Endless experiences and luxurious living at the beachfront of the Atlantic Ocean
With a name like “Hammock Beach Resort,” I expected nothing short of ultimate relaxation and carefree comfort during my stay at Salamander Hotels’ luxurious property. After three days overlooking two miles of Atlantic beach on Florida’s Palm Coast, it’s safe to say that the property lived up to both its name and its reputation. An extraordinary treasure, Hammock Beach Resort sits nestled on a stretch of unspoiled beach and welcomes guests of all ages to its haven through exceptional customer service and world-class amenities. Unlike standard hotels, their multi-bedroom villas and suites allow guests to experience resort living while still enjoying the comforts of home, which I wasted no time in doing.
When it came to dining options, I was incredibly impressed by the vast variety of resort restaurants and bars situated throughout Hammock Beach Resort. From enjoying breakfast on the patio at Delfinos to chatting with my companions over lunch on the patio of The Terrace, stunning views and refreshing ocean air drew us to eat outside, though both indoor and outdoor dining options are available. The Terrace featured an approachable menu with everything from local seafood and prime cuts of beef to farm fresh offerings and an extensive by-the-glass wine list. In addition to enjoying breakfast at Delfinos, we also returned to the establishment at night to enjoy the warmth of a premier, yet homemade Italian dinner. The menu highlighted regional Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist, such as my appetizer of charred octopus and market salad with passion fruit vinaigrette. Our primi course came in the form of short rib ragu with pappardelle pasta and roasted tomatoes before being followed by a secondo course of grouper topped with early spring vegetables, grilled scallions and kimchi dashi broth. My sweet tooth delighted in our dessert of deconstructed s’mores, which brought the exceptional meal to a close, but the night wasn’t over just yet. With the resort’s Lobby Bar and Loggerheads Lounge open for after-dinner drinks, my companions and I had the freedom to enjoy cocktails, billiards and sports games on a 16-foot TV screen in a relaxing, comfortable setting.
From beachside dining to beach-inspired pampering, the Spa at Hammock Beach offered serenity and luxury with the very best massages, treatments and nail services. With the option to treat your body to a relaxing massage, refresh your skin with a facial or pamper your hands and feet with rejuvenating treatments, you are sure to find a treatment tailored just for you. After much consideration, I opted for the 50 minute Hammock Facial. The signature facial was developed by estheticians based on the spa’s namesake massage, The Hammock Massage. The relaxing facial featured a blending elements of European, aromatherapy and hot stone facials to create a unique experience that was a delight for all my senses and put that healthy glow back into my face. From Thalassotherapy products rich with minerals from the sea to coquina-laden scrubs, the spa draws from the bountiful resources of the sea and unspoiled beach, which has resulted in an award-winning facility of seaside inspired services in 11 exquisitely appointed treatment rooms.
Perhaps Hammock Beach Resort is best known for offering tremendous views and a challenging test for golfers at every skill level through their two championship golf courses. Hammock Beach’s Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, features beautiful lakes, elevated mounds, and bunkers, which are made of native coquina sand. The 7,201 yard, par 72 course is known for its six Atlantic Ocean-hugging holes and an exhilarating finale know as “The Bear Claw.” It is also the only true oceanfront golf course in the state of Florida. Unfortunately, the Ocean Course has been closed since October when it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Fortunately for the many fans of the Ocean Course, the resort has taken a long-term view regarding conditioning and opted to conduct a complete course restoration. The extensive restoration work, which is being undertaken in conjunction with Nicklaus Design, includes re-grassing all fairways, greens and rough with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum as well as reconstructing each tee box, bunker and green complex. The course is scheduled to reopen in October 2017. In the meantime, Hammock Beach’s Conservatory Course, a Tom Watson Signature Design is Florida’s longest and is truly a masterpiece. It continues to accommodate guest and member play. It was there where my companions and I experienced a relaxing golf lesson with Director of Golf, Brad Hauer.
Less than an hour away from the blissful relaxation of Hammock Beach Resort is the sun, fun, history and mystery of St. Augustine. For an entire day, my companions and I explored the cobblestone streets of the nation’s oldest city and enjoyed a tour of experiences showcasing the heart of historic St. Augustine. Our first stop was Lightner Museum, home to one of the country’s best collections of fine and decorative 19th century art. From typewriters and Tiffany glass to shrunken heads and human hair art, Otto Lightner’s eclectic collection was both impressive and extensive. From there, we got our hearts pumping with a historic walking tour along the bayfront to Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The large Spanish stone fortress is now a national monument and, at over 315 years old, it’s the oldest structure in St. Augustine. From the numerous rooms that once housed soldiers and prisoners to the large interior courtyard and gun deck, which offers a great view of the city, there was plenty to explore at the Castillo and when hunger struck, there was no shortage of exquisite dining options nearby. We were delighted to end up at Michael’s Tasting Room. The casual, yet fine-dining restaurant was located in historic downtown and specialized in fresh seasonal cuisine with a Spanish flare. As darkness began to fall, we then boarded “The Trolley of the Doomed” to explore the darker side of the nation’s oldest city. The Ghosts and Gravestones Ghost Tour brought our beautiful day to a close with haunted tales and spooky legends at every corner.
On our final evening at the resort, my companions and I gathered at the fire pit on the Ocean Event Lawn for after-dinner cocktails and stargazing. It was a beautiful end to an even more beautiful and memorable weekend. With no shortage of things to see and do both within and beyond the Hammock Beach property, you are sure to delight in your own adventure upon visiting. Enjoy drinks, sports and a fresh sushi menu at the Lobby Bar. Go on a “Behind the Seas Tour” and experience dolphins up close and personal at the world’s first oceanarium, Marineland Dolphin Adventure, which is an adventure you’ll not soon forget! Grab your kayak and enjoy a day of paddling fun with Tropical Kayaks guided tours through the Intracoastal Waterway and nearby wetlands. Feel the wind in your hair as you cruise the waterway in search of dolphins frolicking about. Enjoy Hammock Beach Resort in “fun” style and explore the area courtesy of complimentary bicycle rentals. Hone in your putting game as you enjoy a complimentary nine-hole, professionally manicured putting course that offers a fun challenge for professionals and novices alike. Experience water park adventures as you float down the lazy river, zip down a water flume and watch the kids build a poolside sandcastle at the resort’s 91,000 square-foot water pavilion. Whether it’s a return trip or your first visit, come on out with your family and friends and enjoy a relaxing, and exciting getaway!
Hammock Beach Resort
200 Ocean Crest Dr
Palm Coast, FL 32137