton Sandestin on site as well, if you prefer a hotel.
Judy in Prosper Texas

  • Liked — Beachfront
  • Disliked — Pool was a little dated
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank judyfairProsperTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mobile
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 13, 2008

The hotel was nice and convienently located! We stayed in the Laua Tower 2. I was pleased to see there was a baggage rag we could utilize to take our luggage upstairs instead of making several trips. The room was very clean and equipped with a full kitchen--didn't use but was nice to have. If you like a good view you will probably want to request to stay on the side facing the pool. Our immediate view was the parking lot but we could see the Gulf in a distance as well as other things. Additionally, if you really want a beach view you should stay in the beach towers. I really enjoyed the tram service to the Village. The village is nice for a quick easy get away to eat dinner, drinks, and listen/dance to music. You are less than a 5-minute drive to outlet stores and other eateries. Overall, the hotel was pleasant and nice. Housekeeping came to clean the room and all my request were met. Make sure when you check-in you are giving a parking permit, if not, you will be turned around by the gate guard and have to go back inside the lobby. This is not a problem but when you been traveling and have waited in line in the lobby for 15-20 min--you really don't want to go back and wait again.

  • Liked — convenience
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank traveler29Mobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 27, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Beachside 2 resort at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. We stayed in a 1 bedroom studio which was average. The bathroom was dirty and the towel rack was ripped out of the wall. The furnishings were dirty and worn. The view was very beautiful which made the room a little more tolerable.
We flew into Fort Walton Beach (this is the closest airport) we then had to rely on the tram system which was extremely painful! The bus drivers were very rude and it took up to an hour for us to get to a destination about 2 miles away. We went to the grand boulevard one night and it took 2 different bus rides to get to the restaurant on the blvd. On our way back we stopped at the Publix to get some groceries and the tram system would not pick us up. We were standed and had to go through 5 taxi companies to find someone who would help us. Once we found someone he told us he would have to charge us double because it was out of his way.
On a positve note we went to some really good restaurants- Flemings steak house and Mitchells seafood. Very Very Good!! The beach was beautiful. I would say overall this resort is very overpriced and way too spread out. I would prefer a resort that I can walk to my destination.

  • Liked — Ocean front rooms
  • Disliked — Dirty!
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank kingstonowner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
texas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2008

My husband, myself, and our 2 and 12 year old daughter drove down from Texas so that my husband could attend a conference and we could also get a family vacation at the same time. We called the resort directly to book and after three different phone calls and conflicting information about rates we finally got a one bedroom condo at the Luau. The rate was $169 a night plus taxes and resort fees. The room was awesome! The view was amazing. Look at my Luau review for more details. So, we had talked to a lady that had been to the resort before and she told us that we needed to rent a golf cart b/c it made the trip so much better for getting around and such. Warning!!! The resort is BIG! It doesn't look it on the map they give you on the website but it is divided by Hwy 98. Upon check in we asked about the carts and they gave us a flyer and we called she told us that it was going to be $245 from Monday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. That was a shock compared to the $80 a week we were told by our friend. We decided to go ahead and rent it anyway. Since our condo was pretty much steps to the beach and the only time we really needed it to get to the village was Tuesday night...it really wasn't worth it to us. The beach has plenty of parking and so does the village so really it's just a convienence thing of not having to get in and out of a car and trying to find a parking space. So back to my review.... I am going to review every part of the resort seperately so it is easier to read.

Resort grounds:
Very pretty, seemed well kept, saw many workers doing there thing. It did bother me that the sign for Tivoli was missing the O but that's just me.

Beach:
Very, very, very crowded!! The resort sets up rows and rows of chairs and umbrellas and only leaves a very small area for others to set up there own. You are literally shoulder to shoulder in most cases unless you make the trek down further and it wasn't worth lugging all our stuff. The resort charges you a whopping $39 a day to rent two chairs and an umbrella and they throw in two towels you get to keep. We decided to get our own umbrella and lay on a two-person towel instead. Many people who obviously were in "the know" brought easy up tents, chairs, coolers, and lots of beach toys. Let me tell you about the heat!! OMG is it HOT!! Even on the beach you sweat like you just ran a marathon. Bring lots of water, especially for the kids. During our time in Sandestin, the beach was rough. It was a red flad the entire time and the jelly fish were everywhere making cooling down feel like you are practicing for football with all the dogging, jumping, and running. My 12 year old daughter got stung and ruined her for the rest of the time. She really wanted to go boogie boarding, even bought the board and couldn't use it. My 2 year old saw how her sissy was scared to go in so she wouldn't even get close to the water. Needless to say, it got too hot and we decided to go to the pool instead. Bummer.....since we love the beach. We have been to Hilton Head Island and have had the best time on the beach. That reminds me....if you plan on going shelling or creature finding....good luck...there is nothing but very small white shells and nothing interesting to look at. Now on to the beach snack shack....what a joke. It was pre-cooked items such as burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, and fries in warming pans that cost a fortune. Just to give you an example... a grilled cheese was $5 without the fries. They did have a beach bar on the beach but unless you sat close it wasn't worth the trek to get a drink. I did see some ladies with name tags on but they didn't seem like they were actively looking for people who wanted drinks....like I said it was HOT!

Village of Baytowne Wharf:
This was the one thing I was looking forward to so we took our golf cart and went on Tuesday night because it was Mini-Gras and fireworks night for the kids. They advertise that they have all these activities for kids to enjoy but they neglect to tell you that you have to buy an armband for $10 per child to do them. But it doesn't include the bungy trampoline or zip-line. So we bought one for our youngest but not for our oldest because the activities were blow up slides and jumpy castles, face painting, magician, and balloon art. I couldn't believe they would charge $10 for that. My oldest wanted to do the zip-line so we headed over and paid the hefty $18 plus tax for her to go about 100 yards and back. You could tell on her face she was not thrilled. We started to get hungry and because it was so busy we opted to eat pizza which was actually pretty good and decently priced compared to the other places. Then we headed back to the main event courtyard to watch the fireworks. They were pretty amazing. The kids loved them. Then they start playing music and put out wigs, hats, and blow up guitars on the stage and the kids go up there and dance their little hearts out. It was the highlight of the night. Our 2 year old got out there and did her thing. Other than the mini-gras night I don't see how the village caters to kids. It's more of an adult haven with bars and even a dance club. The lagoon is not roped or gated off for safety and I just kept imaging one of the kids falling in the dark water and nobody knowing it. I do think the village is neat but we thought it was over-rated and over-priced so we only went back one night and ended up eating bbq which was okay but expensive for bbq.

Misc resort info:
We did call the shuttle once to get to the golf carts but it took them forever to get there and then it was so crowded people had to stand up and sit on laps. Overall, it seemed like a pain and people were not happy having to wait in the heat. Bikes can be rented but you do get 4 hours free a day but to be honest it was so hot I couldn't imagine going for a bike ride. They also are supposed to let you use the boogie boards for free but they said they can't give them out when it's a red flag but you can buy one from them...hum weird. They also have kayaks and paddle boats to use in the bay but the people we saw using them looked like they wished they thought twice. My last complaint about the resort has to do with the parasailing. We called on Thursday to inquire about it and was told that they had an opening and it was going to be $100 per person to go 800 ft. and riders are an additional $40 but she wouldn't charge me for my 2 year old. I knew we could get it cheaper and so I called around and in fact it was much cheaper...$70 per person and only $20 for a rider but of course they had no openings and since we were leaving the following day we decided to do it. Now, they normally parasail on the beach but because of rough surf they had to do it in the bay. Kind of a bummer because we wanted to see the marine life. So we get on the boat and there are two workers a man and a girl who was driving the boat in the smallest bikini ever......my husband had a nice view. They had zero personality did not interact with us only with each other. We had one couple go up before us and then it was our turn. I didn't go b/c I had to watch our 2 year old. So up and away they went and about 15 minutes later they came down. My husband was sick and said it was so not worth the money. The next day we went down to the beach for a last good-bye and low and behold there were people parasailing in the ocean....I was so mad! I'm sure it is a completely different experience and they shouldn't have charged us full priced to do it in the bay. I say stay away and go to either boogies or chute me instead...chute me has a very fun crew and it is much cheaper.

In conclusion:
I loved the condo but was dissapointed in the resort. It says it caters to children but it doesn't. It is way too big, and extremely over-priced and I would not go back unless I got a really good deal on a room.
Advice:

Do your research, plan before you get there.

  • Liked — the condo at the Luau
  • Disliked — too big, over-priced, not kid friendly,
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank keely92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Property: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Address: 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy West, Sandestin, FL 32550-7226
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Sandestin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sandestin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 1281
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Also Known As:
Sandestin Golf And Beach Hotel Sandestin
Sandestin Hotel And Beach
Sandestin Resort And Beach
Sandestin Golf Beach Resort
Sandestin Resort Florida

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