Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
One of the best trips we ever have taken two thumbs up!
Contrary to what was said in the previous review, this place was incredible. The wife and I have traveled some of the best destinations for sun, watersports, drinking, and dining but this place was great.
First let me address things in the previous review. The beach is a large beach, which services about 9400 rooms on Sandestin. When all the people staying in the rooms in any of the sandestins hotels want to go to the beach, they all head to the same area. If you go during a busy season (july 4th etc) The beach may get crowded. We liked the idea of renting the beach chairs and umbrellas as that way people couldnt wake up at 6 am and throw thier towels and stuff over the chairs to claim them for later in the day. For two beach chairs and an umbrella ( a place to call home while at the beach) we paid $15. The food at the hotel could get expensive, if you eat in the expensive reasturants. We ate at Jim and Nicks BBQ which was the best BBQ we have ever had (and we are from dallas) and with two huge meals and some of the best Ice tea we have ever had, our bill was $24 which is same as if we ate here in dallas at any BBQ place. We also had a meal that cost over $120 but if we would of had the same type of meal in dallas, it would of also of cost us $120 (ruth chris, del friscos etc). The only thing that we found a little overpriced was the drinks at the outside bar, but to make up for it, you can buy a $3 draft from the street bars.
Sandestin is a very nice resort about 40 minutes from Ft. Walton Beach airport. Once you ever the gates you will find a mixture of hotels, condoes, homes and villas along this gorgeous stretch of golf course. There are two sides you can stay on. The beach side which is all beach related and not a lot of places to eat, or the baytowne village side which is a flip flop walk away from a little dining and shopping area which looks modeled after the french quarter in new orleans. If you want to get anywhere on the resort, you can pick up a phone at many of the stops and a little tram bus will come pick you up and for free take you to any of the other tram stops throughout the village including the beach, shops etc. For $5 per person roundtrip you can have them take you outside of the resort to the huge outlet mall which has tons of great shopping and a great NY style pizza place which we ate lunch at.
We never had a bad meal when we were there. Every meal was excellant. We went right out of the off season so it wasnt very crowded, plus hurricane frances was a tropical storm and threatened damage to the city while we were there but nothing ever happened. Some of the highlights of our trip were jet- skiing, kayaking, eating, drinking, hanging out at rum runners (which was one of the most entertaining shows we have ever seen and we are usually not into this stuff) and shopping. Poppys reasturant had the best fried shrimp and oysters we have ever had, delicately fried in a ginger dipped batter.
Be sure to have the bartender make you a bloody mary at rum runners, one of the best. We stayed at the granddestin hotel and then moved 1/2 way through to the pilot house. The grand was a newer hotel, but the pilot house had a bigger room, and a beautiful room and view. You cant go wrong at any of the hotels and condos there, and they are expanding and openeing new reasturants. If you have any questions drop us a line.
A Definite Caste System
My husband and I decided to squeeze a July 4th weekend vacation before our big vacation in November. I have been to Destin years before and remembered how beautiful the water was. We decided to stay at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. We have never stayed there before.
It is important for you to know as a set up to this story that my husband and I are both busy attorneys in our thirties. Sometimes we may look younger than our age especially in relaxed beach wear. This is the only reason why I think we were treated the way we were at this resort. Maybe the employees thought we were typical Spring Breakers. I have no idea. Our story started like this:
It was a long trip from New Orleans. When we arrived, it was nearly midnight on Friday, and we were completely exhausted from our drive. We had reservations on the resort side of the resort. However, we erroneously checked in at the beach side of the resort which was an apparent no-no. We were greeted by an aggravated young woman employed at the check in counter who apparently did not like us on her side of the resort. She reluctantly checked us in and directed us to the other side of the resort. We drove our car to the Bayside Inn where we held our reservations. We obtained our key from the check in counter at the Bayside Inn and proceeded to our room. When we got into our room, it was not what we requested. Instead of a king size bed, we received two double beds with a view of the parking lot from the second floor. We did not unpack. My husband went to the check in counter at the Bayside Inn to request a different room. We luckily received two warm and helpful women at the counter working the night shift at the Bayside Inn. I wish I could recall their names because they were the only godsend we received on this trip. We joked with them about what happened with check in at the beach side of the resort. They were astonished and gave us a key to a room that they said we would be very happy with. We thanked them profusely, went to our room, and found that they gave us a wonderful view of the bay as well as our king size bed.
The following morning, we decided to go to the beach. The beach was not walking distance and we took a tram provided by the resort. The resort did have a good and convenient tram system although there were many stops. When we arrived at the beach, there were literally rows of beach chairs and umbrellas. You could barely see the beach. We went to the chair rental area to rent a chair. The teenage girl, although pleasant, did not completely inform us that we were renting different chairs, not the chairs that we saw on the beach. We automatically assumed that we were renting chairs that were on the beach due to the expensive rental price. Instead, a young man approached us with the chair and asked where we want it and he'll put it there. Once again, we thought he was going to lead us to our chair already located on the beach. We told him just to forget it and we'll just get a refund. So the young man took the chair back. We went back to the rental area and spoke to the teenage girl for a refund. She offered the chair rental for free due to the miscommunication. We said fine. We approached the young man again for the chair and my husband told him he could carry it himself. The young man said okay and we walked to find a spot as my husbsand carried the chair. About two minutes later, another employee of the resort chased us down, stopped us and asked where we got the chair. He also asked us to produce the receipt which we did. He reviewed the receipt. He told us that he stopped us because we were walking fast and looked like we took the chair without paying as it sometimes happens at the resort. I was thoroughly offended. After being "released", we finally found about an inch of space to put the chair. After we settled in, unpacked our towels, and went for a swim, we were harassed yet again. Two young male employees (1 Sandestin Hilton and 1 Sandestin Golf) approached us and told us that we have encroached on the Hilton side of the resort and we had to move. They said that we had the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Chair and not a Hilton chair so we had to move. Of course, the vacationers with their own beach chairs that were in the same area and were staying at our resort remained where they were because you could not tell from looking at them where they were staying. So we ended up packing our stuff, wet sand and all, with the rental chair that we didn't want, carried it to a new more crowded millimeter of a space on the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort side. Hint: bring your own chair.
When the beach was crowded, you could not even see the beach if you were in the third row of beach chairs. You could not even see the beach in the first row because people pile their own beach chairs in front of the expensive rental chairs. It was so crowded that the beach chairs and the people on them, were practically on top of each other. Moreover, the beach became dirty with litter which was not cleaned fast enough, if at all.
We ended up getting away from the crowded beach while still enjoying the water. We ditched the chair, rented a kayak, and sunned ourselves in the middle of the ocean. Several others did that and we all looked at each other and smiled like we found the secret to success.
For those who enjoy the water, I did not see any lifeguards. But the resort definitely had employees policing chairs.
On the evening of 4th of July, we decided to eat at the beach restaurant called "Fins", I believe. We wanted to eat there and enjoy the fireworks display which was scheduled two hours later. We went to the hostess and requested an outside table. She was young, of course. She asked us if we were sure that we wanted a table outside and tried to get us to agree to dine inside. We told her outside again. She told us that it would be unlikely that we would get a table outside or it would be a very long wait. We told her we would wait because the fireworks display was not scheduled for another two hours. So we waited about 30 seconds and a table cleared up. I told my husband to let the hostess know. She impatiently said to him, "Sir, that table is for people who were here way before you were!" My huband apologized and said he did not realize that (as only one other couple who came after us was also waiting for a table). Even though he apologized, and we reasoned that there were probably people at the bar waiting for a table, we were still shocked at how this young girl raised her voice at my husband. My husband asked me if I wanted to walk to the deck to look at the beach while we waited. I told him yes and we proceeded to the deck of the restaurant when suddenly, the young hostess yelled out, "Uh, sir, where are you going?" My husband explained that we were headed to the deck. She said we could not go there. So we returned. The other couple who was waiting with us started to joke with us that this was like a police zone. Anyway, before my husband went to get a beer from the bar, he asked the hostess' permission first so no other public displays of humiliation would occur. Oh, and remember that supposed long wait or we would never get a table? We were seated in five minutes. Even though we had a rough start to the evening, we had a wonderful dinner. The waiter was extremely nice. I had scallops with the cheese grits (which was excellent), a terrific dessert, and a beautiful fireworks display.
One good point is that the resort was well manicured with nice landscaping. We did take a pleasant bike ride around the resort on Saturday.
Be aware that the resort dining is also very expensive. Don't be surprised to find a $15 chicken sandwich on a menu. We found that despite its price, the food was pretty good at the Village. But I could probably eat at Commander's Palace or one of the Brennan's places for cheaper here in New Orleans, with better food and service. We also had breakfast at the Bayside Cafe every morning which came with the room. The staff at the Bayside Cafe were very hospitable. There was one strange incident at the Bayside Cafe when an elderly woman fell out of her chair and soiled herself on the floor. The staff helped her out very nicely. We later heard from one of the tram drivers that the elderly woman actually resided at the resort, routinely became drunk, and would fall or pass out often. I thought that was particularly depressing.
My husband and I are in our thirties. We probably look young for our age which gave the young staff implied authority to disrespect us. We have very stressful lives and did not like how our intended relaxed weekend break ended up to be more stressful than relaxing. I hope our next vacation in November is much better. We will most likely not return to the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
Fabulous, can't think of words to describe
My husband & I stayed at the Sandestin Gulf and Beach Resort during May of 2003. We won the trip so we were not sure what to expect since we were unfamiliar with the place. What a great surprise!!! First, the resort is gated so there are not a lot of people running around. We checked into the Inn and received a friendly, warm welcome which was exactly how all employees would act during the stay. The room was great and although our room overlooked the golf course area, my husband & I loved to sit out on the balcony at night and enjoy the breeze. The Village was great little shopping are and although some stores were a bit pricey for me, I did not go on vacation to shop. Oh, you get a crad when you check in that allows you to charge to your room at most places within the resort. It was so nice to not have to keep up with money &/or credit cards. We did borrow bikes one afternoon and rode around the place. We also rented a jet ski and toured the bay while the pilots from the Air Force Base nearby flew overhead-what a rush! We did not take our kids on that trip, but plan to return since the place appears to be very kid friendly. Oh, this may sound strange, but the soap they provide in the bathroom was fantastic. I bought some from the "general store" to bring home and wish I had bought more. All in all, I would definitely give the entire experience 5 stars out of five. Oh, if your are planning to bring kids along, you are really close to Ft. Walton Beach which has a lot of mini-golf and other kids attractions so you can take them to do these things while staying a quiet, relaxing place.
We went for a short weekend in early May. Many of the amenities (some golf, poolside bars, water shuttle) were not available. The pools were all to chilly to swim in ... even little kids who normally swim in anything were put off ... this was disappointing as the weather had been warm for some time. We requested an upgrade and were told there were none available despite a clearly empty resort. We never saw another guest on our floor and our room faced the parking lot rather than the water. The light by the bed kept shorting out and the room needed numerous other improvements. The umbrella and chair rentals on the beach were overpriced and we ended up going to a public beach. We aren't big on golf or tennis, but if these are your thing you might enjoy the place more. Overall I would never go back.
Excellent memories for over 21 years!
I was born in Alabama, USA and the very first year the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort was built (we stayed on Bay side), my parents bought a timeshare. When I was 7 years old (I'm 28 now), we began our yearly stay at the resort. What great memories. I went with them until I was 18 and moved home...other than my parents and cat, the only thing I miss about America is Sandestin and this resort. It brings such wonderful memories down to the wall of water in the check in lobby, the way it smells so fresh and inviting when you arrive, and mini bus rides to the beachside, back in the old days--the Pac Man machine in the on site store, how nice everyone was, how safe it is for children, the activities in and aroudn the resort for kids and adults alike--great resturants with super views, scavenger hunts, bike rentals, long walks in a secured environment, water parks nearby, just excellent. I haven't been for many years now but I tell my husband, whom has never been to America, I hope one day we can save (or win the lottery) and take him and our young daughter to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to show them the best that America has to offer. Thanks for the memories and hope to visit one day in the future!
i just returned from sandestin golf and beach resort. i went with my wife and 3 friends. this is a relaxing, well maintained resort with lots of activities including canoeing, bicycling, tennis, all of which is free for a certain time period every day for resort guests.the beach is beautiful sugary white sand. i stayed 2 nights, i wish it had been four. i enthusiastically recommend this resort.
I was planning a romantic weekend getaway for my boyfriend's birthday. I decided to go with SanDestin Golf & Beach Resort. I was very pleased of my choice. The staff was very helpful. They gave me a map, and actually explained where everything was on the property. The location and property was GORGEUOS! The beaches were sandy white and very clean. The room was exquisite. I highly recommend this resort, for a romantic getaway or just a family vacation.
Village at Baytowne Wharf
Great place to stay! Lots of activities for the entire family to enjoy!! Bikes, tennis, easy access to the beach and an OUTSTANDING pool area. The rooms are great, the food was good and the atmosphere was perfect, the kids had a blast and so did the adults. Initially, we were unsure because we thought we would prefer to be on the beach side, but I think we got more for the money at Baytowne!!
Good family resort
We had never been to Destin, but my wife and 2 kids went on a spur of the moment trip to Sandestin Resort. We stayed in Beachside Tower 1, in a 2 bedroom condo on the beach.The beach is great, the tides are strong. When we were there in mid may, there was quite a bit of algae in the water. When the kids got sick of the beach, there was a nice sized pool to hit as well.The Sandestin resort is huge and they have a very convienient tram service that will take you all over the resort with just a phone call....it's there quickly. Most of the food choices are in an area called the Village, which is new. The food is a bit pricey but good.The condo we stayed at was gorgeous but not inexpensive ($250/night)All in all a nice resort. The nice thing about Sandestin Resort is they have all sorts of different accomodations at different buildings for different price ranges.
a good place to stay. the only one better was the majestic sun at destin. both were great.
TripAdvisor Reviews Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Travel Blogs from Sandestin
... in time change. I was so thankful that the time change happened on the drive home though and not on the way to Destin as I had originally thought. We also hit a lot of rain to the point where I could hardly see where I was going. It was bad. I was glad to make it home safe and sound after white knuckling the steering wheel for hours.
... lemonade and cookies. We decided to enjoy our picnic on the beach despite the second dose of rain that was imposing on us. We thought if we stayed under the umbrella on the chairs we would be Ok. We found 2 fairly dry chairs and the minute we sat down the rain started to pick up. Jym stole another umbrella from a set of chairs nearby and wedged it into the ground in front of us to block some of the rain. We managed to stay there ...
... view all around of the ocean and the dunes of the state park. The ocean color is gorgeous. We were greeted in the room with chocolates, grapes and a bottle of wine and soft music playing. So romantic. I think it is just what we needed. We also arrived during happy hour and had a few drinks. Complimentary!! We decided to go to the beach and watch the sunset but it was sort of crushed by the storms in the distance. ...
... of Nanton.
The day's ride is quite uneventful, I fall into the riding routine very quickly. Within a few minutes on I-75 I am doing 140 kph, settled on the bike, comfortable, noise cancelling ear buds in place, Alan Parsons on the iPod.
About midday I cross into the Central Time zone, I will be chasing the setting sun each day so my riding days will be longer as well. Around 1700h I pull into the obscure town of DeFuniak Springs, ...
... pic of the great seating arrangement. I’ve got on Bose headphones they gave us and I’m listening to Beach Boys classics (Pet Sounds) right now! These seats have everything…plugs for 110 and 220, stereo music and TV with all kinds of good stuff. Bedside reading lights so as not to disturb your neighbor, all kinds of electronic gadget game stuff and on and on.
As to the trip itself: Best adventure was ...