Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard – Destin, FL

Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard | 100 Grand Blvd| Destin, FL 32550 | 1-850-650-7411

 

Destin, FL is one of my absolute favorite places to travel to. People ask why I am such a fanatical fan and my response is always the same. It’s paradise. Being a huge Jimmy Buffett fan, I refer to it as “my Margaritaville!” 

10151822_10202784934438266_1601015212_nWhy do I feel this way? One obvious reason is the area’s award-winning, gorgeous beaches with their “cool to the touch”, snow white sand and crystal clear, emerald green / turquoise water, but there are numerous other factors that make the area “paradise” to me.

crop_1200_650_RS4065_Miramar_Beach_112The entire region makes for the perfect getaway. There is just so much to do! You will find 16 beaches in South Walton alone, not to mention “The Emerald Coast“, which consists of Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island.

10384There are scenic roads, quaint seaside villages, eclectic shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and outdoor activities. You can enjoy everything from sun bathing to ziplining, and, of course, fantastic shopping! As a matter of fact, one of the nation’s largest outlet centers, Silver Sands Premium Outlets is located in Miramar Beach, FL (roughly 2 minutes from hotel). Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard is right next door to an array of shopping and restaurant options including J. Crew, The Orvis Company, Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. 

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vpscy_phototour24My wife, Jennifer, and I stayed at Coutyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard this past June and were blown away by the gorgeous new lobby, rooms, service and location (Miramar Beach is less than a 5 minute drive away!) 

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vpscy_phototour37The new lobby is sleek, contemporary, bright and cheerful! 

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IMG_1627Jennifer and I enjoyed the inviting lobby many times throughout our 3-night stay.

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IMG_1617We also dined at the hotel’s onsite restaurant, The Bistro, which serves a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner specialties, including Starbucks® coffee, available 24/7. The food and cocktails were reasonably priced and very good! 

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IMG_1672Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard has a lovely outdoor pool and a whirlpool. 

IMG_1673Our king guestroom was very impressive with its updated design.

vpscy_phototour28The room was generously sized at 364-sq feet with a living / sitting area, conveniently located electric outlets, a comfortable bed with a plush duvet and foam / feather pillows, soft lighting and ample sized bathroom.

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vpscy_phototour45There was a mini-fridge, coffee maker, flat screen LCD TV and premium movies available for rent. The room (and entire hotel) is smoke free, which is always appreciated. You will also find an onsite fitness center, sundry shop, laundry and meeting / event space. 

GOOD TO KNOW: 

  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM (express checkout is available).
  • Parking is complimentary.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Hotel does not offer shuttle to/from airport. 
  • Free Wi-Fi is available throughout property.
  • Laundry services are available.

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  • The Bistro is their onsite restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as 24-hour Starbucks coffee. Click HERE for more information.
  • There is an outdoor pool and whirlpool. 

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  • The hotel has a fitness center. 

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  • There are public computers and printing services available. 

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  • There are 4 Meeting / event rooms with over 2,000 square feet of total meeting space. Click HERE for more information. 
  • There are 5 floors, 167 rooms and 7 suites. 
  • Here is the area BEACH MAP.
  • Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard offers special deals / packages throughout the year. Click HERE for more information. 

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  • Beautiful beaches are within a 5 minute drive from hotel. 
  • Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is 5 miles away. The Kelly Plantation Golf Club is 6 miles away. 
  • Numerous outdoor activities are less than a mile away including: bike rentals, bike trails, bowling, fly-fishing, hiking, horseback riding, jet-skiing, jogging/fitness trail, kayaking, miniature golf, zip-lining, nature preserve, sailing, scuba diving, volleyball and tennis. 

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GAY & LESBIAN FACTOR: Marriott consistently receives high ranking from the Human Rights Campaign (90% or above). The Corporate Equality Index rates employers by conducting an analysis of America’s top workplaces and their inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees. Ratings are based on factors such as non-discrimination policies, equal benefits for domestic partners, respectful advertising, and external community outreach. Marriott frequently hosts galas and events on behalf of the LGBT community leaders including the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, PFLAG, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and many others.

imageTheir latest campaign, Love Travels, encourages you to be yourself – whoever you are and wherever you go.

I have worked with Marriott on numerous occasions, spotlighting the brand’s properties throughout the United States. Ron Couget, director of sales and marketing for Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, has been a featured advertiser of Gay Travel Information’s since 2013. Ron wants the LGBT community know just how welcoming the hotels he oversees are, and, after staying there this past spring, I can personally attest this this. The hotel’s friendly staff made Jennifer and I feel right at home! They always had a smile for us whether we were leaving or returning to the hotel and were more than happy to provide helpful information. 

Let’s be honest, we all know the south has it’s fair share of homophobic “iffy” spots for the LGBT traveler, but, to me, that just doesn’t feel like the case when it comes to Destin (or the entire Panhandle region for that matter!) Sure, there isn’t the gay nightlife like Miami or Fort Lauderdale, but the “vibe” as a whole is welcoming. 

This past June I was featured in an article for The New York Times highlighting “Up & Coming Gay & Lesbian Destinations” in North America.  I chose to write about The Florida Panhandle, with a special emphasis on Destin. I’ve felt an overall gay friendliness to the area since my first visit in 2004 and, without fail, each trip I seem to run into other LGBT couples (and families). As for the local businesses, I have experienced nothing but “southern hospitality” and no place is this southern hospitality more evident than Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard! I happily “OUT” this wonderful hotel as LGBT friendly and worthy of our business.

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Vacations to Destin always fly by. It was particularly difficult leaving this time as I was not only immersed by the beaches and attractions, but also by the hotel. Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard goes above and beyond when it comes to making your stay a comfortable, memorable one. 

I am not only anticipating my return to Destin, but also the hotel itself. 

Two big thumbs up! 

Desiree Sousa

Owner / Editor-In-Chief

Gay Travel Information | We Are Gay Friendly | Out & About Travel

 

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