Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grand Resorts Properties in Florida

I've been selling golf packages for Golf Zoo in Florida for around 7 years now.  Recently 3 resorts in Florida have been purchased by Salamander Hospitality group.  The three properties are Innisbrook in Tampa, Reunion in Orlando and Hammock Beach in Palm Coast.  These are all nice properties and are all unique in what they offer a group of golfers.  I'm going to give our readers my honest (as I always do) opinion of these three properties, again this is just my opinion.

Innisbrook/Tampa, Florida:
This property has been around for quite awhile.  The lodging portion of the property is 40+ years old.  The new owners have come in over the last couple of years and really upgraded the units. There is basically 4  room types - deluxe guest room, junior suite, one bedroom suite and two bedroom suite.  All the lodging types have upgraded furniture, bedding, tv's, etc...  The property has upgraded their dining options and even added a great bar and outdoor patio area at the main check-in office.  A nice thing for the client while staying there is access to shuttle service to get around the property, by just picking up the phone.

Golf - the resort has four golf courses on site.  The most talked about and know is the famed Copperhead Golf Course - home of a PGA Tour event.  I have played this golf course numerous times and really enjoy it.  It is a difficult golf course which offers a lot of different hole types.  My second favorite course at Innisbrook is The Island Golf Course.  This course also offers a great layout, but is more forgiving than the Copperhead course. The other two courses are the South and North and I prefer the South more than the North.  The South is a little different than the other courses on property and offers more of a links feel.  The North is a shot makers course for sure - not long, but very tight and penal if you game is off.

There are mainly two package types we offer at this resort - keep in mind that Innisbrook is a stay and play property, as all three resorts are - meaning, you have to stay there to play there.
Our first package is the Classic Stay and Play.  In a nutshell, you get a round of golf  for each night you stay at the resort, along with use of practice range.  This is my opinion is our more popular package because of the price point for our clients.  The second package we offer is the Preferred Stay and Play.  The main difference is you get a round on arrival and departure - basically an extra round beyond the number of nights you stay.  This package also includes breakfast, use of range and a small arrival gift bag.  In most cases this package can double the Classic Stay and Play package in price - not sure if the extra round and breakfast warrant the golfer to pay that much more - again, just my opinion.

Again, you have to stay at this resort in order to play the courses.

Reunion Resort/Orlando, Florida:
This is a fantastic 54 hole property, my opinion - one of the best properties in Florida.  The resort is a large property consisting of 3 restaurants and a couple of bars at the main check in area.  The property itself has numerous lodging choices that consist of 2 and 3 bedroom villas along 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 bedroom homes.  The villa types are either deluxe or superior villa's.  Both types are really nice, basically not a huge difference in villas.  The villas will have one more bed than the number of bedrooms, basically 3 beds in a 2 bedroom and 4 beds in a 3 bedroom.  As far as the homes, similar type description - deluxe and superior.  The resort has numerous pool through out the villa complexes, a great practice range and a water park.

Golf - There are three great courses on site.  Legacy is the Arnold Palmer designed course.  This is probably the easiest of the three courses.  This course is fairly forgiving, especially off the tee.  There is some water and bunkers, but nothing that is too penal.  Tradition is the Jack Nicklaus designed course.  This is the newest of the three courses and has grown in popularity with the golfers.  This particular course is away from the main clubhouse.  This is a tough golf course, but very enjoyable.  Independence is the Tom Watson designed course.  This is my favorite course of the three.  This has a variety of great holes with numerous bunkers, very well placed.

Again, you have to stay at Reunion Resort in order to play the courses.

Hammock Beach/Palm Coast, Florida:
Hammock Beach is a fantastic ocean front property, located about 30 minutes north of  Daytona Beach, Florida.  Due to its location, you have two options as far as International airports.  Jacksonville airport - 80 mile drive to Hammock Beach.  Orlando airport - 100 mile drive to Hammock Beach.  Two other airports that you can also check are Daytona airport and Sanford airport, both small airports - but may offer options.

This resort consists of four lodging properties, three types on site and one off site.  The three properties on site are the following:  The lodge, located on the ocean and consist of hotel rooms, both ocean view and ocean front. The main building, again on the ocean.  This building will have 3 and 4 bedroom villas, again both ocean view and ocean front (main tower). The Resort view buildings, located behind the main building and offer 2 and 3 bedroom tropical view units.  As with Reunion, the villas will have one more bed than the number of bedrooms listed.  The offsite property which is on the Inter-coastal and offer 2 and 3 bedroom units.  The Resort View units and the off site Inter-coastal units are the least expensive of the 4 unit types, but are very nice.  The resort has a restaurant on the second floor of the lodge.  It has a nice restaurant and a sushi bar in the main tower building, along with a bar area for dancing.  My favorite is the cigar lounge - large leather chairs and couches with a small bar area and it's own walk in humidor.  There is a fantastic pool and outdoor area between the main building and the ocean that offers food and drinks.  There is a lazy river, and two pools in the main area, along with a huge hot tub.  The lodge also has it's own adult only pool area - more secluded.

Golf - The property has two courses.  The Ocean Course is the Jack Nicklaus designed course.  Nicklaus considered this as his Pebble Beach of the East Coast.  This course has 6 holes with either the ocean behind the Green or Tee and two of those holes (9 and 18) are par 4's that run right along side the ocean.  Most of the inland holes are tree lined and bordered by water.  The Conservatory is the Tom Watson designed course.  This may be my favorite course of all the courses I have mentioned!  This is an offsite course, about 10-15 minutes max from the main building.  Tom Watson considers this, "one of his best designed courses".  This course is very pretty and offers a lot of different challenges for the golfer.

Again, you have to stay at Hammock Beach in order to play the courses.

Overall these are three unique properties that has something for every group of golfers.  None of these resorts I would consider inexpensive, but each one is worth the money in it's own way.  If  I had to rank each facility in order of the best overall package - I consider that lodging and golf.  I would rank them in this order - Reunion Resort, then Hammock Beach, then Innisbrook.  This doesn't mean that any of them are bad or lower end properties - just my preference and opinion.

I hope this helps our Golf  Zoo customers with some insight to some properties in Florida that we offer.  Please feel free to contact me to put together you next Florida golf package getaway.  I can be reached directly at 888.333.6103 or by email - glen@golfzoo.com.

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