Hutchinson Island Will Have A New Oceanside Resort On The Site Of Former Holiday Inn
The site of the former Holiday Inn Oceanside on Hutchinson Island is being rediscovered as a luxury oceanfront resort.
The site at 3793 NE Ocean Blvd. has been shuttered for more than a decade—long enough to file the address away into the county archives for good. However, recently there’s been a hint of change in the local landscape.
Residents of Hutchinson Island may have noticed some dust in the air. Construction for the new Oceanside Resort, on the site of what used to be the Holiday Inn Oceanside, began at the end of last year. The former hotel was destroyed by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, both of which landed a direct hit on the Treasure Coast in 2004. The project is one of the latest by Delray Beach developer Ocean Properties Ltd., and is the first new resort to be built on Hutchinson Island in nearly 20 years. “We saw an opportunity to come in here and really improve the level of what existed there previously,” says Ocean Properties Vice President Mark Walsh.
Walsh and his team stripped the existing structure down to the concrete. They completely tore down the commercial space in the middle of the site, opting for new build of certain areas in addition to renovation. The vision includes building a luxury property worthy of a AAA Four Diamond rating. But gaining that status isn’t as easy as throwing a coat of paint on new walls. The selection process is rigorous—the rating is only awarded to properties that meet a strict set of criteria. Inspectors show up unannounced to evaluate the properties, meaning hotel operators must stay on their toes at all times. “You have to build a really high-level product and run it at a high level,” Walsh explains. “That’s our goal, to be at that level.”
The experience will be far removed from the trendy beachside resorts of Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The attraction of the Jensen Beach location is in its subtle charm rather than as an upscale international destination. The experience is tailored more toward those seeking relaxation and calm rather than the throngs of people found further south. The appeal of Martin County is more in the quaint elements, and the Oceanside Resort aims to emulate that in style.
The aesthetic of the resort is described as elegant, inspired by elements of Old Florida and Bermuda. The emphasis is placed on maintaining comfort in an upscale setting. The architectural lines of the facade are designed to be inviting while still making a strong statement upon arrival. “It’ll be real impressive when you drive up,” Walsh says. It’s a delicate combination of luxury and approachability, with neither one being allowed to take precedence. The effect will be a landmark property that could become a magnet for tourism.
With 184 rooms, the Oceanside Resort has the potential to bring a number of new visitors to the Treasure Coast. The property will also feature an oceanfront restaurant, two pools, a signature spa and 8,000 square feet of meeting space. These amenities paired with a stunning beachfront location create an ideal vacation spot that should appeal to many.
And the hotel is not the only one expected to benefit from an influx of visitors. Local businesses will also feel the positive effects. The resort is a mere three miles from downtown Jensen Beach, and only eight miles from downtown Stuart. Both historic areas offer visitors a wealth of options for shopping, dining and drinking in an authentic, small-town atmosphere. “We’re counting on a lot of support from nearby,” Walsh says. And this support is not expected to come from just the immediate local activities.
As anyone in the county will tell you, the greater Stuart area benefits from the calmness of being a less populated town on the border of one of Florida’s most popular counties. Palm Beach and all its glamour are less than an hour away, allowing for the allure of culture without having to holiday among the crowds. The locals have benefited from this proximity for years, especially as Palm Beach County continues to revive its downtown areas.
Ocean Properties Ltd. is no newcomer to the South Florida hospitality industry. Its portfolio includes more than 40 properties in the state of Florida, located on both coasts and primarily south of Orlando. The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards winner of Number One Resort, the Sunset Key Cottages in Key West, is under the company’s ownership and care. Thirty-three other properties across the Northeast and Southwest complete its U.S. portfolio, and an additional 58 in Canada.
The Oceanside Resort is expected to open in early 2017, with the hopes of shedding new light on a sometimes overlooked strip of the Florida coastline. “[It’s a] little quieter—a vacation where you can see something different,” Walsh says.