Amelia Island Plantation Blog

Kayak Adventures at Omni Amelia Island Plantation

I have been kayaking for several years now...and I love it! There is something about being on the water as the sun is rising that is eternally peaceful. You sit so close to the water that you feel a part of it. And the only sounds you hear are the rhythmic stroke of your oar breaking the surface of the water and the gentle breeze blowing through the salt marsh. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I learned that Omni Amelia Island Plantation offered guided kayaking tours from Walker's Landing  - a scenic outlook on the west side of property. I decided to take a group of friends on one of the tours and hopefully impart my passion for kayaking on Amelia Island to them. Since no one except me wanted to get up for the early morning tour, we decided to try the sunset kayak tour. The staff at the oceanfront resort made it super easy. When we arrived at our launching point, they had brand new kayaks, paddles, life jackets and cold bottles of water waiting for us. After a quick lesson on how to kayak, they had us in the water and on our way! I must admit kayaking with a group is different from venturing out on my own. The peace and solitude is replaced with shared excitement and a sense of adventure. As we made our way through the winding creek, we chatted and giggled (some learned to go straight quicker than others!). Our guide from the Nature Center at Amelia Island Plantation told us about different animals we saw and shared stories of past adventures. After a leisurely and beautiful hour and a half tour, we were safely back to the dock. It was the perfect amount of time for an evening outing. If you like being on the water surrounded by natural beauty, I highly recommend a guided kayak tour with the team from Amelia Island Plantation!  

April 27, 2012 - Leave a comment


Broc Nell Named Director of Golf at Amelia Island Plantation

We are pleased to announce that Broc Nell was recently promoted to director of golf at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.  Broc was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, and has had a passion for golf since early in life.  He attended Methodist College in North Carolina, one of fourteen schools for Professional Golf Management in the U.S., and worked at courses from Cape Code to Hawaii prior to interning in golf at the Amelia Island Plantation.  Broc joined our team full time as an assistant professional in 2005 and was then promoted to head professional in 2008. He won the prestigious 2008 GATE PGA Invitational in Ponte Vedra before reemerging in 2011 at the North Florida PGA Championship, both with winning scores of 7-Under par! A member of the PGA of America since 2006, Broc is currently the highest ranked professional in the Jacksonville Area Golf Association (JAGA).  We invite you to get to know our new director of golf, Broc Nell, a little better... What is your most treasured possession? Our new dog Maxfli. He is a 10-week-old Yorkie and a bundle of fun! Who are your real life heroes? PGA Tour professionals are my heroes. Playing this great game for a living in front of millions would be a dream of mine. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Recently being named the Director of Golf at our oceanfront resort has been my biggest career achievement thus far. I love working around the game of golf and running this facility here will be a great test for me. Whether I'm working with the members of the Amelia Island Equity Club or guests on their Florida golf vacation, it's a pleasure to be surrounded by those who love the game. What is your best golf score? My best score is an 8-under 64 on the Oak Marsh golf course. I actually had 2 bogies that day too! What is your favorite golf course ever played? My favorite course I've ever played is Kinloch Golf Club in Richmond, VA. It has been rated in the top 10 in the US several times and the course conditions are impeccable. What is your favorite Omni Amelia Island Plantation hole? My favorite hole here at Amelia Island is #15 on the Ocean Links golf course. It is one of the best par 3's I've ever played. What are you most looking forward to with the  re-imagination? I'm looking forward to the enhancements made to the golf courses over the coming months. Our golf courses have so much potential and the added resources will help us exceed the conditions of our competition and enable us to be a premier Florida golf resort.

April 23, 2012 - Leave a comment


Three Interesting White Wines for Summer

With most of the country experiencing warmer winters than normal this year, summer seems to be in the air sooner than later. On Amelia Island and in most warm weather places, there seems to be an emerging trend on most white wine lists...categories like "Interesting Whites" or "Non-Traditional Whites." As Food & Beverage Director for Omni Amelia Island Plantation, I can assure you this is true at our oceanfront resort. As more and more people consume wine, white wines continue to be the gateway to becoming a fan and, eventually, a wine connoisseur. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and, of course, Pinot Grigio are the standard white wines. However, if you are looking for a new summer white wine with a balance between a crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc and a creamy, buttery Chardonnay, I suggest you venture outside the typical selections. The Alois Legeder Pinot Bianco from Italy is one of the top selling wines on the Verandah's 40 Wines for $40 and Under list. With a floral nose and clean, elegant finish of apples and pears, it's a perfect wine for a hot day by itself or paired with the restaurant's grilled local Mayport shrimp and stone ground grits. Most people think of the Rhone Valley in France for its big red wines, such as Hermitage, Cote-Rotie, Cornas or Chateauneuf du Pape. But within this amazing region lies some of the most tasty whites in the world! They are becoming more popular in the United States and are being grown more frequently in the new world. Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne are three white wines that will make you forget about the famous white grape just north in Burgundy. In the Ocean Grill, Cristom Viognier from Oregon is a favorite to compliment the local grouper and other seafood specialties. Personally, I think it pairs particularly well with the lobster tempura starter we offer. The light tropical fruits on the nose and creamy texture with hints of pineapple and lemon continue to develop in your mouth into a crisp and acidic finish. The Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc is a refreshing blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. This brilliant blend from Paso Robles, California is as close as it gets to the Southern Rhone Valley. The intense aromas of stone fruits and flavors of apricot and peach are balanced with acidity and rich textures to make this trendy white blend perfect for ceviche or seared scallops with a jicama-pineapple slaw. So, next time you are looking for a summer white wine, keep looking until the end of the white wine section  for the category, "Interesting Whites." It may not be big yet, but it's a wine trend that I believe will continue to grow.

April 20, 2012 - Leave a comment


Amelia Island’s original resort. Re-imagined by Omni.

In fall of 2010 Omni Hotels & Resorts purchased the original resort on Amelia Island, the Amelia Island Plantation.  Plans were quickly started to re-imagine the destination and in November 2011, Omni broke ground on an $85 million re-imagination project!  We are excited to begin a new chapter in our 40-year history.  Renovations include 20,000 additional square feet of conference center space; 155 new oceanfront guest rooms and suites; a new two-tiered poolscape; new lobby and ocean view arrival experience; more variety of food and beverage venues and improved resort connectivity and parking. Changes to the property have been moving quickly and we have already made many enhancements to our oceanfront resort.  To date we have completed a: • $5 million beach re-nourishment project along our 3.5 miles of coast • $650,000 roof installation project on the current resort hotel in spring 2011 • New Marsh View Bar & Grill with a 5,000-square-foot deck that offers stunning views of the marsh and includes a fire pit and outdoor grill • Renovated golf pro shop with new finishes, flooring, decor and an extensive selection of golf attire and equipment • Ocean Links golf cart path enhancement to improve the navigation from the number six green to the number seven tee box • Redesigned pave stone pedestrian walkway at The Spa & Shops that will connect to the new resort lobby Although there are many changes taking place before we complete all of our enhancements in the spring of 2013, the vast amount of feedback we have heard from our customers and neighbors has been overwhelmingly supportive.  Standing on the new deck at the Marsh View Bar & Grill fills me with great appreciation and anticipation of the future direction, quality and beauty that are underway at our Florida beach resort.

April 20, 2012 - Leave a comment


Welcome to Amelia Island Plantation’s Blog!

Welcome to the first post in  the  Amelia Island Plantation blog! We all feel so fortunate to live and work on Amelia Island - it is full of interesting people, absolutely beautiful places and incredibly fun events. Our hope is to introduce you to them through our posts - regardless of if you are interested in visiting The Spa and Shops for an afternoon, the oceanfront resort for a family beach vacation or if you already live in one of the beautiful homes in  our 1,350-acre resort community. We will share information on what is happening with the sea turtles on our beaches, updates on Omni's  Re-Imagination (our word for the extensive renovation the oceanfront resort is undergoing right now), tips on how to improve your golf game and details on special events we our hosting. We have a whole team of writers, including our golf and tennis pros, chefs, spa director and managing director, eager to write posts about what they love the most. If there is a topic you would like us to write about, please contact me - Alayna Oram, director of resort marketing - directly. We also welcome your comments on any blog we post. We hope you enjoy Amelia Island Plantation's new blog!

April 19, 2012 - Leave a comment


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