Best Tennis Resort in FL?

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by Blask, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    Hey Everyone

    I'm looking to schedule a mini vacation some time around May or June 2009. I definitely want to head to a 'tennis resort" so I can hit during the days and hopefully take part in clinics or a camp of some sort. Does anyone have any favorite spots they can recommend I visit or avoid?

    My wife would be traveling with me. We are in our late 20's/early 30's. She doesn't play tennis but would enjoy a good beach or pool atmosphere, nice spa, a little nightlife, etc.

    I'll take any suggestions!

    Thanks
     
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  2. Jimmyt

    Jimmyt Rookie

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    Hi , I've been to the colony a few times and have always had a great time, good tennis, and many extras... the dates your going should be great weather... i think tennis magazine recently listed the top resorts and some were in florida ...good luck
     
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  3. Chris De Tone

    Chris De Tone Rookie

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    Yeah, The Colony is OK. Great for tennis, but the nightlife? You two are young...the Longboat Key area is not exactly a hotbed for happening events. I live near Tampa and I have played all over Florida because I, like everyone else on these boards, love tennis. However, if you want to go all out...go to Key Biscayne (Ritz Carlton)...great tennis at the hotel and Crandon Park...home of the Miami Masters Series event, and nightlife (South Beach is pretty close). Then, you will be happy and so will your wife (that does not play tennis). I am married too and believe me, if I was single I'd go for just the tennis...but now, I have to plan for what we BOTH like. Either that, or find a good divorce lawyer...just in case! Kidding, of course. Or am I? Good luck!
     
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  4. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    Yeah I definitely would go do just tennis if it weren't for her but I want her to have as much fun as I do, so I want to be close to restaurants, shopping, beach or pool etc.

    A lot of people on here are pretty high on Saddlebrook... how does that compare to the Ritz down in Miami?
     
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  5. Chris De Tone

    Chris De Tone Rookie

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    Well, Blask...Saddlebrook is awesome for tennis. Plus, you may run into the Bryans, Blake, Fish, Etc. That would be nice! The reason that I said Ritz in Miami is because of the nightlife. Saddlebrook is in a rural part pf Florida, about 30 minutes north of Tampa. But, the resort is top-notch. Your wife would love the dining and spa...mine does! It is a great option. I hope that whatever you choose, you enjoy your trip..tennis and otherwise. Take care!
     
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  6. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Chris,

    How does the Ritz in MIami compare in price to Saddlebrook? Just by name itself I would imagine the Ritz would be very pricey. I don't mind dropping some coin on this trip but I don't want to go overboard. Also, how does the tennis instruction and programs compare? I want to get as much tennis in over the vacation as possible.

    THanks again
     
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  7. Chris De Tone

    Chris De Tone Rookie

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    In my opinion, the tennis is far superior at Saddlebrook. Don't forget...top juniors and seasoned pros rain there year round. To stay there is less (probably much less) than the Ritz. The Ritz is Cliff Drysdale's place. They have good programs...and he setting is beautiful. Right on the water...top class all the way. But, as a fellow tennis nut...I would go to Saddlebrook. Great spa, great dining, great pool, great tennis. But, remember, you are in the middle of nowhere. Outside of Saddlebrook, there is nothing. You would have to drive to Tampa or the beaches for a diversion. Miami is Miami...just crazy! But fun and wild...depends what you want to go for...check there websites too!
     
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  8. Chris De Tone

    Chris De Tone Rookie

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    "train" there...I hate laptops with little keyboards!
     
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  9. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Chris - I've been to Miami a few times for fun, never for tennis. Miami is absolutely crazy,maybe too crazy for me to focus on tennis. I see myself partying more than playing tennis so Saddlebrook could be the better place for me.
     
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  10. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Is that Saddlebrook resorts and tennis academy really worth as advertized ?? i only been to Bolletieri's, so i can't really compare the two ???
     
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  11. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

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    I feel like the duck in the AFLAC commercial after reading this post. HUH.....It seems like Dr. Fedace is the love child of Yogi Berra and Charro.
     
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  12. Chris De Tone

    Chris De Tone Rookie

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    Just to add...I see that Fedace mentioned Bolletieri Academy. No question, great for tennis. We know his track record. But Blask is also looking for vacation/points of interest for he and his wife. Bolletieri's is pure tennis...boot camp for tennis. There is no spa, dining, etc. That is why I mentioned Saddlebrook or Miami. When you are married, you have to figure out a way to compromise, while still getting your tennis fix in! After all, dep down WE know that it's all about the tennis...but you still have to play your cards right with your wife. When I was single, I would pop over to Miami and play tennis, Saddlebrook and play tennis, Bolletieri and play tennis, etc. Ah, those were the days...I'm tearing up. But, whatever you choose...make sure that they have the tennis programs/game matching you want, plus a little somethin' for the wife...and it fits your budget. I have enjoyed posting with you about this...I hope it helps in some small way. Take care.
     
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  13. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Chris, it's definitely been a help. Glad I could stir up some memories for you of your single days!! I've only been married a month so I have a lot to learn
     
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  14. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Blask-what part of the country are you coming from? Any chance of going earlier in May vs. in June when it is much hotter?
     
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  15. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    I am coming from Central Virginia. I will be going in the May-June range. I normally try to schedule things in that time before the summer rush hits at work.
     
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  16. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Blask-check out tennisresortsonline.com. Definitely do not go to Saddlebrook-great for tennis but no ocean or nightlife/shopping-I don't think your new bride would be happy. I am not high on the Colony-dated and over priced, no night life. Check out the Boca Resort-excellent tennis, action, nightlife, shopping near by at Mizner Park. Also, Naples is excellent-several resorts to choose from. Also, Ponte Vedra Inn is excellent but pricey. Remember, for tennis it only takes one quality pro to hit with to make your tennis worthwhile. If you stay at Boca Resort, to save alot of money, stay in a basic room in the main hotel because you will be spending very little time in the room. Also, in Naples or Miami, you don't have to stay at the pricey tennis resorts to have access to them-pick a less expensive hotel , so long as you have access to the beach and a nearby tennis facility. I would look seriously at either Naples, Boca, or South Beach.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
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  17. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Blask-why the duplicate threads? Did you ever take the time to check out tennisresortsonline.com-best info for what your looking for.
     
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  18. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You can't go wrong with any of the suggestions. Night life is a relative term. Nightclubs? Well that would be Miami first, Tampa a distant second.

    But I think you may be thinking restaurants, perhaps a piano bar type night. If so, you can go Longboat Key Club or the Colony, and pop over to Sarasota for restaurants and some night life. Longboat Key is an older persons town but the resorts get the younger set also.

    Naples is a very old person's town but again, the resorts get a blend of ages.

    Boca Raton has a nice mix and the Boca Resort is amazing.

    Saddlebrook is a self contained great resort, and you can go down to Tampa for the nightlife in about 30 minutes.

    Nick B's place would be more hardcore and some parts of Bradenton are rough if you happen to lose your way.

    The pan handle has some amazing resorts and has great weather in May/June. TOPS'L in Destin is among the best. Some decent restaurants in the area.
     
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  19. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    These were posted a few weeks apart , but I apologize for the duplicates on a similar topic

    We will be taking a vacation and want to include tennis, we can basically stay anywhere on the east coast and still keep the trip simple and worth while. That is why I am looking at FL and SC or anything in between.

    I will also be heading to FL on a separate trip to visit some friends so we might stay down in FL for a week and go to a resort that has nice facilities.

    I have been to tennisresortsonline.com many times thanks. I do prefer to get more detailed information from people on TW as it normally is a bit more accurate.
     
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  20. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

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    Saddlebrook has it all...and it's close to a lot of other attractions as well as Tampa if you and your wife are interested in doing things other than tennis and relaxing :). The tennis there is OK, I can't say I was too impressed with the instruction, but other than that, the courts are abundant, the weather beautiful, and the pools and spa are top notch.
     
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  21. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Blask-how long are you looking to stay? At night, are you and your wife more inclined to have a long dinner and relax after a active day and go to bed relatively early(11:00-12:00) or are you partiers looking for live bands, busy night life and staying out to 2:00 am and sleeping in?
     
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  22. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    We're right in the middle - normally go out for really nice dinners, have a few drinks, listen to live music or whatever entertainment is around, relax doing whatever is around town. We normally don't go on vacations looking to close down bars at 3AM (especially if I have early tennis the next morning). Neither one of us really look to sleep in - we would rather get up, do some things to enjoy the local area and then take a nap at the pool/beach later in the day to recharge before the night. So to answer your question, we aren't crazy partiers but we don't like going to bed at 10pm either.
     
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  23. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Blask-how long are you looking to stay? Also, approximately how much is your budget for air, lodging, meals, ect. It looks like you are planning to drive, yes? What is your frame of reference based on past trips/vacations-where did you go on your honeymoon, or other trips that you really liked? Besides tennis , what is your most important criteria-especially your wife's interest. I always follow the matra-if your wife/girl friend is happy you will be happy!
     
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  24. drgolder

    drgolder New User

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    If you are wanting nice facilities, Do not go to the Colony. It is very old and the beach has the roughest sand in the area. I would choose Destin or Miami. Never been to Saddlebrook.
     
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  25. Blask

    Blask Semi-Pro

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    The trip will be 4-5 days.

    As for budget - I don't have one and rarely ever do for vacations. It's the few times a year we can get away from the busy stresses of work so i don't really worry about a budget when on vacation. If we want to drop a few hundred on dinner, that's great. If not, so be it. We tend to eat wherever people recommend, regardless if it's luxury or a burger stand. I do however prefer not to spend $400 a night on a hotel room that doesn't offer more than a bed. That just seems like a waste to me.

    Wife's interest - spa, nice beach and pool w/ good weather, shopping, good food.

    Frame of reference from past vacations - I always tend to go where there is warm weather and beaches - Different parts of FL (miami, jacksonville, west palm), been to Hawaii, mexico , beaches in NC, etc
     
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  26. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Blask-I think I can offer a broad perspective on where to possibly stay based on my travel experiences and what I think your looking for. Key for me when going on vacation is price/performance ratio-overall value. What do you get for what you pay. Ideally, I want the "most" for the "least"-best bang for the buck! This doesn't mean I want the cheapest vacation, but rather the best overall value, but I have paid top dollar for certain areas. Key criteria for me is overall ambiance-critical, food/restaurants, beauty-particular the beach/pool area and surrounding area/island, non touristy-huge issue, somewhat remote(not always) classy, access to good tennis(not always), nice accommodations, night life(not key, tend to have cocktail time and long dinners) ect. I am always checking out new places when in the area and comparing overall value to my past vacations-I love to travel and do a fair amount of research , looking for fun trips based on my needs and budget.

    Tennis resorts online is a good resource but I wouldn't base my vacation strictly on the top tennis resorts, and some of the resorts listed do not meet my price/performance criteria like Rancho Valencia,and Colony, Some of the places I have stayed at for personal/business: Saddlebrook, Kiawah, Shipyard Plantation, Crown Plaza-Hilton Head, Ritz Carlton-Naples, Kapalua, and Amelia Island,Greenbrier,El Conquistador Resort-Puerto Rico,Boca Raton resort, Rancho Valencia,Colony beach resort,Jamaica, St. Barths, Bermuda, Puerta Vallarta, Kanaupala Beach,Paris-french open, Barcelona-tennis tournament, Casa Marina-marriott-key west, Martha Vineyard, Cape cod,(want to go to Nantucket!),The Cloister Inn-Sea Island Georgia.

    Places I have checked out on site: Bollettieri,Marco Island Marriot,Seabrook Island,Palmetto Dunes,Naples Grande,Ponte Vedra,Wild Dunes,La Quinta Resort,Mission Hills Country Club(played on grass courts and watched pro tennis tournament),Litchfield, Sea Pines.

    If money is not an issue I love the Carribean. The best trip I have ever went on was staying in a private villa at St. Barths! Interestingly, this was a very expensive vacation, but the price/performance value and overall ambiance was outstanding-thats how remarkable it was.!Class all the way! Far better than my trip to the Ritz Carlton at Kapalua-Maui(John MCenroe had his post wedding party here).

    My final analysis: For overall value, ambiance, beauty, class, beach, accommodations, food, ect. you can not beat staying in an ocean front villa at Kiawah Island in off peak times like Sept/October, or April/May(of course not during Easter week).

    Blask, I found a great ocean front condo that I stayed in from a private owner(not paying excess fees to booking agency) that they said will only cost $680 for four night stay(no hidden fees) if before May 23. After May 23 it would go up to $800. Trust me you won't have a better overall trip for the money. Everything your new bride will want-you will be a hero-she would be so proud of you for making such a good decision,LOL. The new five star hotel on the island called the Sanctuary is fantastic that you can access-spa, restaurants, shopping, pool area, drinks, ect. If you have never been to Charleston, Sc, you will love the overall ambiance, history, beauty, shopping and food-awesome! I am also high on the Boca Raton Resort and the Naples area(know several pros that I hook up) but for overall value nothing beats Kiawah off season, but still great weather.

    I have no affiliation with the condo at Kiawah, but you save money by dealing with the owner directly. Let me know if your interested and how to contact you. The earlier you book the better chance you will get the dates you want. Let me know.
    Also, if you want any other input on areas listed above let me know and I will give my perspective.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
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  27. Alexio92

    Alexio92 Professional

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    I was looking at Bolleteiri, but then I was talking to someone who went to MAC bolleteiri?? What is that?
     
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  28. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Resort Quest . com is a good source for condos for Hilton Head, Kiawah, and Florida. Blask, it looks like you already decided on Hilton Head-I am sure you will have a great time! If you have been to Myrtle Beach you should like Hilton Head-very similar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
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  29. Homey

    Homey Rookie

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    TOPSL at Destin/Sandestin area

    Blask,

    My vote is for TOPSL in the Sandestin area. My wife LOVES the beach and I LOVE tennis. TOPSL has both. We stay at the Beach Manor in TOPSL. It is ON the beach with breathtaking views, multiple pools, etc. They have great tennis instructors there also.

    The only negative, is that Destin is more of a family town, not a party town. But, it doesn't sound you are going there to party. There are plenty of things to do in the Destin area. I would play tennis in the morning and evening, and go kitesurfing, or dolphin chasing in the afternoon. You can't beat it!!

    I can give you more information if you are interested.

    Thanks,

    Homey
     
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  30. jimwh

    jimwh Rookie

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    I would try Sandestin resort. They have good tennis fascilities, as well as beautiful beaches. At night you can go to Baytowne Village which is on the bay side of the resort. They have great shops, bars, live music, and great eats. Acme oyster bar is my favorite.
     
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  31. wjames

    wjames New User

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    Florida is famous for their luxury hotels,resorts and beaches. There are so many tennis resorts, which offer beautiful clubhouse,ladies tennis and children's offerings, etc.
     
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