By Annalise DeVries
Step into the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and the expansive lobby with its clean modern lines serves as an open entryway to the pool and the beach beyond. Floor-to-ceiling windows line the space, putting the area’s beauty on constant display. The resort showcases the natural charms of this northeast Florida destination, inviting guests to explore and enjoy.
Located on coastal Florida’s barrier islands, the resort’s 1,350 acres capture the rich diversity of the area’s beauty. The waves of the Atlantic lap at the creamy-colored beaches along the coastline—a ribbon of sand that quickly gives way to forests of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, which in turn open onto salt marshes and a broad landscape of verdant wetlands.
In the midst of this spectrum of natural interest stands Omni Amelia Island’s main resort. Here guests can venture out as suits their tastes and leisure. A day might be spent poolside, sipping signature cocktails crafted by the resort’s Rum + Tequila Experience, or just as easily taking an afternoon bike ride for a tour from the resident naturalists. There’s the golf course and the spa, as well as a nature center that introduces the area’s wildlife and explains the unique characteristics of the sea islands.
A more unexpected way the Omni Amelia Island captures its distinct setting is through the food. Chef Daven Wardynski came to Amelia Island in October 2012. Having started his career at TRU in Chicago, he is quick to remind guests with pride, “I’m a Michigan farm boy through and through.” Perhaps it’s that ongoing connection to cultivating the land that keeps him infusing his dishes with local flavor.