Breakfast Buffets and the Biggest Beach House I've Ever Stayed In
When Elizabeth Pointe Lodge on Amelia Island asked me if I was interested in spending the weekend at their inn, it only took a look at one photo for me to respond with a resounding YES. If a picture says a thousand words, the photo of Elizabeth Pointe Lodge was pushing the word limit.
Beachfront rooms that look out over miles of the Atlantic Ocean, rocking chairs that peer just over the sand dunes to the beach, and a covered patio; all that and much more from a four-story beach house. Sure, I've stayed at plenty of bed and breakfasts, but none that were this close to the beach. The Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is a member of Select Registry's distinguished inns and for good reason.
Since I did a road trip across the U.S. last fall, staying at Select Registry inns along the way, my expectations were high. I was immediately greeted by the ever-so chipper Olivia. Expecting this to be that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed concierge that greets all the guests as they come and go, it was only a few minutes into her tour that I put one and one together and realized that this was actually the manager. Being greeted by the manager first thing like this got my stay off to a great start.
If seeing an inn right on the beach wasn't enough of a surprise, imagine my response when out came the words from Olivia: "Now let me take you up to your room in the elevator." An elevator? In a beach house? I felt like a kid all over again. I was just waiting for her to tell me that instead of a wine cellar they had a basement chock full of endless supplies of salt water taffy. She didn't.
However, she did tell me that I had arrived just in time for the complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres hour. I don't always go to these, because often they aren't much more than a bottle of wine and cookies. Of all the inns I've stayed at over the years, this is the first one I can remember that served beer during their happy hour. Innkeepers take note, you may just attract a new demographic if you add beer to your happy hour menu. Happy hour offerings change frequently, but some of the foods during my stay included meatballs, cheese, poached salmon, and chicken wings.
Now to the inn's breakfast buffet. I don't do buffets typically. It reminds me too much of long road trips as a kid, highlighted by daily visits to truck stops advertising the best buffets. Nonetheless, the next morning I followed the smell of cheesy eggs and bacon. The L-shaped breakfast bar also included roasted potatoes, grits, and biscuits and gravy, along with cold items as well. I frequently saw new, fresh items being brought out to replace the old and if I didn't see something I wanted, I could have it cooked to order.
One more note about breakfast. As I was finishing up, I noticed a family come into the dining room after 10 a.m., which is when they stop serving breakfast. When the dad asked if breakfast was still available, the staff told them they would keep it open. They then brought out some fresh items and asked the family if they wanted anything made to order. I noticed these types of personal touches elsewhere as well. I expect an inn to give me fresh towels or ask me if I'm interested in having a tour arranged, but it's those small things I don't expect that go a long way, such as asking if I want something special after the kitchen has already closed. It's that personal touch, which makes a place stand out above the rest that will make me a return visitor.
It's not a hotel. It's not a villa. Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is a beachfront bed and breakfast. How many times do you hear that? These were some of the highlights of my stay, but here are some other important points to mention:
- For added privacy or if traveling with your family, opt for the cottage, which sits right beside the lodge, overlooking the ocean.
- Elizabeth Pointe Lodge has a 24-hour menu, which includes sandwiches and other items. So if you get in late or just want an after-dinner snack, their kitchen is open 24 hours.
- No need to bring your own chairs or beach towels. Every morning towels, beach chairs, and umbrellas are waiting for you.
- Breakfast runs longer than most bed and breakfasts. While it typically stops at 10 a.m., it often runs a half-hour or hour longer, like it did while I was there.
- Bicycles are available for a nominal charge. Amelia Island is a great bicycling island, although I don't recommend bicycling if you plan on having a few drinks at any of the beach bars.
- The inn can arrange special trips, such as kayaking, segway tours, and trips to Cumberland Island, for example.
I often write about places on my blog that I would return to, such as the StayON Beverly in Los Angeles, which I'm returning to next week. The Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is another one of those places. Bed and breakfasts don't often cater to my demographic, instead predominantly targeting older couples. However, Elizabeth Pointe Lodge is an exception, making me feel welcomed as a single, twenty-something.
Thanks to Select Registry and Elizabeth Pointe Lodge for hosting me.
Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Pointe Lodge.