Emerald Grande At Harborwalk Village: Beautiful but Buggy

by victoriavadenking
Published: Last Updated on 2 mins read

The Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village is an amazingly beautiful hotel with stunning views — if you don’t mind cockroaches.

When we booked a penthouse for our sixth wedding anniversary, we didn’t know roaches would be celebrating with us.

Words cannot describe how amazing this experience was.

That is — until we saw a roach. Then, another. And another. But, more on that later.

This post is all about the Emerald Grande At Harborwalk Village.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida Boogie Water Sports Dolphin Tour
emerald grande at harborwalk village in destin, florida (boat view)

Recently, we drove to Destin, Florida for my cousin’s wedding. Originally, we planned to vacation on a cruise ship, but 2020 made sure to throw a wrench in that plan. So — the updated wedding plans booked us a stay at the Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village.

Because my husband and I were celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary the same week, we decided to have a “treat yo self” vacation. We booked the three-bed, three-bath corner penthouse. The hotel itself is very grand upon entering.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida room service breakfast

Parking At the Emerald Grande

Because of 2020 circumstances, valet was not offered, but parking was relatively easy in the parking lot as well as the parking garage. Check-in was pretty quick because we received our hotel keys within 15 minutes.

After unpacking our car, we noticed an added security feature for all penthouse guests in which the top floor could only be accessed with a penthouse room key. Our room was at the end of the hall, and walking into the corner penthouse is absolutely breathtaking!

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida penthouse
emerald grande penthouse view of the harbor

Destin Harbor Views

Because we arrived late in the evening, we were not able to see the water view until morning. However, it was an amazing surprise waking up to finally see the Destin harbor.

I honestly cannot describe in words how unbelievably beautiful our view was at the Emerald Grande. If you are able to splurge, it is honestly worth every single penny.

In years past, we have roomed at five-star hotels, and while our Emerald Grande experience was not five-star (more on that later), the penthouse and view alone are UNMATCHED.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida penthouse
Emerald Grande Resort & Spa penthouse living room

The Corner Penthouse: What It Really Looks Like

The corner penthouse (technically smaller than the 4-bedroom) is beyond roomy and quite large. The penthouse can host eight people comfortably.

Upon entry, the bunk bedroom is on the right across from the stackable washer/dryer. It has a hallway bathroom in which the sink and closet are separate from the shower and toilet.

Back in the main area, the penthouse is an open concept with an open foyer that flows into a large kitchen.

The kitchen is equipped with clean dishes, pots/pans, silverware, a toaster, stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and a bar with stool seating.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida penthouse
Emerald Grande Resort & Spa penthouse kitchen

Opposite the balcony and living room is the second bedroom which seems to be similar in size to the master bedroom. The bathroom is only slightly smaller than the master’s since it does not have a bathtub, but it is just as spacious.

The master bedroom is off the foyer/dining room which (again) is similar in size to the second bedroom.

It also has its own door to the balcony but keep in mind: the master’s balcony is not connected to the rest of the balcony. It is completely separate which we weren’t expecting (not a major issue).

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida penthouse
Emerald Grande Resort & Spa penthouse bedroom

The master bathroom has his-and-her sinks with a corner tub, separate standing shower, toilet, and closet. You will overlook the pool, captain’s deck, Harborwalk, and the entire harbor itself.

We ordered room service for our first morning, and it was amazing eating on the balcony with the views and perfect weather.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida penthouse roaches

Room Service In the Penthouse

The room service menu online is outdated which is unfortunate because the current menu is drastically shorter with less impressive options.

The food is very tasty though and the portion size is larger than some restaurants we ordered from for the same price.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida
Emerald Grande Resort & Spa penthouse master bathroom

Our penthouse had obvious signs of water damage. The master bathtub only ran cold water so I had to bathe our girls in the shower. But the cockroaches were the worst part!

The front desk sent someone up to spray our room, but that didn’t stop them from coming. We killed three to five cockroaches every day we were there.

While the views were breathtaking, it made us question spending $376+ tax a night dealing with roaches. On our last night in the penthouse, I completely lost it when I found one crawling in my luggage.

Emerald Grande Resort & Spa Destin, Florida penthouse
Emerald Grande Resort & Spa penthouse master bedroom

Emerald Grande at Harborwalk: Final Thoughts

The overnight manager is the only reason I rated this hotel three stars. She was so empathetic and I know what we dealt with was not her fault.

She credited us $100 [which we were grateful for], but with our overall expenses during our stay there, that didn’t scratch the surface. I could handle ants or the occasional fly, but not roaches especially in a penthouse.

Regardless of the bugs, it was an amazing experience that did make the bugs a small inconvenience when thinking of the memories we had during our stay.

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Jasmine Hewitt March 17, 2022 - 10:31 am

I’m from the Ga/Fla border and the roaches are no joke in some areas of the south! It’s unfortunate because they seem to linger in some amazing places, but totally ruin the experience

victoriavadenking April 11, 2022 - 12:23 am

Oh my goodness, it was so surprising to find out that they love palm trees. It’s crazy how such a beautiful tree harbors little disgusting critters. But, it was a great trip which is what we remember the most.


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