Recently, I have adopted a more European philosophy when it comes to living life. I have made it a point to vacation, even if it is just for a short few days, every month. I feel that it helps to keep your stress level to a minimum by allowing you to take a break from the daily grind of life. Vacations are a great time to reconnect with your family and sometimes, even learn a little. I am fortunate enough to live fairly close to some amazing towns, so a staycation or a near staycation is a viable option for us fairly often.
This trip, we traveled to St. Augustine to experience the Rags To Riches package. This package is a collaboration between the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum and the Casa Monica Hotel. My kids, ages 2 and 4, had a blast navigating through the belly of the ship, steering the boat, and coming face to face with a real pirate!
Now through Feb. 7, 2013, guests who book a stay of one night or more at Casa Monica Hotel, will receive admission to the awe-inspiring St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, as well as a few extras for the family. Starting at $309 per night, guests enjoy accommodations for two at Casa Monica Hotel, valet parking, breakfast at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, 95 Cordova, admission to the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum and an authentic ‘Pieces of Eight’ necklace from the museum’s new ‘Authentics’ line of artifacts and treasures. Welcome drinks of Captain Morgan Rum Punch are also included. Travelers can book now by referencing “Rogues, Romance & Riches” when calling (888) 213-8903 or online by entering promo code: EB6 *Offer is based on availability. Certain blackout dates may apply.
The Casa Monica Hotel was a beautiful hotel nestled right in the heart of the Oldest Town in Florida right across from Flagler College. I could not have picked a better location for our stay. We were within walking distance from the best restaurants, top-notch transportation, and attractions galore. When ever we found ourselves needing to take a trolley the stop was right at the door step. The hotel decor was amazing as you can tell just from the bench and wall hangings in front of the elevator. Plush pillows decorated the hallways and inside the rooms. Romance was in the air for I noticed at least a few couples on their honeymoon. What a beautiful place to come to on such a joyous occasion. You can even check out the Casa Monica Wedding Gallery to see just how joyous it is!
As beautiful as the hotel is for honeymooners and young ones in love, it was perfect for my family. I felt like we were surrounded by such a rich history, I knew my kids would enjoy their time. I love it when you can teach and have fun at the same time. However, the first night we arrived, we were simply too tired after a five-hour-drive. We just wanted to relax for a few before heading out on the town. Fortunately, the Casa Monica Hotel is home to the 95 Cordova restaurant. The meals were excellent and reasonably priced. We were able to experience New World and Middle Eastern fare right in the comfort of our own room, and the kids were able to have grilled cheese and gourmet pizza.
As a historic landmark centered in the nation’s oldest city, Casa Monica Hotel is St. Augustine’s only AAA Four-Diamond accommodation and is a constant favorite among locals, visitors and celebrities. It is not hard to see why the Casa Monica Hotel is such a favorite. Just look at the view from my room, and from the moment I entered to the moment I left, the customer service was exemplary. I was treated with importance and with respect which is amazing when you have two toddlers in tow. The staff was friendly to the kids and always greeted us with a smile. Sometimes when you travel with young ones that is not the case, but the staff at the Casa Monica exceeded my expectations. Often children are overlooked, but every single staff member we passed said hello, welcome, or how can we help you. I just love feeling like a wanted guest.
Fully restored in 1999, the rich history of the iconic landmark shines through with impressive fortress-like architecture as it majestically overlooks the downtown district and Matanzas Bay. Culture, worldly flavor and art combine at the historic hotel, inspiring unforgettable beauty and alluring discerning travelers, such as celebrities, artists, musicians and political figures – similar to the guest list more than a century ago. The 138 timeless guestrooms and suites transport visitors back to an era of old world charm among Spanish-style romanticism, with custom designed interiors, including classical furnishings with gold accents and plush red velvet tufted headboards.
On the second floor in the courtyard was a heated outdoor pool, lounging cabanas and a whirlpool if you wanted to “stay in.” There was also an in-house Starbucks and Starbucks was served in the room. Wi-fi, concierge service and European dining were also available amenities. The kids were really excited about the Pirate Museum. Below is a short video featuring some of my favorite pictures of the trip. Take a look! It is an interactive video where you can play with the different features, explore the map and visit the urls. It is around a minute long.