Where the Familiar Gets A New Sense of Place
By Shelly Robertson Birdsong
On Florida’s gorgeous Gulf Coast, there’s a new kid in town. And, let’s just say, that while its name may sound familiar, it’s definitely a new experience. The reason The Henderson sounds familiar to many, is because it is a new adjacent property to the well-loved Henderson Park Inn, with whom it now shares many amenities and guest services. And while the name may be similar – both properties stand on their own in their unique and highly sought-after way.
The new hotel and resort, The Henderson, is located on one of America’s highest-rated beaches along nearly two miles of white powdery sand and emerald-green water in Destin. The stunning property features sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico and pristine dunes, as well as a thoughtful and respectful design. Every aspect of the The Henderson has been meticulously planned including the art displayed throughout the property. One of the many interesting and special details that were definitely noticed on our recent stay here, were the thirteen local Destin artists’ work chosen to create custom pieces, specifically for The Henderson. These custom pieces also include a pictorial history of the area, so that every trip from your room, down a hall, or into a new area of the hotel, is enriched by this nostalgia. The result is a stunning coastal resort with an inspired sense of place. This detail along with so many others including truly luxurious accommodations, sublime views of the coastline and Henderson Park, the incredible dual pools and terraces, vistas from balconies and verandas that provided sunsets and sunrises to inspire, made our stay one we would not soon forget.
This area of Highway 98 in Destin is very familiar to most who have visited this resort town. And the options for where to stay are, indeed, endless. But if you are looking for a boutique hotel experience where children are welcome – as are pets – then look no further.
The multi-phased resort features a spectacular grand anchor hotel which offers 170 spacious rooms and suites, with incredible views, providing the quintessential oceanside experience. Even though the hotel can accommodate quite a few, it still felt small and intimate staying there. Every employee knew us by name – from the concierge to the valet. Every employee spoke to us as soon as they saw us, with a welcome, a good morning or what can I get you. Doors were opened, gates parted, bags carried, child entertained, towels and cold water brought. It really was a unique hotel experience that, when combined with the overall property and services, is incomparable.
Much of the hotel faces Henderson Beach State Park, preserve and beach. Specifically designed to connect guests to the environment, the resort is infused with several gathering areas.
For those wanting a more active setting, The Henderson features a sun-lit fitness room and a variety of other water experiences, including a family-oriented pool with a lazy river and a quiet adult zone. There are numerous family activities, including a dedicated children’s program – Poppy’s Kids Club.
Guests can easily stroll or bike to the beach, or they can utilize the resort’s fleet of luxury cars or concierge shuttle to visit nearby attractions. Guests of The Henderson also enjoy a beach experience that features sunset cocktail hours, a wide pristine beach, waterfront dining, umbrella and chair service, as well as a base for activities like sailing, snorkeling and volleyball.
The Henderson features 10,000 square feet of event space, including a dedicated meeting wing, a spectacular 5,221 square foot ballroom, a junior ballroom, private boardrooms, as well as 20,000 square feet of outdoor spaces, including unrivaled oceanfront function locations. The resort is also the perfect location for a wedding celebration, a renewal of vows or a memorable anniversary. For every stay at The Henderson, they collect an optional nightly $2 donation that is given directly to the neighboring Henderson Beach State Park; being a steward of the land and protecting what makes their home.
Drawing on the inspirational beach venue that incorporates the natural surroundings, The Henderson’s onsite spa features treatments and amenities, and a women’s locker room which opens onto a private relaxation terrace overlooking the preserve. Oh yes, gentlemen are welcome too! The resort offers a signature restaurant, Primrose, with a display kitchen and a dedicated experience with freshly prepared sushi. It also features a striking octagonal shaped bar, Horizons, a poolside grill called Sea Level, and an old-fashioned ice cream shop, Sprinkles.
Whether you are traveling for a romantic getaway, enjoying a family vacation or maybe even on business, The Henderson was built to impress and provide you with a sense of place. A place of sanctuary, style and serenity.