Naples’ best beach. A modern resort scene with retro roots. A waterfront restaurant with exquisite cuisine. And now a summer promotion that spotlights its environmental consciousness.
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort on North Naples' Vanderbilt Beach rises tall on the gulf front and in the estimation of discriminating vacationers.
Sure, the more highly touted Ritz-Carlton Naples lies just down the beach, a good morning’s stroll away. But true beach-lovers prefer LaPlaya: whereas the walk to the beach from the Ritz entails a boardwalk, it takes only a few steps right outside LaPlaya’s restaurant door.
And this segment of Vanderbilt Beach lies much farther removed from the hectic public beach access, so guests feel they have more privacy, less noise.
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort — Photo courtesy of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
Loggerhead sea turtles love the beach along LaPlaya as much as human visitors do. Especially in summer, when the 200-something-pound loggerhead mommas lumber onto the very beach where they once hatched – after traveling around the world – to lay their caches of 100 or so leathery eggs the size of ping pong balls.
It’s a ritual so ancient and so magical that LaPlaya Beach Resort has designed a special Sea Turtle Suite escape package to give a choice few of its summer guests the ultimate sea turtle experience from May 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2015.
Sea turtles have become something of the resort mascot, with special awareness education asking guests with rooms facing the beach to keep their curtains closed during nesting season, so as not to disorient mothers and hatchlings with unnatural light.
Staff also place a cuddly plush sea turtle in each of the property’s 189 rooms and suites, available for purchase.
Highlights of the Sea Turtle Suite escape package, offered in partnership with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Nature Center in Naples, include participation in the conservancy’s Sea Turtle Adoption Program (including a personalized adoption certificate) and “Turtle-Tweet” alerts about on-property sea turtle sightings and upcoming nest excavations.
Tickets to the nature center, a beach bag and a plush sea turtle toy are also included.
A complimentary “Chef Tested, Sea Turtle Approved” seafood meal at highly praised BALEEN restaurant includes a bottle of wine.
Portions of the package proceeds ($2,400 for two nights) even benefit the conservancy.
Fine, scenic dining at BALEEN — Photo courtesy of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
LaPlaya’s top tier of accommodations – in more ways than one – are included in the Sea Turtle Suite package. Guests stay in one of eight plush, spacious beachfront suites on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th floors of the resort’s original tower, which opened in 1968.
Since then, it has undergone luxury makeovers that added two new accommodations buildings and BALEEN, a handsome beachfront restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and distinctive tropically inspired fine cuisine. For the utmost connection with the beach, guests can reserve a table with their toes in the sand.
If that isn’t enough romance, share cocktails with your sweetheart around the beach fire pits. By day, beach butlers take your orders from your waterside chaise.
The Tiki Bar and free-form pools and cabanas are open only to guests and club members. Spa Terre pampers guests to the utmost with Asian-style treatments, such as the Javanese Royal Treatment and Volcanic Earth Clay Ritual.
After 18 holes at the resort’s golf course, a Therapeutic Muscle Balm treatment might be in order. The private course, less than four miles away, features a David Leadbetter Golf Academy.