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The Island Hotel Offers Family Fun on Florida's Emerald Coast

Family Travel Real Mom Reviews
Two boys in the pool at the Island Hotel, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Photo by Lindsay Flagan Two boys in the pool at the Island Hotel, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Photo by Lindsay Flagan

It has been a long long year and our family was in desperate need of a change of scenery for spring break. We needed somewhere warm and relaxing.

So when the opportunity came to visit The Island by Hotel RL in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., — which happens to be one of our favorites beach towns in the whole wide world — we jumped at it!

Island Hotel, Florida

The Island is a premier beachfront resort in a prime location in Fort Walton Beach originally built in 1966. It has gone through beautiful renovations through the decades, including the addition of the amazing Grotto Pool, complete with a swim-up bar.

We were lucky enough to stay in the most recently renovated accommodation — the Island Suite! We were completely blown away with the interior design and spaciousness of the Island Suite. This suite books up quickly as they only have one, so call today if you'd like to reserve it! The Island Suite is perfect for large or multiple families as it sleeps 12 comfortably.

Inside of suite at Island Hotel, Florida

The Emerald Coast: A perfect family destination

The Destin - Fort Walton Beach area is known as the Emerald Coast. We are lucky to live about a day's drive from the Emerald Coast and we try to visit at least once a year. The world-class beaches, crystal clear emerald green water (yes, you can see the bottom!) and the softest sandy beaches make it one of our favorite places. There is a reason they call this area the "Caribbean of Florida."

As a mom, I also love that the Gulf Coast waves are usually not as rough as east or west coast waves. This makes me a little less anxious as a parent and makes it much more enjoyable for younger kids to grab their boogie boards and have some fun!

MOM TIP: This trip I made it a point to wake up before the rest of my family to walk on the beach — talk about some amazing personal time to reflect, regroup, and relax. There is something so calming about the morning sun, sound of waves, and soft sand on your feet.

Kids having fun on beach in Florida, Island Hotel

Daily activities for the whole family at The Island
When you are not having fun on the beach, there is plenty to do at The Island! Each day the resort hosts activities and there is something for everyone in the family — outdoors yoga for mom or dad, to storytime at the Grotto Pool with Misty the Mermaid for the kids. There are also cupcake decorating competitions, putt putt golf, and bean bag games ... along with relaxing at the beachside bar while the kids play!

My kids told us over and over that they had not had this much fun in a long time.

Mermaid does storytime at Island Hotel, Florida

Great Island eats

No trip is complete without great food! The Island is located near some of the most popular restaurants in Destin but also has fantastic dining options on the property, including the Island Grille, a casual poolside option; the Fish House, a sit-down restaurant; Tripp Tide, a beachside bar; and The Grotto swim up pool bar.

outside of Island Hotel, Florida

We enjoyed them all! Two dining experiences stood out to me as my favorites: On our first morning, we had a delicious breakfast at the Fish House restaurant. The kids loved the waffles and I had one of the BEST eggs benedict I have ever had. We also absolutely loved the beach bar Tripp Tide — you can't beat enjoying some adult drinks while the kids play on the green or in the sand!

One of the reasons we enjoyed The Island so much was that we felt completely safe the entire time we were there. The Island encouraged face masks inside buildings and it was obvious that they were taking extra cleaning measures throughout the resort.

We highly recommend The Island and cannot wait to come back!

The author and her family received a complimentary stay at The Island by Hotel RL in exchange for this review. All opinions are her own.  


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