Naples was the last stop on our Alternative Florida tour of the beautiful south western coast of Florida with Virgin Holidays. After pretty Sarasota, and the heavenly beaches of Fort Myers, it was time to head even further south to Naples. Here, we stayed in my favourite hotel, La Playa, an idyllic retreat right on the beach, and explored the coastline by boat.
Tumbling out of the bus, quite hot and tired after our road trip from Fort Myers, we couldn’t quite believe it when we stepped in to the beautiful, air conditioned luxury of La Playa Beach and Golf Resort. This 4.5 V rated hotel, nestling right on the Gulf of Mexico, is decorated in proper Old Florida style. After flumping down in the elegant lobby area (above) we didn’t really want to move, but more luxury was to come. My room was AMAZING, decorated in soft greens and muted florals, with an enormous marble wetroom, a massive bed (with Frette linen) and a huge balcony with a view of the sparkly white beach dotted with loungers and sunbeds.
After settling in, we headed out to explore Naples a bit more. This buzzy resort city really does have everything. There’s a seriously gorgeous beach (with a great, old fashioned pier where you can buy an ice cream and watch the fishermen), and loads of shopping (check out Tin City – an incredible tin-roofed location packed with shops and lovely seafood places to eat, right on the water). Next up, we hopped on to the very flash-looking Naples Princess for a cruise around Naples Bay. We did some fantastic spying into the gorgeous multi million pound properties in Port Royal, whilst sipping cocktails and watching dolphins flip and spin by the side of the boat.
After a bit of a chill out and a wander down the beach, it was time for dinner and we headed to Baleen at La Playa where I had the most incredible beef carpaccio with rocket, grain mustard aioli and truffle vinaigrette:
…followed by one of the best New York strip steaks I’ve ever eaten, with truffle mash, asparagus and brandy pink peppercorn sauce, nicely paired with a bottle of Ravenswood – one of my favourite wines!
The next morning, there was just time to enjoy a bit of a swim and relax by the pool before we headed down to Miami for our flight home. This was my favourite hotel of the trip and I’ll definitely be returning with my family to explore Naples.
A massive thank you to Barry and Maja for making our trip so enjoyable xx
14 nights in Florida with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights from London Gatwick direct to Orlando, seven nights room only accommodation at the 3V Disney’s All-Star Resorts and seven nights room only accommodation at the 4V+ La Playa Beach & Golf Resort and car hire starts from £1,079 per adult and £355 per child. Price is per person based on 2 adults and 2 children travelling and sharing a standard room and includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Price is based on a departure on November 16 2015. Disney’s 7 day Ultimate Ticket starts from £319 per adult ticket and £299 per child ticket (aged 3-9). Start your holiday before you’ve even taken off in the v-room at Gatwick Airport… adults £24.50, kids from £14. Virgin Holidays is a member of ABTA and is ATOL protected. To book: www.virginholidays.co.uk , 0844 557 3859 or visit one of our 126 stores located in Debenhams and House of Fraser stores nationwide.