The Edgewater Beach Hotel Review- A luxury experience in paradise

The Opal Collection’s yellow brick hotel, The Edgewater Beach sits like a jewel on the sparkling waters of Florida’s gulf coast paradise, the tranquil and gorgeous city of Naples. If your travel plans are taking you to Naples, or if you are looking for a vacation spot of extreme casual beauty, you could not do better than to choose this spot, located on seven miles of pristine white sandy beach at Gulf Shore Avenue. There are only 3 other hotels of any size on the beach in Naples, and this one is the only one that boasts all suites, 125 fully renovated and beautifully decorated one or two bedroom- sitting room- kitchenette-bathroom centers for gracious living. The suites sport views of Naples, of the Gulf, or are situated directly overlooking the stunning aquamarine water, where flocks of heron, pelican, and sandpipers strut and dive, whelks, sand dollars, and starfish strew the shore, and dolphins routinely swim and frolic in the warm tropical sea. Sundown is a spectator sport in Naples as people routinely gather at the shore, or hover nearby in boats of every description to watch the sun dip down below the horizon; it appears to slide hugely into the ocean until suddenly it’s dusk; often the sun and moon can be seen in the sky at one and the same time.

Lounging on the beach

Naples itself is a glorious community, poised on the Gulf of Mexico, filled with gigantic palm and banyan trees, some of which form the center of crenelated, towered and winged stucco and marble ice-cream colored mansions which line the shores of the gulf-side, the lovely neighborhoods  and the passways in-between. Other stately residences and imposing condominium buildings, private clubs and gated communities offer glimpses of luxury living that is unparalleled yet informal.The opportunities for shopping are seemingly as limitless as the varieties of tropical blooms. From Fifth Avenue South, whose wide boulevards are home to stores which rival those on Rodeo Drive, though with a distinctly Floridian flavor-less Gucci, more Tommy Bahama- to the Venetian waterfront enclave, a vista of water -bound shops and harbor-side restaurants, to the upscale but laid-back Mercato, there is something for everybody, including clubs offering live music with dancing couples evident throughout. You can as easily buy a pair of festively colored espadrilles as a $13,000 Murano glass chandelier or a great big bar of the best English toffee on the planet.

Coast Restaurant

And the restaurants! From family-owned one-of-a-kind rib joints to dockside grouper and chips spots,to white-tablecloth and candlelit northern Italian bistros, the choices abound, but no place made my taste buds reel and satisfied all of my senses; sight, sound and tastebuds, as did Coast at the Edgewater Beach. An elegant space, beautifully lit and charmingly appointed, Coast is located indoor just off the quiet-at-all-hours lobby and also winds itself outside on the porch above the incomparable swimming pool-lined vista leading to the sea. Whether you enjoy lunch or dinner at Coast, you will experience the very freshest food, deftly and deceptively simply prepared under the supervision of the rigorous chef Bill Zimmer who demands nothing short of perfection from himself and his large and impeccable staff. Zimmer, who describes his strengths as working with people, handling pressure and stress, and, of course, cooking, claims that he is “on-line all the time” to stay educated about trends in his business, and is always learning about food and wine.

A bed on the sand

 During the day, the double pools are flanked by a life-sized chess set, a table and bar area, and a glass-walled gate leading to the vast expanse of pristine beach and sun-drenched tranquil waves. Everywhere are visible the refinements and personages of service: the poolside has managers, towel stations, shelves to leave your footwear near short spray showers to clean your feet. The beach sports king sized beds and adjustable lounge chairs and tables shaded by tall, lofty umbrellas and backed by poles where a flag can be raised to bring a server running to whet your whistle or your appetite. And whether you order a spectacular bottle of wine, a cocktail, the best fish tacos ever crafted or snapper and risotto, you are in for an unparalleled experience. Inside or out, the service and the food constitute a delightful feast.

Moreover, at night the playful outdoor expanse becomes a richly romantic vista as a massive fire pit is lit and the nearby lounge chairs are either filled with relaxing guests or with colorful striped towels cleverly fashioned to look like reclining guests. If you don’t want the free cookies at tea-time in the lobby, you can have an omelette made to measure in your room. Or you can cook in your room or brew yourself some Keurig.


The view from Your Balcony

Over this realm, inside and out, General Manager Laura Radler has trained and deployed a staff that is perfectly in tune with the needs of the guests. She says that she is out in front all the time making sure her hotel has the ability to create unique experiences. The personalized service begins with the reservation and continues through the departure and afterward as she keeps up with comments and ratings on-line, always seeking to satisfy her own standards and exceed guests expectations.

The Fire Pit

The calm and friendly staff is not obsequious, but so gently and genuinely solicitous and nurturing, you would swear they’ve made a special study in your particular tastes: and they have! When I checked into my suite, after advising I was travelling with my cousins, I found it filled with boxes of candy from the family company! And before I accomplished the effortless business of check-in, I was given champagne. Similarly, when I returned from a jog along the boulevard, lit up at night, as is the entire city this time of year, with discreet white holiday lights, I was offered a bottle of water. When I accepted, it was noted and thereafter bottled water appeared on the banquette in my suite. Do you suffer a sore foot from ill- fitting running shoes? The bellman offers a bandaid. You prefer gentler exercise? A yoga lesson can be arranged in your sitting room or on the beach. You don’t take exercise or are sore afterwards? A luxurious 50- minute massage can be managed.

Bedroom in the Suite

Finally, you can do absolutely nothing but enjoy a caressing shower massage, your sumptuous king-size bed, and watch the world outside on your porch-terrace overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, in-between business meetings, for this is an increasingly popular spot-with good reason- for business travellers. In fact, the hotel specializes in arranging and creating private, exclusive and special environments for business.

Whatever your personal or corporate requirements might be, they can be exceptionally well-met by the service, staff, chef and setting of the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Naples, Florida. Like the rest of the properties in the Opal Collection’s group of luxury hotels and resorts, it will surpass your expectations for a great and unique experience.

One of the Pools

For more information, go to edgewaternaples website

All photos courtesy of The Edgewater Beach Hotel





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