For Hammock Beach Resort—a Salamander Resorts property and member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts hugging the Atlantic shoreline in Palm Coast, Florida—damage caused by Hurricane Matthew last October presented the opportunity for the team to “redefine the Hammock Beach experience,” says Jason Kern, the resort’s director of sales and marketing.
The newly done lobby, for example, now features new flooring, contemporary furniture and lighting, and a brand-new sushi bar. And a portion of the 75 Premium One Bedroom Suites—those affected by the hurricane—now sport new carpeting and furniture, updated artwork, new flat-panel TVs, and reconstructed kitchenettes.
In the coming months, Hammock Beach Resort’s 20-room hotel-within-a-hotel concept, The Lodge at Hammock Beach, and its accompanying dock-to-table Atlantic Grille seafood restaurant and Tapas Room are expected to open, bringing, what Kern says, will be “an intimate setting, complete with oceanfront dining and pampering services” to the property, which already offers “destination resort amenities with 36 holes of golf, a full-service spa complete with a fitness studio, a 200-slip marina with water adventures and our fantasy pool complex.”
You’ll want to keep an eye out for this opening as it is sure to become the favored option for couples and honeymooners who will go gaga over the sweeping ocean views seen from each and every guestroom. Rates start at $299 per night.
The Grass is Actually Greener…
From the second floor balcony of The Lodge, we got a bird’s-eye-view of some of the renovations happening at the adjacent Ocean Course. Come October, the prized Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course overlooking the Atlantic Ocean will be back in action following a re-grassing of all the fairways, greens and rough with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum.
“This new grass will quickly prove to be the most superior playing surface of any golf course you can play—it will simply be head and shoulders above any golf experience,” says Brad Hauer, Hammock Beach Resort’s director of golf. “In addition to converting the entire course to Paspalum, all of the Ocean Course bunkers will be reshaped and refilled with G-angle sand, the best sand surface in the industry. The final finishing touches to the renovation will be the new ocean views that players will enjoy on the six holes that directly border the ocean.”
For now, guests can tee up at the onsite miniature golf course, or at Hammock Beach’s other championship layout, the Tom Watson Signature Design Conservatory Course. Here, I found myself under the tutelage of Hauer, for a putting lesson, which he says is the most important aspect of the game. After sinking a few holes, we left the green for lunch inside the main building where we met with Hammock Beach Resort’s new director of food & beverage, Jason Neff, who was eager to tell us about the dramatic changes happening to the resort’s dining venues.
“We needed to enhance the dining experiences at Hammock Beach to appeal to many different tastes and keep people interested throughout their stay,” says Neff. “The easiest way to please a guest is to satisfy their appetite in a way that makes sense
During an en-suite welcome dinner, I tasted a small sample of what executive chef Kevin Luque and his team are capable of: small plates pairing lobster with caviar, bacon with chocolate, sushi so good you consider skipping the main course, and a crowd-pleasing dessert mousse made from local corn.
So when Neff told me how well received the new elevated Southern cuisine was last month at the Terrace Restaurant at The Conservatory, I believed him. Last month also saw the introduction of Latin-inspired dishes to the Ocean Bar’s menu. By July, the resort will be offering a revised sushi menu, and in August, the Loggerheads Lounge is transforming into a gastropub serving craft beer and small batch bourbons. Rounding out the resort’s new culinary experiences are cooking demonstrations launching this month, ensuring your clients will leave well fed and very rounded. Rates in a Premium One Bedroom Suite start at $159 per night.
Hammock Beach Resort: hammockbeach.com