The Henderson, a Salamander® Beach & Spa Resort in Destin is everything you want in a family beach vacation.
Published: May 31, 2018
By: Lori C. Pruitt
The Henderson, a Salamander® Beach & Spa Resort in Destin is everything you want in a beach vacation – a luxurious, comfortable place to stay with gorgeous views, a beautiful private white sand beach, delicious food, a first-class spa and lots of things to do.
Touted as one of the finest luxury resorts to open along Florida’s Gulf Coast in a generation, it is next to 200 acres of beautiful preserve and just steps from the Gulf’s beautiful beaches.
In fact, it’s a great destination for not only couples but friend getaways and families, too. My husband and I went for the weekend, and because of everything that is offered, did not have to leave the resort at all.
The Henderson is located at the end of a cul-de-sac, so you don’t have the endless traffic passing up and down the road. It has only been open for a couple of years, but the seasoned, friendly and helpful staff make you feel at home.
The resort itself is simply beautiful. It is designed like traditional coastal architecture with shingles and steep gable rooflines. The resort has 170 spacious, luxury guest rooms and eight guest suites. There are 12 sets of connecting rooms, and six dog-friendly rooms (first-come, first-serve). There are two pools – a heated pool for guests age 18-up and a family pool with a lazy river and a splash pad; and a full schedule of several family-friendly recreational programs and activities. The grounds are spectacular and are carefully tended. A nice touch is the 465 pieces of original artwork by 13 local artists displayed throughout the hotel.
Also, the Henderson’s newest family-friendly accommodation that opened earlier this year, The Lofts, offers 36 one and two-bedroom condos, also on the grounds. Guests enjoy all the amenities of the resort.
Speaking of amenities, the daily complimentary perks are great. Those include private beach access, access to beach snacks and beverage service just steps away from the beach, on-demand transportation to nearby Destin events and activities such as the Silver Sands Premium Outlet, Destin Harbor and Henderson Beach State Park, a daily family pass to the park, and a choice of two hours each day of a beach bike (one per room; additional bikes for a fee) or a fitness class. The fitness center itself is available for guests. There are traditional outdoor games for families on the immaculately maintained grounds, including badminton; and special event nights as well.
You can rent a beach cabana for the day, which comes with water, fresh fruit, and towels, and rent equipment for paddle boarding, kayaks and kick boards on the beach. You also can rent wooden chairs and umbrellas, along with towels.
If you want to leave the resort for other activities, The Henderson is a short distance from all the fun of Destin’s attractions and nightlife. The resort has an activities program with a full range of daily outdoor activities and crafts for kids. “Poppy’s Club” is designed for kids ages 4-11.
The Henderson’s restaurants are spectacular and offer something for everyone. The Primrose serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with fine dining service in a relaxed setting. The Primrose also has a sushi bar. Other restaurants on site include the Sea Level Poolside Bar and Grill, Sprinkles, an ice cream shop; and the Beach Club Grill, located on the beachside, so it is very easy to find great food wherever you are on the property. Also, Horizons, with an octagon-shaped bar and fresh seafood, has one of the best views of the Gulf Coast and beyond. The Henderson also has great sunrise/sunset viewing at its decks and rooftop vista.
The Henderson also is known for pampering its guests at the Salamander Spa. It’s a nature-inspired day spa with a Gulf view. It has 11 treatment rooms, water therapy, whirlpool tub and relaxation lounges. It offers a full range of services.
For information, go to www.hendersonbeachresort.com.
Lori Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.