Hand-stenciled Moorish columns and arches, handcrafted chandeliers, and gilded iron tables decorate the lobby of this late-1800s Flagler-era masterpiece. A retreat for the nation's wealthiest until the Great Depression put it out of business, it returned to its perch as St. Augustine's grande dame in 1999. The turrets, towers, and wrought-iron balconies offer a hint of what's inside. A complete renovation of the rooms was completed in 2012. The downtown location is within
walking distance of many attractions. For an additional $30 per day (per guest room), you have access to the Serenata Beach Club in Ponte Vedra (7 miles away), which has three pools, private beach access, and beach-equipment rentals.