Watercolor Inn & Resort

34 Goldenrod Circle | Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 [See Map]
#15 in Best Florida Hotels
Hotel Class 4.0-star Critic Rating Excellent Guest Rating
TripAdvior Traveler Rating

Based on 351 reviews
Property Type Resort with 60 rooms, 4 floors
Primary View(s) Ocean, Lake
Best For Families, Couples

U.S. News Review

Sitting on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Santa Rosa Beach's Watercolor Inn & Resort will especially appeal to families. It has good though not great room rates to facilitate group travel, plus lots of amenities for keeping kids busy, such as complimentary bikes, kayaks and canoes, access to six resort pools, a seasonal family movie night and even a kids day camp. However, the Gathering Spot and Sushi Bar restaurant is purely for romance thanks to an atmospheric fire pit in the evenings. For a delicious meal of fresh seafood with excellent ocean views, sit down to dinner at Fish out of Water. Recent guests appreciate the intimate feel to this resort, which only has 60 rooms, and say that the limited number of accommodations means that you can bask in more personal attention from the hospitality staff. Accommodations here feature a variety of modern comforts, including iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs and minifridges. And if you need to get some work done, you'll find ample work spaces in the rooms, as well as high-speed Internet access. 

How we rank hotels

Critic Reviews

Condé Nast Traveler

“Children go bananas for this place (cookies at turn-down each night, a superlative kids’ club), so by all means make this a family affair.”


“Perhaps the ultimate vacation experience on the gulf.”
Award: Fodor's Choice


“The inn offers an airy and relaxing atmosphere, and sits right on a beautiful private beach. It's part of a larger resort community that's packed with amenities.”

Other Awards:
  • AAA/CAA Four Diamond Lodgings 2015
  • Concierge.com Editor's Pick
  • Condé Nast Readers' Choice List 2014
  • Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Awards 2014
  • Lonely Planet Top Pick
  • Travel + Leisure 500 World's Best Hotels 2015

Guest Rooms

Designed by award-winning architect David Rockwell, the hotel and its beach house vibe exude equal parts coastal charm and casual chic. In addition to floor-to-ceiling windows, rooms have balconies or patios furnished with Adirondack chairs. Flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and Internet access are part of the room package; ditto for minifridges, coffee makers and bottled water.

  • Accommodations offer beach, dunes or the Gulf
  • Freshly baked cookies included in evening turndown service

Standard room size:

500 square feet
  • Internet (free)
  • Premium channels
  • Workspace/desk
  • Minifridge
  • Bathrobes/slippers
  • Minibar
  • Shower/tub combo
  • Separate shower
  • Separate tub
  • Wireless Internet
  • Guest rooms with patios and balconies
  • Adjoining rooms available
  • High Price
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Guest Reviews

A hotel's guest rating is calculated using data provided under license by TripAdvisor. A total of 351 guests have reviewed the Watercolor Inn & Resort, giving it a rating of 4.5, on a scale of 1-5.

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 4.5 (based on 351 reviews)

Guest Reviews: Read most recent guest reviews



  • Room Service
  • Internet Access
  • Business Center
  • Dining
  • Parking
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Fitness Center
  • Pool

Location & Parking

The WaterColor Inn & Resort sits on more than 400 acres of beach on the Gulf of Mexico along the Florida Panhandle. Pine forests, rolling dunes and rare coastal lakes surround the property, providing impressive vistas and ample opportunity for play.

  • Property is a large part of a planned community neighboring Grayton Beach State Park; 10-minute walk to the coastal town of Seaside
  • Resort is about 25 miles east of Destin and 23 miles west of Panama City Beach
  • A $30 daily resort fee covers parking and valet charges, and allows for unlimited access to bikes, kayaks, canoes and the fitness center
  • 24-hour valet parking (free)
  • 24-hour self-parking (free)
  • Airport shuttle
  • Car service

Within walking distance of:

  • Bus stop
  • Train station
  • Subway/metro stop
  • Restaurants
  • Beach
  • Grocery store
  • Movie theater
  • Theater
  • Shopping


Dining options run the gamut from casual poolside eats to sushi bar snacks to the farm-to-table fare on the menu at the resort's signature restaurant overlooking the Gulf, Fish Out of Water.

  • The Gathering Spot offers casual dining, as well as a sushi bar, adjacent to the adult pool
  • Lunch is served daily at the BeachClub Grille, which offers poolside, deck or indoor dining
  • In-room dining is available from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m.

Number of restaurants:


Cuisine types:

Asian, American


  • Fine dining
  • Casual dining
  • Quick service cafe/coffee shop/marketplace
  • Bar/lounge
  • Room service
  • 24-hour room service
  • Free breakfast


The resort's six pools, some offering magnificent Gulf views, feature decks furnished with an abundance of lounge chairs. Umbrellas and mature palm trees provide shade, and towel service is included in the resort fee. A particularly neat feature: Sandhill pool's mosaic frog sculptures that spout water. One pool also features lap lanes for swimmers to use.

  • Two pools for kids and families
  • Designated quiet pool for adults only
  • Poolside dining options

Number of pools:


Pool types:

  • Lap pool
  • Wading pool
  • Lazy river
  • Family pool
  • Infinity pool
  • Whirlpool/hot tub
  • Adults-only pool
  • Seasonal
  • Indoor
  • Outdoor
  • Indoor/outdoor combo

Pool amenities:

  • Lifeguard on duty
  • Poolside service
  • Waterslide
  • Deck chairs or cabanas
  • Pool bar


Guests in need of pampering can head to the resort's InnSpa where services include body treatments, scrubs, facials, massage and nail care. In-room services can be provided as well.

  • InnSpa offers bridal packages, treatments for men and mother/daughter pedicures
  • Spa guests must be 18 or older; younger guests must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

Services offered:

  • Massage
  • Facial
  • Body treatments (i.e. scrubs, wraps)
  • Salon services
  • Outdoor treatment area
  • Steam room
  • Sauna


The very popular Camp WaterColor offers a variety of creative and educational supervised activities for children ages 3 and older.

  • Three of the resort's six pools are kid-friendly
  • Activities include movie nights, beach bonfires and football
  • Kids menus available at all resort restaurants
  • Kids club (free)
  • Cribs
  • High chairs


Certified personal trainers are on staff at WaterColor WorkOut, a full-service fitness center with group classes, cardio equipment and weight machines.

  • The center has private showers, personal lockers and a retail outlet selling workout apparel
  • Yoga, boot camp, Pilates and body sculpting classes are on the group fitness schedule
  • Tennis enthusiasts get their game on with five outdoor HarTru Hydrocourts
  • The BoatHouse provides canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards; cycling needs are met at the Bike Barn

  • Weight equipment
  • Cardio equipment
  • Yoga mats
  • Free fitness classes
  • Premium fitness classes (with fee)
  • Bicycles (free)
  • Tennis (with fee)
  • Guided runs
  • Paddle boats (free)
  • Motor boats


The resort provides a team of conference professionals to assist in planning events in the property's 4,000 square feet of flexible space. Maximum capacity in the largest space, the Goldenrod Room, is 200 reception-style.

  • Meeting services include AV rentals, set design, video conferencing and sound system management
  • All-inclusive meeting packages with banquet menus and group team-building experiences

Number of meeting rooms:

  • Business center
  • Meeting rooms
  • Meeting and event planners available



Three golf courses are adjacent to the resort and enthusiasts enjoy preferred rates and a complimentary daily round when staying at the WaterColor Inn.

  • Golf carts
  • Golf packages
  • Club rentals
  • Club house
  • Refreshment stand or restaurant
  • Caddy service
  • Pro shop


The resort's indoor and outdoor wedding venues offer a variety of settings for ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners and bridal party festivities. Outdoor spaces include the beach, a few parks and a green space surrounded by dunes and verdant plants.

  • Professional wedding service managers are available to help plan and execute events
  • Resort wedding packages include floral design, custom cakes, entertainment coordinators and preferred photography services

Maximum wedding guest capacity:

  • Hotel hosts weddings
  • Outdoor space for weddings
  • Wedding planners available

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Watercolor Inn & Resort

34 Goldenrod Circle | Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 [See Full Map]