Two weeks ago, Siella and I flew to Florida for a little mommy daughter time. As much as I try to give each one of my children some one on one time, this was a first overnighter I shared with any of them, without the remainder of the family. Having spent time in neighboring Destin Florida during my showroom days, Sandestin was just as charming, with some of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen.
New York airports to do not fly direct, so following a quick connection in Charlotte, we landed in the Ft Walton Airport. Following a twenty minute drive, we arrived at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. With the sun on our faces, the only thing we had in mind was getting to the beach, because New York was so chilly before we left.
The Hilton Sandestin Resort rests along the sugar white sands of Florida’s Northwest coast, overlooking the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. On a peninsula right in the center of Florida’s Panhandle, the community surrounding Hilton Sandestin Beach is bordered by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on one side, and the calm Choctawhatchee Bay on the other; both providing visitors easy access to beach and water activities year round. Well-known for its white sands, the beach along Hilton Sandestin Beach is made of pure Appalachian quartz, which gives the Gulf waters their trademark emerald-green color, by reflecting sunlight back up through the surf.
Siella and I sat on the beach for hours, just chatting about everything; her siblings, school, plans for the summer, and of course, her dolls. This conversation and other seemingly very grown up talks we had were probably the most cherished part of this trip, not to mention it was so relaxing to have just her to tend to, during this time sitting near the water.
Just before dinner, our group of five other influencers and their kids took part in some fun beach activities, starting with a sandcastle building contest. After our construction project, we embarked on a scavenger hunt, answering fun facts about the hotel, like naming it’s mascot, Sunny The Sea Turtle, and the number of pools and restaurants on the property.
We then headed for outdoor dinner at Hilton’s Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill.
Back in our room, I was really impressed with our Deluxe Junior Suite. The 575 square foot room offered a king size bed, large bathroom with an additional powder area, and private balcony overlooking the ocean. My favorite part was that each suite is designed with bunk beds for children and a state-of-the-art media center.
Siella was psyched to have her own TV, something she doesn’t have at home. The bunk beds are a nice added touch for large families looking for a beach vacation, and with a room this size, it would have easily accommodated our family of five comfortably.
Not sure if it was waking up at 4am to catch our flight to Florida or the sounds of the waves crashing outside, but we had the most pleasant night’s sleep. In the morning, we quickly dressed and headed downstairs to meet with the rest of our crew, for an enormous breakfast buffet at Sandcastles Restaurant.
After brekkie, Siella wanted to check out the Hilton’s Kids Krew, a program for kids to enjoy tailor-made activities. Open to ages 5 to 12, Kids Krew is a supervised program, available in the mornings and evenings, offering a range of exciting activities for kids, like safari hunts, a camping adventure, karaoke, creative crafts, and more. There is also a late night Kids Krew, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and hosts theme parties such as “Pirate Pandemonium” and “Pajama Party.” The later time slot offers parents a peaceful opportunity to enjoy Hilton Sandestin Beach’s evening amenities.
While Siella hung at Kids Krew, the other mamas and I headed to the spa. The world-class 14,000-square-foot spa offers an extensive menu of indulgent treatments, as well as lounge areas with cascading whirlpools, sauna and steam rooms. I picked the Aroma Stone Massage, which is a traditional Swedish Massage, enhanced with a heated river stone and unique blend of aromatherapy scents. Coming off a stressful week of work, it was just what I needed! After my rub, I lounged for a good forty minutes, just relaxing (well, catching up on emails too), and enjoying the calm, serene environment. Before we left to get the kids from Kids Krew, we noshed on some yummy salads and sandwiches at the spa.
Back at the Kids Krew, Siella emerged showering me with tons of arts, crafts and even a tie dyed t-shirt that she made in the few hours she attended. I was shocked at just how much she enjoyed herself! After a little sweet treat, it was back to the beach. We took advantage of their umbrellas and chairs service, but it comes at an additional cost, so I would recommend that if you drive there bringing your own will help save a few bucks.
During dinner that evening, we learned how Hilton Sandestin Beach strives to help educate guests about endangered turtles, and they have recruited Sunny the Sea Turtle, a cute and informative companion, who shares information about protecting mother turtles as they lay eggs, hatchlings’ journey back to the ocean, and the turtle-safe lighting which borders the property. As part of the resort’s annual summer photo contest, children are presented their own colorful cutout of Sunny at check-in, and they are encouraged to include him in photos of their favorite beachside adventures.
Our night was capped off with a bonfire and roasting smores.
For our last morning, I decided to indulge a little by ordering room service, which is something I always look forward to when traveling. Siella was equally pleased with her pancake stack.
With a late afternoon flight, we had no choice but to soak up as much sun possible, so we spent the rest of the day at the pool.
I am beyond grateful to have taken this special time with my middle, and I see lots more of these trips in our future. In fact, Ryder is already talking about our one on one getaway, which will take place this summer. It was so nice to visit this part of Florida, a very special and secluded place.