Boutique Hotels in Jacksonville, FL
It's not often that one gets to sleep under the same roof that has sheltered U.S. presidents, silent film stars and gangsters. And thanks to modern conveniences like wireless Internet, pillow top mattresses and in-room refrigerators, guests at the Casa Marina are treated better today than when FDR, Jean Harlow and Al Capone roamed the halls. With fewer than 25 rooms and suites, each spacious and uniquely decorated, the three-story oceanfront inn is the perfect alternative to the characterless chain hotels that predominate Jacksonville Beach. Besides the requisite long walk on the beach, visitors won’t want to miss Sunday brunch or cocktails with a view at the Penthouse Lounge.
More than a century ago, oil and railroad tycoon Henry Flagler purchased this Moorish Revival-style hotel in the heart of downtown St. Augustine as a winter retreat for the well-heeled. Opulent chandeliers, luxurious fabrics and ornate furnishings still lend a sophisticated air to the property, which is listed on the National Trust Historic Hotels of America, but visitors no longer need to be Rockefellers or Vanderbilts to afford a stay. Many popular attractions are within walking distance, though, with Casa Monica’s award-winning fine dining restaurant 95 Cordova, Cobalt Lounge martini bar and stylish second-story pool area, guests may choose not to leave at all.
The fact that Club Continental is one of only handful of Jacksonville-area inns situated directly on the St. Johns River should be reason enough to book a stay, but it certainly isn't the only reason. Surrounded by 60-foot-tall oak trees covered with Spanish moss, colorful hibiscus trees and lush lawns, the 22-room property is quiet, intimate and a perfect respite from city life. Guests have full access to the private membership club, as well, which includes tennis courts, three swimming pools, fine dining restaurant and the River House Pub, located in a pre-Civil-War-era cottage on the river.
Designed to resemble an 1890s sea captain’s house, this quaint seaside inn on Amelia Island makes guests feel like they’re in New England instead of Northeast Florida—at least until they experience a heapin' helpin' of Southern hospitality. From daily gourmet breakfast and nightly social hour to 24-hour in-room dining and full concierge services, the island’s most acclaimed inn gets rave reviews not only from guests but national publications like USA Today, Travel + Leisure and Southern Living. Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is a 40-minute drive from Jacksonville, five minutes from Fernandina Beach’s historic district and most important, only steps from the beach.
Staying at Laterra Resort in World Golf Village is like living in a country club condominium. Situated on the renowned King & Bear, the only golf course co-designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, Laterra's one-, two- and three-bedroom suites feature many of the comforts of home like internet access, DVD player, washer and dryer, gourmet kitchen and private patio. Guess also have access to the resort's swimming pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center and have playing privileges on the King & Bear and Slammer & Squire championship courses. Spa Laterra offers more than 70 services including treatments performed in floating cabanas.