Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending a day and evening at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood Beach Florida with my mom and my sister, Kelci. Call it a staycation if you will being only a 45-minute drive from home. Here is a recap and review of my stay at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort.
The night my dad passed my sister, and I had already previously decided we would spend the night with my mom. During our ‘girls night,’ my mom had expressed a few things she wanted to do with us over the summer, and one of her requests was to stay a night at a resort on Hollywood Beach. I looked into checking out Margaritaville Resort in the past but had never gotten around to reserving a room, so when she told me she had wanted to stay at that particular resort, I was beyond floored.
If anyone is familiar with our family, they know about our love for Jimmy Buffett. Growing up my parents had every record followed by every CD he had ever released. He was the first concert I ever went to when I was eight years old at the old Miami Arena. Before Kelci was born, my Friday nights with Mom and Dad consisted of Dad cooking out for us while Mom and I danced to Jimmy’s music. I always felt as though Jimmy had a big part of raising me. So you see, it only felt fitting that my mom, sister and I stayed at his resort remembering my dad.
We drove up early on Sunday morning to get the most out of our day. Once in the front door of the lobby, you are immediately engulfed in “Jimmy Buffett’s world”. A 10-foot, shiny blue flip flop greeted us and a beautiful beach front mural made of tiles with the words, “No Passport Required” above it behind the reception desk. The staff at this resort was beyond friendly, and the reception clerk had our wristbands and the towel cards in hand in no time. It was too early to check in, so we made our way down the brightly lit corridor surrounded by parrots and palm fronds to the automatic glass sliding doors to pick up our complimentary hotel towels and hit the beach.
Your room at the hotel comes with two beach chaise lounge chairs and a large umbrella. For $10 we received a third chaise lounge for the day and made our way out to the sand. The beach staff carried out the extra chair and got us comfortably set up for the day.
It was 10:30 in the morning but being a “Clark on vacation” we were ready for a drink. We learned that the bar didn’t open until 11 so we cooled off in the water until then. Once 11 hit, Kelci and I walked up to the beach bar that the resort shares with the broad walk and ordered ourselves three drinks in Margaritaville blender style 22-ounce souvenir cups (isn’t bigger better?) along with a snack of tortilla chips, queso, and salsa to take back to the sand. The drinks were fantastic and on point! Mom and Kelci had Bama Breezes which were frozen rum drinks with a pina colada/mango flare, and I ordered a Livin’ It Up margarita on the rocks (love me some margaritas!).
It wasn’t soon after we received a call letting us know our room was ready. Wow, that was quick! Check in time was still a few hours away. We gathered up our belongings and headed inside. Once we checked in and got our bags from the car, we headed up the elevator to our room. This resort boasts 18 floors, and our room was on the 17th, so I was beyond excited to see our balcony views. Besides the Jimmy Buffett paraphernalia everywhere, the hotel has his quotes posted up throughout the hallways and lobby. When the elevator doors opened up to let us off on our floor “Shell’s Sink, Dreams Float, Life’s Good On Our Boat” stared right back at us. This quote is from his song, Delaney Talks To Statues. This song was the song Kelci had danced to with our father for her father/daughter dance at her wedding only five months earlier. Call it a sign, call it a coincidence, but the three of us smiled at this and thanked dad for being there with us.
Once in the room, the resort did not disappoint. Let’s just say the hotel is lucky I didn’t take anything back home with me (besides the note pad haha). The room was decorated beautifully in coastal decor, and the view was amazing. The beach front rooms were booked up that weekend but our room had the ocean front to the right and the Intracoastal waterway to the left. With a couple of wooden Adirondack chairs on the balcony and Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude printed throw pillows on the bed, we were right at home. We unpacked a few things, poured ourselves a few margarita’s, and headed back down to check out the pools.
Once back outside there was a huge resort style pool with slides and a large bar with an outdoor restaurant all to the left and a quieter and slightly smaller pool and bar to the right. With fewer kids splashing around, we made our way to the right. We grabbed a couple of pool lounges and re lathered up in sunscreen (sun safety people!).
Waitresses were walking around taking food and drink orders, so we took advantage and ordered Mahi fish tacos, a flat bread pizza with spicy Mexican shrimp, and a few Land Sharks. I am one picky fish taco connoisseur, but those tacos were DELICIOUS. This resort did not seem to have ‘let down’ in their blood. We devoured our lunch, and after we had spent a couple of hours lounging around and floating in the pool, we decided to go back upstairs to shower off and relax a bit. On our way up to the room, we stopped by their ‘Margaritaville’ restaurant to make dinner reservations.
After a bit of down time, we showered up in their over sized stand-up showers with rainfall style over head nozzles, had a couple of glasses of wine, and took a few selfies, we were back to life and ready to head down.
Off the lobby, they have their ‘fancy’ restaurant, JWB Prime Steak and Seafood that Kelci wanted us to check out with an elegant bar and Bou jee drinks as she calls it. She bought the three of us a round once we sat down. We had a Jamaica Mistaica which is a concoction of rum, French almond flavored syrup, orange liqueur, and a few other delicious ingredients (which was by far the best drink of the three), a mojito, and a The Perfect Partner which was a gin drink with notes of cucumber and watermelon. Our drinks were Bou jee all right!
Once we finished, we headed over to make the reservation we had for dinner. Walking into the main restaurant appropriately titled, Margaritaville, you immediately feel as though you are stepping back outside into an island oasis. There were booths set up as if you were sitting in fishing charters. There was a full plane over our heads with a map of the Caribbean islands had been painted on the ceiling. They have live music every night and our particular night was ‘90s grunge’.
We ordered a round of wine and split a few meals consisting of asiago crab dip with tortilla chips, coconut shrimp, and the seafood mac & cheese of shrimp and lump crab meat. We could have easily gotten away with ordering two meals, the appetizers and entrees were so big. Everything was beyond delicious.
After we finished our meals, we took a walk on the broad walk and then retired to our room. It was a Sunday night, and there was not a whole lot going on. We stayed up a while talking and enjoying each other’s company realizing this was the first time that just the three of us had taken a trip together.
The next morning before we checked out we headed back to the same restaurant from the night before and had a fantastic breakfast that could have fed us throughout the whole day. After breakfast we hit up the gift shop so I could pick up a few things for the house, and we headed home.
This little ‘staycation’ was such a good idea. The three of us needed it just to get away from it all for the night. The entire staff was beyond friendly, the drinks were delectable, and everything we ate was heavenly. Also, the fact that this resort is only a short 45-minute drive from my front door is a bonus. Thank you, Margaritaville! We will be back!