Monday,  May 25, 2020  2:38 am

All about the beach: Florida's Opal Collection of hotels shine bright in Toronto

All about the beach: Florida's Opal Collection of hotels shine bright in Toronto
From left: Kerry Morrissey, director of public & community relations, Ocean Properties; Kara Rosner, VP & co-founder, Diamond PR.
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

With a name like Opal, it’s gotta shine.

Six Florida-based beachfront properties took the spotlight in Toronto recently (Oct. 3rd) as representatives from the Opal Collection hosted a networking and info night with select travel media.

The Opal Collection, owned by Ocean Properties Hotels and Resorts, is a collection of luxury hotels and resorts in popular destinations on the United States’ East Coast from Bar Harbor, Maine to the southernmost tip of Key West Florida.

“Each hotel is very individual with their own appeal,” Kara Rosner, Vice-President of Diamond PR, told PAX at the event, which took place on the rooftop level of Lavelle in Toronto’s King West neighbourhood. They’re each individual, have their own appeal, their own demographic and their own features that make them fabulous.”

Rich experiences 

Diamond PR represents six of the 19 hotels in the Opal Collection – beachfront properties that lie on Florida’s east and west coasts. 

In Sarasota, for instance, there’s the Longboat Key Club and Lido Beach resorts.

Longboat Key Club sits on a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. With 226-luxury guest rooms and suites, the property spans 410 acres of lush landscaping and beachfront, offering access to 45 holes of championship golf, tennis and authentic Old Florida boardwalks.

Longboat Key Club sits on a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. (Supplied)

Notably, the resort has the largest resort marina on Florida's west coast (if, of course, your clients need a spot to park their yacht).

Lido Beach Resort, near Siesta Key, offers 222 guest rooms and condo-style suites that lead to a 300-foot private white sand beach, also on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

No two properties in the Opal Collection are alike, said Rosner, but the rich experiences offered at each property is what unites them all.

“It’s that level of service,” Rosner said. “The properties are well-done and well-kept. They uphold a certain standard.”

The resorts – which revolve around relaxing and unwinding – were named after the Opal gemstones, as “each destination shines with its own colourful and unique experiences, and each property reflects a genuine connection to the area, highlighted by artful designs, culinary offerings, and signature activities,” the company states.

At the new and modern Opal Sands in Clearwater, the vibe is beach chic as 230 contemporary Gulf-front rooms and suites offer prized views of the natural beauty surrounding the Florida Gulf and Clearwater skyline.

Sandpearl Resort, also in Clearwater, boasts coastal-inspired décor in its guest rooms and suites, and is home to Clearwater Beach’s only Four-Diamond restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf.

Sandpearl Resort is home to Clearwater Beach’s only Four-Diamond restaurant Caretta on the Gulf. (Supplied)

Then there’s the Belleview Inn, an historic boutique hotel from the late 1880s in Belleair near Clearwater. Once a vacation spot for royalty, former U.S. presidents, and celebrities, the property of just 35 guest rooms stands as a “symbol of hospitality, elegance, and timelessness” – some 320 feet from Florida's Intracoastal Waterway.

It’s neighbouring golf course, Belleair Country Club, claims to be the first golf course in Florida, and makes for a charming lunch or dinner venue.

Finally, heading eastward, there’s Jupiter Beach Resort in the town of Jupiter, which is located on the southeastern coast of Florida.

Here, guests will find warm colours and contemporary furnishings in the hotel’s 168 guest rooms and suites, all situated along 1,000 feet of secluded Atlantic shoreline.

The Belleview Inn is an historic boutique hotel from the late 1880s in Belleair near Clearwater. (Supplied)

Rosner said hotels in the Opal Collection tend to attract a 35 to 55 demographic, and are great options for both couples seeking a romantic getaway and families. 

“The culinary options are fabulous across the board. They have great chefs, cocktail scenes and the room décor is current,”  Rosner said. “Because they’re beachfront, [the rooms] have a light feel...Those hues are brought in, which brings a beach component into the whole experience.”

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