The South presents a number of appealing options for vacationing, with its warm breezes drawing families, couples and wedding parties to bustling, dynamic cities like New Orleans, Miami and Orlando. For those looking for a more laid-back time, the calm beaches along the coast play host to countless resorts. Many of these resorts are attracting a new clientele: business people looking for a creative space for meetings, conventions, and events. With many in upper management growing tired of the drab backgrounds of traditional convention centers and urban hotels near airports, the trend toward doing business on the beach is growing. One Ocean Resort & Spa stands out. The resort is perfectly located, opulently equipped, and capable of accommodating a romantic getaway, a family reunion, or a company-wide quarterly meeting with equal aplomb. Northeast Florida’s premiere beachfront destination boasts a spa, a gourmet restaurant, and countless other amenities, all perfectly located along Atlantic Beach, just 15 minutes from downtown Jacksonville.
While many vacation spots force you to compromise one aspect of your experience (dining, swimming, urban exploration) for another, One Ocean seems dedicated to going above and beyond to give you an all-encompassing experience. The resort, whose tagline states “Always in Your Element,” is located along a beautiful stretch of Atlantic Beach. Temperatures remain comfortably cool there, even in the throes of summer, and positively balmy in winter. The ideal year-round climate is only one advantage of the location; One Ocean is also a short half hour from the Jacksonville airport and even closer to downtown Jacksonville, a center for nightlife, shopping, and entertainment. Tour the Budweiser Brewery, or, during football season, snag a few tickets to a Jaguars game. The resort is also only four miles from the Queen’s Harbour Yacht and Country Club, home of the acclaimed Mark McCumber Royal Golf Course. Elsewhere in the area you can rent a boat, kayak, or jet ski, hop on a quick ship cruise or ride horseback along the beach. Helicopter and bike tours, birding and hiking expeditions, and tours of historical St. Augustine are also available.
Want to hang out even closer to the hotel? One Ocean is a short walk from Beaches Town Center, where Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach meet. The area is perfect for pedestrians, with beautiful architecture and a rustic atmosphere, and cobblestone paths winding between bricked courtyards and quaintly housed businesses. Offsetting the old-school vibe, there are 15 distinctly modern options for dining and drinking, with three pizza spots, upscale seafood restaurants, and a few bars and coffee shops thrown in for good measure. Add in 20 offbeat shopping outlets, from framing galleries and bookstores to upscale clothing boutiques, and there’s hardly a reason to leave.
Hardly a reason, that is, until you consider what waits back at One Ocean. In addition to fantastic rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, 42-inch entertainment centers, and luxury bath products, the resort is equipped with the only full-service oceanfront spa in the area. Enjoy luxurious spa treatments with gorgeous panoramic views of the ocean, including specialized massages and ocean-inspired therapies. Offering a sensory-stimulating journey in an intimate setting, The Spa offers more than 40 marine-themed rituals comprised of specialty treatments, exceptional massage styles, body wraps, peels, facials and more. Separate men’s and women’s lounges are also available to ensure a relaxing experience for all, while the meditation lounge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean allows guests the chance to share the experience with others in a calm atmosphere. The Spa at One Ocean is the perfect place to wind down after a long day of business.
Which brings us to the resort’s event amenities. Perfect for wedding receptions (they hold around 75 weddings a year) and corporate gatherings alike, the huge space includes a conference room, a boardroom and a large ballroom, all conveniently located near the lobby. All in all, One Ocean has over 10,500 square feet of meeting space. The rooms are fitted with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, complimentary pencils and paper and high-speed Wi-Fi, making tech headaches a thing of the past. Banquet functions are also welcome, with synchronized service so all guests can be served simultaneously.
Another huge One Ocean feature is the resort’s docent program. More than mere concierges, docents act as intuitive hosts, packing and unpacking items, steaming garments, shining shoes, stocking amenity cabinets with items personally selected by visitors and delivering hot beverages of choice each morning. Any issues or requests can be handled immediately with a word to your assigned docent, who can also help arrange reservations and provide recommendations on a moment’s notice.
Food is another highlight of One Ocean’s appeal. The pool is equipped with a great bar and grill, and 24-hour room service is a given, but the real draw is Azuréa, the resort’s on-site gourmet restaurant. An intimate space with beautiful décor, Azuréa is located on the beach with a stunning view of the ocean. Chef Jay Mendoza takes the region’s best seasonal ingredients and combines them with creative European flavors, earning accolades from gourmets across the Gulf for his grill-centric menu. As expected, the seafood is fresh and vibrant. The First Coast crab sandwich, Atlantic Beach fish tacos and pan-seared scallops are all fantastic, while an adventurous diner might be inclined to try the grilled Portuguese octopus. Land-lubbers can stick with braised short ribs or hearty burgers. The restaurant’s lounge is equally luxurious, with ocean-inspired cocktails and an outdoor veranda area.
There are too many other features at One Ocean to list here: wellness classes, a fitness center, surfing, premium showerheads, you name it. Equally well-appointed for 500 businessmen or two newlyweds, the resort has earned accolades from Trip Advisor, Travel & Leisure Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Florida Travel + Life, who draw attention to the resort’s commitment to “finding imaginative and innovative methods for conserving natural resources.” The sunny resort is rapidly earning a reputation as Florida’s best luxury resort and spa, as well as a fantastic destination for corporate events. One Ocean was even recognized on the prestigious 2016 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards list, ranking number five out of the Top 20 resorts in Florida on the Atlantic Coast. Booking information and a more thorough list of the hotel’s myriad amenities are available at oneocearresort.com, or by calling 904-249-7402.