LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort review

Anushya Mamtora | | Updated on: May 29, 2012










The moment I stepped out of the car, I was engulfed by the scent of jasmine, an aroma that reminds me of my home in India. Pretty pink bougainvilleas and colourful hibiscus nodded gently, as if in welcome. Spring sure comes with its own set of love notes. The cheery colours. Balmy weather. And yes, those bright red shorts that finally see the light of day! After a chilly New York winter, courting spring in Florida is like taking a child to a picnic between classes. And when I stood in front of LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort at the upscale beach city of Naples, I knew my weekend was in good hands.

Dotted by gorgeous residential villas, mostly holiday homes of the who's who of USA, Naples is almost untouched by gross commercialism. And that's what makes LaPlaya all the more appealing. The 64-acre resort blends in with the calmness of the city with no fences to demarcate its property, yet stands out in its elegant façade.

In parts, yet complete

Its eight suites and 189 rooms are spread over the Gulf Tower, Beachfront and the Bay Tower across the road. The Florida-inspired décor gives the rooms a breezy ambience with soft greens, whites and olive shades dominating the colour palette. Select rooms also have floor-to-ceiling glass walls in the bathrooms with direct views of the water.

There are four cascading waterfall pools that are nestled amidst the accommodation and restaurants, with an easy access to the beach.

The golf course is about four miles away and boasts a David Leadbetter Golf Academy, including a driving range and short game practice facility with pitching area.

The waters and more

It might be titled ‘The Beach' but there is a lot more to LaPlaya than the white sands in its own backyard and a spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico, its top-rated golf course being an easy favourite. Designed by renowned architect Bob Cupp, the 18-hole golf course has a gorgeous landscape to enjoy to the tee.

Apart from indulging in water sports, beaching bumming and getting golf lessons, LaPlaya's next destination is its tastefully done Spa Terre. The Javanese Royal Treatment, Volcanic Earth Clay Ritual and Thai Herbal Therapy are all-time favourites with guests.

The resort has been named the three-year Turtle Awareness Partner with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to protect the state's precious reptiles through support of the Conservancy Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program. So, eco-adventures can be another to-do point on your agenda.

Gourmet spots

LaPlaya has two beautiful locations to wine and dine. Baleen, the water-front specialty restaurant is a fine dining winner for the sea-food lover. One can savour Broiled Lobster Risotto with corn, apples and black truffles, Frito Misto with shrimp, scallops, calamari, local fish, fennel and chili aioli or Roasted Salmon Niçoise, from a menu of innovative sea food exotics.

Vegetarians, take heart! There may not be many a la carte options but the chef is more than happy to make some customised entrées.

You can either sit inside surrounded by stately interiors and cut-glass chandeliers or step out for a breathtaking view of the Gulf while sipping some delectable bubbly from their envious wine list.

If it's your day out at the pool, then the thatch-roofed Tiki Bar is a fun place to grab sandwiches, salads or a drink.

Stringing the resort together are also award-winning photographer RJ Wiley's immortal prints that line the walls adding to the lobby's old-world charm and the guest room's Florida theme. And yes, imprints, sculptures and images of their darling turtle too. Get one back in the form of a cute stuffed toy in your room. That's little price to pay to support conservation.

What: LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

Where: Beach city of Naples in Florida, USA, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Vanderbilt Bay on the other

When: Winter months to get away from the cold. Spring time to flirt with the sun.

Why: Beach fun. Golf sessions. Spa indulgence. Corporate meetings. And yes, to tie the knot.

How to get there: 20 minutes by taxi from Naples Airport and 45 minutes from Fort Myers International Airport

How much: Log in to for seasonal offers and packages.

Published on May 29, 2012
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