By Regina Lynch Hudson
Few properties have been able to bring the outdoors indoors, quite like One Ocean Resort & Spa. Located a mere 25 miles from Jacksonville International Airport, the four star-rated beachfront boutique resort is situated between the bustling shopping environment of Beaches Town Center and the rolling surf of the Atlantic.
Inspired by the ocean, the hotel and its 193 guest rooms and suites are a soothing splash of aquatic blues, tranquil turquoises and shimmering sand tones. Imagine a site that’s bathed in modernism and the marine hues of the surrounding beach. There’s a mystical connection with the sea throughout One Ocean Resort. Though a concrete menagerie of galleries, boutiques and restaurants are but walking distance away, the interior cocoon of the resort will awaken your inner Mermaid.
Ride the Wave
Once inside my sprawling suite, I was overcome by a sense of laissez-faire. A lulling spray of cyan-colored walls, reminiscent of the teal waters of Fiji, engulfed my room. With the lull of the shore outside my window, the bed became a feathery raft drifting out to sea. My very own ‘One Ocean Docent’ (a personal concierge assigned to take care of guests’ needs) confirmed that I was in for the most pampering ride of my life. There was virtually nothing to do but lie back and watch the waves as my doting Docent unpacked my luggage, steamed the floral-print frock that I’d be wearing to dinner, and stocked cabinets with healthy snacks of my choice. After a restful slumber to the sound of the surf, I awoke at noon to find my Docent at my door with the morning paper and herbal tea, at my request. As a chronically late sleeper, I applauded the resort’s heat-activated sensors — alerting Docents and cleaning staff of when I was in and out of my room.
Later, when a client emailed a 20-page document to my iPad, my Docent arranged for the document to be printed. By day four, I found myself trying to figure out how to proposition my Docent to follow me home.
Food with a View: Azurea restaurant, the resort’s signature sea view eatery, wows from the moment you waltz through its bedazzling underwater-scene-corridor. As one of three AAA four-diamond awarded restaurants in Northeast Florida, Azurea impressed my well-seasoned palate with the melded flavors of Europe, the Caribbean and local fare. Best dishes: Start out with the Pacific Ahi Tuna Crudo, an appetizer that skillfully mingles crab meat with ripe mango, peppers and a citrus broth. Then, dive into the finale, Atlantic Sword Fish basted in Avocado Lime Butter.
Splashing Around Town
If you’re in the mood for water games, there are bicycle rentals for cycling along the shore, along with fishing, kayaking, surfing and jet-skiing. For those who prefer to remain landlocked, there’s golf at the Queen’s Harbour Yacht and Country Club, only four miles from the resort.
Pause for Pleasure
To experience The Spa at One Ocean Resort is a triumph of gradualism, a leisurely indulgent escape that’s paced for quiet reflection. The Spa at One Ocean Resort reigns as Northeast Florida’s sole full-service oceanfront spa. Floor-to-ceiling views of the plunging tide were enough to cast me into another galaxy as I decompressed in the spa’s meditation lounge. From a selection of more than 40 marine-inspired specialty treatments, I finally opted for the Ocean Mist Facial. And, yes, it’s as refreshing as the name implies. The hydrating treatment nourished my thirsty skin, following hours spent bliss-behaving on the beach. AT