www.gogolfandtravel.com - CASA MARINA - by Ed Stone
Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant ~ Jacksonville Beach’s Shining Star
Story & Photos by: Ed Stone
Golfers will find some of the most renowned and prestigious courses and golf related attractions in the world, within 35 miles of the Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant on beautiful Jacksonville Beach.
A strong statement…Yes, but true. First off, there is the famous World Golf Village & Golf Hall of Fame offering two outstanding courses appropriately named, Slammer & Squire (Sam Snead & Gene Sarazen)) and King & Bear (Arnold Palmer & Jack Nicklaus). These offerings are just 35 miles south of the historic Casa Marina. Approximately 10 miles south is the Sawgrass Golf Club seen annually on the PGA Tour and featuring the picturesque 17th, par 3, island green. Within these 35 miles are over 100 golf courses available for play to the public.
So why is the Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant so special?
The Casa Marina Patio overlooking the ocean
The Patio provides space for conferences and events
The Casa Marina held its Grand Opening on Saturday, June 6, 1925, the same day Jacksonville Beach was given its current name. The upscale hotel had 60 rooms then…as opposed to its present day posting of 25 stunning bedrooms and parlor suites individually decorated to represent the changing eras of the property’s rich history.
In the 1920’s Jacksonville, Florida was one of the most popular destinations in America. It offered beaches, great weather, outstanding accommodations and…the train. This accessibility brought such luminaries as the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, John D. Rockefeller and Presidents Harry S. Truman and F.D.R. And, rumors claim that celebrities such as Jean Harlow and Al Capone were guests at the hotel in its early years.
Prohibition and the famous gangsters were an integral part of Florida 's history. “Machine Gun” Kelly reportedly lived undercover in Ortega, preferring to dine 'at the beach'. Having two-stories and 60 rooms allowed for guests to remain somewhat anonymous. Some of the movie industry greats that purportedly frequented the facility were Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Mary Pickford and Clara Bow.
With nearly a century of interesting, romantic and important history, the Casa Marina is gracefully poised on the sand dunes of the Atlantic Ocean, offering luxurious accommodations paired with fine dining. This jewel is situated perfectly on the Atlantic for visitors to enjoy some of the world’s best sunrises.
In the mid-1880’s Jacksonville Beach was known as the town of Ruby. Then in the early 1920’s it was called Pablo Beach. And, as mentioned above, in 1924 Jacksonville Beach was given its present name.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from the Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant
The Casa Marina Hotel is of Spanish-Mediterranean design and distinguished itself as being the first fireproof building composed of stucco, concrete, tile and an automatic sprinkler system on Jacksonville Beach.
Between 1939-1945, the United States government used the Casa Marina as housing for the military. After World War II, there were several owners. As the early years of the hotel turned into the war years of World War II, the United States government appropriated the Casa Marina for military housing. A succession of owners followed, who were passionate about the restoration and remodeling of the Casa Marina into private residences and an assortment of businesses...a 37-room apartment building, restaurant, tearoom, vintage clothing store and proposed cultural center/haven for environmentalists!
The “grand lady” finally took a well-deserved rest and closed until 1991. By this time, a veranda and 3 rd -story penthouse had been added to the original structure as the Casa Marina just waited for her 'time'.
A most deserving designation
Recently it celebrated its 80th anniversary, the Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant offers 24 stunning bedrooms and parlor suites individually decorated to represent the distinctive and changing eras of its rich history. The salon-inspired Casa Marina Restaurant is one of the finest oceanfront dining anywhere. As one enters this charming property, it proudly displays the sign denoting it as on the National Registry of Historic Places...most deserving.
The ideal place for conferences and special events
Small conferences, weddings and private parties take on a special air at the Casa Marina. Several areas within the facility allow for an event to command total use of the property. In speaking with the catering and conference services staff, it is apparent they take much pride in creating a unique approach and glamour to every special event. When you combine the exquisite setting, outstanding food and beverage and top it off with impeccable service, you end up with a fabulous affair.
As evening approaches, be sure to plan on meeting your friends in the Penthouse Bar to view the Atlantic for sunset cocktails. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.
The famous Casa Marina Restaurant used by celebrities and locals alike for over 80 years
The Casa Marina's creative Chefs take pride in designing and serving "New Beach Cuisine." This approach takes place daily and highlights the best of local seafood, produce and specialty ingredients with an international flair for flavor and style. A menu of local products and continental fare is offered for guests and locals at the Casa Marina Restaurant.
As home to over 100 golf courses, great year-round weather, a rolling terrain for serious golfing and a place to stay like the Casa Marina, you have the perfect place for golfers looking for outstanding golf and relaxation Why else would the PGA Tour and the World Golf Hall of Fame be located in this area?
For more information, contact:
Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant
691 First Street North
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250