A Stay in a Luxurious Tropical Paradise
By Kara Chalmers
Spacious and beautifully decorated with plush bed linens, rich wood furnishings, marble bathroom and a balcony with a stunning view of one of the golf courses. Click here for more details on the resort's accommodations.
Cascata Grille is the resort’s restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu includes Italian-American cuisine, but the restaurant’s main focus is on fresh, regional fare.
A lot of Executive Chef Daniel Buss’s ingredients come from the “chef’s garden” – a huge botanical wonderland filled with every herb you can imagine, vegetables and tropical fruit trees. Chef Buss leads really fun garden tours, which include sampling the chocolate mint leaves, among other treats! These tours are free and open to guests and, take it from me – they are a really fun and informative way to spend part of an afternoon.
BOURBON STEAK, a Michael Mina restaurant, is where I dined the first night. It’s called a “contemporary American steak house,” but it’s known as much for its seafood as it is for its cuts of beef (all-natural, organic and hormone-free). The filet mignon I had was phenomenal. I also really loved my appetizer of Ahi Tuna Tartare (pictured). One great thing about this place is that every meal begins with an order of delicious duck fat fries – a Mina signature dish.
This is a 300-acre property with Mediterranean-style architecture and a very tropical feel, mainly due to the lush greenery adorning every pathway, passageway and courtyard. There are 392 guest rooms and suites. There are two gorgeous pools (see my blog post from Thursday for pics and more info on the private cabanas), as well as the private Ocean Club on the beach, great tennis, golf and the Willow Stream Spa and fitness center.
This place truly felt like an oasis, and not just because of the gorgeous tropical foliage everywhere. The service was outstanding, for one. And the ambience – whether in my room, in the restaurants, or along the outdoor passageways, was of relaxed elegance.
If you’re interested in experiencing this for yourself, check out these great packages, which include golf, spa and bed-and-breakfast themes.
And check out this special Feast of the Flowers package, offered March 1 through May 30 at the resort.