‘A brand new hotel’: Renovations under way at Hampton Inn

Jessica Coker

Construction crews are raising the roof on the Hampton Inn in Destin, as a major facelift is under way on the hotel, which is easily identified by its flamingo pink hue.

"We're basically going to be stripping the entire building; all we're leaving behind are the floors and the existing foundation walls," said Mark Siner of Choctaw Engineering, whose firm is overseeing the construction. "Typically with this kind of a project, you tear down the entire existing structure and start from scratch, but we're not." Driving past the hotel, located at 1625 Hwy. 98 East, it's easy to see that a transformation is taking shape, as crews began feverishly working on the hotel about three weeks ago. The hotel currently stands two-stories tall and has 104 rooms, but after the year-long project is complete, the Hampton Inn will boast a third-story and an additional 26 rooms. Given the increase in rooms, parking will also be expanded to accommodate the increased number of visitors. The Hampton Inn was last renovated in 2003. The new, spruced-up rooms and extra parking won't be the only changes made, says Will Schaedle, of Chartwell Hospitality, which owns, develops and operates hotels around the nation. "It's going to be a brand new hotel," he told The Log Thursday. In addition to the neighboring sugar-white beaches guests already enjoy, the Hampton Inn will offer visitors more bang for their buck as they offer even more plush amenities. "The new hotel will have a resort type pool with amenities such as water umbrellas," Shaedle said. "The hotel will also feature a picnic pavilion, two gas grills for guest use, a state of the art fitness center and an architectural fountain feature amongst other standard Hampton Inn amenities." There was talk of the new pool area featuring a lazy river, but Schaedle said it didn't fit into their plans. Situated in central Destin, visitors to the Hampton Inn are conveniently located within walking distance to The Track and Big Kahuna's and just a short car ride from Destin Commons. With permits in hand, heavy equipment already rolling and the renovations in full-swing, vacationers can expect to see the finished product by next summer. "We're shooting for the end of June or the beginning of July to re-open," Schaedle said.