Fla. resort caters to leisure, meeting markets

Travel Weekly's Sabina Rubbinaccio visited the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Naples, Fla., earlier this spring. Her report follows:

NAPLES, Fla. -- The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club offers something for everyone, from a new spa and fitness center to a refurbished conference and meeting space.

Owned and managed by Michael E. Watkins, whose grandfather started the business more than 50 years ago, the 318-room property features a beachfront swimming pool, a tennis center and an 18-hole golf course.

In-room amenities include cable television, a safe, a refrigerator and two telephones with voice mail and modem access.

A full-service spa and fitness center was added last year, at a cost of about $18 million. The price tag also covered the addition of a clubhouse and renovations to the golf course.

The spa contains nine treatment rooms, and guests can choose from a variety of massages, body treatments and skin-care services featuring natural products.

Saunas, steam rooms, whirlpool baths and a full-service beauty salon round out the options.

A nice touch is the selection of herbal teas, spring water and fresh fruits available to guests either before or after their treatments.

As I listened to the sound of ocean waves, I sampled a full Swedish body massage with warm oils. The cost of my Relax & Release Swedish massage was $85 for 50 minutes.

I also chose a Gentle Indulgence Facial, which is designed for sensitive, sunburned and fatigued skin. That cost $70 for 50 minutes.

Guests opting not to indulge in spa treatments are charged a fee for using the exercise and spa facilities, ranging from $10 to $25 for a full day.

For business travelers, the resort refurbished its conference and meeting space.

Equipped to handle meetings of up to 750 in the largest of two ballrooms, the resort also contains two boardrooms and up to 16 breakout rooms.

Beachfront meeting facilities include the Garden Terrace, which can accommodate 50 people for meetings or dinner.

Guests are welcome to bring their children -- the Kids Club for youngsters ages 5 to 12 keeps the little ones happy with a range of supervised activities.

During my visit, I popped in at the Kids Club and found a group of children enjoying themselves. In fact, it looked as if they didn't want to leave.

While Mom and Dad enjoy activities of their own, such as tennis, golf or the spa, the children are looked after from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Options include arts and crafts, beach activities and movies. For a nominal fee, lunch is provided. Also, a "kids' night out," consisting of dinner, a movie and games, is available on Friday and Saturday evenings. Baby-sitting can be arranged for a fee.

Through Sept. 26, nightly rates start at $165 for guest rooms and $230 for suites. Rates are per room, double. For more details, call (800) 237-7600 or log on to www.naplesbeachhotel.com.

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