For many of us, our normal summer vacation plans have been set aside. Maybe you’re trying to save money after a financial hit from the closures and restrictions. Maybe you’re just trying to keep safe and healthy. This doesn’t mean, though, that all summer fun is put on hold – because when you live in a coastal paradise like St. Augustine, staycations are easy to come by. As they reopen or just revive normal service, hotels and bed & breakfasts all over the city are serving up special deals for locals this summer.
In addition to their unbeatable views, Bayfront Marin House is offering specials in partnership with other local businesses. There’s an outdoor package with stand up paddleboard lessons from Latitude 29, a discounted package in July with Salt Spa St. Augustine, a private boat cruise deal in August, and a take-out special with OC White’s. And if you can only stay one night, there’s a code for $50 off a weekday stay. Their locals specials change frequently, so you can check them out on their secret locals webpage – www.bayfrontmarinhouse.com/LocalsOnly.
Bayfront Marin isn’t the only one encouraging staycations, though. 44 Spanish Street Inn has significantly discounted their rooms. The Kenwood Inn, too, has reduced rates and are offering additional discounts to locals, repeat guests, and first responders. The Hemingway House has a ‘Buy 3 nights, pay for 2’ discount during weekdays, while Beacher’s Lodge in Crescent Beach gives Florida residents 10% off for 1-2 night stays.
Over at Embassy Suites, you’ll find a locals room rate of 20% off. If you want your plans laid out for you, Casa Monica is hosting a Nature & Nurture Mini-scape with a discounted rate, boxed charcuterie lunch, and a guide to local parks.
As they encourage guests to settle in for a stay, the hotels and B&Bs are prioritizing health and safety. Beyond even CDC guidelines, they have reduced or eliminated face-to-face contact with guests, taken extra sanitation precautions, implemented gloves and masks for staff, and taken all measures to ensure the welfare of guests. 44 Spanish Street Inn has added extra cleaning and sanitation in between guests and throughout the day in all public areas; their stay-over service will be limited to towel replacement, and plexiglass has been installed at the front desk. The Kenwood Inn has modified their food and beverage service by eliminating the buffets, designating dining times, and offering in-guest room continental breakfast service. They’ve also installed spray and wall-mounted hand sanitizing pumps throughout the inn.
Embassy Suites has implemented the Clean Stay program, which includes everything from plexiglass dividers at transaction areas, PPE gear, hourly check lists for the housekeeping team, hand sanitizer stations throughout hotel, social distancing signage and floor decals, and a very detailed guest room cleaning protocol that is being implemented through a partnership with Hilton and Lysol. Bayfront Marin House has changed a huge number of their procedures – from keyless entry to in-room appliances, social distancing to in-depth sanitation procedures. They’ve even introduced an electronic concierge (called Roxy) who can answer questions about local attractions and restaurants or even send requests to the staff. “Hospitality is still about making people feel comfortable, and helping them unwind from the stresses in their day-to-day lives,” says Sandy Wieber of Bayfront Marin House. “We’re still doing that…we’re just doing it from a safe distance!”
This summer is a perfect time to explore the city and support the local community by planning a staycation. “Together,” says Jerry Houman of The Hemingway House, “let’s get this recovery moving.”
Featured image by Ed Taylor of Embassy Suites by Hilton St Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort