We (two adults, three kids) stayed here over spring break 2011 for a week. I'll list some pros and cons, but overall we had a very nice experience and will likely return.
• Old-school country club feel, but friendly, relaxed culture. We felt it was a nice blend of civility, luxury and Florida beach culture.
• Beautiful hotel, with several nice common areas to mix with other guests
• Cottage layout was nice, giving us a large common living room with TV and fireplace (this is a nice departure from just having several adjoining hotel rooms at most resorts)
• Food and service was excellent. We had several great dinners in the dining hall and the Pink Elephant
• Decent wifi and cell coverage
• Rates includes coffee & treats in the morning, plus tea & treats in the afternoon.
• Nicely integrated into town, giving guests the ability to eat casual meals (especially important with kids). Our favorite was Sisters, especially its pizza.
• The hotel & town reminded us of La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and the town of La Jolla Shores, CA. Nice, but laid back feel. To be clear, this is not a resort walled off from the town. Some people looking for ultra exclusivity might dislike this aspect. Golf, tennis, hotel and beach club are spread out and mixed in with other private houses, condos, businesses, etc.
• Beach Club is nice (though far from Vegas-style luxury), wasn't crowded and has a nice, though expensive lunch. Kids game room is a welcomed outlet for kids to escape the sun
• Beach was pretty, not crowded. Good shelling
• Golf course is easily accessible, scenic and rarely crowded
• Good fishing charter options nearby
• Decent playground for little kids
• Housekeeping was great and flexible to our schedule
• Several flight options to get best rates (Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers)
• While we had great weather (sunny, low 80s), it can change quickly and is not predictable this time of year. Gulf water was pretty cold (high 60s). If you need guaranteed warm weather, go to the Caribbean.
• Meal options are expensive and only provide good value when you're pretty hungry (especially breakfast). Local restaurants are a much better value, especially for breakfast and lunch.
• Wind blows frequently on golf course. Several days we had a multi-club wind, which we heard is quite common. They also don't have lower greens fees for afternoon or nine holes. With little kids, this is pretty frustrating and unfair towards families that golf.
• Beach is narrow at beach club, dropping off sharply from beach chair area. This means you can't see your kids playing on the beach while sitting in a beach chair. If you have little kids, this is an important consideration. Water also gets deep pretty quickly. This seems to be related to the club's sea wall, as the beach surrounding the club widens out and is more little kid friendly
• Pretty gusty winds at beach on some days. The club should consider clear, plexiglass wind barriers to protect sunbathers. These are quite affordable given the high-end club experience they are trying to provide and quite common at other resorts
• Lunch at beach is nice, but not a good value ($24pp) unless it's your only meal for the day. I would prefer some burger/sandwich only options.
• Hotel/cottages are not beach front. This didn't bother us, but may be a deal killer for some.
• Pricing of cottages is unfair to families. They charged extra for three kids in one room (over $100/night, I believe) and charged separately for a roll away ($50/night). At a minimum, if you charge extra for a third kid (which they shouldn't) it should include the roll away.
• We were told everyone in each room had to be on the meal plan or not at all. This is unfair to families that have an older child than wants to be on meal plan and a younger one that doesn't eat enough to justify the meal plan cost. This caused us not to do the meal plan at all, which actually worked out well since we enjoyed the dining options in town.
• Walking around resort requires crossing several public roads. While traffic was minimal and drivers were courteous, parents with little kids might dislike this
• Zero nightlife, other than a great dinner!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.