New and Renovated: Beachfront Bling and Innovative Venues

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Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

guest room at ponte vedra inn and club

Two more of Ponte Vedra Inn & Club’s beachfront buildings have been renovated, totaling 64 luxury guest rooms and suites. Summer House and St. John’s House join the pair of buildings that were redone in 2020. The AAA Five-Diamond property has been hosting guests on Florida’s northeast coast since 1928 with a variety of accommodations.

The newly renovated rooms all center around the beach. Each has a private terrace or ground-level patio with beach views, along with a direct path to the water. Modern, eco-friendly design elements pair with Ponte Vedra’s long history to create an elegant guest experience. With a total of 262 rooms and suites, there is a wide range of luxury and space.

Ponte Vedra offers a wide array of meeting and event spaces. More than 75,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor venues span the historic property. Multiple ballrooms, pre-function spaces, banquet halls, boardrooms, lawns, patios and courtyards can be arranged as planners see fit.

Sporty guests can try their hand at the golf course, tennis and bocce ball courts, pools or onsite surf club. After a long day of productivity, there are several onsite restaurants to refuel at. The Tavern serves cocktails, drinks and small plates in a cozy, sophisticated atmosphere. Surf Club Patio mixes fresh lunch options with ocean breezes. For a more formal dining experience, Seahorse Grill serves fresh ingredients in a flavor-first menu.

Cambridge Beaches

guest room at cambridge beaches

An extensive interior restyling transformed Cambridge Beaches into a fresh, tropical destination in Bermuda. Reopened in spring of 2022, the 100-year-old property is made up of a series of beachfront cottages with amenities, entertainment and dining.

Each room is decorated with vibrant colors and patterns. Contemporary art by Bermudian artists lines the walls alongside custom furniture. One cottage features a private pool for two, while the largest cottage is a two-story three-bedroom private experience. Three flexible meeting rooms totaling 5,710 sq. ft. are available for reservation with full AV capabilities.

Several dining options are available to guests at Cambridge Beaches, each influenced by local culture. Breezes is a restaurant and bar serving elevated island cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. Its beachside location provides easy access to swimming and sunset viewing. Sunken Harbor Club, like the Brooklyn location by the same name, serves Caribbean and Portuguese roots cuisine with tropical cocktails on a dock. Pastel is a casual poolside restaurant and bar with light fare such as poke bowls, sandwiches, cocktails and a house-made sherbet. Private dining in a secluded cove is also available.

On-site amenities take advantage of the idyllic location. Outside is an infinity pool against the ocean and an athletic area with tennis, basketball and bocce ball courts; a watersports company rents kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis, snorkeling equipment and boats to guests; those keen on fishing can try saltwater fly fishing or deep-sea fishing; scuba shops give guests access to more than 300 shipwrecks and reefs. The capital Hamilton is only a 20 minute boat ride away for a night on the town.

ROOST Tampa

guest room at roost tampa

Tampa’s first high-design extended stay hotel has recently opened as ROOST Tampa. The boutique-style property hosts 97 studio, one or two bedroom and co-living apartments. It is the fifth ROOST apartment hotel and the first in Florida.

Each room has access to a full-sized kitchen, a seating area and a large TV. Travelers looking for a communal experience can opt for co-living apartments, where separate bedrooms feed into a common area, living room and kitchen. Surrealist artwork by Massimo Colonna decorates the walls, while custom furniture and luxury goods fill every space.

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A 30,000-square-foot amenity level has everything to keep long-term guests entertained. Lounges, entertainment areas, two conference rooms and a club give space for relaxation, while a fitness center, recreation lawn, pool and barbecues focus on fun. The conference rooms and lounges can be reserved for business gatherings as needed.

ROOST Tampa is just a few blocks from some of Tampa’s biggest attractions. To the east, American Victory Ship & Museum, a decommissioned warship that now hosts a maritime exhibit, is docked on the Ybor Channel. The Florida Aquarium is its neighbor, featuring thousands of marine animals and a “Brews by the Bay” beer and music event on September 16. South of ROOST Tampa is the Garrison Channel with Amalie Arena, an indoor sport and concert venue, overlooking the water. West along the water is Tampa Convention Center, boasting 200,000 sq. ft. and a GBAC Star Facility rating.

 The Matrix Club

rendering of the matrix club space

 A massive multicultural convention, banquet and performing arts center will be opening later this year in the suburb of Naperville, Illinois. The Matrix Club has 75,000 sq. ft. of space, including amenities like a restaurant, art gallery, yoga studio and music sound lab.

 The concert venue is a highlight of the space. With a state-of-the-art AV system, lights, oversized screens and dance floors that hold up to 2,000 guests, the space is a meeting planner’s playground. Dhrishti Center for Performing Arts is a 210-seat cultural arts venue with varied facilities. The art gallery is attached and can be transformed to create a custom “sales atmosphere.”

Banquet-style catering is handled within the venue by Chef Devinder Utpaul from a full-service kitchen. He serves cuisine from around the world based on his experience at luxury resorts and catering businesses. The Matrix Room, the complex’s main restaurant, seeks to create a unique dining experience with colorful designs, international cuisine and live performances from the music stage. It can also host private events with free parking for attendees.

Though located in a suburban area, there is plenty to do in Naperville. Event attendees can stay in Homewood Suites by Hilton Aurora Naperville, a casual hotel with just under 150 suites. Near The Matrix Room, Fox Valley Mall is a uniquely decorated shopping mall full of plants and two-story sculptures. It hosts two comedy clubs—The Comedy Shrine and The Bit Theater, each featuring local stand-up and improv performances with light drinks and snacks. The young at heart can visit Round1 Bowling & Amusement for arcade games, karaoke, billiards, darts and bowling.

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