The Best Hotels to Book in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Splash around the large pool and hot tub at the Island by Hotel RL
Splash around the large pool and hot tub at the Island by Hotel RL | Courtesy of The Island by Hotel RL / Booking.com
Photo of Susan Barnes
29 November 2021
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One stretch of coastline on the Florida Panhandle beloved by everyone is the Emerald Coast, which is where you’ll find Fort Walton Beach. Known for its powder-soft, white-sand beaches, clear-blue waters and photogenic sunsets, this part of the Sunshine State is a terrific year-round destination. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Fort Walton Beach, bookable on Culture Trip.

The Island by Hotel RL, for a grotto pool

The outdoor Grotto Pool at the Island by Hotel RL
Courtesy of The Island by Hotel RL / Booking.com

For more than 50 years, this friendly hotel has welcomed guests to its coastal-cool rooms featuring warm wood elements and pops of bright ocean blue – book one with views of the Gulf of Mexico. Children will love a meeting with Misty, the resident mermaid. Cool off under the waterfalls in the Grotto Pool – there’s even a swim-up bar for an ocean-themed cocktail – then make a splash at dive-in movie nights.

Four Points by Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach, for family-friendly fun

A light and airy guest room at the Four Points by Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach
Courtesy of Four Points by Sheraton Destin-Fort Walton Beach / Booking.com

Everyone will love this family-friendly oceanfront hotel, a four-minute walk from Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. The light and airy rooms with soft grays and pops of turquoise furniture keep things relaxing before you all dive into one of the two outdoor heated pools and bubble in the hot tub. Finish the perfect day with a seafood bucket filled with jumbo shrimp and golden fries before catching some Zs.

Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, for beachy vibes

A beachy guest room with a balcony at the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach / Booking.com

If the white-sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico isn’t enough to entice you to this beachfront resort, perhaps the outdoor lazy river pool, indoor heated pool and hot tub are. Did we mention the beachfront tiki bar, game room, Dive-Inn movies and kid-friendly activities? Every room and suite channels a tropical vibe, and many of them come with private balconies, providing the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Courtyard by Marriott Fort Walton Beach-West Destin, for a beachfront pool

The gated beachfront pool at the Courtyard by Marriott Fort Walton Beach-West Destin
Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Fort Walton Beach-West Destin / Booking.com

At the Courtyard, ocean-themed murals and colorful cushions liven up pared-back rooms – choose ocean view, bay view or partial view for sea sightings. The nearby dining is eclectic, ranging from an Irish pub to Japanese seafood and steak and a Greek hotspot, but at the hotel, it’s all-American come breakfast time, with waffles and hot coffee. Find a spot and relax under a beach umbrella, or go for a swim in the beachfront pool. Later, drive the 30 minutes to visit every creature, from rhinos to budgies, at the Gulf Breeze Zoo.

Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach, for a tiki bar

The bright outdoor sitting area with firepits and sprawling pool area at the Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Fort Walton Beach / Booking.com

This hotel may be near the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, but forget about work and toast the sunset at the hotel tiki bar instead. The whole family will love a play in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or an all-day float on the lazy river. Sunshine-yellow rooms reflect the seaside setting, 10 minutes from central Fort Walton Beach; choose a gulf or pool view – or both. Start each day with a cooked American breakfast, including eggs sunny side up, of course.

Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Walton Beach, for extended stays

A sleek, contemporary studio with a balcony at the Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Walton Beach
Courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Walton Beach / Booking.com

Whether you stay for a few days, a few weeks or a few months, you’ll feel right at home in a spacious studio or one-bedroom suite with hints of the sky and sea in the decor. Take advantage of the complimentary grocery delivery service so that you can focus on giving your all to swimming in the outdoor pool or working out in the on-site fitness center. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast before walking four blocks or so to the Indian Temple Mound Museum.

Hampton Inn Fort Walton Beach, for a relaxing stay

A relaxing two-bed guest room at the Hampton Inn Fort Walton Beach
Courtesy of Hampton Inn Fort Walton Beach / Booking.com

A light touch decor-wise at this modern beachfront hotel equals rooms bathed in pale pistachio green and lots of light; some come with a private patio and a pool view. Leave the unpacking for later – you’ll find the powder-soft sand and warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico ready for you to explore, cocktail in hand. Cool off even more at the Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park, 8mi (13km) away.

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Fort Walton Beach-West Destin, for a budget-friendly getaway

A spacious oceanfront queen suite at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Fort Walton Beach-West Destin
Courtesy of Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Fort Walton Beach-West Destin / Booking.com

Budget-conscious families and friends will love the on-site fitness center, heated pool and, of course, the white-sand beach. Comfortable rooms feature warm, honeyed tones, and most have coastal views. A complimentary breakfast keeps you healthy with granola and yogurt ahead of an active day of horseback riding, snorkeling and miniature golf nearby. As Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is only 11mi (18km) away, you can spend longer soaking up the sun on the last day of your trip.

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