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Florida

5/31/2008
Sun, Sand and Speed Rule Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Area Adds

Daytona Beach's boardwalk area has a Hilton, which replaced the former Adam's Mark Hotel.*

New Restaurants, Upgraded Lodging

By Kay Harwell Fernandez

Famed for its wide, white sandy beaches and “speedy” attractions, Daytona Beach is putting the pedal to the metal on lodging renovations. Here’s a look at recent remodeling efforts, new properties and dining options.

With a AAA Four-Diamond designation, the Shores Resort & Spa (866-934-SHORES or www.shoresresort.com), 2637 S. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach Shores, underwent a recent $33 million transformation. But it has maintained its Old Florida beach house feel.

Set amid three and a half acres, this Noble House property (formerly the Hilton Daytona Beach) boasts a $30,000 per room investment.

The 500-square-foot, waterview guestrooms are luxurious. Amenities include four-poster beds, upscale bedding, Italian marble showers and 42-inch, flat-screen TVs. The 212 rooms are adorned in breezy tropical colors, natural woods and soft textures.

The Shores completely redesigned its outdoor pool area. A site for weddings has been added. New landscaping and distinctive lighting pave the way for the renovated Porte Cochere.

Decorated in a laid-back colonial style with palm tree murals and grass wall coverings, the new Spa Terre incorporates traditions of Eastern and Western cultures. The 2,500-square-foot spa features six treatment rooms, a wet room with Vichy Shower, and separate rooms for facials and manicures.

Rates range between $249 and $369. Several packages are available. “Yours, Mine & Ours,” from $399, includes a one-night stay, breakfast for two, one spa treatment and 18 holes of golf at LPGA?.

The Shores’ new upscale restaurant, Baleen, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serious food with a whimsical mood fits the tone of Baleen, which specializes in fresh seafood. The chef throws in a pinch of Southern and French flavors. Dinner entrees start at about $25.

Nearby, the Best Western Aku Tiki Inn (386-252-9631 or www.bwakutiki.com), 2225 S. Atlantic Ave, boasts a $3.5 million makeover. Guest rooms were redesigned with gold and yellow hues. Furnishings include pillow-top queen beds and comfort pillows. Rates range from $99 to $119. 

A $20 million refurbishment was recently completed at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort (386-254-8200 or www.daytonahilton.com), 100 N. Atlantic Ave. Formerly the Adam’s Mark, this hotel is one of four components of Ocean Walk Village, a $400 million vacation, shopping and entertainment district.

The Hilton’s North and South towers were redecorated with new furniture, bedding, carpeting, wall coverings and bathroom fixtures. Some rooms are outfitted with dark woods and plush furniture.

Guest room color schemes include a mix of mellow golds, greens and reds. Other rooms have a Floridian summer combo of blue, yellow and light green. All afford spectacular views.

Visitors can take advantage of several eating options at the Hilton. The newest, Doc Bales’ Grill, dishes up moderately priced continental and seafood specialties indoors and on the terrace.

Close to Racing Action

Two new properties are conveniently located next to Daytona International Speedway, the airport, Volusia Mall and NASCAR Headquarters.

Homewood Suites by Hilton (386-258-2828 or www.hilton.com), 165 Bill France Blvd., features two-room suites with fully equipped kitchens and all the comforts of home. The hotel offers free airport transfers and a hot breakfast.

A nonsmoking hotel, the Marriott Residence Inn (386-252-3849 or www.marriott.com), 1725 Richard Petty Blvd., provides spacious studio and two-bedroom suites. Guests may enjoy the new Marriott bedding of thicker mattresses and fluffier pillows. Rates are $151 to $199 per room per night. (higher during special events).

In the historical district, the Coquina Inn (386-254-4969), 544 S. Palmetto Ave., has new ownership. The owners have spiffed up the B&B. Dating to 1912, this traditional residence offers four individualized guest rooms and white-glove treatment. The pet-friendly inn even gives out a basket of home-baked doggie treats. Rooms begin at $90 per night.

Racing to the Restaurants

A few blocks away, the new Ronin’s (386-252-6320), 111 W. International Speedway Blvd., is already a hit with the locals. Combining a sushi bar with Asian fusion cuisine, the venue’s prices are reasonable. For example, a sushi or sashimi combo is only $11.95.

Fresh (386-947-9736), 1130 S. Ridgewood Ave., just made its debut. Exuding an earthy, Tuscan atmosphere, the mid-priced Italian restaurant is owned by Ed Bauer. He was previously chef at the popular Garlic in New Smyrna Beach.

In South Daytona, the sophisticated Chops Restaurant by Martinis Bar (386-783-1090 or www.chopsbymartinis.com1815 S. Ridgewood Ave., focuses on New American delicacies. The eatery uses the freshest ingredients, including homegrown herbs. Patrons may also opt for garden dining or a drink at the intimate bar lounge. Menu prices reflect a fine-dining experience.

For More Information

Contact the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-854-1234 or www.daytonabeach.com.

Kay Harwell Fernandez is a freelance writer based in Ormond Beach, FL. She specializes in travel, especially pertaining to food and wine; art, culture and history; and cruises.

*Photos are owned and copyrighted by SouthernTravelNews.comTM. Please do not link to these photos nor copy them. Thank you. 


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