FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

WaterColor Inn and Resort Review

by Barbara and Jim Twardowski

Feb 19, 2020

© Jim Twardowski

eFlyer Reviews

Escape the winter cold with a beach retreat at WaterColor Inn and Resort overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida. The 60-room boutique hotel has a private beach and sits beside a coastal dune lake and a longleaf pine forest.

Located on Scenic Highway 30A, the byway runs alongside emerald waters and sugar-white sand through an eclectic mix of communities where miles of trails connect state parks, preserves and residential areas. The beach towns offer restaurants, shops, coffee shops, art galleries and bars sprinkled among a mix of architectural styles.

Our family kicked off 2020 with a three-day stay in January. While the morning chill required a light jacket, temperatures hovered in the low 70s every afternoon. The sunshine-filled days can be spent hopping into one of four pools, playing golf or hitting tennis balls. Bicycling is big on 30A and each guestroom can use two bikes at no charge. My husband and son leisurely rode for eight miles, stopping in Rosemary Beach for oysters and cocktails.

On the second day, the guys lifted weights and did cardio at the WaterColor Workout Facility, next door to the hotel and open 24/7. While they exercised, I browsed the stores across the street. The brand-new Florida SweetTea Style retail shop includes WaterColor-branded merchandise and curated items from Southern retailers. A WaterColor coffee mug serves as a nice reminder of our beach vacation.

Returning to the hotel before my family, I stopped by the hotel library, which lends guests books, board games and DVDs. After selecting a book about artist Frida Kahlo, I went to our fourth-floor Premium Gulf View Room. Painted in a blue-green color, the 500-square-foot room’s private balcony with two Adirondack chairs creates the perfect spot for reading.

The guestroom has a king-sized bed, a queen sofa sleeper, coffee table, small desk and loads of storage space. The oversized bathroom offers a nice assortment of toiletries packaged in tubes shaped like watercolor paints. A desk, flat-screen television, two bathrobes and slippers, a beach bag and mini fridge complete the guestroom amenities. Each evening of our stay, we especially enjoyed the turn-down service featuring homemade cookies accompanied by a recipe card from the pastry chef. Oatmeal with coconut was my favorite.

I could have made a cup of coffee with our Keurig, but instead I chose to visit the Sweet Suite down the hall. The pantry is generously stocked with a freezer of ice cream treats, a microwave for making popcorn, a fridge with soft drinks and an easy-to-use specialty coffeemaker.

The hotel’s dining options are open seasonally. During our stay, we ate breakfast at the Gathering Spot — a casual restaurant with a friendly staff. From crunchy French toast to build-your-own-bowl selections, all the menu items we sampled were delicious. After getting a cup of coffee to go, we explored the neighborhood where walkable paths took us past a manicured park with fountains, a lake and charming homes with welcoming porches peeking from behind yards that embrace a natural landscape.

Everything about the WaterColor Inn and the surroundings encouraged us to slow down and let nature nurture. It’s easy to imagine this upscale destination becoming a beloved annual family tradition.

WaterColor Inn and Resort

34 Goldenrod Circle
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
tel 850 534 5000

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