10 Most Stunning Resorts in Destin Florida

lazy river in Destin

Are you searching for the best Destin Florida resorts for an upcoming beach vacation? If so, the list below provides everything you need to know about the top hotels and beach resorts in the Destin area.

Visitors flock to the Destin, FL region each year to experience the white sandy beaches and crystal clear water of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you’re looking for great pools to enjoy on a family vacation or you plan to lounge on the beautiful beaches, the Destin resorts below provide all the accommodations and amenities you need.

From beachfront access to lazy rivers to onsite dining and entertainment, the hotels on our list are sure to offer amazing features for your adults-only trip or for your family vacation to the gulf coast. So, continue reading below for our top picks of the best resorts to enjoy on your upcoming Destin vacation! 

(This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy at the bottom of this page for more details.)

Henderson Beach Resort and Spa

The Henderson Beach Resort is located in the heart of Destin right beside Henderson Beach State Park. This amazing hotel is perfect for families and adults visiting the Emerald Coast in Destin.

Henderson Beach Resort in Destin
Henderson Beach Resort

The Henderson Beach Resort offers classically designed hotel rooms with private balconies. If you’re looking for more space, you can reserve one of the condo style vacation rentals on their website. Although, the cleaning fees for the vacation rentals quickly add up, which you’ll notice prior to booking.

guest room with queen beds at Henderson Beach Resort in Destin
Guest Room

The Henderson Beach Resort immediately wows guests with its impressive lobby and fabulous service. The common areas both inside and outside the hotel really make you feel like you’re at a luxury resort.

My family and I noticed a wedding ceremony and reception being set up on the property, and we remarked at what a beautiful spot to host events. In addition to the impressive event venues available, the Henderson Beach Resort also offers luxury amenities like a spa, private beach, kids club, and fitness center.

lazy river at a resort
Lazy River

Plus, this resort features the best pools in all of Destin! In addition to the onsite adult pool, you’ll find a family pool that includes an expansive swimming area with a lazy river. Guests can also dine poolside via the pool bar and restaurant.

Throughout our stay, this family pool offered live music and fun activities like limbo and hula hooping competitions. A second family pool is available at the vacation rentals side of the resort. This pool also features live music, a lazy river, and dining/drink options. 

Henderson Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park with Resort in Background

If the beach is more your style, Henderson Beach Resort offers easy access to the white sand beaches in Destin. Just step outside the pool gate to cross the street where you’ll find private beach access. (Note that the street dead ends right in front of the Henderson Beach Resort, so there is little to no traffic.)

Our only complaint about the Henderson Beach Resort was that you aren’t really within walking distance to any restaurants other than the ones at the hotel. If you are content with driving, Destin Commons and the Destin Harbor are just a short car ride away.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

On the eastern side of Destin, you’ll find the gated resort community known as the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. This expansive resort features several “neighborhoods” that stretch from the bayside across Highway 98 to the beach side of the resort.

The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offers all different types of accommodations. From condos to cottages to large vacation houses, this resort is sure to have rental space that meets your needs. 

Sandestin FL
Condos at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Visitors can enjoy activities like golfing, biking, kayaking, and more at the resort. Additionally, you’ll find an entertainment district known as The Village of Baytowne Wharf, which offers tons of restaurants and activities.

Since I have an entire article dedicated to The Village of Baytowne Wharf, I won’t go into a lot of detail here. But this area features shops, bars, restaurants, and kid-friendly activities that are all a big hit with visitors. You can read all about this popular spot in our Ultimate Guide to The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

trampolines at Village of Baytowne Wharf
Village of Baytowne Wharf

One of our favorite perks of staying at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is the shuttle service. Many of the rental properties include access to the resort tram, which shuttles you throughout the property.

Our main con for the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is that the beach gets really crowded, especially during peak season. The resort’s beach access just isn’t large enough to fit all the visitors staying at this massive property.

sandestin beach

If you prefer a less crowded beach, we recommend booking a condo at Westwinds in the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The access on this side of the resort always seems to be less busy.

Overall, if you’re looking for spacious accommodations, championship golf courses, and easy access to entertainment, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is one of the best places to stay in Destin.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort

If you’re looking for a vacation with an all-inclusive vibe, we recommend checking out the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort. This oceanfront hotel is located within the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, but it offers private beach access for hotel guests.

Since the Hilton Sandestin features multiple restaurants, a large outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a beautiful beach, you don’t really need to leave the property. However, Hilton resort guests receive free access to the Sandestin shuttle, which takes you to other spots around the resort.

Hilton Sandestin
Hilton Sandestin

So, if you want to listen to dueling pianos at The Village of Baytowne Wharf or shop at the popular stores on Grand Boulevard, you won’t even need a vehicle. Just hop on the resort’s tram throughout your trip.

We love that the Hilton Sandestin offers so many different room styles and all with private balconies. My kids particularly enjoy the family suites that include separate sleeping nooks with bunk beds and a TV.

↓↓ Check Out My Etsy Shop ↓↓

beach travel planner

One con regarding the Hilton is that you may read some negative reviews on travel websites. However, my family and I have stayed at this resort more times than I can count and have always enjoyed our stay. 

Overall, it’s the perfect place for that all inclusive feel since the Hilton Sandestin Resort offers beachfront access to Miramar Beach, multiple restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, activities, and transportation.

Hotel Effie

Hotel Effie is located on the bay side of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. This hotel offers modern guest rooms with many featuring private balconies. The rooftop pool and bar are great spots for hanging out while enjoying gorgeous views of the nearby golf course and resort.

One of the best things about Hotel Effie is it’s located just a short walk away from the Village of Baytowne Wharf. If you prefer to stay onsite for dining, Hotel Effie has a restaurant, Ovide, that includes a great menu. 

rooftop pool with lounge chairs at Hotel Effie
Hotel Effie Rooftop Pool

The main con to this hotel is its distance to the beach. Guests can take the shuttle or make the short drive to the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort access point. Overall, Hotel Effie is a great resort for visitors looking for modern accommodations and convenience to dining options and nightlife.

Emerald Grande

The Emerald Grande sits on the western side of Destin near Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island. Guests have the option to book condos ranging from 1-4 bedrooms.

Destin Emerald Grande Hotel view from the harbor

Emerald Grande is conveniently located just steps away from HarborWalk Village where you’ll find lots of restaurants, activities, and entertainment. Visitors to this resort can also enjoy easy access to the marina, which offers boat rentals, dolphin tours, and more!

Henderson Park Inn

Henderson Park Inn sits right across the street from the Henderson Beach Resort and is an adults-only hotel. The sister hotels share beach access; although, it’s important to note that the Inn guests have a separate, adults-only section on the beach.

Henderson Park Inn
Henderson Park Inn

The Henderson Park Inn is a wonderful option for a couple’s trip, girls trip, bachelorette getaway, etc. The rooms here feature private balconies with direct views of the Gulf of Mexico. Guests can also enjoy separate dining venues at the adults-only resort while still gaining access to the restaurants and bars at the Henderson Beach Resort.

More Resorts near Destin

If you are okay with venturing out just east of Destin along Scenic Highway 30a, you’ll find some additional resorts that we want to mention.

The Court 

The Court is a boutique style luxury hotel in the town of Seaside. This resort offers exquisite accommodations for up to two people. Additionally, guests can enjoy easy access to the beach and to Seaside Square, which features numerous dining options, shops, and live entertainment.

WaterColor Inn

The WaterColor Inn is located just west of Seaside and offers luxurious amenities like private beach access, resort style pools, multiple dining options, and more. Plus, the community of WaterColor is super walkable, and visitors enjoy spending time in the local shops and restaurants.

WaterColor Inn Pool
WaterColor Inn Pool

You can read all about this amazing oceanfront resort in our Review of WaterColor Inn and Resort where we go into detail on the hotel as well as provide pictures from past stays.

WaterSound Inn

The WaterSound Inn sits in 30a near the popular dining and entertainment spot known as The Big Chill. This small inn features rooms that are more similar to a condo than to a hotel. 

king bed at watersound inn
Bedroom at Watersound Inn

Each suite at the Watersound Inn includes a full kitchen, dining area, living room, separate bedroom, and large bathroom. You’ll also find a washer and dryer in each unit.

The best part about the Watersound Inn is that guests receive access to the exclusive Watersound Beach Club, which includes multiple swimming pools, a lazy river, restaurants, and beach access.

The Pearl

If you’re looking for a luxurious resort near Destin, The Pearl in Rosemary Beach is another great option. This beautiful hotel offers impeccably designed rooms with balconies. Some of these even include ocean views.

The Pearl Rosemary Beach
The Pearl Rosemary Beach

The Pearl features a popular restaurant and bar and is also walkable to other dining spots in Rosemary Beach. You can read all about this amazing resort in our Review of The Pearl Hotel.

Final Thoughts on Destin Florida Resorts

Overall, the Destin area is full of so many amazing resorts that you’ll want to try them all! Since each of the options on our list offers access to the beautiful beaches in Destin, you’ll get to enjoy the white sand and clear water no matter where you choose to stay.

hotels with text overlay 11 Best Destin Florida Resorts

If you’re wanting to stay in the Destin vicinity and looking for an amazing pool with a less crowded beach, we recommend checking out the Henderson Beach Resort. Visitors interested in staying near restaurants and nightlife without the need to drive should look into the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Finally, if you’re in the process of planning a beach vacation, you’ll want to check out our beach vacation packing list. This article includes everything you need to know about packing for the beach as well as a free printable list to help keep you organized.

Enjoy your beach vacation! What do you think is the best resort in Destin, FL? Comment below to share your thoughts!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *