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Recommendations Needed for Florida Resort

Recommendations Needed for Florida Resort

Old Dec 4, 19, 11:16 am
  #1  
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Recommendations Needed for Florida Resort

Hi All,
We are trying to plan a getaway to Florida shortly and wanted to see if the Hilton sages had any recommendations for resort-type properties. While Florida is our main focus, we're open to other domestic U.S. locations as well. Our group consists of me & Mrs. Silvergoat plus our 15 y.o. daughter. Our desires are:
  • Beachfront
  • Friendly breakfast policy
  • Exec. lounge (nice but not a deal breaker)
  • Fun activities in the area

We will likely rent a car so extremely close proximity to an airport isn't critical.
Much thanks,
-Goat
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Old Dec 4, 19, 11:19 am
  #2  
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Isn't the former SPG Diplomat (roughly in the north part of Miami Beach but might officially be Ft L) now in Hilton? It was much beloved by Starwood folks.

ADDED: It would be an easier drive from FLL than MIA, and you could use the rental car to explore Miami Beach and a bit of the Everglades, for example.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Dec 4, 19 at 12:48 pm
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:04 pm
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Ah, Florida, got it. That narrows it right down then.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:30 pm
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Hilton Pensacola Beach:

- On the beach. Best beaches in the country.
- Breakfast for Diamonds is available in the Executive Lounge. There's also a restaurant on-site for breakfast. Diamond members get a big discount.
- Executive Lounge on the 2nd floor, faces the pool and beach.
- Tons to do on Pensacola Beach. Trollies go to/from nearby Fort Pickens. Ferry to downtown Pensacola. Nearby is NAS Pensacola, Gulf Shores, downtown Pensacola.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort:

- On the beach. Best beaches in the country.
- Breakfast in the main restaurant. Diamonds get free continental breakfast. Hot buffet is $10 extra.
- No executive lounge.
- Spa is VERY impressive.
- Plenty of shopping and golf nearby. Very "touristy" area in and around Destin... water park, go-karts, tennis, golf, shopping, etc.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:36 pm
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Time of year will greatly affect the answer to this, but I'd recommend the Hilton Sandestin. No exec lounge but as a DM you get access to the spa (>>than an exec lounge). Hot breakfast upcharge, which is unfortunate, but they did at least waive the resort fee for me the last couple of times I've gone (no promises, just be nice that you get that stuff already). That being said, if you use the free shuttle, you are using some of what it covers. Summer would be great with the beach, but I actually think it's nicer in winter as the water is typically crystal clear (not warm enough to swim, but...) and there are several state parks with trails through the dunes and along the water close by.

The Hilton Pensacola Beach is nice, has an exec lounge and a small upcharge for the hot breakfast. ~$16 Uber ride into town, but Pensacola has a lot of interesting things to offer (Naval Aviation Museum, Fort Pickens, etc.). I think a pre-spring break trip to Sandestin would be your best bet, though. Summer is great, but you'll start to deal with a lot more crowds.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:44 pm
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The Lodge at Gulf State Park is an interesting option. It's just over the FL/AL border in Gulf Shores. VERY new property. Food/drink on-site is excellent. Pool deck is kind of sparse, but again, you're on the Gulf. No executive lounge.

Plenty to do in Gulf Shores and Foley nearby. You're also less than 20 minutes from NAS Pensacola and Perdido Bay.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:45 pm
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Personally like the Hilton in Marco Island. Resort is kid friendly, we received free full breakfast. No lounge. Laid back but a real beach holiday with Naples a 40 min drive.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 9:46 pm
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Thanks all for the input so far! I've been either Diamond or Gold with Hilton for approx. 20 years and gleaned a lot from the comments posted above. Most of the properties mentioned in this thread are new to me and the personal insights are greatly appreciated.
Arlflyer: We're flexible, and were hoping to learn of a fellow FlyerTalker's great experience. There are dozens and dozens of Hilton properties in Florida and the Hilton forum only has dedicated threads about a few of them. One property that is off our list is the Key West Casa Marina Waldorf Astoria - reviews in this thread were disgraceful and horrific.

Please keep the suggestions coming!
Much thanks,
-Goat
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Old Dec 4, 19, 9:56 pm
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As previously mentioned, the time of year is a big factor. Your post said "shortly" so I will take that as wintertime. Destin is awesome but isn't going to cut it if you are seeking warm air. If you want the most assurances this time of year you need to go south and way south. I wouldn't even consider anything north of Palm Beach.

I do like the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach. The Hilton Cabana Miami Beach is nice...just don't overspend for it. Sometimes they are really proud of it and it is nice I just don't know it is THAT nice.

There isn't that much beachside on the Southwest side. I haven't stayed at the aforementioned Marco Island Hilton but I have been on the island and it is lovely.

The car thing is something to reconsider IMHO in SE Florida. They may ding you for $40 or more for parking per night. And if you are going between Christmas and the New Year, rental cars are in short supply and quite expensive.

I am anxiously awaiting my first visit to Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach on Dec. 26th.

Outside of Florida, San Diego is nice and it won't likely be cold but it won't likely be really warm either. There are a few options in the San Diego area. If you are seeking a break from cold air in the USA in December or January about your only safe options are south, south Florida and Hawaii. Other parts might be OK but they may not be either. And it can get "cold" in South Florida too but usually not for very long.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 9:58 pm
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Oh, I will avoid Doubletree North Miami Beach. It isn't terrible but meh....
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Old Dec 5, 19, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
The Lodge at Gulf State Park is an interesting option. It's just over the FL/AL border in Gulf Shores. VERY new property. Food/drink on-site is excellent. Pool deck is kind of sparse, but again, you're on the Gulf. No executive lounge.

Plenty to do in Gulf Shores and Foley nearby. You're also less than 20 minutes from NAS Pensacola and Perdido Bay.
It is currently 46 degrees in Gulf Shores.
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Old Dec 5, 19, 5:57 am
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Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach.

But, like all hotels on Ft Lauderdale Beach, you are going to pay hefty daily parking.

The rooms are mostly suites with little kitchens.

Its far enough south so that its warm in the winter.

its a fun part of Ft Lauderdale Beach.
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Old Dec 5, 19, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by BrlDsguise View Post
It is currently 46 degrees in Gulf Shores.
I know. I live in Pensacola.

OP didnít specify a timeframe, but was interested in things a teenager would be interested in nearby. Gulf Shores and Pensacola fit the bill and are a great alternative to south FL in the warmer months.
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Old Dec 5, 19, 12:26 pm
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We really like the Clearwater Beach Hilton.

It is Beachfront, to the top beach in the US
Great breakfast benefits for a diamond
No exec lounge
Tons of stuff for kids to do in the area, plus hilton has beach activities available to families.
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Old Dec 5, 19, 12:50 pm
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Another vote for the Conrad FT Lauderdale Beach resort. I had an amazing stay there in Aug to celebrate my birthday. I stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach resort next door as well. This was Xmas week. It is a nice hotel, but I like the Conrad better.
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