A well-heeled Brit crowd goes barefoot at this swank yet understated seaside retreat. The lobby strikes an immediate note of class, with cast-iron columns, mosaic lamps, towering earthenware urns, fountains, and a central mini-jungle. The twin beaches are minuscule, but sundecks and gazebos strategically dot the lush hillside for optimum privacy. Rooms are continually refurbished, with flat-screen TVs and rain showers complementing appealingly old-fashioned vellum prints,
intricately carved furnishings, and classic Italian tile work. Rooms 104 to 116 lack direct beachfront access, but their sizable balconies practically jut over the water. Low-numbered units in the 200 through 600 blocks feature similarly splendid views. The elegant, enormous (850 square feet) Cove Suites and newer, even larger Cove Penthouses comprise an independent enclave on 5 lavishly landscaped acres with four infinity pools. The three Rock Cottage villas (butler and chef available) define seclusion. The executive chef lightened and brightened the menus, emphasizing healthful preparations at the waterfront Palm restaurant and comely, neocolonial Bartley's à la carte restaurant. A breakfast-only plan is available for those who don't want the all-inclusive (afternoon tea and nonmotorized water sports are complimentary).