Tag Archives: golf resort

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort Naples

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, situated on the beautiful Naples beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico, has just completed an extensive eight million dollar renovation. Kudos to the interior design team of waldrop+nichols studio. The re-imagined La Playa lobby, guest rooms, and in-house restaurant Baleen, have a fresh, contemporary beach vibe.

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort Lobby photo credit: John Cameron
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort Lobby photo credit: John Cameron

Guests have great views of the sugar-white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico from their private balcony in each guest room. New features include four-poster beds with beach themed luxury textiles and large backlit vanity mirrors in the guest bathrooms. While you luxuriate in your jetted circular bathtub, open the shuttered window for a view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Interior Baleen photo credit: LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
Interior Baleen photo credit: LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

Popular with both guests and locals, in-house signature restaurant Baleen has a creative chef-driven menu using locally sourced ingredients. Enjoyed a perfectly cooked pan seared salmon with succotash and puffed rice and the delicious braised short rib. On warm Florida evenings, dine alfresco with your toes in the sand and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. Wine Spectator awarded Baleen the 2017 Award of Excellence.

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort pools photo credit: John Cameron
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort pools photo credit: John Cameron

Try beach-combing along miles of beautiful white powder sand, just steps away from the hotel and after enjoy a craft cocktail from the full service Tiki Bar next to one of LaPlaya’s three outdoor pools with cabanas.

Hole 12 LaPlaya Golf Course photo credit: John Cameron
Hole 12 LaPlaya Golf Course photo credit: John Cameron

LaPlaya guests who want to play a round of golf have access to the private LaPlaya Golf Club, a Bob Cupp designed 6,900, par 72 18-hole championship course, just 10 minutes away.  Before starting his own company Cupp worked for Jack Nicklaus Design and it shows. The first hole at LaPlaya features a sweeping right to left dogleg with a water hazard on the left, one of Jack Nicklaus’  signature holes.  All 18 greens were completely replaced in 2015 with Tif-Eagle and roll smooth and true.

In 2017, Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice Awards named LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort #16 Top Resort in Florida. (highest-ranked resort in Naples)

Golf Marco Island

Moderate year round temperatures make Marco Island a fantastic golf destination. Located off the coast of Southwest Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island is about 40 minutes south of Naples by car. Most people arrive by car as rail service to Marco Island was abandoned in 1944 and the nearest major airport is in Fort Myers.

Spanish explorers, who sailed to Florida in the mid 1500s, named the island La Isla de San Marco. Prior to the Spanish, the Calusa Indian tribe inhabited most of southwest Florida. Both the Calusa and the Spanish are long gone but their influence still remains in the many Indian and Spanish place names on the Island. 

Guests staying at Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort have two great courses at their fingertips,  Hammock Bay and The Rookery, both no more than 20 minutes away.

Hammock Bay alligator
Don’t bother looking for that lost ball!

The Hammock Bay golf course is a beautiful track with lots of natural vegetation, birds and wildlife – you may even encounter a sleepy alligator on your round. The entire development is one of only nine worldwide to earn a Sustainable Development Certified Gold ranking from Audubon International. 

Hammock Bay features 18 distinct holes designed by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy. It’s a par 72 championship golf course designed with the approach shot in mind as evidenced by the positioning and contouring of the greens. Hammock Bay was one of the first golf courses to use paspalum, a salt-tolerant turfgrass.

The rolling terrain of the fairways lined with live oak distinguishes the course, while the breezes off the Gulf of Mexico conspire to make Hammock Bay a challenge that keeps players coming back for more.

Hole 16 at The Rookery
Hole 16 at The Rookery

Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy were also brought in to update The Rookery, a course originally authored by Joe Lee and Robert Cupp. The grass at the Rookery was also replaced with paspalum and all bunkers were enhanced to improve playability. Nestled in shallow wetlands that attract many species of birds, including bald eagles and blue herons, The Rookery has also been designated as a member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program.

Every golf course has a unique character, due in large part to the collection of bunkers, said Peter Jacobsen.

Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort
Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort

Tee times for both courses are available for Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort’s guests and guests playing either course can conveniently charge golf incidentals to their room. Check their website for specials on golf packages.

If you enjoy seafood, check out the popular Snook Inn on Marco Island, a casual waterfront restaurant with a funky fish camp vibe.