Serenity by the Sea Spa Makeover at Hilton Sandestin

In the last three years, the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast has invested more than $30 million to transform its meeting space, guestrooms, and public areas. The most recent updates to the 602-room resort include the addition of 7,500 square feet of exhibit and event space, as well as a 3,000-square-foot expansion to its Serenity by the Sea Spa. With a total new area of 14,500 square feet, the spa provides more space in the women’s locker room, lounge facilities, and group relaxation area, as well as the salon. The spa makeover also included a new 24-hour fitness center and updated reception and retail areas, as well as new tile and paint accents throughout. Design firm Looney & Associates wanted to refresh and revitalize the space so it would better reflect the quality and modernity of other recently renovated areas of the hotel. Cerused wood finishes, textural accent wall-coverings, and natural stone and driftwood elevate the spa to a more sophisticated leisure environment, says Hayden Benton, a registered interior designer at Looney & Associates. New furnishings, light fixtures, and artwork also add to the transformation. “Our design intent was to evoke tranquil elements of the Gulf using an artful mix of chic style and relaxed charm.”

When selecting furniture, Looney & Associates had comfort and relaxation in mind. “It was important that this room be conducive to both group and individual use,” Benton says. The lounge seating is upholstered in lightweight, linen-like fabrics, and custom solid white oak dining tables provide a spot for guests to grab a bite.

One of the major design features of the spa is a curved stone wall that extends from the entryway, through the salon, and into the lounges. “We decided to apply a thin set stone to the face of the wall to introduce warmth and texture throughout the space,” Benton says.

An indoor water wall fountain, made of blue glass tiles and surrounded by natural stone, adds to the relaxing environment in the spa lounge. “The water wall sets a tranquil tone for the space,” Benton explains.


The artwork concepts stemmed from the idea of unique perspectives and the play of light on water. Benton says, “The spa itself has very little natural light so we wanted to introduce as much color and dimension as possible.”

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