White Sand Weekend - Henderson Park Inn, Destin
Henderson Park Inn of Destin, Florida, delivered on a reputation as one of the best and most romantic beach destinations in the United States. Adults-only and steps away from a private white sand beach and blue ocean, it felt far removed from the bustling communities nearby.
Overall service at the Inn was pleasant. Reservations for a holiday (Labor Day) weekend were challenging to arrange, but after several conversations that included ongoing reassurances, we were accommodated as requested. An airport car service employed by the Inn was efficient. Upon our late evening arrival, we were greeted by a staff member, who did not flinch to help with our luggage. The front desk was friendlier, describing the amenities and securing for us a dinner table at the on-sight Beach Walk Cafe, even though it was after restaurant hours. A variety of front desk staffers maintained enthusiastic and eager service throughout our three-night stay.
A daily breakfast buffet and omelette bar were cleanly executed, with entertaining interaction with the staff behind the bar. Table service, cared for by the same staff members, was fast and frequent, never allowing the coffee to cool. Service at a daily happy hour in the tiki bar on the deck was similarly quick and attentive. It could be improved by additional staff, with only one bartender for up to twenty patrons at a time in a confined space.
The service during dinner, the only full-service hours of the day, was passable on all three nights, with inconsistent attention, questionable knowledge of what was available, and one dramatic mid-meal delay of over an hour. The Manager was helpful in every instance, personally seeing to our eventual satisfaction. There was a very well-stocked bar, although it was available only during dinner hours. The wine list included a nice variety of styles and prices to accompany the broad menu, the highlight of which was the smoked tomato soup, poured over diced shrimp. I tried several entrees, including fresh seafoods, and all were well presented and flavorful. Based on the service, I would not seek out the Cafe independent of a stay at the Inn. However, it was extremely convenient to have it literally next door to our room, and I had no desires to explore dining options elsewhere.
I was looking for an upscale, near all-inclusive beach retreat in Destin. Relaxing and somehow secluded, Henderson Park Inn is a spot worthy of consideration for such a getaway.