Booking a Vacation Rental in Destin, Florida: Ocean Reef Resorts Review

Booking a Vacation Rental in Destin, Florida: Ocean Reef Resorts Review

We had a quick, relaxing getaway to our favorite beach destination during the first half of our spring break, Destin, Florida. Since last spring break, we missed out on our annual trip due to the pandemic's shutdowns; we decided to go this year.

I've been craving some vitamin sea for a while now; it helps boost my creativity, and I feel rejuvenated, ready to tackle the work I have prepared for me at home.

Since it's the busy season in Destin due to all the spring breakers flocking to the beaches, I knew that it might be a challenge for me to find a place to rest my head for a couple of nights. And, not good to search for a place at the last minute either.

But, I was up for the challenge to find my family and me a 2-3 bedroom condo during Easter weekend.

There were no if's, and's, or buts, of us, staying in a hotel; we need space for a family of four with two teens. We usually stay in hotels, but my daughters are tired of sharing a bed, not to mention four people sharing one bathroom! A nightmare!

I browsed through websites like Vrbo, BookingBuddy, and good ol' Google to help me on my search for the perfect condo for us.

I highlighted the good ones I found, and within a couple of hours, they would be already booked by other people. I hate to just rush and book a condo and end up finding something better.

So, I Googled "Vacation Rentals in Destin, Florida," and Ocean Reef Resorts was one of the top search results. I clicked them to see what they had to offer and noticed a large selection of Destin rentals. From condos, houses, and villas, they have various vacation homes for everyone's needs.

I put in the dates I needed, and Ocean Reef Resorts narrow down what they had available. It wasn't much, but I spotted a high-rise condominium called Ariel Dunes with 2 1/2 bedrooms located at Miramar Beach. It may not have been right on the beach, but it's within walking distance.

Since I have never heard of Ocean Reef Resorts, I was a bit nervous about booking the condo, so I did a quick search on their reviews. All the reviews I found were good, with good experiences, so I made the payment.

After booking, I received an automated email from Ocean Reef Resorts saying the reservation request was received. Another email said I'm paid in full and for me to sign the rental agreement. 


I signed the contract and was lead to a guest portal to sign in to get my door code, WIFI password, pool code, and address to the condo. We were staying in building 2 on the 5th floor, condo #509.

I'm not going to lie, but I was nervous paying all this money upfront and never using this company before. What if I get there and the codes provided for me don't work? And Ocean Reef Resorts is not on the property, so if something goes wrong, then what?  

Yeah, they have a phone number to call and an after-hours number, but I still never pay a large sum of money to a company I haven't seen in person, let alone not even speaking to them on the phone.

So, fingers crossed!

On the day of the trip, we took our guinea pigs to pet boarding since the condo we booked was not pet-friendly (Ocean Reef Resorts does offer pet-friendly rentals), and Ocean Reef sent a text with the information I need, like address, link to the guest portal, and door code for easy access.

We arrived at Ariel Dunes in the early evening on Saturday, located in the Seascape Resort community. The first thing we noticed was all the vacationers walking around to and from the beach. The weather was nippy, not quite warm enough to take a dip in the pool or ocean, but still can layer up and watch the beautiful sunset. That's how I like my beach vacations, gazing at the ocean shore and blue skies.

We got to our condo rental and entered the door access code with no problems getting in.

Booking a Vacation Rental in Destin, Florida: Ocean Reef Resorts Review

Our condo was just the way Ocean Resorts Resort described it, but much more beautiful in person! The soft, nautical decor gives a lovely beach touch, with stunning views of the gulf!

Here are more details about Ariel Dunes II #509

Ariel Dunes II in Miramar Beach Florida

This two-bedroom vacation rental residence can accommodate up to eight happy beach-going guests. It is located in the sophisticated Ariel Dunes II luxury residential tower at the Seascape Resort in Miramar Beach. This highly sought-after tower features a southwesterly exposure, allowing guests to experience sensational sunset vistas out over the gulf in the distance. A lovely coastal dune lake and a series of swimming pools may also be seen down below. 

Ariel Dunes Miramar Beach Florida

Miramar Beach Florida

A nicely furnished balcony features a hanging swing, a table with chairs, and four white Adirondack Chairs inviting guests to enjoy the panoramic views first hand. It spans across from the open living area to the Master Suite with direct access from each. Guest may find themselves spending a lot of time here overlooking the seascape while enjoying their favorite drinks, appetizers, or dining alfresco.

Ariel Dunes II #509

Ariel Dunes II #509

Ariel Dunes II #509

The main open living area of 
Ariel Dunes II 509 has a bright warm ambiance with creamy white furnishings and soft latte-colored walls. The comfortable seating ensemble includes the couch that can double as the sleeper sofa, two armchairs, a fashionable grayish-blue Vintage Modern accent chair facing a huge flatscreen TV mounted on a white credenza.

Ariel Dunes II #509

Ariel Dunes II #509

Nearby a white-washed beach-inspired dining table with six matching chairs sits beneath a charming beaded chandelier. The open kitchen features brushed stainless steel appliances, cream-colored custom cabinetry, a gleaming black granite-topped bar, and two sleek white raised chairs beside it for entertaining.

Ariel Dunes II #509

The Master Bedroom includes a king-sized bed beside the sliding glass doors to the balcony, which frames the distant gulf view. White cottage-style furnishings are done with a nautical motif and a set of oars above the bed. A Flatscreen TV is mounted above a white dresser for evening viewing pleasure. 

Ariel Dunes II #509

The ensuite bath includes:

  • Double vanities.

  • A glass-walled shower.

  • A soaking tub next to a lovely painting of sailboats.

Ariel Dunes II #509

The Guest Bedroom continues the subtle nautical look with blue and white colors and a schooner painting. It also has a king-sized bed, a sunny window, and access to the full hall bath near the Bunk Nook. 

Ariel Dunes II #509

Both the Guest Bedroom and Bunk Nook feature their own Flatscreen TVs.

Ariel Dunes II #509

Ariel Dunes II features three large swimming pools encompassing 11,000 square feet that wrap around its base beside the lovely lake and forested Seascape Resort championship golf course. Ocean Reef Resorts guests receive complimentary reduced rates for golf, tennis, and water recreational rentals on site. A state-of-the-art Fitness Center with dressing areas, showers, and a steam room overlook the pools. When not enjoying the pools, guests may luxuriate in the jeweled gulf since 2,000 linear feet of beautiful beach is just a short stroll away.

Miramar Beach Florida

This fantastic Miramar Beach location is near shoreline restaurants along Scenic Gulf Drive, grocery stores, wine shops, and bargain shopping at the famous Silver Sands Premium Outlets, one of the nation's largest discount designer centers. 

Miramar Beach Florida

Miramar Beach Florida

Miramar Beach Florida

Miramar Beach Florida

Miramar Beach Florida

Many restaurants, lively bars, upscale retail shops, fun festivals, seasonal fireworks, and outdoor concerts are minutes away at the stylish Sandestin town center of Sandestin of Grand Boulevard, along with the enchanting Village of Baytowne Wharf.

The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin

Destin Premium Outlets

Harborwalk Pier

All One Level: Living Room with Queen Sleeper Sofa and Balcony Access, King Bedroom with Walk-In Shower and Soaking Tub + Balcony Access, King Bedroom with Shared Tub/Shower Combo, Twin Bunk Nook, Laundry.

Ariel Dunes II

We loved our stay at Ariel Dunes condo! It was hard to pack our bags and leave! The relaxing, soft blue and cream ambiance, the sun rises, and sunsets, kicking up my feet and lounging on the deck while breathing in the fresh ocean air, will surely be missed. I will definitely use Ocean Reef Resorts to book our next getaway trip to Destin. 

Booking a Vacation Rental in Destin, Florida: Ocean Reef Resorts Review

Looks like I will be booking more vacation homes during my travels more often!  Make sure to check out the last condo we stayed in.

Also, if you're looking for deals on vacation rentals in Destin, check out Priceline.

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Lou Martin

Hey, I'm Lou! I'm a mom of 2 teen girls and a full-time professional mom blogger in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoy learning and reviewing the latest products and being a brand influencer. I also love traveling (especially to beaches), shopping, visiting different restaurants, playing with makeup, riding around in the hottest cars, and going on adventures with my family. Make sure to follow my hashtag on social media #MissLouMae.

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