The planning, primping and picture posing is done and you are officially newlyweds. Relaxation and lazy days on the beach are a quick flight away or — depending on where you are in Acadiana —about a six-hour drive. The Henderson Hotel and Resort in Destin, Florida is an easy escape either as a pre-honeymoon stop before embarking to a farther flung locale or as the main Honeymoon event.
This quintessential beach resort is steps from sandy, white Emerald Coast beaches, including the hotel’s private beach. The Henderson features modern amenities, plush interiors and an in-suite bathtub that may convince some to never leave the room. The hotel has eight suites and 170 rooms, each with a patio or balcony, and if you’re situated just right, your room could be the perfect spot to watch the sun rise or set over the beach or the Henderson Beach Reserve located next to the hotel. Sixteen of the rooms are spa rooms, with access to a private elevator that delivers guests directly to the spa.
The Salamander Spa houses 11 private treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms, a whirlpool tub, full service salon and a couple’s suite. Relax and recoup from the stress of planning with facials and deep tissue massages or hair, skin and nail treatments. In addition to the couple’s massage, the Henderson Dream offers a complete experience with salt scrub, hot stones, aromatherapy oils and a foot massage while snug in a warm cocoon wrap.
Before you hit the spa, soak up some rays and try one, or more, of the many activities The Henderson offers. Pick up a Henderson bike and coast around the city, one complimentary bike rental per room per day, or rent a few chairs and an umbrella and bask in the sun while sipping on a cocktail. Are you looking for something more strenuous? The Henderson offers paddleboard and kayak rentals for guests, included in a daily resort fee. Guests can learn how to paddleboard, while potentially taking a few, fun-filled falls into the Gulf, or show their skills paddling out into the ocean with gorgeous views up and down the Emerald Coast. Any avid hikers can take a walk through the Henderson Beach State Park or picnic in one of their pavilions. In addition to these outdoor activities, the hotel offers access to an adult-only pool that has cabana rentals and a fitness center. The Henderson also offers guests transportation to nearby events and happenings in and around the Destin area.
Guests can paddle back to shore, or float away from the spa and enjoy one of five dining options The Henderson offers.
Primrose is the hotel’s signature restaurant and offers a tasty variety of fare from savory steaks or fresh, local seafood. The highlight of the Primrose is the delicious sushi, which offers mouthwatering flavors and seafood so fresh you’ll have to make sure you aren’t dreaming. Horizons has more of a nightlife feel, with expertly-made cocktails and light bites. You can end the night with a blast from the past at Sprinkles. This retro, 1950s-inspired malt shop is sure to fill your sweet tooth with malts, root beer floats, ice cream and candy.
From the cozy rooms, luxurious spa treatments, countless activities and multiple dining options, you’ll never have to leave the hotel. Take the time to reconnect before the Big Day by soaking up the sun or sinking into a massage at The Henderson. You’ll be so relaxed you’re sure to glow as you say “I Do.”
A version of this article appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of New Orleans Bride. Some services and experiences were complimentary.
3 spots to hit when you venture off the resort
1: Do the Brew
If trying new craft beer is your idea of romance, hit the Destin Brewery. The beer list is impressive and friendly, knowledgeable and patient bartenders are happy to offer up suggestions based on your favorite styles of beer.
2: Seafood Feast
Dewey Destin's is about five miles away from The Henderson. The owner's great, great grandfather, Leonard Destin, founded Destin in 1835. The steamed snow crab legs will hit the spot as you enjoy a cocktail while overlooking the harbor.
3: Get Wild
Henderson Beach State Park is a habitat for a variety of wildlife. Check out the nature trail, pack a picnic lunch or watch the sunset on one of the boardwalks.