One particular of St. Augustine’s most eclectic lodging attributes has been detailed among the “Prime 15 Greatest Resorts in Florida” by the visitors of Travel + Leisure.
It is really not the initially time The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens has made the annual listing, and it is just a person of many accolades the hotel has racked up given that opening in 2017.
Inquire standard supervisor Charlie Robles to what he attributes the resounding results of the property and he’ll convey to you it is really absolutely its uniqueness and historic character.
“I always like to say you’re two blocks absent from downtown but two hundreds of years absent from every thing else,” Robles reported.
The inn encompasses 1 metropolis block with 9 separate buildings of varied architectural and model periods centered close to a grassy courtyard that is lushly landscaped and incorporates fire pits, a pool, statues, a koi pond and fountains.
30 models (20 of them suites) are accessible and Robles explained The Collector is a lot more than 90% occupied yr round.
A storied earlier
The story of how the nine historic structures came to be tied together in a kind of enclave is as fascinating as the houses them selves.
Kenneth Worcester Dow, the only heir to the Dow family’s beneficial lumber small business, bought the oldest home on the block, the 1790 Prince Murat House, in the 1930s just after falling in adore with St. Augustine in his travels.
The framework is built of coquina and, apart from some restoration work, appears quite a lot the way it did at the time when Dow and wife Mary welcomed common houseguests, including famous writers and actors of the time.
The Dows were being passionate collectors of artwork, household furniture and other antiques,
“They went to Europe about a few or four instances a calendar year and introduced back all varieties of items,” Robles reported.
By the early 1950s, Dow had obtained all 9 properties on the web site, some of which incorporate a former boarding residence a basic keep the home of famed author William Dean Howell and the Rose House, named so simply because a single-time resident Jean Gordon, a renowned floral qualified, ran a “rose museum” at the home.
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Surrounded by historical past
In addition to the properties, the 1 acre on which they sit was the site of quite a few critical chapters of St. Augustine historical past, including its use as a 16th century medical center (exactly where amputated human body components were being recognized to be thrown out home windows, Robles famous) and cemetery an 18th century Spanish defense line and the setting for the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation reading that freed Florida’s slave inhabitants. Markers all over the assets supply additional facts, as does a tour cost-free to company led by docent Melissa Stuart.
In 1989, an aging Dow provided to deed his whole selection to the city of St. Augustine surprisingly, the town turned him down.
Instead, he donated the web page to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1989. Subsequent an 11-calendar year restoration, the Dow Museum of Historic Homes opened in 2000, showcasing the in depth collection.
In 2013, the home went up for sale, eventually remaining procured by David Corneal for $1.1 million, according to Robles who famous it was in pretty run-down problem at the time.
“It took near to five decades and $9 million to restore it simply because so considerably experienced to be fixed and replaced,” Robles stated.
The perform has obviously paid out off.
Rates for rooms, which consist of facilities like kitchenettes, flip-down assistance, each day breakfast and snacks, start at $229 (suites and peak times generate up the price.)
The inn is preferred with couples on the lookout for a intimate getaway, family reunions, company escapes and vacationers searching for a one of a kind, historical working experience. Robles, who has a license to marry people, has officiated quite a couple of modest (six visitors utmost) weddings.
The only 4 Diamond resort in downtown St. Augustine, Robles stated The Collector requires satisfaction in the customized, hospitable experience its workers supplies.
The current award by Journey + Leisure is just a further feather in its cap. The Collector took the No. 5 spot of the Major 15 Finest Resorts in Florida, in the company of hefty hitters like the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island and the White Elephant in Palm Beach.
The grounds of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, at 149 Cordova St., is open up to the community every single initial Friday of the month, with stay tunes and refreshments readily available.
This post at first appeared on St. Augustine File: Collector Luxurious Inn and Gardens would make ‘Best Resorts in Florida’ list