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“They made it up to us..” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Villas of Amelia Island Plantation

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Villas of Amelia Island Plantation
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   39 Beach Lagoon Road, Amelia Island, FL 32034   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Amelia Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“They made it up to us..”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

My family in Tampa; Our friends in Atlanta - Amelia Island is a great place to meet in the middle. We chose to book a three bedroom villa at the Beachwalker condos at the Omni Plantation. Our story is a would-be disaster. The only reason we chose to rate it as good is because of the way the staff made it up to us to try and salvage our trip. On the 4th of July, right before getting kids down to bed and ready to watch the fireworks on our deck, we noticed a leak in the ceiling of our friends' guest bedroom. After getting it inspected by the resort they determined it was no small issue and no one should stay in that room. So.. our friends (and their 2 young kids) had to stay in the same hotel room together next door. The next day, we had to negotiate with the hotel to move our whole group to the Sandcastle area of the resort and they ended up getting us two separate rooms, that were two bedrooms each. The Sandcastle resort, in my opinion, is much nicer / newer. The only downside is that we could not share a condo with our friends anymore, which was the original point of going together to the beach - but I digress. The hotel did comp the night that was ruined due to the leak and comped our dinner that evening. There are some things that happen that are beyond people's control - so we decided to have a good attitude about it because the hotel did try and accommodate us equally, though it did take a little coaxing. Here is a review of the two areas we stayed at..

Location:
Amelia Island is relatively small, but the Omni Plantation is on the Southern tip of the island. By comparison, downtown Ferdinand Beach (highly recommended) is on the north end. However, it is very easy to get around. Both Beachwalker and Sandcastle villas are situated on the beach.

Accommodations:
The original three-bedroom Beachwalker villa is an interesting layout - almost like a split level, with three separate stories. The furnishings were a bit dated and the kitchen very tight, but in all is what we were looking for / expected for a trip with kids. Wifi was free and had large screen tvs. We paid extra for an ocean view, which I think is necessary.

Property:
The Omni Plantation is overall very large. They have several different areas to stay, such as - Beachwalker, Sandcastles, The Omni Hotel, etc. The property parallels the beach and there are constantly golf carts wizzing to and fro from place to place. We did order food from the hotel and it was very good, though we found the menu limiting. The pool at the main hotel is very large and has lots of activities throughout the day for all ages. They also have shops at the entrance to the Plantation. The wives went to the spa one day, but found it average at best - merely a waiting room (mixed gender) and massage tables in rooms.

Service:
We got to deal with the front desk quite a bit and unfortunately got to know them better than we would like. They were all very nice and wanting to be accommodating. I dont believe the resort is best known for its service (seems to be very seasonal - lots of young employees in the summer) but it was good.

In all, I don't know that we'll visit Amelia Island again. Florida has so many good beaches, and frankly we were not crazy about the beach - very shelly. However, this is not a review about the beach, but rather about the resort. The reason we chose it still rings true - you can rent a multiple bedroom "condo" by the night, which is rare at any beach. Hotels - you can do this. Condos - mostly make you rent by the week, so this is very convenient. I believe if you go, you should set the expectation to be more like renting a private condo as opposed to a 4-star resort - but hey.. you are at the beach!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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375 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta suburbs
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

We (me, husband, and teen child) planned a trip to Amelia Island over the long 4th of July weekend. We booked through Hotels.com and paid a premium price to book a villa with a kitchen, sitting & dining areas, washer/dryer, and an ocean view in the Sandcastle Villas. I am recovering from knee surgery. The plan was that my child & husband would spend time with his family since my husband grew up here, and I would relax in the villa looking at the ocean and enjoying the amenities we had paid for (such as a refrigerator with a freezer where I could store the ice packs I need to use on my knee)
When we checked in & got to our villa, it was just a room with 2 queen beds. The ocean view was there, but nothing else. The Sandcastle Villas have a very motel-like atmosphere, though the room seemed reasonably adequate. But still, it was just one room.
My husband returned to reception and was told by a female manager that they would not honor what we paid for at Hotels.com and that Hotels.com (which is owned by Expedia) had inaccurate information about their accommodations. The only thing this female manager offered to do was call Expedia for us. (Hmm, how does that really help us at that moment? Answer: It doesn’t.) A male manager then finally offered us an alternate accommodation in the Fairway Oaks Villas. He called it a “house” but it was actually just a large connected villa in a row of them. These villas look like a retirement community and are far, far from the beach. They sit on the golf course, SO NO OCEAN VIEW. The unit we were given was two bedrooms, two bathrooms with kitchen, sitting area and dining area, and washer/dryer. The unit didn’t appear to have been stayed in for a while. (in other words, not freshly cleaned).
These Fairway Oaks Villas seem to have many permanent residents. At 2am-ish, the first night, our next door neighbors began blasting music that made the walls vibrate and the smell of cigarette smoke wafted strongly into our villa. Lovely!!
The moral of this story is that the Omni Amelia Island Resort will not honor reservations made through sites like Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. They won’t compensate you even if you have a written reservation saying what you paid for (which we did).
The most disappointing part of the trip was not being at the beach. My child & husband would have liked to walk out the doors of the beachfront Sandcastle Villas (where our villa was supposed to be) and walk onto the beach. I could have sat right on the balcony & seen them & enjoyed the view myself. The Fairway Oaks Villa (where we actually stayed) had no outdoor sitting area or a view that was worth looking at.
This is our second time staying at this resort. The last time was prior to the Omni takeover, and we stayed in the hotel as opposed to a villa that time. My impression of this property hasn’t changed. It wants to be upscale. You can see it in the safari-coated staff that greets you when you check in. But you don’t see it in the customer service. It just isn’t here.
Also, beware of the $40 per night Resort Fee. Ouch!!
I have been coming to Amelia Island for over 25 years. This is most definitely the last time I would book any accommodation at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

My husband and I just returned from Amelia Island Plantation attenting a conference there. We were assigned a Villa in Sandcastles. The villa was very roomy, spacious, and comfortable. With a living area, dining room, kitchen and bedroom with bath, we were very comfortable and had enough room for a few grandchildren. The Amelia Plantation has ample walking trails, bike rentals, beach, pools, spa, shops and restaurants to keep everyone entertained. Been here, done that and will do again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

We checked into our room which was very nice but were greeted by a thick layer of leaves and green algae on our balcony patio (see picture). We had wanted to sit out and have a drink after driving 4 hours. Called down to desk to report it, and they offered a new room rather than to clean it. Ok. Pack up and go to new villa. However, this room was far inferior to the first. Very nice bellman helped us call front desk, where they admitted the new room was a downgrade. Really? Downgrade the guest after a problem of the hotel's making? Ok, so back to the first room where they eventually cleaned the patio (not in time for us to use it). They did do the right thing by comping our dinner. Thank you. Just very far away from the beach and amenities. The main hotel is where you want to be unless you have a large group or are on extended stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This was our second visit to this resort. The new Pool,Lobby and Pool side Restaurant are beautiful. The pool is actually multi leveled with an adult only section. Very large famly section on lower half of pool area. Great pool side restaurant with wonderful pool side service. Our Favorite restaurant at the Resort is the Sunrise Cafe. The have the best breakfast with beautiful views of the ocean. You can sit outside on the veranda or inside. Dont let the word cafe scare you off. This is a full service restaurant with a great buffet. The service here is phenomenal. Pam is the best hostess on the east coast. She will make you feel like a celebrity.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Georgia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

We have stayed in the Shipwatch Villas several times. A three bedroom ocean view once and twice we've stayed in their 2 bedroom ocean view (a few years ago we stayed in Turtle Dunes, but the last few trips have all been Shipwatch).

The three bedroom was "wow". Great furnishings, very updated. Last year we stayed in a two bedroom ocean view. It had very updated furnishings and a huge balcony which spanned the entire distance of the villa. The balcony was accessible for each bedroom and the living room, which means every room in the villa had an ocean view.

I assumed all "two bedroom ocean views" were very similar, but I was wrong to assume such. After checking into our two bedroom ocean view villa (same building as last year) we were so disappointed. The ocean was only visible via a small balcony off the living area with cheap patio furniture. The bedrooms had a parking lot view- - noone explained there was such a huge difference in "two bedroom ocean view". There was carpeting throughout and the interior furnishings were dated. The villa smelled "damp and musty".

We called the resort and asked if there was anyway we could switch, preferrably next door to the villa we stayed in last year. They were so accomodating and helpful. Within 20 minutes, they dropped off 2 new keys for the villa next door and we simply slid our belongings over one door. However, if we did not know better and had not stayed at this resort several times, then the "damp and musty" with dated furniture would be our impression of the entire building and we would not have known there are much nicer villas in that building.

Once we were settled next door, we felt much more comfortable. This villa had tile throughout most of the space. The furnishings were much nicer and newer. The balcony had heavy wicker furniture, rocking chair and a couple of side tables. It even had a small chair for a child to sit and enjoy the awesome view.

One thing to keep in mind is the walk to the beach is a real walk. You do have to cross the golf course to get to the beach, so while the view is amazing- - getting there will take a little while (particularly if you have chairs, umbrellas or other beach stuff to carry).

We also tried the pool. It was clean and we had it totally to ourselves on the afternoon we were there. The beach is very similar. Very private and not at all crowded.

Room Tip: If you are seeking a 2 bedroom villa, ask for a middle unit and understand that some of the 2 bedroo...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

The Sea Dune complex was old & the unit decor was dated. Brass everywhere! Dirty throw rug in the entrance to welcome you. The bathroom was tiny & it had a shower no tub. The shower had nowhere to rest your foot to shave your legs. The kitchen appliances were all cream colored/dated. Seems to me if you travel to a knowingly fine resort you should expect fine accommodations when you get there. There should be no surprises!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villas of Amelia Island Plantation

Address: 39 Beach Lagoon Road, Amelia Island, FL 32034
Location: United States > Florida > Amelia Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Amelia Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Villas of Amelia Island Plantation 4*
Number of rooms: 330
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation sprawl across 1,350 beautiful and isolated acres, along Florida's north eastern coastline, just across the St. Marys River in Georgia and adjacent to the historic city of Fernandina. The Villas overlook the azure blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west. Though private, secluded and protected by a gated entry, the location is a convenient 45 minute drive away from downtown Jacksonville and 29 miles from Jacksonville International Airport. Private and corporate aircraft charters can fly directly to Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, which is only four miles north of the plantation. Each villa is unique and different. Units come in varying sizes and locations, including ocean view, resort view and tennis view single guest rooms, as well as one, two and three bedroom units, ideal for larger parties, and feature fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, spacious living rooms, multiple baths and private bedrooms. Most complexes have at least one pool. Be sure to confirm the villa type, location and amenities available when booking. The villa accommodations are independently owned, but are located within proximity to the Omni Amelia Island Plantation resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villas Of Amelia Island Plantation Hotel Amelia Island

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