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A Change of Scenery

Escape the confines of your house with a much-needed trip to the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on the Emerald Coast.

Lately, so much of what we experience takes place inside our own home. Parents are working at kitchen islands while kids attend school virtually at the dining room table. Tickets to the movies have been replaced by Netflix binges and we’re on a first-name basis with the food delivery driver. After nearly a year of living in a “new normal,” the monotony is causing a lot of frustration among families.

Florida’s northwest coast offers the change of scenery you’ve been seeking, and Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has everything you need to experience the great American family vacation. Bordered by 600 feet of private, fluffy sugar-white sand and overlooking the shimmering emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Hilton Sandestin checks all the boxes for a safe and relaxing retreat from life’s responsibilities.

With spring break approaching, more and more families are ready to plan a getaway, and Hilton Sandestin’s Kevin Rosa, director of sales and marketing, says the season is shaping up to be a busy one. “We’re seeing an increase in advanced reservations and I believe it’s all due to the pent-up frustrations of families who could not go anywhere for the holidays. They’ve been working and learning from home and they are ready to go somewhere,” he says.

Within just a few hours’ drive from Orlando, Sandestin is a completely different topography than Central Florida’s. The rural setting and smaller population have afforded the region the ability to offer visitors the space they need to maintain safe distances while enjoying their vacation. Not to mention, the private beach at Hilton Sandestin allows families to spread out, without worry of public crowds. Rosa says the perimeters of their beachfront are monitored by security who ensures non-hotel guests don’t attempt to wander in.

The Hilton Sandestin, built in 1984, is one of the longest running hotels within the Hilton brand. With 590 accommodations, six onsite restaurants from casual to fine dining, four bars, two pools, a full-service spa, salon and 24-hour fitness center. In addition to its indoor and outdoor event spaces, the property offers every vacation essential under one roof.

“We’re focused on being family friendly and really pride ourselves on that,” says Rosa. Family suites are available with one king or two double beds, as well as bunk beds complete with their own TV. The Kids Krew recreation team offers seasonal activities for ages 5-12, meaning mom and dad can take some time to themselves while the kids are having supervised fun. “Our property is very secure and kids can be free to be kids on the beach or on the pool decks. Our recreation team works to provide a myriad of activities throughout the year to ensure kids of all ages have fun,” he says.

Among the dining choices is Sandcastles Restaurant and Lounge, an American family bistro offering a la carte breakfast, a breakfast buffet, lunch, dinner and lounge menus.

Adults also have their pick of amenities, from finer dining and drinks, to golf and spa treatments. Hilton Sandestin is home to Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, the area’s only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse, with the ideal ambiance for an intimate meal featuring the finest prime beef and fresh local seafood, plus an award-winning 600-label wine list. Variety abounds on the property elsewhere with Hadashi Sushi Bar, Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill, The Coffee Shop and a convenient grab-and-go Picnix Poolside Market for families on the go.

Guests of Hilton Sandestin have access to four championship golf courses and Serenity by the sea Spa, with facials, massages and body treatments for men and women, as well as saunas, steam rooms and lounges, a full-scale salon and more. “For those who choose to venture off property, a shuttle is available to take guests to the nearby Village of Baytowne Wharf for shopping and entertainment, or if looking to reconnect with nature, enjoy hiking at one of the three state parks and one state forest in South Walton—home to 15 rare coastal dune lakes,” Rosa says.

Of course, the pandemic remains on everyone’s mind, and Hilton Sandestin takes every precaution to ensure guest and team member’s safety. Under the Hilton CleanStay program, honors members can take advantage of contactless entry with digital check-in. The lobby has enhanced signage and spaced-out seating, elevators are cleaned regularly and sanitation stations are placed around the property. As rooms are cleaned they are sealed with a CleanStay sticker to let the guest know no one has entered the room after it has been cleaned and sanitized, says Rosa. “Housekeeping services are limited during a guests’ stay to reduce the amount of people going in and out, however fresh linens and towels are provided daily upon request. Traditional housekeeping services are available for those with a three-night or longer stay, by appointment,” he says. “This is all to ensure guests can have a clean, safe and enjoyable experience.”

Although there are no state mandates for masking, Hilton Hotels & Resorts maintains its own guidelines for both staff and guests.

Rosa is confident Florida will be one of the first states to wholly bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, including with meetings and events. “We have 60,000 square feet of flexible event space to host meetings from 10 to over 1,000 people. We have all the accoutrements for companies and businesses from Central Florida to hold safe, socially responsible meetings in this new environment in which we live.”

Whether by car or direct flight, families in Orlando could be in a different state of mind within hours, sitting poolside or with their toes in the sand, at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. After all, you deserve it.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
4000 Sandestin Blvd. S. | Miramar Beach
850-267-9500 |

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s February 2021 issue.