I just spent several days at Ponte Vedra Lodge & Club and have chosen day 174 of the Nowhere To Be Project to tell you all about it. The lodge is the smaller sister property of Ponte Vedra Inn & Club which is just two miles down the beach. The lodge has just 66 rooms, all with access to the amenities at the Inn and with views of the ocean in differing degrees. We were in what is referred to as a “deluxe oceanview room” with two double beds, a large bathroom with double vanities, a soaking tub and a shower (room 330). The decor is light and bright and the rooms are very spacious when compared to standard hotel accommodations. Our room was on the first floor which made our patio a bit less than private as it was part of the thoroughfare for beach and pool access. Despite this, we had a nice view of the courtyard with firepit and the beach beyond that.
The Ponte Vedra Lodge & Club is situated on a very quiet beach in a residential area. This gives it a very private and exclusive feel. The facility also operates as a beach, tennis and golf club which adds to the neigborhoody vibe. The common areas of the property are fairly well-kept, but slightly dated with a solid late 1980s flair. Dining options include a casual poolside beach bar, a lounge and a more formal restaurant, all of which offered outstanding ocean views and decent food and drinks (with vegan options:). Room service is also available.
On my second morning in Ponte Vedra I walked the two miles down the beach to explore the Inn and Club. From what I saw, the Inn is more catered to families. There is a beach club and family pool on the beachside of the resort. The lodging is located across the street along with a tennis club, golf course, coffee shop, several restaurants and a few upscale gift shops. From what I gathered, the Lodge & Club is newer and slightly more refined than the Inn.
Overall, the stunning oceanfront location and the solitude of the lodge make it a desirable property and would probably be motivation enough to get me to visit again. The rooms are comfortable, but could use a deep cleaning. Furthermore, the service at the lodge is underwhelming when you consider that the property touts itself as a five star resort. For example, table service at all dining outlets was slow, I was brought the wrong meal by room service staff, the floors in our room had not been swept or mopped prior to our arrival, and a man awakened us by trying to forcibly enter our room at 5am. When I mentioned these issues to the front desk clerk, she said simply “I’m sorry”. There was no attempt on her part to make these things right which does not align with a five star luxury experience. In short, the location is five star worthy, but the facility and staff hover at the three star level.