Amelia Island Plantation Blog

Re-Imagination Update on Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

The re-imagination construction continues to move ahead on our enhanced resort plans at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation!  We are currently pouring the fourth floors in both buildings A and B that will overlook the new pool deck and Atlantic Ocean.  The infinity edge adult pool and upper level Jacuzzi have been formed and poured as well.  The model rooms are completed and showcase the luxurious beach decor and furnishings of the new resort rooms.  The ground floor of the newly constructed parking garage, which will provide over 500 parking spaces, is being poured next week and landscaping will begin shortly after.  On the west side of property, the work continues on the irrigation pond for the golf courses.  The driving range is taking shape and the work on the golf course tree trimming and removal continues.  Enjoy the photos of the new re-imagined model rooms!

May 28, 2012 - Leave a comment


Odd Turtle Out…Meet Pancake!

When you're looking for a family beach vacation spot or a romantic oceanfront resort in Florida, you probably don't think about how unique your getaway can be when you add in a Nature Center and all they provide. But the Nature Center at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation offers a variety of tours, educational sessions, adventure excursions and up-close animal interactions that can make your beach vacation truly distinctive!   When you visit the Nature Center at Amelia Island Plantation, there are numerous types of turtles to see inside the exhibit area - anything from a Gopher Tortoise, to a Diamondback Terrapin, to a Box Turtle and more. Once you have had a chance to see the varieties in the exhibit area, you can grab special food to feed the turtles in the pond behind the Nature Center. There is a wonderful dock over one of our local ponds and the moment you walk up to the edge, the turtles swim right over to say hello! Usually, the turtles you can see while feeding from the dock are different types of pond sliders - Yellow Belly, Red Belly and Red Ear. Lately however, there has been a medium sized Florida Soft-shell Turtle who has joined the family for turtle feeding! Now, this is a little strange because typically soft-shell turtles are solitary and shy. They lay on the bottom of ponds in shallow areas hidden under debris and mud, only exposing themselves to get a breath of air by sticking their neck up to the surface of the water, and bringing it back down quickly. But this turtle is different; he comes right up to the dock and eats the yummy turtle food the children throw out. It looks as if he will be sticking around for a while so we have named him Pancake. If you want to learn more about soft-shell turtles, you can come meet Flapjack, a baby soft-shell, who lives inside the Nature Center exhibit area or grab some turtle food to feed Pancake! And while you're visiting us, we can share our upcoming nature tours including kayaking or a naturalist Segway, the kid's summer nature camps, and our off-property excursions to explore the local area!

May 25, 2012 - Leave a comment


Omni Serves Up Wild Salmon Specials!

We are in the beginning of wild salmon season!  Although not local to our waters, the restaurants at our oceanfront resort will be sourcing fresh wild salmon each week through June!  The Ocean Grill will offer a weekly special, pairing Salmon and Sauvignon Blanc, created by Chef Chris Pickren.  The Verandah restaurant chef Melissa McKnight, will feature a summer pasta dish with wild salmon, bowtie pasta, baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and shitake mushrooms in a light, white wine cream sauce.  A fresh catch entrée will also include grilled wild salmon on a cedar plank with lemon and choice of sides.  For those that prefer to prepare their own seafood at home or while staying at the Villas of Amelia Island Plantation, Marché Burette will feature raw or house-smoked wild salmon by the pound in our fresh fish case.  Watch Executive Chef Jerry Helminski prepare cedar plank wild salmon!   Wild salmon, opposed to farm raised, has on average 20% more protein and is higher in Omega 3 fatty acid.  Alaska's Copper River, flowing more than 300 miles, empties into the Prince William Sound at the town of Cordova.  Salmon originating in these waters are strong and robust to fight its length and chilled rapids, storing natural oils and body fat, making them among the richest and tastiest fish in the world.  The Omni Amelia Island Plantation started sourcing the delicious wild salmon this week!  Dinner features for Salmon and Sauvignon Blanc pairings at the Ocean Grill will vary and include: Winter Park Honey Glazed Salmon, Green Pea Farro, Buttermilk Sauce Choron , Fresh Sorrel o Nobilo, Marlborough, New Zealand  $32 bottle;  $8.5 per glass Coriander Crusted Alaskan Salmon, Grilled Heirloom Potato, Serrano Stuffed Asparagus, Ham Broth o Veramonte "Reserva", Casablanca Valley, Aconcagua, Chile $30 bottle; $8 per glass Broiled Wild Alaskan Salmon, Caramelized Jicama Puree, Pea Tendril and Brandy Mission Fig, Almond Snow o Kim Crawford, Marlborough, New Zealand, $25 bottle; $7 per glass Charred Wild Alaskan Salmon, Pine Nut Gnocchi, Bacon Caper Tapenade,  Chipped Manchego, Aged Balsamic o Robert Mondavi Winery, Fume Blanc, Napa Valley, California $44 per bottle; $11.5 per glass Pan Roasted Alaskan Salmon, Braised and Glazed Parsnip, Wilted Swiss Chard, Corn Butter o Pascal Jolivet, Sancerre, Loire, France $58 per bottle; $15 per glass

May 24, 2012 - Leave a comment


Local Amelia Island & Mayport Shrimp Served at the Verandah

We are so fortunate to live in a seaport area that sources local shrimp right in our back yard! With roots dating back to the late 1500s, our historic village of Fernandina Beach is the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry. Edged with natural Appalachian quartz beaches and framed by sand dunes as high as 40 feet, our Northeast Florida location makes it a perfect for catching sweet, succulent Florida shrimp. As we just finished celebrating Amelia Island's annual Shrimp Festival, held the first weekend of May, the time is perfect to focus on our local, fresh shrimp. At the Omni Amelia Island Plantation we strive to provide local shrimp from Mayport and Fernandina Beach on our menus whenever possible. The Verandah restaurant is excited to announce they will now be using fresh local shrimp for all of our dishes! The unique angle on this is that the size and type of shrimp will be based solely on what the shrimp boats haul in from their daily catch! Currently we are serving a large, white varietal averaging in size from 16-20 shrimp per pound, about as large as they will get. White shrimp most often have a thinner shell and are much tenderer than brown shrimp, which are also common to our local waters. As the seasons change, we'll be serving the brown shrimp varietal which have a thicker shell and a much more firm texture. Both types are delicious and as the Executive Chef for the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, I am proud to say nothing beats our local, fresh shrimp! Some of the local shrimp boats we will receive our catch from include Island Girl, The Hornet, Captain Daddy and Miss Irene. We plan to order daily for fresh catch so supply may be limited - so come early and enjoy the freshest shrimp on Amelia Island prepared by our talented Florida beach resort culinary team! Shrimp Egg Rolls Ingredients: 1 pound shredded green cabbage 3 ounces shredded carrots 2 tsp. chopped fresh garlic 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper 1 ounce fine diced red pepper 1 pound chopped cooked fresh local shrimp 2 ounces oyster sauce 1 pinch salt & pepper 8 each egg roll wrappers Procedure: Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well.  Let stand for 20 minutes and then squeeze all excess liquid out.   Measure out 4 ounces of mix and re-squeeze by hand, place mixture into a single egg roll skin and roll tightly.  Seal edge of eggroll skin with minimal water brushed on edge. Dust finished rolled egg roll in cornstarch and freeze.  Deep fry until golden brown and crispy. Turning occasionally to cook evenly.  Serve with sweet Thai chili sauce or Chinese mustard.

May 23, 2012 - Leave a comment


Salute the Soldiers and Families this Memorial Day, Warrior Vacation Farewell

Memorial Day is a day for remembering all of the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It can also be a day to celebrate and honor those who have served our country and kick off the summer season. At Omni Amelia Island Plantation, it is all of the above. For the last two years, Amelia Island Plantation has worked with Warrior Vacations under the leadership of Robert Peters, to give military personnel who have been deployed overseas, the opportunity to reconnect with their families over a beach vacation at no cost. Our oceanfront resort has provided over 300 vacations to military families. Many property owners on Amelia Island have donated their vacation homes to the Warrior Vacation project too, allowing military families a chance to reunite upon their soldier's return from Iraq or Afghanistan. After 2 years of dedication, Warrior Vacations will retire their cause but will go out in style with the Warrior Vacation Farewell! Mr. Peters has partnered with the Wounded Warrior project in Northeast Florida - an organization dedicated to empower wounded soldiers and provide services to meet their needs - to sponsor nine families for a getaway weekend to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation in June. One such family is that of Brian Torres of Vero Beach, FL. Torres was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force. The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the ninth highest military award (including both combat and non-combat awards). The getaway will include a stay at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation and an appreciation dinner at the new Marsh View Bar & Grill to honor the servicemen and families as well as the volunteers and partners who have supported the Warrior Vacation efforts over the last two years, such as the Amelia Island Plantation. The oceanfront resort will also celebrate Memorial Day weekend with several events open to our community. Locals can join us on Friday, May 25th for a carnival and Boardwalk Bash at Marché Burette from 5 to 8 p.m. Families will enjoy a festive celebration with beer, wine and food specials; live music; and activities including face painting, an obstacle course, carnival games and more! Following the Bash, you can settle down for a family friendly Movie Under the Stars at 8:30 p.m. in The Shops. And a Red, White & Blue Sale in The Shops will offer discounts on any items with patriotic colors from May 25th to 28th. If you're looking for a getaway for the Memorial Day weekend, there's an array of recreation activities throughout the weekend and rates starting at $249/night in an oceanfront resort room. Whatever you're doing this Memorial Day weekend, I hope you'll join us in our salute to the troops, soldiers, and their families who have dedicated their lives to our country. Warrior Vacations and Wounded Warriors, we look forward to seeing you soon!

May 21, 2012 - Leave a comment


Amelia Island Management Attends Community Associations Institute Conference

I recently had the terrific opportunity to attend the annual Community Associations Institute Conference held at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. It had been over 25 years since I had last been to Vegas, and to say that there have been significant changes would be the understatement of the year! The conference provided the chance to exchange ideas and best practices with community association managers and management firm leaders from across the nation; attend informative seminars related to current events and trends in association management, and meet up with many of the friends I had met at last year's conference. Seminars related to improving customer service; negotiation tools and techniques; association collections; and the effects on community associations from current trends in mortgage lending and federally backed loans were particularly beneficial. On the second day of the conference, the speaker for the general session, Connie Podesta, delivered one of the most entertaining and motivational speeches I have ever heard – great job Connie! The exhibit hall was filled with the products and tools that can make the life of our Amelia Island association managers more productive and efficient, and was the ideal setting to interact with vendors to learn about their goods and services. It is amazing to see the continued advances in technology, and Amelia Island Management remains committed to the utilization of these technology tools to improve our services to association boards and owners, along with increasing the productivity within our company. I was also lucky enough to win the drawing at the Association Capital Resources vendor booth. On the social side, the first night I was invited to a party sponsored by Mutual of Omaha Community Association Banc – they rented the rooftop of the Pure Nightclub at Caesars for the event. The venue provided spectacular night-time views of Vegas and a great environment for networking with business partners and association managers - a good time was had by all. Additionally, I was able to get one of the few remaining tickets to the opening night concert of Elton John at Caesars – Elton can still put on a remarkable performance! Overall, the conference was both productive and fun, and I came back to Amelia Island with many new professional contacts and fresh ideas to improve the operations and services of Amelia Island Management. I am already looking forward to next year’s event in San Diego.

May 18, 2012 - Leave a comment


Meet Tanner the Turtle, the Recreation Mascot!

I was so excited to recently interview Tanner the Turtle, the new recreation mascot for Amelia Island Plantation!  Tanner lives at the Florida beach resort and spends his time with our award winning recreation department.  Whether he is playing with kids at camp, meeting the animals at the Nature Center or passing out treats every day at the resort beach at 2 p.m., he is always having a good time!  Tanner has fun with the guests visiting us on their family beach vacation or the locals that visit The Shops or Nature Center!    Introducing my newest friend and yours, Tanner the Turtle... What do you value most in your friends? Honesty and loyalty are good values to have your friends.  When my belt is not on straight, my hat is dirty or my shoes are untied, my friends will tell me and I appreciate that.  I always have a friend with me when I meet new people and I'm always looking to make new friends. What is your motto? Explore Amelia is my motto!  Amelia Island Plantation, the oceanfront resort community, is where I am growing up and there is so much to explore here!  Everyday I find more fun activities for me to do with my recreation friends.   What is your favorite recreation activity on property? That's a hard decision because I do so much great stuff on Amelia Island, but I would pick Kids Camp Amelia at the Nature Nook.  We do lots of exciting crafts and activities and we have great counselors which take us on new adventures all the time. What is your favorite holiday or event at Amelia? My favorite holidays are July 4th and of course my birthday!  Around July 4th there is so much to do at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation with entertainment, an island hopper parade, recreation activities, a beach picnic and my favorite - the fireworks show over the ocean.  My birthday is another GREAT DAY!  I get to invite all my friends to Amelia Island Plantation for a party and we all get to eat birthday cake! This year I celebrated with a Dr. Seuss party at the Nature Center!  What is your favorite animal friend? Baby T at the Nature Center is my best friend!  She is a diamondback terrapin that the naturalists rescued from Jekyll Island.  You can meet her and our other animal friends like Gator the snake at the Nature Center every day.  I held a baby raccoon recently!  You can even build your own turtle friend at the Nature Center and dress them in a golf or naturalist outfit! Meet Tanner! I love to make new friends!  I'll be at the Memorial Day Carnival on Friday, May 25th at Marché Burette at 5 p.m. and would love to meet you!

May 17, 2012 - Leave a comment


Match for a Cure, Tennis Dream Come True

One of my best friends plays tennis. She used to play competitively, but now she plays for fun. Her idol has always been Chris Evert. In fact, when we were growing up, she named her cat "Chrissy". So when I found out that Omni Amelia Island Plantation was going to host  a Match for a Cure charity tennis exhibition to benefit the Miracle Match Foundation and March of Dimes - and one of the players attending would be Chris Evert, I called Jeanine right away. She was beside herself. When I explained there would be a pre-match reception and she could meet Chrissy, she had to sit down. When I said I had reserved a space for her in the tennis clinic and she could play with Chrissy, she cried! I had to wait a few minutes before I could share that Mats Wilander, Todd Martin and Tracy Austin would be there too. Eventually, she calmed down and told me she had to get off the phone.  She had to immediately go and buy a new tennis outfit for the big day! The big day came Sunday, May 6, 2012. Since the tennis program at Omni Amelia Island Plantation is run by tennis professionals from Cliff Drysdale Tennis, I knew everything would be top notch. Scott Colebourne is the director of tennis and he is amazing! The clinics were the right balance of instruction and fun. And the energy on the tennis courts was at an unbelievable high. Jeanine - in her new tennis outfit - could barely contain her excitement. When the tennis clinics wrapped up, she couldn't stop talking about how she scored a point on Chris Event and how Mats Wilander pulled her aside to give her extra pointers on her backhand. Shortly after the tennis clinic, we attended the pre-match reception and had the opportunity to talk with all four of the tennis legends. At 4:00 PM, the first of two matches began. It was a mixed-doubles match and the tennis pros were having fun with it. Mats Wilander even used his head instead of his tennis racquet to score one point! It really was entertaining! The next match, between Mats Wilander and Todd Martin, was a bit more serious. I suppose there were bragging rights involved! The play was intense and you could understand how they had been two of the top tennis pros in the world. I think I enjoyed the day as much as Jeanine…well, maybe not as much but pretty close! If you are interested in learning about tennis clinics, tournaments or exhibitions at the Racquet Park at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, please contact Scott Colebourne, Director of Tennis, at 904.277.5151 or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

May 10, 2012 - Leave a comment


New Golf Pro Shop and Marsh View Bar & Grill

Watch Broc Nell, director of golf at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation,  give a tour of our newly renovated golf pro shop for Ocean Links and Oak Marsh golf courses, and the new Marsh View Bar & Grill!   Open to guests of the Omni Resort, villa guests with amenity cards, club and annual resort pass members, the Marsh View Bar & Grill is a naturally inviting gathering place offering a menu of southern-inspired, casual fare.  Overlooking vistas of the marsh, Intracoastal Waterway and ninth hole of the Oak Marsh Golf Course, the large, new deck features spectacular views, a new fire pit, outdoor dining and a grill menu, all under the canopy of Live Oaks.  You can enjoy a hearty breakfast before teeing off for 18 holes or relax after a round with lunch and libations.  Or take in a spectacular sunset over the marsh and Intracoastal Waterway in the distance.  I highly suggest you sample the blue crab quesadilla or the chicken salad wrap!

May 9, 2012 - Leave a comment


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