If you are looking for a quick getaway, Naples, Florida can be reached in a few short hours. Those of us from the East Coast often feel the West Coast doesn’t have as much to offer. Not true in the case of this interesting city. We also tend to brag about our Atlantic Ocean breeze. During our stay at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort we had a constant breeze on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. We went in the middle of summer but with a constant breeze the weather was very pleasant.
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort is surrounded by beautiful beachfront homes, condos and multi-use projects. The resort has 189 spacious and comfortable rooms all with private balconies overlooking the Gulf or Vanderbilt Bay. The resort is a non-smoking resort which also includes non- smoking balconies making it enjoyable for everyone to utilize the outdoor area.
Baleen is the main restaurant at the resort. Baleen features indoor and outdoor dining overlooking the beautiful white sand beach. Guests can dine on the terrace or, if they prefer, directly on the sand. The menu offers tremendous variety and our meals were superb. You can also choose a more casual place for lunch at the Tiki Bar.
When we arrived at the resort we were famished so we decided to have lunch at Baleen prior to checking into our room. The views from the restaurant are breathtaking and the white sand beach was nothing short of fantastic. We ordered the freshly caught grouper and it was excellent. We enjoyed a refreshing glass of wine and took in the sights. We enjoyed the grouper so much we ordered it again for dinner.
Other features of the resort include Spa Terre and LaPlaya Golf Club. Spa Terre is a 4,500 square-foot spa located on the second floor of the beach tower wing and has a full array of spa services. Guests of the spa enjoy the comfort of personal rooms with private balconies and in-room showers. The various services the spa offers are quite extensive and include traditional services and some very unique services of their own. The fully equipped fitness center also features fitness classes, yoga and Pilates. The golf course features 18 holes of championship golf surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and is home to the The Leadbetter Golf Academy which sports a double-sided driving range, short game practice facility, and chipping and putting surfaces. The golf course is currently going through major enhancements and renovations and will reopen around the first of October.
A very unique feature of the area is that the beaches in Southwest Florida are important nesting areas for endangered sea turtles. Sharing the beach with sea turtles is a great privilege and requires some measures to protect the turtles. The resort requests that guests close the drapes by 9:00 pm each night so the turtles are not attracted away from the beach. Turtle nesting occurs from May through October.
One day we decided to go to 5th Avenue in Naples to check it out. It is a charming area of shops, small businesses, restaurants, and cafes. There were numerous places we wanted to try for lunch and there are many excellent choices including Sea Salt, Campiello Italian Restaurant, and Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant, to name a few.
Naples has a lot of attractions for families and the resort is located near Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Naples Botanical Garden, The Sun and Fun Lagoon Water Park featuring over one million gallons of water, Collier Automotive Museum, and Mercato Shops complete with restaurants and a theatre. There is also The Conservancy of Southwest Florida which includes a Museum of Natural History, guided boat tours, a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, nature trails and nature store.
During our stay we mainly preferred to just enjoy the atmosphere of the resort. The 4 pool areas are spacious and provide umbrellas and cabanas, the Tiki Bar is great for a refreshing drink or snack, and the beach area is the ideal place for a pleasant walk.
There are beach butlers for those who prefer to eat on the beach or in their cabana. The resort also features beach fire pits where private dining on the beach can be arranged.
We experienced warm and hospitable service during the entire stay. LaPlaya is a great place for a quick getaway but when we left we felt we should have stayed longer. It is a great place to unwind and enjoy some of the best that Florida has to offer.
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort is on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List and is part of the Top 40 Florida Resorts. The resort has also received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. It is a member of Fine Hotels & Resorts and is part of the Noble House Hotels & Resort Group of hotels which also manages Little Palm Island, Ocean Key Resort & Spa, both in the Florida Keys, and Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale.
For more information, call (800) 237-6883 or visit www.laplayaresort.com.