Thursday, March 15, 2007

Florida finds

My recent tour of Florida Spring Break haunts is over. But like any good trip, my jaunt yielded a few finds worth sharing.

Avalon Waterfront Inns, Fort Lauderdale: Nothing fancy, but this older motel-style lodging feels fresh and friendly … and it's just across the street from the beach.

Trina, the upscale restaurant at The Atlantic hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach: Chic setting, warm staff and a drop-dead homemade ravioli with marscapone.

Captiva Island Inn, Captiva: This cheery B&B is a block from the beach, steps from the beloved Bubble Room restaurant and next to the Key Lime Bistro, which shares owners with the Inn.

South Seas Plantation, Captiva: It's back! Nearly 18 months after it was ravaged by Hurricane Charley, the resort is back on track. New owners and an ambitious renewal plan have resulted in updated facilities throughout the 300-plus acres. Alas, the lush canopy is missing … something only nature can restore.

Il Mulino, Orlando: The trendy NYC Italian eatery has opened at Disney in the Swan resort. Service is terrific, wine list interesting, ambience chic. My dinner was good but not brilliant, and my salad was badly over-salted. It's only been open a few weeks, though. (I prefer Todd English's bluezoo, next door at the Dolphin.)

Acapulco Inn: On Daytona Beach, this beachfront hotel offers free breakfast and a
comfortable upscale ambiance; efficiencies available. www.acapulcoinn.com

Majestic Beach Towers: It's a shame that much of Panama City's beachfront is veiled by towers. That aside, the Majestic Beach offers upscale condo-suites with full-kitchen facilities and great views. Indoor and outdoor pools, too.

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