As we drove down the picturesque A1A byway we almost missed the entrance to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. The simple sign was nestled among the trees. This was our first indication that this Floridian resort was unlike any other we had visited.
The tree lined drive to the resorts entrance gives the impression of entering a secluded location in the woods. It’s only when you walk into the resort’s large and airy lobby that the seaside location comes through, in both the décor and the view. Before you notice the open lounge to the left or the check-in desk to the right your eye is drawn through the glass doors that look out over the tiered pool deck and the ocean beyond.
Even the guest rooms evoke a beach feel with the use of muted blues, white washed wood and shell accents, like staying at a friend’s luxury cottage. The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort understands that it’s their Oceanside location that draws many of their visitors so guests are rewarded with Oceanside views. All rooms.
There’s no better way to start a morning or end a day than listening to the sound of the waves right outside your bedroom. I cherished my morning beverage ritual, a perk reserved for Omni Select Guests, my entire stay at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort.
The resort takes into careful consideration the beauty that surrounds it, including pathways through the woods to get to the shops and various on-site activities. Just walking to dinner is a treat for the senses. Whether you’re playing a round of mini golf with the family at Heron’s Cove Adventure Golf or heading to the beach, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort works their space around nature.
reminded me of a little village of restaurants and stores scattered in clusters accessible by winding paths and boardwalks. There is even quiet seating areas and at the center of it all, a pond anchoring the area together.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself more within nature Amelia’s Wheels can set you up with renting a bike, jogging strollers, even a Segway to move around the many pathways on the property. Enjoy sailboat tours, kayaking, even paddle boarding through the amazing scenery. For the less adventurous you can head over to the Drummond Point Park where you’ll find outdoor activities like basketball and table tennis and a great kids playground. I’ve heard the sunsets are beautiful from the outlooks. In hindsight I wish we had spent more time here exploring the boardwalk and pathways more.
A great way to get the kids excited about nature is a visit to the resort’s Nature Center. You’ll find sea life and other local animals to interact with, as well as an assortment of books and guides. I loved their lending library of nature books. My daughter and I picked up a free shell guide for our trip to the beach where you’ll find shells upon shells to collect.
The Nature Center runs a number of programs and tours with families in mind (for a fee) A small donation will provide you with a little cup of pellets to feed the community turtles swimming in the pond behind the Nature Center. Even our Junior Style Blogger loved this experience, watching the turtles pop their heads out of the water for food. Should you want to visit the resort’s spa or just enjoy the highly recommended Rum & Tequila Experience by the pool without the kids in tow, the kids might enjoy a day at Camp Amelia (daily fee involved). The clubhouse is near the pool with a security gate and well-monitored check-in. The space is spacious and bright with all sorts of activities plus they organize many outings around the resort to keep the kids occupied and happy. Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort does a great job embedding itself within the environment, feeling as if it has been there for some time. This attention to detail and quality is also obvious in the resorts food and drinks. Great gastronomical experiences start with great ingredients, a philosophy the resort applies to its Rum & Tequila Experience (something all cocktail enthusiasts must try) so it’s only logical that this same thinking be applied to the resorts on-site restaurants. Our first exposure to this was dinner at the Falcon’s Nest, a casual pub-like atmosphere the family will enjoy. We’ve discovered on our Florida Panhandle trip that deep fried pickles are a popular item. Having enjoyed them at the Boon Docks when visiting Panama City Beach we had to try Amelia Island Plantation Resort’s take on these battered bite-sized morsels. Not only does the resort do their own pickling, we were delighted to discover that they grown their own cucumbers. Amazing! It seems the Executive Chef, Daven Wardynski takes his food seriously making an effort to start and expand the resort’s own sustainable gardening program. We learned more about this through the The Sprouting Project, a behind the scenes tour of the program. We were shown the various patches of tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs as well as the seedling stage for lettuce. I think the kids were a little fascinated by the use of fish waste as fertilizer in the resort’s Aquaponic Greenhouse. Fish that are raised right on site. The resort even houses apiary that houses more than 70,000 native bees with the plan to expand.
#familytravel Enjoyed meeting Exec Chef Daven Wardynski and visiting the @omni_aip Sprouting Project. The resort grows a number of their own vegetables, berries, and herbs on-site. We even had a peek at their two hives of over 70,000 bees for making their own honey. All this love shows within the restaurants menus at their various restaurants. #discoverameliaisland A photo posted by @everythingmom on
When we enjoyed the Art of Breakfast Buffet at the Sunrise Cafe one of my favourite tables was the honey table. The variety was amazing and they were all made on site. I love the drive to grow local and use local producers when it comes to restaurants. Inspired by its biggest resource, the resort uses salt water in the pizza crusts at the Natural Slice pizza shop (located within the shops). Some of the best pizza we’ve enjoyed.
Of course like all passionate people, Chef Wardynski isn’t content to just stop at the resorts onsite garden and bee hives. He is working with the resort to build a smoke house in order to offer guests their own cured and seasoned meats. This I’m really excited about since we are huge fans of smokers at home.
Omni Amelia Island offers families as much or as little as they want for their vacation. We loved shell hunting on the beach just as much as hanging out on the expansive pool deck. The staff was always friendly and gave no hint of snootiness that can often come with a luxury resort moniker.
We often visit Florida, driving all the way down to the Keys to find an escape to paradise but Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort has shown that paradise doesn’t require a long drive. If everything I told you about our experience at the resort hasn’t convinced you this video put together by the resort is bound to sway you toward booking Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort for your next vacation to Florida. Just watching this again makes me long for a return visit.
Our visit to the resort was a bit of a whim having just heard about it after its extensive renovation but I’m sure it won’t be our last visit.
Thanks to the folks at Omni Amelia Island Resort Plantation for their hospitality during our visit.