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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Casa Marina: Something old, new, borrowed and blue


Private beachside cabanas at Casa Marina

Something borrowed

Two years ago, Casa Marina became part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection. It shares amenities with its sister Waldorf Astoria hotel, the Reach, a couple of blocks away.

It, too, has a private beach, a pier, a swimming pool and the Strip House restaurant, known for its steaks and fresh seafood.

“I like to say we are eight stars and eight diamonds,” said Silverman. “But that’s actually four stars and four diamonds at each of the two properties.”

The Casa Marina is within walking distance of downtown (a 30- to 45-minute walk to Mallory Square) but is on the quiet side of the island.

“You can come here for a meeting and meet your objectives, and then head to downtown,” said Silverman. “After playing for a while, you can come back to our side, which is mostly adult and refined. It’s quite an experience.”

Then again, guests never have to leave the hotel because it provides plenty of activities.

Afternoons could be spent having a massage in a private cabana on the beach or reading a book while lounging in one of many hammocks. Friends can gather around two fire pits, recent additions, or play ping-pong or volleyball on the beach. Nearby, there is always a large sand sculpture, and groups can have their logo incorporated into the sculpture.

A poolside service called H2O Concierge hands out samples of the daily drink special and frozen eucalyptus towels. Popsicles are served each afternoon at 2.

A water sport/activity company on the beach rents everything from bicycles and scooters to snorkel gear. Charter scuba-diving trips, fishing trips, private boat charters and sunset sail trips leave from the pier in front of the property.

With all Casa Marina offers, Joseph Violi, the new general manager, knows exactly what makes it special.

“Service is our product,” he said. “Other hotels can have the same carpet or couch, but what sets us apart is how we treat our guests.”

And with a glance outside, he said, “Oh yes, we do have phenomenal physical assets. We have Mr. Flagler to thank for that.”