Anyone who regularly reads this site knows that I have a love for the beach. I especially enjoy staying at beach resorts where the beach is just a few short steps from my hotel room. So when I found out that the annual TMS Family Travel conference was being held at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort on Fernandina Beach, Florida, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to check out the resort.
I didn’t know much about the Northeast Florida area, so I was looking forward to explore the area. It’s definitely a wonderful place for a family vacation – there is so much to see and do, right on property. While I didn’t have too much time to explore the entire resort, I did get a good feel for what a vacation there might be like, and I’m hoping to return soon with my family.
Review of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Disclosure: This post is part of a complimentary stay through my participation in the TMS Family Travel Conference. All opinions are my own.
The Location of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
When I first heard about the resort, I wasn’t sure where Amelia Island was. It’s located off the coast of Northeast Florida, about 35 minutes from the Jacksonville airport. The barrier island itself is about 13 miles (all beach coastline) long and 4 miles wide.
The resort offers 3.5 miles of beach on 1,350 acres. I flew in from Boston on a direct JetBlue flight, so getting there was very easy. Once you are on Amelia Island, you probably won’t want to leave until it’s time to go home. It really feels like a remote location, and is very family friendly.
Because of the location in Northeast Florida, it does tend to be a little cooler than southern Florida. For instance, average temperatures in February are in the mid 60s. As a New Englander, it still feels very warm to me, but definitely look at the monthly temperature averages before booking. If you want to spend most of your time at the resort, you probably won’t need a rental car, but having one may make things more convenient.
The Rooms at the Amelia Island Plantation Resort
The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort offers 400 ocean-front guest rooms and suites. My room, which was externally accessible, overlooked the beautiful beach. The balcony was perfect for checking out the sunrise each morning, and was also a peaceful place to sit and read a book.
Rooms offer standard amenities, including a refrigerator, hairdryer, flat screen television, workspace, and coffee maker (using K-cups). Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the resort and the conference center. Ocean View rooms have a balcony or patio where you’ll have a great spot to watch the waves.
The resort offers several different room types. These include deluxe ocean view rooms with one king bed or 2 queen beds, premier ocean view rooms with a bit more space, corner suites, one-bedroom executive suites, one-bedroom end suites, and presidential suites.
Guests who are members of the Omni Hotels Select Guest program can receive a complimentary beverage each morning, along with other amenities. I love receiving a fresh pot of coffee each morning, and I enjoyed it while watching the sunrise on the beach from my balcony. Since it’s free to register, it’s worth signing up if you aren’t already a member.
The Pools at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort offers the largest poolscape in northern Florida, which includes an adult-only infinity swimming pool, a 10,000 square-foot family pool (including sprinkler jets spraying into the pool – as shown in the photo above), a small splash area, and two hot tubs.
I didn’t have the opportunity to spend time at the pools during my stay, but they were so inviting. I wish I had planned to arrive a day sooner, so that I could spend some time in the adult pool and hot tub. Towels are provided, and there’s a pool bar open right by the pool. If I were visiting with my kids, I know I’d plan to spend at least one or two full days by the pool.
Amenities at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
In addition to the pools, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort offers beachfront access, right from the resort. There’s 3.5 miles of beach right there, and it’s quiet and beautiful. Rentals, including cabanas, chairs with umbrellas, paddle boards, and more, are offered on the beach. It’s recommended that you make reservations in advance wherever possible for the cabanas and the elite umbrellas with two chairs.
There are also numerous family and kid activities offered, including Camp Amelia, Gamers teen lounge, Heron Cove Adventure Mini Golf, and a nature center. I did have the chance to check out the mini golf and nature center. I know that my kids would love them. There is a separate charge for mini golf, and packages are also available.
For the adults, there are 54 holes of golf across multiple golf courses, tennis courts, a full-service spa and salon, a fitness center, and a shopping village with 14 different shops. You can also enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and bike riding. To get around this expansive resort, golf cart rentals are available. There’s also a resort shuttle that makes stops throughout the resort. It’s definitely a huge resort, but you’ll want to explore all of it.
Families can also enjoy paddle boarding tours, nature tours, and Segway tours. There are lots of events and activities going on all the time, which makes it a fun place to stay with kids.
Restaurants at the Amelia Island Plantation Resort
You definitely won’t need to leave the resort to eat if you don’t want to. There are nine different dining outlets on property, including a pub, a pizza restaurant, a steak and chop shop, and a seafood restaurant.
There’s also the The Sprouting Project, which includes an aquaponic greenhouse, an organic garden, a large collection of beehives, and a barrel room. Tours of the Sprouting Project are offered weekly, and a featured dinner is offered monthly. I did get to dine at the Sprouting Project, and it’s definitely a fantastic experience.
Restaurants include the following:
Bob’s Steak and Chop Shop: This restaurant offers dinners throughout the week, with the exception of Sundays. As you’d expect, most of the menu includes steak and chops, although there is also seafood, salads, and appetizers.
Verandah: This fine dining establishment offers dinner seven days a week. The mostly seafood menu includes chowder, salads, grouper, and mahi-mahi.
Oceanside: Oceanside is located by the pool and ocean, and is a casual restaurant. There, you’ll find sandwiches and salads for lunch and seafood specialties for dinner. It’s open daily for both lunch and dinner.
Falcon’s Nest: Open daily, Falcon’s Nest is a family-friendly pub offering burgers and other casual items. It’s open for dinner daily, and lunch on the weekends.
Marsh View Bar & Grill: Located near the Oak Marsh Golf Course, Marsh View offers a casual southern menu for breakfast and lunch.
Natural Glass: This casual pizza restaurant is located within The Shops of Omni Amelia Island Plantation. It’s open for dinner Wednesday-Sunday and lunch on the weekends. It also offers deliver for dinner on the weekends.
Marché Burette: You’ll want to visit Marche Burdette for at least one meal. It offers breakfast and lunch, as well as seasonal meals including a shrimp boil, and a steak out. Brunch is available on the weekends.
Sunrise Cafe: Enjoy a delicious breakfast before heading out for the day. A breakfast buffet as well as an a la carte menu, is offered daily.
Seaglass: Located off the lobby, Seaglass offers breakfast, cocktails, sushi, and small plates. Live music is played from Thursday to Saturday.
During the conference I attended, I only had the chance to dine at the Sprouting Project. But we did have food from the hotel throughout the conference, and the food that we did have was absolutely delicious. There’s enough variety in both cuisine and price that you could definitely have lots of different options.
The Service at the Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Everyone that I encountered at the resort was extremely helpful. My room wasn’t available when I arrived before noon, but I was able to have my bags held. A front-desk clerk called my cell phone when my room was ready. Bell services delivered my suitcase directly to the room. I definitely want to return to the hotel sometime.
Beyond the Resort
If you do decide to leave the resort, you’ll find other family friendly activities. These include the Fort Clinch State Park, the Amelia Island Museum of History, Peters Point Beachfront Park, the Fernandina Beach Pinball Museum, as well as whale watching and dolphin tours, canoeing, and kayaking.