The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa
What it is
A 170-room seafront resort set between a 200-acre nature preserve and the Gulf of Mexico.
What it isn't
Modern and meh. Rooms here are as deliciously tailored and buttoned-up as any Southern belle in pearls, with plantation shutters, four post beds and scroll-arm sofas.
What we think
There’s a reason families beeline here again and again (and again). Actually, there are many reasons. For one: the resort’s activities list is almost guaranteed to keep everyone smiling and off their phones, whether you want to make tie dye t-shirts, play a few rounds of corn hole or bocce ball, or ply the glass-clear, emerald green waters beyond with a stand-up paddle board. For two: the 10,000-square-foot Salamander Spa makes every other spa in the area look tired, thanks to its airy relaxation lounges and tech-forward treatments (care to try a three-minute burst of cryo-therapy? This is the spot). For three: All five on-site restaurants aim to use as much local seafood as possible, meaning the red snapper you’ve been eyeing was very likely caught that morning. Lastly: they treat guests like their own (favorite) family members. What’s not to love?
You're here because
Their kids club, Poppy’s Club, is uproariously fun and educational. Your little ones will dig for buried treasure in pirate costume, play secret agent in an obstacle course, and create constellations in a de facto space camp.
You never expected to find some of the best sushi you’ve ever had in Destin, but this town is full of surprises. At the hotel’s Horizons restaurant, the Dragon Roll—with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna and barbecued eel, among other delights—is so divine you order two more after one bite. What else are vacays for?
Restaurants & Bars
- Primrose - Features an ever-changing Chef’s Dock-to-Table menu, a dramatic display kitchen and private dining areas for intimate affairs.
- Horizons - Freshest seafood and handcrafted cocktails, offering sweeping panoramas of the Gulf Coast and beyond.
- Sea Level - Casual poolside dining.
- Sprinkles - Offering a unique selection of ice-cream.
- Beach Cantina* - Enjoy a casual snack or easy grab and go lunch.
*Closed for the season and will re-open March 1, 2019.
Right on the water and adjacent to Henderson Beach State Park, where rolling sand dunes top out at thirty feet tall. Downtown Destin, and its harbor boardwalk, is just a 20 minute drive down 98.