St. Augustine hotel was named a ‘Best Resort in Florida’ by Travel + Leisure

A single of St. Augustine’s most eclectic lodging attributes has been mentioned amid the “Prime 15 Ideal Resorts in Florida” by the readers of Journey + Leisure.

It truly is not the to start with time The Collector Luxurious Inn & Gardens has built the yearly list, and it is really just just one of many accolades the lodge has racked up since opening in 2017.

Request standard supervisor Charlie Robles to what he attributes the resounding accomplishment of the property and he’ll tell you it really is definitely its uniqueness and historical character.

“I often like to say you might be two blocks absent from downtown but two hundreds of years absent from anything else,” Robles stated.

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The inn encompasses 1 metropolis block with nine different buildings of varied architectural and design and style durations centered about a grassy courtyard that’s lushly landscaped and contains hearth pits, a pool, statues, a koi pond and fountains.

30 models (20 of them suites) are accessible and Robles claimed The Collector is far more than 90% occupied calendar year spherical.

A photograph from the assortment of the Library of Congress demonstrates the Prince Murat Residence, on the corner of St. George and Bridge streets, in 1938. The dwelling was crafted in 1790 and is now section of The Collector Luxurious Inn & Gardens in St. Augustine.

A storied earlier

The story of how the nine historic structures came to be tied jointly in a form of enclave is as fascinating as the properties on their own.

Kenneth Worcester Dow, the only heir to the Dow family’s valuable lumber organization, acquired the oldest residence on the block, the 1790 Prince Murat Household, in the 1930s after slipping in love with St. Augustine in his travels.

The structure is manufactured of coquina and, aside from some restoration get the job done, appears to be pretty substantially the way it did at the time when Dow and wife Mary welcomed typical houseguests, including famous writers and actors of the time.

A portrait of Kenneth Worcester Dow hangs in the lobby of The  Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Street in St. Augustine. Dow, who died in 2002 at the age of 90, was the former owner of the property and collected many of the antiques that decorated the museum.

A portrait of Kenneth Worcester Dow hangs in the foyer of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Road in St. Augustine. Dow, who died in 2002 at the age of 90, was the former owner of the assets and gathered a lot of of the antiques that decorated the museum.

The Dows ended up passionate collectors of artwork, household furniture and other antiques,

“They went to Europe about 3 or four times a 12 months and brought back all types of things,” Robles reported.

By the early 1950s, Dow had acquired all nine households on the web-site, some of which involve a previous boarding residence a basic retail store the home of famed author William Dean Howell and the Rose Property, named so due to the fact one-time resident Jean Gordon, a renowned floral specialist, ran a “rose museum” at the residence.

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Surrounded by record

In addition to the properties, the 1 acre on which they sit was the web page of several crucial chapters of St. Augustine background, which include its use as a 16th century hospital (exactly where amputated entire body elements were being recognized to be thrown out windows, Robles mentioned) and cemetery an 18th century Spanish defense line and the setting for the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation looking through that freed Florida’s slave populace. Markers all over the house offer more data, as does a tour totally free to company led by docent Melissa Stuart.

The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Street in St. Augustine was named one of the Top 15 Best Resorts in Florida by Travel + Leisure magazine readers.

The Collector Luxurious Inn & Gardens on Cordova Avenue in St. Augustine was named a single of the Top 15 Greatest Resorts in Florida by Journey + Leisure journal viewers.

In 1989, an aging Dow supplied to deed his whole assortment to the metropolis of St. Augustine surprisingly, the town turned him down.

Instead, he donated the website to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1989. Subsequent an 11-year restoration, the Dow Museum of Historic Homes opened in 2000, showcasing the comprehensive selection.

In 2013, the home went up for sale, eventually currently being ordered by David Corneal for $1.1 million, according to Robles who pointed out it was in pretty operate-down issue at the time.

“It took near to five a long time and $9 million to restore it since so considerably experienced to be fixed and replaced,” Robles explained.

The function has certainly paid out off.

Costs for rooms, which include things like amenities like kitchenettes, flip-down company, day by day breakfast and snacks, commence at $229 (suites and peak moments drive up the value.)

The inn is well known with partners on the lookout for a passionate getaway, loved ones reunions, corporate escapes and tourists searching for a special, historic practical experience. Robles, who has a license to marry people today, has officiated quite a few smaller (6 company maximum) weddings.

The only 4 Diamond resort in downtown St. Augustine, Robles said The Collector will take satisfaction in the customized, hospitable practical experience its team gives.

The new award by Travel + Leisure is just another feather in its cap. The Collector took the No. 5 spot of the Major 15 Very best Resorts in Florida, in the company of significant hitters like the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island and the White Elephant in Palm Beach front.

The grounds of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, at 149 Cordova St., is open up to the public each initial Friday of the thirty day period, with stay music and refreshments obtainable. 

This report originally appeared on St. Augustine Document: Collector Luxurious Inn and Gardens helps make ‘Best Resorts in Florida’ record