Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Pearl, Rosemary Beach

For the last 12 years, I've been venturing to the 30A area on the northwest coast of Florida. Gorgeous beaches, charming shops and restaurants and an appreciation of nature are all draws for me. I've stayed in houses in Seaside and Alys Beach, condos in Seagrove and  in the lovely Watercolor Inn and the tasteful homes on their grounds. But just 3 weeks ago, a new option came available with the highly anticipated opening of The Pearl in Rosemary Beach.

The beach is always uncrowded and private here.

If you haven't been to Rosemary, you're missing out. It is far less congested than the little town of Seaside (which I also love) and a bit more sophisticated. The architecture, the common grounds and even the retailers maintain a level of elegance that is unlike anywhere else on the coast. It's been relatively quiet for some time and until recently, had no real option for someone looking for a full-service, luxury hotel stay. And, luxury is what they offer in abundance. Personal Ipads in the room, modern art/furnishings and private balconies are just the beginning.

One of the balcony views that highlights the area's architecture and the ocean.

One side of The Pearl overlooks Rosemary Beach's most lovely courtyards.

Not only does The Pearl fill a need for the couple seeking room service and onsite pampering (a spa is opening by the end of the month), but it's bringing a bit of energy to the area with the lively Havana Beach Bar and Grill. From the authentic decor to the photography and live piano player in the evenings, this is the draw for visitors looking for a place to linger over a great meal or cocktails, either in the cleverly designed space or at a table on one of the relaxing adjacent porches.

The food alone is reason enough to visit. In fact many of the earliest devotees are nearby homeowners excited for this new dining option. Specialties like house cured bacon three ways (bourbon, maple, coffee) and the signature bone-in filet are mouth-watering fun. The menu is well-crafted and includes a number of healthy options and salads as well as tempting desserts. The best part is that everything served originates from a farms further than 100 miles from the locale, making this a true foodie haven.

Of course, I was just as crazy about the imaginative cocktails, all inspired by the retro Cuban decor and theme (the restaurant was patterned after Hemingway's favorite spot in Cuba). From the Havana Margarita to the list of martinis and rum concoctions, this is a spot to sip and savor. They even purify and bottle a special water on property that originates in Sweden to enhance the flavor of the food and wine.

After a tremendous experience in a one night stay at the hotel and an equally enticing dinner, I cannot wait to revisit in a few weeks to try out the poolside cabanas and Sol Luna; This is a rooftop restaurant and lounge overlooking the ocean and the pool (almost complete) that's already calling my name. 

A glimpse of the nearly finished Sol Luna from our room balcony...
I will be following up soon with a post about Sol Luna, the spa and other developments at The Pearl as well as other updates on new things to experience in the area. I would love to hear about your favorites! 

1 comment:

  1. The piano player is AWESOME...matches the quality all round!