For generations, travelers have been flocking to Amelia Island for its 13 miles of pristine white sand beaches, quaint shops and charming cafes. Now this exclusive island community boasts one of Florida’s most elegant hotels, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Following an $85 million renovation, the property offers a truly luxurious vacation experience with 1,350 acres of real estate and 3.5 miles of private beachfront property.
Accommodations range from luxury hotel rooms and suites to private residences. The 404 guest rooms all feature ocean views, while suites range up to 967 square feet with wrap-around patios. But you’ll most likely be spending most of your time outdoors on North Florida’s largest pool deck in the adults-only infinity edge pool. There’s also a 10,000-square-foot family friendly pool, a splash park and water playground, two hot tubs, and oversized fire pits spread throughout the property.
One of the Omni’s newest features is the Rum + Tequila Experience. Sitting poolside, you’ll be treated to flights of rum or tequila (or both) with over 120 kinds of tequila and 100 bottles of rum. Similar to a wine tasting, the master bartender walks guests through each flight pointing out the tasting notes, distillation process and pairing ideas. What you don’t finish, is artfully mixed into handcrafted cocktails.
When you tire of lounging, you’ll have access to 23 Har-Tru tennis courts as well as three Audubon International Certified Sanctuary golf courses ranked “Top 121 Golf Resorts in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler in 2012. Both facilities offer a chance to up your game with private instruction by certified professionals.
The resort’s award-winning luxury spa and salon is the perfect way for guests to unwind after a day of playing, whether it’s in the ocean or on the green. The spa’s relaxation area and zen garden are available to guests who may just want a few minutes to meditate and unwind in a tranquil setting. Once you’re rested and relaxed, stroll through the resort’s on-site shopping village with 14 upscale boutiques and enjoy a glass of wine on the outdoor terrace of Marché Burette, a French-style market.
Nine on-site dining venues range from gourmet to casual. In keeping with the resort’s philosophy of providing guests with healthy options, Executive Chef Daven Wardynski renovated an old abandoned greenhouse on the property and created The Sprouting Project. The garden and greenhouse, featuring a cutting-edge aquaponic system fed by two 500-gallon fish tanks, produce 6,000 plants for the resort annually, and Wardynski's beehive turns out 300 pounds of honey each year. The courtyard is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner setting or private event.
Amelia Island is one of the South’s most pristine natural environments. From the resort, you can go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding through the preserved marshlands and take in the natural beauty. If pedaling is more your preferred mode of transportation, the resort offers plenty of rentals, Segways and golf carts to explore the hotel’s extensive bike paths. And in the spirit of “there’s something for everyone," children can hang out in the award-winning kids’ camp with endless activities or visit the educational and interactive Nature Center.
With the ocean at your fingertips and plenty of activities to keep you busy, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is a great choice for a Northeast Florida vacation. Rates start at $309 a night on weekdays and $349 a night on weekends.