When deciding where to stay in Florida, it’s important to first consider whether you’d like to enjoy a view of the wide, open Atlantic Ocean on the state’s east coast, or the calmer, more subdued waters of the Gulf Coast along the state’s west side.
Should you decide to head to the Florida Gulf Coast, these are the best hotels in the area:
What you will find at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spot in Santa Rosa Beach are cozy accommodations, soothing coastal colors of blue and green throughout the property, Gulf-front dining at Fish Out of Water, an array of water sports to try out, biking trails and free bicycles and an adult pool with fire pits — amenities that will make sure your stay is relaxing and memorable.
The Pearl Hotel
This boutique gem was the first hotel to open in Rosemary Beach. It puts you only steps from The Pearl’s private stretch of sand, where the Four-Star hotel will set up beach chairs and umbrellas for you. Accommodations come outfitted with Samsung flat-screen HDTVs with Apple TV and Direct TV and an iPad alongside balconies that overlook the Gulf, the charming town or the pool.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
The sprawling Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel is among the largest in Northwest Florida. Set on 2,400 acres, the beachfront property offers an indoor pool, two outdoor pools, two whirlpools, a toddler pool, four championship golf courses, an on-the-water spa and a delicious steakhouse.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club
A classic that oozes Old Florida, Gasparilla is one of the longest-surviving hotels in the state. You won’t get bored at the Boca Grande property, which boasts a Pete Dye-designed golf course, a spa, a beach club, two pools, seven tennis courts, a croquet lawn, bicycling, stand-up paddleboarding, paddbleboard yoga and much more.
The Henderson, A Salamander Hotel and Resort
Tucked between Destin’s white-sand beaches and a state park, The Henderson is a newcomer to the region. Catering to everyone in the family, the resort will keep little ones busy with its Poppy’s Kids Club while you jet ski, go boating, parasail, kayak or fish. Be sure to check out the 10,000-square-foot spa, which takes inspiration from the beach for its décor and its treatments.