AMELIA ISLAND TENNIS RESORT
When it comes to world-class tennis training programs and luxury accommodation, there are a few names that come to mind, but Amelia Island Plantation stands among giants in terms of offering inclusive and diverse tennis programs for both adults and children.
With professional trainers at your disposal, it’s no wonder that other athletes like Andre Agassi have stayed here in the past. Their top-of-the-line villas are designed to offer only the best and the latest in amenities so that every stay feels just like home.
In general all the villas and rooms have their own unique styles, allowing the friendly staff to tailor each and every guest’s preferences, but in general they all have full access to an included kitchen, dining room, multiple baths, and living room facilities.
For those who like the townhouse feel, the Beach Walker villas are ideal, offering anywhere from 1000 to 1600 square feet of room with a washing machine and dryer, and with beautiful views that look out on the shoreline. Additionally, just south of the resort are the Captain’s Court villas which are slightly larger, accommodating two bedrooms on the ground floor and an additional master bedroom with open terraces. Being on an island, these are some of the best choices for those wanting a bit longer of a stay or for families that have come to train and relax.
The costs are quite reasonable too, given the remote location, individual privacy, and long history that has hallmarked Amelia Island as a tourist destination for years. In general prices range from $152 to $429 per night depending on the choice of room from deluxe to luxury suites.
TENNIS TRAINING FACILITIES
The actual tennis training facilities have a lot going for them, and over the years they’ve developed a rigorous program that can cater to everyone from beginners who have just picked up a racket for the first time down to professional athletes trying to up their game. For kids the after school program, taught by Scott Coleburne and Sal Barbaro is regimented to take advantage of the break in school and during vacations to teach kids 4-12 the basics of tennis through a combination of hands-on tutoring, one-on-one instruction, and a fun array of games to make it as fun and as educational as possible.
Additionally there are a wide range of daily clinics and lessons that can be dropped in on, ranging from an adult drills and technique class to help work on specifics related to one’s style, to a cardio lesson that focuses a bit more on improving endurance and toning the muscles attributed to tennis.
The Dryesdale Courts, which make up the main complex, are famous for having hosted the likes of Chris Evert and the Williams sisters – another reason that they have been rated the Number 2 destination for tennis on Florida’s East Coast by Tennis Magazine. With 23 Har-Tru clay courts, and many of them full equipped for night play, there is usually very little problem getting some time for either doubles, singles, or lessons, although obviously during the high-season it isn’t unusual to see the courts filled all day long.
For the ladies there is also an excellent and custom retreat designed specifically around the dynamics and physics of ladies-only tennis.
The $1675 program is fully inclusive over five days and includes accommodation in one of their luxury suites for four nights as well as breakfast and 15 hours of rigorous training under the kind and humorous tutelage of Scott Coleburn (as well as optional spa services for tending to those sore muscles in the evening).
While tennis is the go-to at Amelia Island Plantation, they also offer full access to a loaded fitness center that has all of the most modern exercise equipment, and makes a good supplement to their other programs. Additionally, access to their 20-yard heated indoor pool is also available to guests.
If tennis isn’t your thing though, there are several options for golfing. With almost $3 million dedicated to recent renovations, the Oak Marsh golf course has a brand new pro-shop as well as dining area and outdoor patio, plus a full range of different course-styles which can appeal to anyone.
The eponymous oak trees that make up the course create a real sense of naturalness as the greens wend through tidal marshes, and the gentle lap of waves down the shore make it one of the more aesthetically pleasing places to work on your club skills.
And of course, it would be a crime not to take advantage of the beautiful sea-side vantage for a sunset walk along the beach, where native Florida flora and fauna give the whole island a wild, untapped feel.
The nature programs offered on the island afford visitors a chance to spot a rare painted bunting or great blue heron, and alternate on their focus from the always fun Crab Grab to the Snake Discovery and Shark Tooth Hunt where kids and adults of all sizes can learn about the different animals that reside in the nearby waters.
There are also a few night-themed activities as well, that include a walk along the beach at sunset during the new moon to watch out for bioluminescence, sea turtles, and other nocturnal birds – or, grab a friend and enjoy paddling a kayak under the guidance and supervision of a trained and helpful guide!
HOW TO BOOK
As part of the Omni Hotel chain, it is easy to reach them via their website , which lets you select individual resorts with inquiries regarding reservations.
You can also contact them via their free phone number and social media at 1-800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) and Facebook
Like most islands around the Florida coast, Amelia Island is easily accessible by driving from Jacksonville up the A1A, although there are plenty of taxi services and shuttle buses to and from the local airport, and the resort is right next to the Amelia’s Wheels bike rental program.
As part of the Omni Hotel chain, it is easy to reach them via the Omni Hotel website which lets you select individual resorts with inquiries regarding reservations, or you can access their specific online reservation by following the ‘Book Now’ icon on their private website.
This is one of the easiest ways, because you can also choose from a selection of package deals which can help narrow down the sorts of things you’d like to do once you arrive.
You can also contact them via their phone number and social media at 1-800-THE-OMNI (800-843-6664) and Facebook . The friendly staff are always willing to accommodate you and help tailor a trip that is specific to your interests, whether you’re a hard-core tennis fanatic trying to get some rigorous training or you’re on a family vacation and wanting to take just relax.
Like most islands around the Florida coast, Amelia Island is easily accessible by driving from Jacksonville up the A1A, although there are plenty of taxi services and shuttle buses to and from the local airport, and the resort is just across the St. Marys River from Georgia and adjacent to the historic city of Fernandina Beach. In keeping with their hospitality, Amelia Island Resort offers a free pickup from the airport, and will also make pickups from any hotels within Jacksonville.