December 3, 2022

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Unforgettable trip

St. Augustine hotel was named a ‘Best Resort in Florida’ by Travel + Leisure

One particular of St. Augustine’s most eclectic lodging houses has been listed among the “Leading 15 Ideal Resorts in Florida” by the readers of Journey + Leisure.

It can be not the to start with time The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens has produced the yearly listing, and it can be just just one of many accolades the resort has racked up since opening in 2017.

Check with normal supervisor Charlie Robles to what he attributes the resounding achievements of the property and he’ll tell you it is absolutely its uniqueness and historical character.

“I generally like to say you might be two blocks away from downtown but two hundreds of years absent from all the things else,” Robles stated.

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The inn encompasses 1 metropolis block with nine different buildings of varied architectural and style periods centered all-around a grassy courtyard which is lushly landscaped and includes fireplace pits, a pool, statues, a koi pond and fountains.

30 units (20 of them suites) are readily available and Robles stated The Collector is far more than 90% occupied 12 months spherical.

A photograph from the collection of the Library of Congress shows the Prince Murat House, on the corner of St. George and Bridge streets, in 1938. The house was built in 1790 and is now part of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens in St. Augustine.

A photograph from the collection of the Library of Congress shows the Prince Murat Property, on the corner of St. George and Bridge streets, in 1938. The home was developed in 1790 and is now element of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens in St. Augustine.

A storied earlier

The story of how the nine historic structures came to be tied together in a kind of enclave is as fascinating as the properties on their own.

Kenneth Worcester Dow, the only heir to the Dow family’s rewarding lumber organization, ordered the oldest household on the block, the 1790 Prince Murat Property, in the 1930s after slipping in adore with St. Augustine in his travels.

The construction is designed of coquina and, apart from some restoration function, seems incredibly significantly the way it did at the time when Dow and wife Mary welcomed standard houseguests, including famous writers and actors of the time.

A portrait of Kenneth Worcester Dow hangs in the lobby of The  Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Street in St. Augustine. Dow, who died in 2002 at the age of 90, was the former owner of the property and collected many of the antiques that decorated the museum.

A portrait of Kenneth Worcester Dow hangs in the foyer of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Road in St. Augustine. Dow, who died in 2002 at the age of 90, was the previous owner of the assets and collected several of the antiques that embellished the museum.

The Dows were passionate collectors of artwork, home furnishings and other antiques,

“They went to Europe about three or 4 occasions a 12 months and introduced back all types of things,” Robles explained.

By the early 1950s, Dow had acquired all 9 houses on the web site, some of which consist of a former boarding property a general retailer the home of famed author William Dean Howell and the Rose Household, named so for the reason that just one-time resident Jean Gordon, a renowned floral specialist, ran a “rose museum” at the assets.

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Surrounded by history

In addition to the residences, the 1 acre on which they sit was the internet site of several crucial chapters of St. Augustine heritage, including its use as a 16th century clinic (where amputated overall body sections were being recognized to be thrown out home windows, Robles noted) and cemetery an 18th century Spanish protection line and the setting for the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation examining that freed Florida’s slave inhabitants. Markers close to the assets provide more data, as does a tour free of charge to attendees led by docent Melissa Stuart.

The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Street in St. Augustine was named one of the Top 15 Best Resorts in Florida by Travel + Leisure magazine readers.

The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens on Cordova Street in St. Augustine was named one of the Top rated 15 Finest Resorts in Florida by Vacation + Leisure journal viewers.

In 1989, an aging Dow supplied to deed his whole assortment to the town of St. Augustine surprisingly, the town turned him down.

In its place, he donated the web page to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1989. Next an 11-12 months restoration, the Dow Museum of Historic Residences opened in 2000, showcasing the comprehensive collection.

In 2013, the house went up for sale, eventually staying purchased by David Corneal for $1.1 million, in accordance to Robles who observed it was in really operate-down issue at the time.

“It took near to five decades and $9 million to restore it for the reason that so considerably had to be fixed and changed,” Robles claimed.

The operate has naturally paid out off.

Prices for rooms, which include things like features like kitchenettes, transform-down service, each day breakfast and treats, get started at $229 (suites and peak periods drive up the price tag.)

The inn is well known with partners looking for a passionate getaway, family reunions, corporate escapes and travelers searching for a one of a kind, historic practical experience. Robles, who has a license to marry individuals, has officiated quite a several small (six company maximum) weddings.

The only 4 Diamond resort in downtown St. Augustine, Robles mentioned The Collector takes satisfaction in the individualized, hospitable expertise its personnel supplies.

The modern award by Journey + Leisure is just yet another feather in its cap. The Collector took the No. 5 spot of the Prime 15 Most effective Resorts in Florida, in the company of large hitters like the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island and the White Elephant in Palm Beach front.

The grounds of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, at 149 Cordova St., is open up to the public just about every initial Friday of the month, with dwell songs and refreshments accessible. 

This article initially appeared on St. Augustine Document: Collector Luxury Inn and Gardens can make ‘Best Resorts in Florida’ record