A few weeks back, JSG took a different kind of trip. See, usually we’re the cruise director for our group—making dinner ressies, mapping out the shopping itinerary and generally running the show. This time, we were along for the ride, and we gotta tell you, we kinda liked it.
For starters, we ended up in the sleepy beach town of Anna Maria Island, Florida (about an hour from Tampa). We stayed with our friends in the gorgeous Tidemark Beach resort.
With 14 suites, it was practically built for a large girls’ trip—think reunion with your best college buds. We’re typically the type to bunk up in swank hotels—but the Tidemark had all the amenities of a Four Season and then some: It’s situated directly on the beach and the heartbreaking views (see above), comfy beds, Aveda toiletries, iPod docks and Bose sound system had us longing to trade in our Manhattan digs. The kitchens (below) are fully stocked with everything from pots and pans to margarita glasses and a blender to a full complement of spices, should you get the urge to cook—JSG even fired up the grill one night. (Well, actually our friend J did. As an avowed city girl we have no clue how to work those things.)
The only downside to the property, there’s not a full length mirror in the joint. We found ourselves going outside to look at our reflection in the glass door to make sure our shoes matched. (This isn’t the only new property with this problem, as the Standard New York reportedly is lacking mirrors. Obv a man designed these rooms.) We have it on good authority that this situation is being rectified ASAP.
One of Florida’s top restaurants, Beach Bistro, is conveniently located across the street. According to Wine Spectator it has “one of the best wine lists in the world,” so it’s especially key to be able to walk home. Be sure to try the addictive lobster escargot.
There’s not much nightlife to speak of within easy driving distance, so JSG recommends you bring your own (good friends, good music and lots of booze at the beach always add up to a good time). This trip was an attitude adjustment for us: We’re not about to start trumpeting a staycation, but perhaps a more low-key trip without red velvet ropes and $20 drinks is exactly what we all need right now.