Do you long to visit a beach where the wild and graceful sea birds far out number the raucous Homo sapiens? Travel north from the busy coastal cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach and the great beauty of natural Florida is abundant. At the new Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa, located on a thin barrier Island in Jensen Florida, the natural dunes, sea grape and grasses line the shore and frame this tranquil retreat. Designed to celebrate the majesty of its surroundings the Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa incorporates the textures and tones of the coastline with the luminance of the Atlantic Ocean and endless sky throughout its interiors. In the 178 guest rooms and suites, all with ocean, pool or sunset views, the warm wooden floor and crisp white walls are punctuated with nautical themed furnishings. The navy blue and white theme continues into the spacious guest bathrooms, complete with large beautifully tiled walk-in showers and warm wood vanities. In the resorts lobby the quite tones of driftwood and sand are overwhelmed by a white marble and living-wall two-story installation that defines the resorts outdoors-is-indoors motif.
While the center of attention at the Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa is the stunning beach, the Drift Kitchen and Bar is the resorts centerpiece. Overlooking a pool and onward to the dunes and shoreline, Drift Kitchen is a beautiful respite for breakfast lunch and dinner. Being the first luxury property to open in nearly 20 years on the beach, the ‘coastal-chic’ Drift Kitchen and Bar is an attraction for local residents and snowbirds who come for the amazing views, fresh seafood, fine wines and hand crafted cuisine Italian specialties. At Drift Kitchen the evenings are energetic and cosmopolitan, the lively ambience makes the fine dining experience even more memorable. Weather permitting, dining al fresco at Drift’s Ocean Veranda is delightfully intimate. Guest and visitors can also dine at the Lounge and Chef’s Bar where craft cocktails are made with house-made syrups and local herbs. Enjoy lunch or sunset cocktails at the Dune Beach Bar, which also overlooks the ocean. Reflections Pool Bar is adjacent to the resorts second pool and this relaxed spot is great for a causal lunch, afternoon snacks and cocktails. Cabana dining and poolside service are also catered from Reflections Pool Bar so guest can fully enjoy their day in the warm sun and cool waters.
The town of Stuart, once named the “Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living and Jensen are both quaint towns dotted with fine restaurants, charming local shops and galleries. In downtown Stuart the historical Lyric Theatre is a vibrant performing art and entertainment center, and the upscale Gafford restaurant is the prefect place for after theatre dining. There are interesting and educations attractions in the area that are, yet another, fascinating glimpse at the lifestyle, and history of “Old Florida.”
The state’s only remaining House of Refuge, the oldest building in Martin County, and listed on the National Register of Historic places, is just down the road from the resort. Built to offer a refuge to shipwreck sailors along the largely uninhabited east coast, the house had been restored to the way it was in 1904. The displays bring to life the tales of hardship and survival, shipwrecks and piracy from the time when sailing ships were they only means of commerce and trade.
More local living history is on display at the spacious Elliott Museum, where their vintage, classic and modern car collection attracts car aficionados from around the world. The Florida Oceanographic Society is designed to convey the necessity of marine conservation through interactive exhibitions and learning experiences. Understanding the importance of renewing local oyster beds, rescuing sea turtles, and the importance mangrove estuaries play in the delicate natural marine eco-system is engaging to all. After a visit to the Florida Oceanographic Society you will find an even greater appreciation for the natural wide beach, just outside your door at the Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa.
The décor at the Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa is calming yet infused with a very modern flair. Intriguing accents of natural elements fills the walls, shelves, nook and crannies; wood walls, beams and panels accentuate the warmth of the dawn and the quiet of the dusk on the beach, which is captured so beautifully in the interior design. Needless to say a spa treatment is the ultimate next step to your personal revitalization that commenced upon your arrive at The Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa, – and then get back out on that amazing beach.
Photography and Story David Lewis Taylor
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