Thirty-three steps. That’s the number to keep in mind at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. While the beaches of most of its neighboring hotels and resorts are separated by preserves and can only be accessed by walking bridges, La Playa’s back door is only 33 unobstructed steps to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“There are not a lot of places where you can get this close,” said La Playa director of sales and marketing David Martorana as he looked out at the white sand from the resort’s poolside Tiki Bar.
There are even less places in the Naples area that can boast a private beach with butler service. LaPlaya has each. It also has a fresh, “old Florida” ambience (complete with wooden rocking chairs on the porch), a Key West-style lobby, Bob Cupp-designed golf course, four lagoon-style swimming pools, SpaTerre, and Baleen restaurant that is one of the more popular dining destinations in all of Naples.
With 189 rooms, each with views of the Gulf, Vanderbilt Bay and the pool deck, LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, a joint venture between Noble House Hotel s & Resort and the Naples-based Barron Collier Companies, is one of the of top boutique hotels in Florida.
You can start the day with golf at LaPlaya Golf Club, a 6,900-yard, par 72 course that’s regarded as one of Florida’s better resort layouts – quite an accomplishment given the quality of the resorts courses in the Sunshine State. The course, which features 14 water holes, also is home to a David Leadbetter Golf Academy and outstanding practice facility. The golf club – elegantly landscaped – is available only to LaPlaya guests and LaPlaya Club members.
“Not an easy course,” Martorana said. “It’s very challenging, which a lot of good players like.”
Following golf, you can return to the resort for lunch at the Tiki Bar (start with the sliders and ceviche), score some beach time in the afternoon (raise the flag on your chair and the butler is at your service), have dinner at Baleen (Chili Rub Short Rib) and end the evening with other guests around the beach fire pit.
The next day try SpaTerre, which features seven treatment rooms and some of the better massage therapists you’ll find anywhere. Each therapist actually listens to want you want out of your treatment and delivers. It fits perfectly with the resort’s overall theme of what Martorana calls “casual elegance.”
“We closed in 2001 for $54 million renovation and re-opened in 2002,” Martorana said. “That was really the rebirth of LaPlaya.”
It’s been growing strong ever since.