Hilton Sandestin Review: Beachfront Luxury in Florida’s Panhandle

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Sunset on the beach at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
Book a bonfire on the Hilton Sandestin beach to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

The writer was hosted.

The sugary white sand beaches of the Florida Panhandle are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so why wouldn’t you want to stay at a hotel located right on the beach? The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is the largest full-service beachfront resort in Northwest Florida that offers both beach and bay access. 

Even better, it offers luxurious rooms, elevated service and a laid-back family-friendly vibe. There’s a reason it’s on our list of the best Destin resorts and our list of splurge-worthy Florida resorts for families.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Join the Hilton Honors program before you book for access to member perks and to earn points for your stay.

The wide beach at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
The wide, sugary white sand beachfront at Hilton Sandestin. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

What’s So Great About the Hilton Sandestin

  • Location: The resort sits right on the beach in Miramar Beach, FL, along Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast.
  • Dining: Seagar’s, the region’s only AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse, is a must-eat destination for foodies, but the resort also offers more casual dining options.
  • Large guestrooms: Rooms in the tower have bunk beds, a king bed and a sofa bed to sleep up to 6 people.
  • Pools: 2 outdoor and 1 indoor pool (slated for a refresh in 2023/2024) plus a small toddler pool. Two hot tubs (1 indoor and 1 outdoor)
  • Gorgeous beach: The resort has a wide, white sand beach with beach chairs and umbrellas available to rent by the day, or bring your own.
  • Full-service spa: Book a treatment, order lunch or just buy a day pass to use the sauna, steam room and hot tub.

What’s Not So Great About the Hilton Sandestin

  • Large resort: While officials said the hotel was 60 percent full when I visited during shoulder season, it felt empty to me. But people who have visited during the high season (summer) say it can feel crowded.
  • Amenities book up early: If you want to ensure you’ll have access to a cabana by the pool, beach chairs and an umbrella on the beach or dinner at Seagar’s, make those reservations when you book your room. Chances are they won’t be available last minute.
  • Daily resort fee: One of those dreaded hidden fees resorts charge, the fee at the Hilton Sandestin is $40/day.
Large guestroom at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
My large deluxe junior suite could sleep six. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Guestrooms at the Hilton Sandestin

The hotel has 590 spacious guest rooms and suites divided among two towers. All of the rooms have a patio or balcony with at least a partial beach view.

My large Deluxe Junior Suite in the Emerald Tower was big enough to sleep six thanks to my No. 1 favorite family-friendly hotel feature: bunk beds in a separate sleeping area for the little ones. They even get their own TV. 

Bunk beds in a junior suite at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
My favorite feature in a family-friendly hotel: bunk beds in a separate space for the kiddos. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

In the room was a comfy king bed and a sofa that could pull out into a bed, sleeping two more. Plus, the private balcony with two chairs and a table offers a nice evening escape for parents to watch the sunset over the Gulf while the kiddos sleep inside.

My hotel room also had a minifridge, coffee maker and microwave and plenty of drawer space, including one that cleverly hid the in-room safe. 

The remodeled bathroom included a second sink outside the bathroom, which would make it far easier if you needed to get six people ready to go.

Hilton Sandestin Restaurants

There are six onsite restaurants, plus room service:

Waiter making bananas foster tableside at Seagar's, the fine dining restaurant at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
Making bananas foster tableside at Seagar’s. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood

The only AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse in all of Northwest Florida, eating here is a dining experience, from the tableside prepped Ceasar salad and bananas foster to the melt-in-your-mouth filet. Chef Fleetwood Covington has his sights set on earning a Michelin Star and/or winning a James Beard Award. It’s a meal you’ll be talking about for months. 

Note that men are asked to wear a collared shirt, no shorts or flip-flops (although the man who arrived just before us was wearing shorts and was seated without incident). In a quaint throw-back touch, the restaurant keeps a few jackets on hand to help out inappropriately attired guests.

Beautiful sushi from Hadashi Sushi Bar at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
The sushi from Hadashi is almost too pretty to eat. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Hadashi Sushi Bar

Located near the front desk, this restaurant produces some of the most beautifully presented sushi I have ever seen. It was almost too pretty to eat. But the members of my party who ordered sushi didn’t hesitate to dive in – and pronounced it as tasty as it was beautiful.

Seating at Hadashi gives you a front-row seat to the 11-foot television showing sports programming.

Bartender pouring drinks at Barefoot's Beachside Bar & Grill at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
Fancy drinks at Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Barefoot’s Beachside Bar and Grill

Undoubtedly the most popular restaurant at the resort, Barefoot is an open-air restaurant situated between the two outdoor pools and offers a view of the beach. It serves a variety of salads, sandwiches and bar appetizers. There also is an extensive cocktail list. I recommend trying the rum jungle and the spicy blood orange margarita. You’re welcome.

Breakfast buffet at Sandcastles at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
The breakfast buffet at Sandcastles. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Sandcastles Restaurant

Also located just off the lobby across from Hadashi,Sandcastles is the place where the breakfast buffet is served each morning. It’s an expansive (and pretty good) spread, with the standards such as scrambled eggs, fruit, pastries and biscuits and gravy. There’s also a made-to-order omelet station.

Kids 12 and under eat breakfast for free.

Picnix grab-and-go restaurant at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
Picnix, the grab-and-go restaurant. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Picnix Poolside Market

Had I been traveling with kids (or my ice-cream-loving husband), I have no doubt we would have spent plenty of time at Picnix, thanks to its Edy’s Ice Cream offerings. The grab-and-go restaurant is located on the pool deck and, in addition to ice cream, sells deli sandwiches, wraps, salads, and Pizza Hut pizza. Note that it’s only open for a few hours each afternoon.

Entrance to The Coffee Shop at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
The Coffee Shop serves Starbucks coffee. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

The Coffee Shop

Open mornings, this is the place to grab your morning Starbucks or cuppa and a quick breakfast. Offerings include oatmeal and house-made pastries.

Things to Do at the Hilton Sandestin

Bonfire on the beach at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
A bonfire on the beach with girlfriends. Photo credit: Cindy Richards


This is the reason I headed to the Hilton Sandestin, after all. So I spent a lot of time on the beach – walking on the beach, playing in the clear emerald waters and sitting under a beach umbrella listening to the waves while I read a book. As evening arrived one day, some friends and I gathered at sunset for a bonfire on the beach with drinks, an add-on you can order through the hotel.

If you want to get more active on the water, the hotel offers kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals to guests ages 14+. The blue beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rental as well.

The hotel has beach towels available from a towel desk near the pool. Note that beachgoers must wear a wristband to show they are guests of the resort before setting up shop on the private beach.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Reserve your beach chairs when you reserve your room, especially if you’re visiting in summer, the resort’s high season. If you forget to do that, head to the beach hut around 10:45 am. Any chairs that were reserved but not claimed by 11 am are released to people in the line on a first come, first served basis.

Pool at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
Photo credit: Cindy Richards


All three pools are family-friendly, so there is no adults-only pool option. 

I found the pools to be uncrowded when I visited, so it was easy to slide in and swim a few laps. 

If you prefer to float, check at the towel desk to see whether anyone has left behind a pool float; they are free to use. If you prefer to bring your own pool floats, don’t waste your breath filling them up. There’s a free air compressor hose next to the towel desk.

Hot tub at the Serenity by the Sea Spa at Hilton Sandestin.
Hot tub at the Serenity by the Sea Spa. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Serenity By the Sea Spa

Just barely edged out by the beach on my list of “best things to do at Hilton Sandestin,” I spent a lovely few hours at the spa, soaking in the hot tub, sitting in the sauna and steam rooms and then chilling in a zero gravity recliner while waiting for my massage. 

It’s a lovely, calming spot with attentive service and skilled therapists. Top your day off with lunch delivered to the spa.

The spa is also where you’ll find the resort’s full-service fitness center, which includes Peloton bikes and complimentary access to Peloton classes.

And one of my favorite features: the spa offers free yoga classes. We did ours on the expansive pool deck, the Gulf breezes threatening to blow us over as we attempted to hold a tree pose.

A scene at Village of Baytowne Wharf, reachable by a free shuttle from the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach FL
The Village of Baytowne Wharf is a little touristy. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Village of Baytowne Wharf

A touristy shopping, dining and entertainment district, the Village of Baytowne Wharf is easy to get to, thanks to the free onsite shuttle service that runs between the Hilon Sandestin and the Wharf. The area is home to a variety of boutique shopping, many restaurants and bars and a marina where you can rent boats and bikes. Is it worth the trip? Maybe, if you are a parent looking to entertain kids while you walk around sipping a libation.

There’s a mini zipline, carousel and other rides for little ones and plenty of bars and restaurants for big ones. The village also hosts a variety of special events, such as free concerts, a spooky Halloween celebration and a weekly farmers market. Check the event calendar here.

For more serious shoppers, the Silver Sands Premium Outlets – home to 110 designer and name-brand outlet stores – is just two miles away and accessible via the free shuttle service.

If you don’t want to leave the property, there’s a gift shop selling resortwear and travel essentials such as sunscreen and toothpaste.


I’m not a golfer, so I did not check out the four championship golf courses nearby, but Condé Nast Traveler magazine named the resort one of its “Top 20 Florida Golf Resorts.” 

The four golf courses are:


The Hilton Sandestin is located near Destin Florida, which is called the “world’s luckiest fishing village.” You can drop a line off a pier or the beach or book a fishing charter on the Gulf of Mexico or Choctawhatchee Bay.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa FAQs

Where is the Hilton Sandestin Located?

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is located at 4000 Sandestin Boulevard South in Miramar Beach, Florida. While most guests drive (self-parking is free). I flew from Chicago. It was a direct flight into the Pensacola Airport (PNS) so I didn’t risk missing a connection, but a long (nearly two hours) drive to the hotel. The Destin/Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is closer.

Is there a resort fee at the Hilton Sandestin?

Yes. It’s $40 per day and includes wifi, self-parking, fitness center, yoga classes at Serenity by the Sea Spa, transportation throughout the resort and to Silver Sands Outlet Mall, board and beach games, discounted resort activities and free breakfast for kids 12 and under.

Are there charging stations for electric vehicles at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa?

Yes – and charging is free as part of the resort’s efforts to make the world a greener place. Plus, electric vehicles get free valet parking. Valet parking for gas-powered vehicles is $30/day.

Is the Hilton Sandestin pet-friendly?

No. Only service animals are allowed.

Cindy Richards is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of SheBuysTravel.com. She also is the mom of two now grown kids who have traveled with her since that first, fateful plane ride when one preschooler discovered a barf bag in his seat pocket and his sister, finding none in hers, demanded, “I want a barf bag too!” She has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, an editor at Chicago Parent and Catalyst Chicago and an instructor in the graduate school at Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.
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