Casablanca Inn, St. Augustine, FL
While heading to Miami to celebrate my “oldest” childhood friend’s birthday we decided to make a stop in St Augustine. We usually are in such a rush that we drive straight through, missing some wonderful places along the way. I had heard about St Augustine all my life. My paternal grandparents honeymooned there and most of my family has visited. As I write this article, I am so grateful that we made the stop, given about a week later hurricane Irma would make her presence known. We sincerely hope the best for all the people and places we saw and loved on our short visit.
We arrived in St Augustine early afternoon and checked in at the Casablanca Inn www.casablancainn.com. Built in 1914 this Mediterranean Revival Inn has been welcoming guests its’ entire life. It could very well have been where my grandparents stayed, or at least strolled by, when walking along the Bay Front. The rooms are well restored with comfortable furnishings. Room 11, where we stayed, had an outside entrance off the second floor balcony and a partial view of the bay. It was nice having the option to enter the room either from the main entrance of the inn or from the loading zone in the back. Casablanca Inn offers free parking a few blocks away, and you can pull into the service area to load and unload your luggage.
The staff at Casablanca Inn is very friendly and professional. They went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable, and we felt right at home. Casablanca Inn offers a lot of amenities and perks for the price. They have good quality toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soaps), good linens and towels, and I especially liked the black embroidered face cloth that said “makeup” - nice touch and a good way to keep the white towels from staining. They have luxurious robes hanging in the bathroom. I will say that the 3 showerheads in the tiny shower did make for interesting maneuvering.
Included in your stay is a credit for Tini Martini which makes some amazing martinis from 4 to closing. Served in the Martini Shaker they are cold and plentiful. I had a lemon martini at happy hour and we capped off our evening out by splitting a chocolate martini for dessert. Also included is a credit for breakfast at Brunch. They use their porch, bar area and kitchen wisely. Morning and afternoon Tini Martini Bar is Brunch a breakfast and lunch spot. We were very pleased with our breakfast, the menu has wonderful options including an very interesting and delicious home-made hash. This hash is pulled beef that has been slow cooked all night, served along with home fried potatoes and eggs any style. It was an excellent way to start the day, with a view of the bay and wonderful service.
Before breakfast we were offered a cup of coffee to take on our morning walk. It is a short walk to the fort from the hotel, and it was a lovely way to enjoy the early morning sun coming over the island and fort, sharing the scene with only the occasional walker or early morning jogger.
The front desk is also more than willing to contact the trolley and arrange for them to pick you up in front of the inn. We instead decided to wander off into the historic district and eventually did hop on the trolley for a tour. The trolley system may seem touristy but it is a great way to enjoy the historical district in warm weather and you are encouraged to hop on and off as much as you like.
We will return to St Augustine at some point. A few people suggested that January was a good time to visity. The weather is cooler, there are fewer visitors and the Christmas lights are all still shining brightly for the entire month. With great restaurants, shops and scenery we will be back to Casablanca Inn.