— HOTELS IN ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA — The secret is out. St Augustine is one of the most charming places to visit in the United States, an extraordinary combination of beautiful scenery and antiquity. If you love architecture, history, and a gorgeous coastline—or even just one of the three—then St. Augustine is calling your name.
Situated along the Matanzas River, this ancient city stretches to the Atlantic Ocean near the State’s northeast corner. Often called “the greatest little city on the water,” one can enjoy the coastal waterways and sandy beaches within minutes of the city’s historic center.
Hotels in St. Augustine offer diverse choices. For a small city, they are impressive. From historic 5-star hotels and charming B&Bs to beach vacation rentals and everything in-between, you’ll find the perfect choice for you.
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Here is a small list of my favorite places to rest your head in St. Augustine.~ Sharon Kurtz
1. St. George Inn – St. Augustine
The St. George Inn offers European-style lodging in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic district. With 25 rooms and suites, many have balconies and views of the Bayfront, overlooking classic St. Augustine landmarks, including Castillo de San Marcos and the historic City Gate.
We loved sitting in the rocking chairs on our balcony overlooking Matanzas Bay as the early morning sun starts to illuminate the sparkling water. The central courtyard with a tinkling fountain is a pleasant place to stop and while away the time; also perfect for my morning warm, pillowy croissants and coffee at one of the umbrella-topped tables. St. George is definitely pet-friendly, as I often enjoyed seeing pampered pooches lounging next to their people in the comfortable courtyard. Evocative and timeless, the St. George Inn embodies Florida hospitality.
St. Augustine has a colorful four-century history, and legends of ghostly apparitions abound. St. George is just a stone’s throw from the Huguenot Cemetery and the City Gates, and both are said to be haunted. However, I didn’t experience anything spooky during my stay—or did I?
2. Casa Monica Resort & Spa
In a city filled with ancient layers and legends, the Casa Monica is one of the most distinctive boutique hotels in St. Augustine, immersing guests in the historical spirit of the city. It is nestled in St. Augustine’s historic district within walking distance to popular sites.
This iconic hotel first debuted in the gilded age. After a stint as the St. John County Courthouse in the 1960s, the hotel was purchased in the 90s and extensively renovated. Returned to its former glory, it was re-opened as the Casa Monica in 1999. The Casa Monica is now a Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection Hotel.
The Moorish Revival style is consistent throughout, with intricate balconies, red-tiled roofs, gold-leafed archways, and rich Spanish tapestries. The Spanish-villa-meets-Arabian-Nights theme creates a historic, romantic vibe. The hand-painted lobby with wooden beams and detailed frescos just oozes Old World charisma from its 1888 core.
The motif continues into the 138 guest rooms, with sumptuous wrought-iron four-poster beds mahogany furniture. With its leather couch and soaring ceiling, our comfortable room overlooked the Plaza de la Constitución, which led into the oldest center of St. Augustine.
The Cobalt Lounge with evening entertainment and signature craft cocktails was an inviting stop before dinner, at the on-site restaurant with its appetizing menu tempted me to stay in for the evening.
3. St. Francis Inn – St. Augustine
Old Florida charm permeates the St. Francis Inn, a historic downtown bed and breakfast in the city’s oldest quarter, part of the city’s dynamic history. The B&B, originally built in 1791, is often referred to as the town’s “oldest inn’.
A lodging site since 1845, The St. Francis Inn Bed and Breakfast offer 19 guest rooms uniquely decorated, and romance and beauty abound. It’s the perfect choice for couples looking for a cozy yet luxurious bed and breakfast stay. You will often hear the ‘clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages touring the neighborhoods’ narrow brick-paved streets from the inn, adding to the ambiance.
The walled courtyard is lovely, with its wrought-iron details, a peaceful and private respite when unwinding after a busy sightseeing day. The private pool next to the garden is enticing on a warm sunny day, calling out to guests to slow down and relax.
Fresh flowers, snacks, buffet breakfast, and free snacks are all plusses, just icing on the confection that is St. Francis Inn.
4. Casa de Sueños Bed & Breakfast
The Casa de Sueños is an intimate bed and breakfast inn over 250 years old, a well-known 18th-century haven for Native Americans, injured soldiers, and other travelers seeking shelter. Located on Cordova Street and a mere 5-minute walk to the waterfront, it is the seventh-oldest house on the oldest street in St. Augustine.
The inn’s name translates as “House of Dreams, and it is the ideal hideaway for newlyweds and couples looking for a romantic getaway. The Mediterranean styling of the Casa de Suenos is recognized by its archways, Palladian windows, open balconies, and tile roof—all setting the stage for serenity and coziness.
Boasting seven guest rooms, each is unique and distinctive, some with extra romantic touches that include private balconies. Guest amenities include hearty buffet breakfasts, evening socials, and a tennis court. This darling B&B has friendly innkeepers who understand the needs of travelers and strive to always exceed their expectations.
Cozy yet elegant, you will bask in gracious hospitality at the inn.
5. The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens
St. Augustine hotel, The Collector Luxury Inn and Gardens sit on the edge of St. Augustine’s Old Town, within easy walking distance of the city’s most celebrated attractions. The Collector’s 30 individually appointed rooms span nine historic buildings over a one-acre plot dating back to the late 18th century.
A hidden oasis on the historic district’s fringe, you are surrounded by peaceful surroundings that allow you to relax. The Collector is an adults-only property, making it ideal for a romantic getaway for two.
Once the home of the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, a beloved St. Augustine landmark dating back to 1790, The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens blends contemporary luxuries and amenities, a deep reverence for authenticity, and the quaint touches and personal service of bed and breakfast. The Collector ranks as one of St. Augustine’s most unique hotels, casting a magical spell on historians, storytellers, and modern-day explorers. History buffs love the Collector Inn.
Guests can enjoy a free walking tour to learn more about the property’s history. Its nods to the past with unique historical features coquina stone walls, period fireplaces, and refurbished hardwood floors. Centuries-old brick paths give way to lush gardens fragrant with honeysuckle and jasmine, perfect for outdoor cocktails.
6. Watermelon House
The newly opened oceanside historic Watermelon House is a luxury six-bedroom vacation home located on the Intracoastal Waterway on Crescent Beach in the pristine Matanzas Inlet, perfect for an extended family getaway. Located 14 miles south of St. Augustine, the house was constructed in 1890 and is the oldest home in Summer Haven. The Watermelon is a resort-inspired home, restored and upgraded with carefully appointed furnishings.
Built in the Flagler era, this historic mansion was the Mellon family winter home. This St. Augustine hotel hosted such prestigious guests as Eleanor Roosevelt, Ernest Hemmingway, Cary Grant, and Robert Frost. Originally built as a small inn, the home can comfortably sleep 16. The home is loaded with amenities, and you will enjoy beautiful ocean and river views from nearly every room in the house. The front porch boasts rocking chairs within sight of the stately fountain framed by swaying palm trees. The gracious foyer evokes feelings of an earlier genteel era characterized by long leisurely days. Guests experience what it was like to vacation in a more relaxed genteel era while enjoying all the modern amenities you might expect in a luxury rental. You may not want to leave, ever.
7. Homewood Suites
The newly built Homewood Suites by Hilton sits on the banks of the San Sebastian River and features 117 guest rooms. The deck and pool area, overlooking the hotel’s marina on the San Sebastian River, provides a secluded oasis to relax, swim, and enjoy the sun.
The family-friendly Homewood Suites are a very comfortable way to enjoy an extended stay in St. Augustine, providing all the comforts of home within each spacious suite. Each suite has a small kitchen with a fridge, stove-top, and microwave, and guests are encouraged to fire up the hotel’s outdoor grills to create a home-cooked meal by the pool. In addition, Homewood Suite’s pet-friendly policy enables you to bring your furry friend along.
The Hidden Harbor Marina is located on-site, and just across the river is the San Sebastian Winery. It is just a short 15-minute walk to the center of Historic Downtown, where one can enjoy St. Augustine’s historic attractions, dining, and unique shopping.
In a city where parking can sometimes be difficult, guests will enjoy leaving their car in the hotel’s covered garage. Walking or biking around downtown, Lincolnville, and Uptown areas is a breeze. In addition, Homewood Suites is only a short drive to many of the area’s beaches, parks, and attractions.
St. Augustine offers something for every type of traveler, no matter one’s age, lifestyle, budget, and likes.
A walkable city, St. Augustine allows visitors to absorb the personality and essence of this ancient city on foot and easily amble through over four centuries of history along the old narrow streets. With its beautiful beaches, rich and diverse history, and sizzling culinary scene, St. Augustine truly is one of the places that should be on your “Immediate Visit” list.
Home to over 1300 hotels and other accommodations, the choices seem endless. Whether you are looking to relax at the beach, sightsee until you drop, or accommodate a group of friends, you are sure to find the perfect lodging fit for you.
*Opening photo ©Floridas Historic Coast
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