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“Excellent Romantic Retreat”

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Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 39 Hotels in Destin
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Concord, NC
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Excellent Romantic Retreat”
Reviewed 9 March 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our recent trip to Destin, FL and our stay at the Hitlon Sandestin Resort! The rooms were spacious (would be great for a family trip), well decorated and clean. The beach and grounds were really well-maintained. Ongoing construction due to a fire last year was a bit of an eye sore, but couldn't be helped. The breakfast buffet was pricey, but the food was terrific. The location was great - close to shopping, dining and many other activities. The servers in the bar area and the buffet were all great with one exception. The bartender on duty both nights at the bar itself was not pleasant at all. While our drinks were fine and served promptly, there was little courtesy or customer service involved. The experience would have been much more enjoyable had she appeared to not dislike everyone and everything so much. We thought at first she may have just been having an off night, but we got the same prickly personality the second night. Which explained the very light bar patronage at a time when the hotel was quite full due to conventions and a wedding.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank NCLuckyWon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

We went down for a wedding in October of 2009 and everything was perfect. Half of the wedding guest stayed somewhere else and wanted our hotel way more. I got an upgrade as soon as we got there and for a weekend night & 99 for a suite. LOVED IT... it was even warm enough to brave the water. The rooms are beautiful and just perfect for a getaway.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank WaughRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2011

I stayed the weekend here, having done so many times before. I knew there was a fire and saw the site last fall. I knew from reading online that there would be construction right now. I assumed they might not work on the weekend--I should have asked! We were put on the east side of the complex so we did not look out over the construction site. We did however hear the bobcat and worker traffic between the site and the parking lot. It was lots of the "beep--beep-beep" of the bobcat and workers shouting to each other most of the day. There was also some kind of work being done to balconies which involved workers on scaffolding outside the window. They were not outside ours but this would have been extremely unsettling and we were not told when we booked or when we checked in. I still love this hotel and the beach, but I won't stay there again until the construction is over. I think we should have been offered some free perk (full breakfast instead of continental, free beach setup, free parking,etc.) for having to listen to the noise. A condo would have been much better this time for us! I love sitting on the balcony looking at water and hearing the waves and that simply wasn't the same with all the noise.

Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank ParkandGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonSandestinBeach, Manager at Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 20 March 2011
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback regarding your recent stay with us at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you encountered during our renovations. Even though we have posted updates and notices of our progress on our website and various areas throughout the hotel it can still be interruptive at times. However, the noise is minimized to the hours of 9am to 6pm. We are anticipating the majority of the construction to end by March 25th.

Should you reconsider the Hilton Sandestin Beach in your future travels, please let me know. We’d be delighted to host you again and provide you with the excellence in service and amenities for which we’ve distinguished ourselves over the past 26 years.
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f
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2011

Don't get me wrong the hotel is nice but overpriced. This is the second time I have stayed here and I'm not satisfied with this hotel at the price they charge; everything is ridiculously expensive. My business picked up the expenses so I can't complain too much. However, for those that pay for their stay out of pocket there are some things you need to know. If you have a vehicle they charge you $10 a day for parking. It doesn't matter where you park they are going to try to make money off a asphalt parking space. The general good store is overpriced; a coke and bag of chips was over $8. The breakfast buffet, also overpriced, at $18 for one person. However, the breakfast buffet was very good. There is a sushi restaurant in the hotel that is very, very good. The sushi was also expensive but I think was well worth it. As for cleanliness the only problem I have is with the house keeping. My first stay I noticed the drinking glasses that are in the room were dirty, one which had the previous guests lipstick on it. I decided to leave the glass out so housekeeping would replace it with a clean glass. Instead of washing the glass properly, they used a rag, the same one they used to wipe other surfaces, to clean the glass. Needless to say the glass had the same lipstick on it my entire stay. My stay was for 2 weeks and the glass was never cleaned properly. Finally, the laundry services available to guests suck. The laundry service is so overpriced it's unbelievable, and is not available on the weekends. The washers and dryers available to the guests do not work all that well. I believe the hotel provides substandard washers and dryers on purpose so you will use their overpriced laundry service. So while the hotel may be in a nice area with a great view, I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank xfgt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enterprise, Alabama
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2011

My husband and I wanted to quick weekend getaway from our children and normal hectic schedule. He's active duty and we got an EXCELLENT rate for our 3 day excursion February 19-21. We were allowed to check in early, and the hotel was very clean and the accomodations were very nice. The complimentary breakfast buffet was wonderful, and so was the quaint lunch and dinner we had with some friends. We did experience a bit of an uncomfortable situation when the pianist and a waitress got into a verbal spat while we waited for our lunch to be served. It left me and my friends quite wide eyed. We laughed about it later.

Our stay was wonderful and relaxing, except for the noise coming from the construction. We were upgraded to a 7th room floor with an ocean view, but the construction was right under our balcony. I certainly understand the unfortunate circumstances that caused the constuction, however, when construction continued at 8:00am on SUNDAY morning, I was a bit flustered. I could hear every beat of the hammer, every bit of wood being tossed about, and the incessant beep coming from the equipment being used. So I didn't get to enjoy the awesome seabreeze because the noise was too much. Also the walls seem thin because we could hear the family that stayed in the adjoining room. Maybe the locked adjoining door played a big part of that.

Other than that, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will return with our children, probably this coming weekend! I will request a room with a beach view AWAY from the construction area.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pcandlyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2011

Had a wonderful time at this hotel. Lovely clean rooms. Friendly staff, excellent rate. They upgraded us for no charge to a beach view.( It was during a not so busy time.) Food was wonderful. Room service was great. There was construction going on (a little noisy) and outside pools were closed - we were not swimming - it was cold. There is a nice heated indoor pool! All together it is a beautiful hotel, great food, located on the beach.
Wonderful staff, clean rooms, comfy
beds! Would definitely return. Cannot wait to see the renovations!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gordontrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crestview, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2011

I want to start by saying that I was really looking forward to staying at the hotel. I even reinstated my Hilton Honors account from when I used to travel a lot with the intention that we would start staying at Hilton branded hotels during some upcoming planned trips. Anyway, my work had a Christmas party here in December and I remember commenting to my wife how nice the hotel was and how it would be nice to stay there. See, we live within 50 miles of the hotel and could take the opportunity to visit any of the resorts down in the Destin/Sandestin area whenever we want to "get away."

We were married in November and due to busy holiday and work schedules, we had not had the chance to take a honeymoon. So, as a gift, her parents serendipitously booked us a two-night stay here as wedding gift. Fast forward to February.

We've finally arrived at the hotel to check in for our romantic stay. We booked a beachview room on the third floor of the spa tower with a king size bed. The check in went well and upon discovery of my active duty status waived my $10 per night self-parking fee. A very nice and appreciated gesture for my 19+ years of service. I would like to point out that though you have to pay for parking and access to the hotel complex is gate-controlled, they still have signs posted that they "are not responsible for vehicle damage or theft" their lots. What are people paying for then?

We finally got to our room and found ourselves initially pleased with everything. The view was acceptable considering the circumstances--the restaraunt in the courtyard had been burnt down in a conflageration was currently under construction. It detracts from the "beach view" but again, is understandable. What is not understandable is why, at 8 in the morning on Sunday, they had construction going on outside our windows. It couldn't wait until Monday or at least a bit later in the day? Moving on, I discovered what I consider an egregious oversight. What hotel, especially a high end resort, does not have in-room WI-FI? Seriously? In 2011, there is a hotel with no WI-FI? I called the desk and stated that they had in-room wired internet. Do they not realized that many, many people now have smartphones, iPads, and other devices that don't have ethernet ports? I don't mean to overstate this but it's a personal pet peeve of mine. I guess I just expect more from a high-end hotel in the 21st century.

The first sign of a problem stay occurred the first night. The posted hours for the pools were indoor 2 AM and outdoor 10 PM. One thing we discovered is the Hilton does not have any security or attendants that bother to enforce any rules. At 1:30 AM my pregnant wife finally had to call the front desk and complain about the yelling and general chaos present outside of the guest rooms in the pool and in the hot tub.

We spent Saturday out and returned to the hotel late afternoon looking forward to taking a dip in the outdoor pool. Before we got in, we decided to take a stroll down to the beach. As we passed the pool, I noticed a couple in the corner of the pool acting suspiciously. I commented to wife that I thought they were having sex in the pool--in broad daylight and with about 10 children in the pool. There were actually people on the pool deck and on surrounding balconies watching this--and doing nothing about it. I looked around again for the non-existant pool attendants and security personnel. Guess how many I found. Right: zero. Now I'm not a prude or anything but really--broad daylight with children in the pool? I marched off to report this to the front desk. I asked for a manager but--according to the desk personnel--he was nowhere to be found. The lady at the desk assured me that this was a family resort and that behavior was not tolerated. She claimed that recreation personnel should have been at the pool to stop it. She was feigned distress because apparently that was the first day the pool was open and now they would have to close the pool for health reasons. I mean I'm sure that classy couple was using a condom, right? No, where did everything go then? Oh, in the pool water right? Obviously my wife was not going to swim in that pool now. The desk offered us the use of the fitness center and showers for 24 hours at no charge (did you know it costs $20 per day to use the fitness center?) and a late checkout at 1 PM instead of 11 AM (appreciated). While we appreciated the gesture, we were not interested and didn't tell them to get anything for free--we just wanted them to take care of the problem. The desk clerk assured me that the pool would be closed down within 5-minutes for cleaning. You can probably guess how long it was closed for. Uh-huh...it wasn't. We watched numerous people using the pool from our balcony for the rest of the night feeling bad for them because they had no idea what they might be swimming in.

Saturday night we had a repeat of Friday night with regards to the pool hours. I just don't get it. Where is hotel staff to control this sort of stuff? Sunday morning we experienced the aforementioned early morning construction. One highlight was the breakfast buffet. It was very, very good and the wait staff was both pleasant and courteous. We left our server (who also served us on Saturday) a sizeable tip for being the best part of our stay. That and the overly expensive but oh so good chocolate cake that my wife was craving late night.

I put a call in to the general hotel manager but I was not able to speak to him. I left a message and told him that I would like to talk to him for his take on the things prior to leaving a review but he has failed to contact me. So be it.

Overall I was excited about this "trip" but ultimately left with bad memories. The expensive costs attached to common amenities, no in-room WI-FI, a lack of interest from staff about what goes on in the hotel and late night noise all outweigh the few good things we could salvage from our trip--the breakfast buffet, our awesome waiter, and a beautiful sunrise stroll on Sunday. I really don't feel like I was over demanding about anything expecting only good security, good health practices, and modern amenities.

To sum it up--sadly, I cannot recommend staying at this hotel to my friends and family. I feel bad leaving this review but the apparent lack of interest from the hotel about their guests needs, safety and health demand I do so.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank astarre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HiltonSandestinBeach, Manager at Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 6 March 2011
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback regarding your recent stay at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa.

The experience that you shared certainly does not reflect the standards that we strive to attain, and I sincerely apologize for your experience. I have shared your concerns with the respective departments in order to prevent this situation from occurring in the future. Please rest assured that we strive to empower our associates to resolve any guest grievances they may encounter. I regret that we did not provide you with the utmost enjoyable experience you expected here at the Hilton Sandestin Beach.

Unfortunately, I did not receive your voicemail that you mentioned in your blog. I log all of my correspondence and take guests’ feedback extremely seriously, so please let me know if there has been some misunderstanding on that end.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you. Please feel free to contact the hotel and provide us with your contact information.

We’d be delighted to host you again and provide you with the excellence in service and amenities for which we’ve distinguished ourselves over the past 26 years.

Sincerely,
Gary Brielmayer
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Destin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Destin
#1 Top resorts 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, Florida
Destin Hilton

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