St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the US and its Old World charm makes it a perfect luxurious romantic getaway. A stay at one of the Inns of Elegance will ensure an unforgettable escape.
The Inns of Elegance are a collection of five Bed and Breakfast Inns in the St. Augustine historic district. All of the inns are either on the waterfront or a block or two away, and are walking distance from shops, restaurants, museums, attractions, and trolley stops.
Bayfront Marin House, built in 1888 on the waterfront, has verandahs and private balconies that provide great outdoor spaces. There are 15 rooms, each individually decorated with King or Queen beds, private baths, and many with oversized double Jacuzzis. Every room has a private entrance. A full, hot breakfast is included each day and is served in your room, the dining room, the gazebo, or on the verandah. There is beer and wine during happy hour each evening and a homemade ice cream social every Wednesday. Several of the rooms are pet friendly and children are welcome. Rates, depending on room type and season, range from $119 to $299 per night. 142 Avenida Menendez. 904-824-4301. http://www.bayfrontmarinhouse.com
Casablanca Inn, built in 1914, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Casablanca Inn is a great find on the bayfront. The main house, a Mediterranean revival home overlooking the Matanzas Bay, offers unique furnishings, luxurious linens, and individual comfort. There are 10 suites and 2 rooms in the Main House. The Coach House, directly behind the Main House, has 8 rooms. Each room has either a private balcony or patio overlooking historic brick-paved Charlotte Street. There is also a Secret Garden, accessible by a small brick walking path behind the Main House and across Charlotte Street. There are 3 more suites surrounding the garden, each one including a kitchenette, dining area, and outdoor deck. The Garden rooms are pet friendly. A unique twist at the Casablanca Inn is the on-site Tini Martini Bar. This popular local gathering spot serves up some unusual and refreshing drinks. Rates at Casablanca Inn include a full breakfast served daily in the dining room or on the verandah, and a $15 credit per room each night in the Tini Martini Bar. Rooms in the main house range from $99 to $299, the Coach House range from $159 to $199, and the Secret Garden rooms range from $129 to $179 per night for 2 people, depending on room and season. 24 Avenida Menendez. 904-829-0928. http://www.casablancainn.com
Inn on Charlotte, tucked a block off the bay on the historic brick-lined Charlotte Street, was built in 1918. The classic home offers 8 rooms and a welcome, romantic escape in a classic Southern setting. This adult-only inn offers charm and elegance. Each room, named after a different legendary person in the city’s colorful history, features either a King or Queen bed, beautiful antiques, fine linens, and all but one of the rooms have whirlpool tubs. A two-course gourmet breakfast is served each morning and wine is complimentary during the evening’s social hour. Rooms range from $129 to $279, depending on room and season. The value of walking in the front door of this stately home and smelling the aroma of fresh baked bread is priceless. 52 Charlotte Street. 904-829-3819. http://www.innoncharlotte.com
St. Francis Inn, the oldest of the Inns of Elegance, was built around 1791. The Inn offers a private courtyard and pool. Each room is unique and there are several different types of accommodations, including suites and a private cottage, the 1880 Wilson House. Stays at St. Francis Inn include gourmet buffet breakfast, evening social hour, and nightly homemade desserts. Guests are also able to enjoy a day on Anastasia Island, with day use of the private beach cottage there. Wireless internet is available throughout the property. Nighttime snacks, including soft drinks, chips, and candy, are left in the lobby after hours, and sherry is delivered to rooms. Each room at the inn is unique, featuring such individual items as stained glass, hammered tin ceiling, bear-claw footed bathtub, fireplace, spa/hot tub, brass bed, refrigerator, private deck, sleeper sofa. The options vary for each room. The Cottage is a separate, 2 bedroom, 2 bath building off the courtyard, once the slave quarters for the main house. It offers an eat-in kitchen, bathroom with 2-person whirlpool tub, living room with fireplace, and sleeper sofa on the first floor. Upstairs there are 2 bedrooms and a full bath. The rooms range from $129 to $299 per night, depending on room and season. The cottage ranges from $269 to $349, depending on season. 279 St. George St. 904-824-6068. http://www.stfrancisinn.com
Westcott House, on the bayfront right next door to Bayfront Marin House, is a Victorian home built in the 1880s. The Victorian porches offer great bay views and are perfect for watching the sun rise. Each of the 16 antique-furnished bedrooms has a luxurious King or Queen bed, television, and Wi-Fi. Most have fireplaces and double Jacuzzi baths. Full breakfast is included and is served each day in your room, the dining room, or out on the wide porches. The owners serve late afternoon wine, beer, and hors d’ouevres daily. No pets are allowed. Rates, depending on room and season, range from $149 to $399 per night. 146 Avenida Menendez. 904-825-4602. http://www.westcotthouse.com
Each inn offers something unique for your stay in St. Augustine, and each one is waiting to offer a perfect backdrop for the perfect romantic escape. Be sure to visit http://www.Innsofelegance.com for more on the inns.
For those choosing to visit St. Augustine from the Phoenix area, the nation’s oldest city offers a welcome escape to the beaches, with the ocean breezes beckoning you to leave the desert far behind. Getting there has never been easier, with multiple flights daily on Southwest, US Airways, United, American Airlines, and Continental into nearby Jacksonville, with only a short stop-over along the way. There are many rental cars and shuttle services from Jacksonville to St. Augustine.
Want something fun to do while you visit St. Augustine? Check out the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum.