Amelia Islander Magazine: A New Chapter
Originally published by Amelia Islander Magazine
By: Teri Sopp, photos courtesy of The Amelia Island Club
A NEW CHAPTER
With a complete renovation and expansion, The Amelia Island Club’s Ocean Clubhouse will have three restaurants, an oceanview terrace, and a large event space.
The member-owned Amelia Island Club is moving forward with renovations to its beautiful Ocean Clubhouse this summer and fall, while continuing to offer golf and hospitality at its Long Point Clubhouse. The 1,200-member club owns both the Ocean Clubhouse within the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and the Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole golf course and clubhouse at Long Point, both located on the south end of Amelia Island.
The club, which was spun off from the Amelia Island Company in 2010, continues to delight members and guests. Ground was broken for the ten million dollar renovation and expansion of the Ocean Clubhouse in November 2018. Members, who had a great deal of input into the renovation, wanted to keep the clubhouse’s same semi-circular footprint overlooking the ocean, as well as the large poolscape with adult and child pools. Nestled in the dunes, the expanded facility will re-open in early 2020.
The existing building, which was completely gutted, will have three restaurants and an entirely new ballroom/event space when completed. Brand new kitchen facilities in the middle of the building will serve restaurants located at each end. Ervin Lovett Miller served as the project architect, and Winter Park’s Ansana Design is handling interior design.
The Sea Oats Café will serve the beach and pool area downstairs. An expanded restaurant and pool bar will replace the old “hamburger and hotdog stand.” A “mini sports bar” will be added to enjoy a drink while watching a game, and food and drinks can be ordered from the beach as well. An upstairs terrace will feature dining and relaxation space. Ocean 5 Restaurant, an elegant ocean-view restaurant, will—by member demand—retain its same footprint. A third restaurant, patterned after a seaside resort in Portugal and yet to be named, will offer a casual bar and dining area.
“The clubhouse interior will be increased from 16,000 air-conditioned feet of space to 23,000,” says David Shepler, General Manager and Chief Operating officer of The Amelia Island Club. The new addition to the clubhouse is The Palmetto Room, a multi-use ballroom and function room, which will have eleven-foot tall windows, high ceilings, and an outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean. The terrace will feature a grand staircase to the oceanside lawn.
“This will be a location for memorable events,” says Membership Director Donna Bilger. The space will also have a small gathering room downstairs, available for use as a bridal dressing room.
“We really took advantage of the natural environment in reshaping the Ocean Clubhouse,” says Bilger. “Members wanted more casual outdoor dining, for a laid-back luxury. The club really will be a showcase on the island. There will be nothing like it in Northeast Florida.” Bilger notes that Amelia Island Club members are like family, and treat the club as their second home, sharing time with children or grandchildren.
During the renovation, Amelia Island Club members are able to enjoy the Long Point Club and its amenities. Bilger explained that the members of The Amelia Island Club also have access to the spa and tennis courts at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. “There is a wonderful fitness center with an indoor pool and a beautiful spa,” she says. “Because Amelia Island has so many full-time homeowners, there isn’t really a ‘season’ at our clubs,” she says. “We have activities year round for the families of all our embers.”
Bilger notes that anyone can join The Amelia Island Club; it is not necessary to live in Amelia Island Plantation. She also says that as owners of the club, all members are committed to the maintenance and growth. The renovation and expansion insures that The Amelia Island Club will provide wonderful memories for years to come. For more information, contact Donna Bilger at (904) 277-5933.