Amelia Island Plantation Blog

Oceanfront resort renovation –
re-imagination by the numbers!

Omni Amelia Island Plantation's re-imagination construction continues to make strides bringing us closer to our spring 2013 launch!  This week's rain from tropical storm Debby might have slowed things down but here's a recap of where our resort renovations are taking us. The sixth floor of building A and B that will overlook the new pool deck and Atlantic Ocean is being poured.  The incredible infinity edge adult pool and large family pool have been poured and look absolutely spectacular!  The entire poolscape is really taking shape; you can really see the largest pool deck in NE FL coming together!  The new lobby area is formed and the ocean views you'll see through floor-to-ceiling windows as you enter the resort are amazing! Here's a great look at Omni Amelia Island Plantation's re-imagination by the numbers: • 16,825 square foot new Omni ballroom • 13,210 square foot pre-function space • 3,718 square foot terrace • 11,125 square foot event lawn • 32,269 square foot pool deck, hard surface • 11,253 square foot pool area, water surface • 1,655 square foot kids camp • 3,582 square foot Oceanside Bar & Grill patio (seating for 100) • 1,433 square foot Oceanside Bar & Grill interior (seating for 60) • 4,888 square foot Seaglass Lounge terrace (seating for 90) with fireplace and fire pit • Standard guest rooms - 427 square feet including 29 double and 99 kings • 26 suites - including presidential, executive, panaoramic, corner • 7 corner suites, 733 square feet • 12 executive suites, 854 square feet • 6 panoramic suites, 1,020 square feet • 1 penthouse suite, 1,708 square feet • 1 hospitality suite, 1,281 square feet • 543 parking spaces in garage (108,831 square feet) • 57 valet spaces under front drive

June 29, 2012 - Leave a comment


New Cliff Drysdale Ladies Tennis Retreats
Hosted at Omni Amelia Island Plantation

The famous Cliff Drysdale Tennis Ladies Retreats, also known as the “Best Weeks in Tennis,” added Omni Amelia Island Plantation to their list of annual girls’ getaways this year!  The 5-day, ladies-only retreats in October and November promise to be unmatched in the industry of girl's getaways for tennis enthusiasts.  Led by our award-winning director of tennis Scott Colebourne, the retreats will offer the ultimate experience in a tennis vacation.  Hosted at the tennis resort, the itinerary boasts 15 hours of tennis instruction and match play sessions plus delightful dining, a Saturday night player's party, plenty of girl time and of course, optional spa packages at The Spa & Salon.  Since 1974, legends of women's tennis including Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters have volleyed at Racquet Park.  Our 23 Har-Tru tennis courts are naturally air conditioned with the shade of our live oak tree canopy.  And Omni Amelia Island Plantation is ranked as the No. 2 tennis resort on Florida's East Coast by Tennis Magazine.  Combine a world-class tennis facility with professional instruction, ocean views, and time with the girls and you have the perfect tennis retreat this fall! "We are ecstatic to bring our brand of tennis camp to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, these camps represent amazing value and are a true luxury tennis camp in every aspect" states director of tennis Scott Colebourne. "Amelia Island is the perfect location for a getaway and our camp will take advantage of the fantastic amenities at our Omni oceanfront resort." Discover an unmatched girls getaway presented by Cliff Drysdale Tennis and Omni Amelia Island Plantation! 2012 Retreat Dates October 10 - 14 October 31 - November 4 November 7 - 11 Tennis Retreat Package Inclusions: Luxurious ocean view accommodations for 4 nights Welcome reception and cocktail party Daily breakfast buffet 15 hours of tennis instruction, including drills, the world famous team competition and on-court match play and coaching Dinner in historic downtown Fernandina Beach Awards banquet, video show and Saturday night players party Optional spa services and airport shuttle ($40 round trip) available upon request Early Sign-up Special (Before August 1) Double occupancy rate ($500 deposit required) • $1,450 Single occupancy rate ($500 deposit required) • $1,950 Standard Rate (After August 1) Double occupancy rate ($500 deposit required) • $1,550 Single occupancy rate ($500 deposit required) • $2,050 Reserve your tennis vacation today! For reservations call (904) 277-5151 or email Scott.

June 25, 2012 - Leave a comment


Help Protect the Nesting Least Tern Shorebird

If you stay at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, you may notice that on the south end of our beach there is an area between the sand dunes and scarp (short wall of sand halfway down the beach) that is roped off with signs.  This area is not commonly used by beachgoers and there are walkovers for people to cross to the beach.  But, as it turns out, it is an important nesting area for small migratory shorebirds that you may have never noticed before, the least tern.  This shorebird found on Amelia Island is the smallest tern in America (22–24 cm long, weighing only 39–52 grams) and it nests on the southern U.S. coast and on major rivers in the middle of the U.S.  Least terns feed mostly on small fish and can be seen diving into the water near shore.  It is estimated that there are around 10,000 of these terns in Florida in the summer.  They arrive on Florida beaches in late March and leave in early September, wintering in Mexico, Central and South America.  The least tern does not build a typical nest like other birds.  Instead, it creates a shallow scrape in soil, pebbles or sand.  The eggs and chicks blend perfectly into the background, therefore making them nearly impossible to see.  Therein is the problem if their nesting area is not marked and why you'll find the roped area on the southern beach of Amelia Island Plantation.  Beachgoers cannot see the fragile chicks and eggs and can unknowingly step on them or disturb the parent birds enough that they won't return to their nests.  By simply putting up a few signs and limiting access to a small area of the beach last month, the naturalists at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation have protected over 30 pairs of these special birds as they nest.  Tips to help the shorebirds and the Amelia Island Nature Center:  Keep yourself and leashed pets away from posted areas and any birds you may see.   Never intentionally make birds fly by chasing them, as they use up energy needed for nesting and migration.   Do not feed wildlife as food scraps attract predators such as crows, gulls and raccoons. Do not litter.  Trash can be ingested or entangle in birds and other wildlife. If you see other people disturbing nesting birds, politely let them know how their actions may affect the birds' survival.  Report any disturbed nests to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Nature Center With a little bit of protection, our shorebirds can thrive.  If you would like more information about the birds of Amelia Island, stop by the Nature Center to talk with a naturalist or join us for one of our Birds of Amelia tours!

June 22, 2012 - Leave a comment


Experience the Amelia Island Lifestyle
with a Long Term Rental

I have lived in a few different places but so far Amelia Island tops my list. I grew up outside of Baltimore, MD; spent my college years in Blacksburg, VA; and after college spent time outside Washington, D.C. A few years ago I decided Jacksonville, FL was my new destination. It was a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of decision as I had no job and no connections in the area. I found a legal assistant position dealing with real estate and after three years in Jacksonville, I moved to the Amelia Island area. I really didn't know much about the area or the Amelia Island Plantation community, but heard many great things so when a job listing opened up with Amelia Island Real Estate, I figured why not? I have been given the great opportunity of managing the long term rental program at the oceanfront resort community. The Florida golf resort was slightly overwhelming at first with 1,350 acres; numerous villa communities and roads that wind together. I will admit to getting lost a few times, but at the same time I fell in love with the live oak tree canopy. I feel like the trees add a bit of the northern feel to the Florida beach resort which fits since I am a little bit of north living in the south. I feel the best part about monthly rentals at Amelia Island Plantation is how easily you can fill your day with fun activities without leaving the Plantation. The long term rental program allows you to enjoy all the amenities offered to a guest of the Villas of Amelia Island Plantation or an Amelia Island Equity Club member, including the Health & Fitness Center, 3 championship golf courses, 23 tennis courts, casual and fine dining restaurants, 7 miles of walking trails, a luxury spa & salon and 3.5 miles of wide, uncrowded beach! I know the last thing I want to do on vacation is clean, which is why we offer weekly housekeeping for our monthly rental guests. We feel you should spend your time exploring and enjoying the Amelia Island lifestyle. In order to help guests find things to do in the Fernandina Beach area, I supply them with a welcome book which provides details of all the tours, programs, annual events and activities around Amelia Island. Amelia Island Plantation Real Estate has loyal Florida "snowbird" guests who come every year looking to escape the chilly winters up north. Some of these guests end up loving Amelia Island Plantation so much that they work with our Amelia Island Plantation Real Estate team to find a new place to call home. I believe the monthly rental program gives guests a chance to explore the area before making a change in residency. It can be hard to pick a place based on just a weekend visit or hearing about a place through other people. The rental program enables guests to spend a month, two months, six months or even a year, testing out the waters to help in picking a new spot to call home. The long term rental program is a great opportunity for an extended vacation getaway allowing you to experience all Amelia Island truly has to offer. Are you ready to reserve your monthly rental?

June 19, 2012 - Leave a comment

Real Estate

Tanner the Turtle at the Jacksonville Suns!

On Monday, June 11th Omni Amelia Island Plantation's General Manager Paul Eckert and Tanner the Turtle, the oceanfront resort's recreation mascot, threw out the first pitch of the Jacksonville Suns baseball game!  Representing Nassau County Night at the minor league baseball game in northeast FL, Tanner took the field on a Segway, which you can often find him riding at Amelia's Wheels on one of the daily guided Segway tours.  Tanner the Turtle then made his way throughout the stands meeting new friends and handing out Omni Sensational Kids bags.  Although Tanner can be found at the resort's kid's camps, holiday events, Nature Center activities and handing out daily ice-cream treats on the beach, Tanner also makes appearances throughout the local community and Jacksonville area to share Amelia Island Plantation's commitment to our natural environment and Omni's dedication to family community programs.  Tanner has a Facebook page that he often uses to communicate with guests, locals and friends of the resort. Search for Tanner on Facebook to send him a friend request! We hope to see you at Tanner's next big appearance!

June 18, 2012 - Leave a comment


Beginner tennis clinic at
Omni Amelia Island Plantation

If you are following the news at Amelia Island Plantation, you probably heard that Omni Amelia Island Plantation recently hired Cliff Drysdale Tennis to manage our tennis resort, which was recently ranked the No. 2 Tennis Resort on Florida's east coast and one of the Top 50 Tennis Resorts in the U.S. by Tennis Magazine. The tennis resort has 23 Har-Tru fast-dry clay courts and has hosted legends like Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters and Chris Evert. So, you can imagine I was pretty excited when my friends asked me to join them at a beginner's tennis clinic taught by the Director of Tennis Scott Colebourne. Since none of us had actually played tennis before, my excitement was mixed with a little fear. I knew being embarrassed was a possibility! After Scott watched us play for a minute or two, he brought us all together and had us toss a tennis ball from one hand to the other. It was at that moment that I thought embarrassment had moved from a possibility to a certainty. But, I was wrong. What followed was a series of fun little exercises. For example, we had to catch the tennis ball with two hands and swing it back over the net to our partner using two hands. Our partner would catch it with two hands and swing the tennis ball back to us again. The motion imitated that of a tennis swing. Can you picture what I am describing? I certainly hope so! Scott continued to cleverly teach us without embarrassing us once. Then, it was time to give us rackets. Scary, I know. But, with patience and understanding, Scott continued to teach us how to slowly and smoothly hit a forehand that would end with the racket over our shoulder or how to step into hit a two-handed backhand. I'm not saying we did it without a lot of laughter, but it was all good-natured and mixed with a lot of cheering each other on - whether we hit it beautifully just inches within the baseline or clumsily knocked one all the way over the fence. We did have an ex-softball player in our clinic! At the end of the hour, we had worked out, giggled and learned a new sport. Well, we were on our way to learning a new sport! It really was fun...and we are all looking forward to the next clinic. If you are interested in any of the clinics or camps that  Cliff Drysdale Tennis offers at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, please visit the website. The clinic and camps are open to everyone, so bring a few friends too! Kid's summer tennis clinics available in July for youth!  

June 13, 2012 - Leave a comment


Celebrate Father’s Day at
Omni Amelia Island Plantation – Crafts optional

I'm a daddy's girl.  Don't tell my mom.  Father's Day used to be the quintessential time to practice my craft skills as a child, which I can reflect on now and realize I didn't really have any.  However, finding the perfect gift for the dad in your life can be a huge responsibility.  The Omni Amelia Island Plantation has several options to assist in your huge endeavor of selecting the perfect Amelia Island Father's Day gift this year.  The Shops of Amelia Island Plantation are offering 20% off Tommy Bahama merchandise at Harrison's Mercantile on Saturday, June 16th.  He won't buy it for himself, but he deserves the relaxation none the less.  The Spa at Omni Amelia Island Plantation is offering a Hydrating Whiskey Treatment for men this June.  A manly bourbon-bubbler foot soak to ease tired feet features a scrumptiously spiked scrub-down and a heated, honey wrap for the legs.  And it's finished with a voucher for a quenching cocktail at The Falcon's Nest.  Men like to be pampered too, and who deserves it more than dad who just mowed the yard?  Call The Spa to schedule an appointment, (904) 432-2200. For the outdoorsy dad, that would be mine if he wasn't so keen on my crafts, the Nature Center is celebrating Father's Day with complimentary tours for any dad that accompanies a child.  On June 17th, families can enjoy fishing at 11a.m., a Treasure Seeker scavenger hunt at 1p.m. or a Birds of Amelia tour at 4p.m.  And really, what Father's Day would be complete without a craft?  Picasso's Corner, located in The Shops of Amelia Island Plantation next to Resort to Home, offers children a selection of crafts and creative activities to create a homemade memento for dad to keep for years to come.  And Happy Father's Day to my daddy, who follows my blog and is reading this now!  I'll be sending your craft in the mail soon!

June 12, 2012 - Leave a comment


Independence Day Celebration at
Amelia Island Plantation

Celebrate the stars and stripes with a Southern twist this Fourth of July at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation!  We're featuring a plethora of activities, live music and celebrations the first week of July that the whole family can enjoy, for locals and guests alike.  There's always been something so thrilling, so classic, so American, about celebrating July 4th.  This year is no exception and the lineup of exciting activities at the oceanfront resort has even more available to the public! Of course if you're a guest of the resort or the Villas of Amelia Island Plantation, you have access to the full event schedule including Kid's camp, inflatables on the beach, Just for Kids dinner party, Drive-in Moonlit movie, beach fire with s'mores, July 4th parade, steel drum band on the beach, night spiker volleyball, and the grand finale, fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean! The oceanfront resort community will be boasting red, white and blue events open to all with activities from a live Jimmy Buffet style cover band to family friendly shows such as The Kazoobie Kazoo or Big Game Show to a Shrimp Boil dinner with a Polynesian dance performance.  All of the events listed below are open the the public and resort guests: June 30 - July 4: Red, White & Blue Sale • The Shops Visit participating shops and receive a discount on any items with red, white or blue in them! June 30: Picasso's Patriotic Family Painting Contest • 1-5 p.m. • The Shops, Picasso's Corner Create your own family painting. $20 per family. Caribbean Chillers • 6 - 10 p.m. • The Shops Enjoy a BBQ and live music from the Caribbean Chillers, a Jimmy Buffett-style band. July 2nd: Family Talent Show • 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. • The Shops Showcase your secret talents. Complimentary. Mr. G Magic Show • 7 p.m. • The Shops Enjoy magic with Mr. G. Complimentary July 3rd: The Kazoobie Kazoo Show • 7 p.m. • The Shops Kazoo fun for the whole family. Complimentary. July 4th: The Kazoobie Kazoo Show • 11:15 a.m. • The Shops Kazoo fun for the whole family. Complimentary. Cake Cutting Ceremony • 12:30 p.m. • The Shops Help us celebrate Independence Day and enjoy a piece of delicious cake. Complimentary. The Landsharks Band • 7 - 10 p.m. • The Shops Enjoy live island music from The Landsharks Band. Complimentary. July 5th: Shrimp Boil & Polynesian Dancers • 5 - 8 p.m. • The Shops Hermit crab races, bag games and hula hoops and an appearance by the Polynesian dance team at 7 p.m. Fire Pits & S’mores • 7:30 - 9 p.m. • The Shops Relax by the fire, complete with s’mores. Complimentary. July 6th: Boardwalk Bash • 5 - 8 p.m. • The Shops Enjoy live music, drink specials and kids activities with the recreation team. The Big Game Show • 8 p.m. • The Shops Interactive family game show with prizes.  Complimentary. Movie Under the Stars • 9:15 p.m. • The Shops Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy a complimentary, family friendly movie. We hope you'll be able to join us for the upcoming July 4th celebration at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation!

June 8, 2012 - Leave a comment


Nature & Tennis Summer Camps for Kids

The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is proud to offer exciting youth tennis and nature camps this summer!  Whether you're a local kid or a teenager on vacation, we've designed our summer programs to be the perfect blend of fun-filled and education adventure to get campers outside and active at our oceanfront resort.  The Nature Center at the Amelia Island Plantation is offering a variety of summer nature camps in July, available both daily and weekly, for youth, juniors and teens!  To register for the Eco-Explorer camps call the Nature Center at 904-321-5082. Cliff Drysdale Tennis is offering nine weekly sessions for kids ages 4-12 to work with professional coaches to improve skills in tennis, team sports and swimming.  To register for the summer kids tennis camps call the tennis pro shop at 904-277-5151.    Nature Eco-Explore Camps: Young Eco-Explorers:  Ages 6-9  July 9-13, 2012  8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. daily (includes lunch) Price:  $250/week or $60/day Young eco-explorers, children ages six to nine years old, will participate in fun, educational activities, games and crafts around the Omni Amelia Island Plantation such as fishing, crabbing, bird detecting, and beach exploration! Also features two local off-property trips to Fort Clinch and Huguenot Memorial Park.  Junior Eco-Explorers:  Ages 10-12  July 16-20, 2012  8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily (includes lunch) Price:  $350/week or $85/day Junior nature explorers, ages ten to twelve years old, will enjoy educational adventures on- and off-property during the summer Junior Explorer nature camp.  Off-property excursions will visit Jekyll Island, Huguenot State Park and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Junior explorers will also learn survival, orienteering and eco-friendly skills. Teen Eco-Explorers:  Ages 13-15 July 30-August 3, 2012  8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily Price:  $350/week or $85/day Teen Eco-Explorers, ages 13 to 15 years old, will take part in educational games, challenges, and nature skill programs geared towards teen-style learning.  Teens will have the chance to kayak in the marsh, ride a Segway and paddleboard! Off-property trips include Okefenokee Swamp, Huguenot State Park and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm! Note:  50% deposit required at registration (nonreturnable if canceled within 72 hours of camp).  Amelia Island Equity Ocean club members receive 20% off! Cliff Drysdale Tennis Summer Kids Camp With 9 weekly sessions available June 11 through August 17, kids ages 4-12 years old, will have the opportunity to work with professional coaches to improve their skills in tennis, team sports and swimming. Hosted by director of tennis Scott Colebourne, the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Summer Kids Camp program is the perfect blend of learning and fun, complete with games and special events!  Perfect the tennis back swing, test your fitness level and then cool of with a swim during this great tennis summer kids camp! A Typical Day 9:00 a.m.  Drop-off & Orientation 9:15 a.m.  Fitness Skills Games 10:00 a.m.  Tennis 11:45 a.m.  Team Competition 12:00 p.m.  Lunch 1:00 p.m.  Swimming 2:00 p.m.  Tennis & Sport Games 3:00 p.m.  Pick-up Ca mp Options Half Day - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. $50/child Weekly Half Days - Monday - Friday $150/child Full Day - 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. $70/child Weekly Full Day - Monday - Friday $220/child *Campers are provided a morning snack and boxed lunch. To register for the summer kids tennis camps call the Omni Amelia Island Plantation tennis pro shop at 904-277-5151.

June 1, 2012 - Leave a comment


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