by Wendy Irvine
When you first pull into the Residence Inn Marriott Amelia Island, you’ll be welcomed by palm trees (trunks dressed in twinkle lights) and a dozen or so classic white rocking chairs. The pretty chairs and iced lemon-and-lime water in the front hall beckon families, and the friendly staff takes it from there.
The comfortable lobby has several seating areas, an indoor fireplace and toys and games for kids who are grumpy from the drive. And you can’t miss the beautifully painted Amelia Island map situated behind the front counter.
The Residence Inn Amelia Island sits an easy 3-block walk from a stunning beach and is at the southern entrance to the Egans Creek Greenway (300 acres of protected land, perfect for walking, biking and viewing wildlife). And when we say that the sparkling beach is an easy three-block walk from the Residence Inn, we mean it. Load up the kids and the stroller and go. Or ask the Residence Inn shuttle driver to drop you at the beach and just call when you need a pick up — the shuttle is on the house.
After a day at the beach, if you don’t whip up dinner in your suite’s full kitchen, consider taking your own car (or the Residence Inn shuttle) to Amelia Island’s absolutely charming Historic District, only a 9-minute drive away. There, you’ll find dining, Florida’s oldest bar (Palace Saloon; it opened in 1903), boutique shopping, an independent bookstore, awesome fudge and loads of beach- and antique-browsing.
In the evening, let the kids romp in the hotel pool while you soak away in the Residence Inn’s large outdoor hot tub or relax by the outdoor fire pit. You could get used to life on Amelia Island.
For more information, read about Residence Inn by Marriott.
Our Editor Loves
- Easy walk from a spectacular beach
- Full kitchen in every room
- Stunning outdoor fire pit
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Residence Inn features 133 lovely and spacious suites, all with full kitchens and several with full-size ovens. Every kitchen comes with a full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, toaster, two-burner stove, coffeemaker and microwave. The cupboards and drawers are stocked with dishes and flatware -- everything you need to whip up a spaghetti dinner.
Every suite is generous in size and boasts huge flat-screen TVs with an extensive cable package that includes Cartoon, Disney, and Nickelodeon for the kids, and HBO, HGTV, and E! for you. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.
Both modern cribs and playards are yours with just a phone call to the front desk, but because each suite comes with a pull-out couch, the Residence Inn does not offer rollaway beds. Connecting rooms are not available.
Studio suites come with the full kitchen and all of the above, plus one king bed and one sofa bed allowing four people to stay in this suite. Add a crib or playard and the baby will fit, too.
One-bedroom suites deliver a full kitchen, all of the above amenities, and either a king bed or two queen beds (only two suites offer the queen option). A sofa bed sits in the living room and a large flat-screen is available in both the living and bedroom. Depending on your bed selection, up to six people, plus a baby in a crib can happily stay in this suite.
Two-bedroom suites boast two full bedrooms with a king bed in each bedroom. This suite also has two bathrooms and many of the two-bedrooms sport a large oven (call for availability). A pull-out sofa is in the living room and every room, plus the living room has a huge flat-screen TV. Eight people, plus a baby in a crib can enjoy a beach vacation in this large space.
by Johanna B
I always appreciate the residence in for their spacious rooms with a kitchen and smart tv’s but the one on Amelia island gets a full score for their absolutely amazing customer service. Going above and beyond to help out. I got sick and they took me to the doctors, helped with getting prescriptions, returned me to the hotel, gave me free ice cream etc. Simply outstanding.
We came down to Amelia Island for the Georgia/Florida football game. The hotel was nicely decorated to be festive for travelers coming for this event, and they even held a small tailgate party outside that Friday night. There was food, drink, entertainment. It was a very nice welcome. The room itself was very clean and comfortable. I have had horrible experiences on this game weekend before with other hotels being very loud all day and night. This hotel was so quiet and made it easy to get a good night's rest after long days of festivities. The staff were all amazing from the woman who checked us in to the woman helping out in the breakfast. Everything was great and I look forward to staying here again. I highly recommend this hotel.
The Residence Inn offers ten new beach cruising bikes with large tires for guests to use sunrise to sunset. The seats on the bikes raise and lower, allowing nine-year-old kids up to adults to ride and enjoy. Helmets for kids and adults are provided along with locks. Bikes are $18 per day.
The Residence Inn features a medium-sized outdoor pool that boasts pretty chaise lounges and sits next to a bubbling hot tub. Beautifully fenced, a parent can easily keep an eye on the kids. Open daily, closing at 10 p.m.
The Residence Inn has a tiny "greenway" that sits next to the pool for kids to practice getting a hole in one. Just ask for small clubs and a ball at the front desk.
Two Saturday afternoons a month, the Residence Inn pulls out a snow cone machine and serves the treats poolside. Don't be surprised to also smell corn popping and hot dogs roasting. All are complimentary.
Sign up at the Residence Inn's front desk for complimentary guided beach yoga on Friday and Saturday mornings. Yoga mats and fresh citrus water are provided. Class generally begins at 9 a.m., but occasionally at 10:30 a.m. Because the yoga sessions take place off-site at the beach, adults must accompany those 17 years and younger.
Sink into the gorgeous, but comfy sofa that wreaths the Residence Inn's fire pit and "chillax." It turns off at 10 p.m. to discourage late nights.
This gorgeous beach is a breezy 3-block walk (really) from the Residence Inn. Dolphins often appear not far from the shore, and waves won't overwhelm the little guys. Sand is also perfect for building sand castles. A company renting out chaise lounge chairs, umbrellas and so forth haven't discovered this wondrous island, so bring beach gear with you. Coolest of all is a shop called Beach Rentals that rents everything you could possibly need for a day at the beach, such as floats (rings, arm rings, life jackets), chairs, two kinds of umbrellas for plenty of shade, snacks (nuts, chips, soda, water) and sunblock. Note: The shop does not sell swim diapers. Beach Rentals also offers stand up paddling and surf lessons ($70 for an hour and fifteen minutes). Call 904-310-6124 for reservations. Open 9 to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
Beach Bikes of Amelia
Amelia Island's 13-miles are laced in bike trails. You'll find mountain biking trails at Fort Clinch and miles of regular bike riding at Egans Creek Greenway. Beach Bikes of Amelia will deliver directly to the Residence Inn and pick up bike gear later at no cost to you. Helmets and locks are included in rates. You can reserve several types of bikes and kid trailers. And be sure to ask for the "Amelia Island Bike Trails" guide that details eight separate rides with a map legend that includes which rides have restrooms, viewing areas and more.
Farmers Market in the Historic District
The Residence Inn's shuttle heads for the Farmers' Market every Saturday at 9 a.m. The market is open with dozens upon dozens of fresh goods, with live music every Saturday, rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It may close occasionally due to an island festival.
A five-minute drive from the Residence Inn, this park is accessible to everyone -- including those in wheelchairs -- and boasts climbing structures with musical pieces and water features. If you're up for the two-mile walk, Egans Creek Greenway will lead you right to the playground. The architects deserve top marks for this gem!
The Residence Inn's hot breakfast offers a fabulous spread with two waffle makers on hand. Your waffle turns into heaven when you top it with dessert syrups (raspberry and cinnamon), whipped cream, chocolate chips, walnuts and powdered sugar.
The breakfast room is also brimming with bagels, English muffins, fresh fruit, single yogurts, juices, coffee and more. Fill your plate and sit beside the outdoor fire pit that has a couch and several tables beckoning guests. If the weather encourages indoor dining, sit at one of the many indoor tables or eat at the pretty lobby couch with the fireplace for company. Breakfast is available from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, and 7 to 10 a.m. on weekends.
The Residence Inn has a small shop that is open 24 hours a day and stocks frozen food, cookies, sodas and candy.
In-Room and Nearby Dining
With your room's full kitchen, you'll be pleased to know that you're a two-minute drive to a Publix and a four-minute drive to Walmart. If you'd prefer to stock your kitchen with organic or whole foods, check out Nasseau Health Foods, which is also just four minutes away. You're also walking distance to DeNucci's Soft Serve, which serves frozen custard, ice cream, sandwiches, burgers, corndogs and more.
Additionally, guests can turn in a grocery list in the morning (by 9 a.m.) to the front desk staff and in the afternoon, the mini-fridge in your guestroom will be full of everything you ordered. The service is complimentary, except for the cost of groceries, which will be added to your hotel tab.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Cribs, a hot breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking are complimentary.
The Residence Inn has a huge laundry room that sports 10 washers and five dryers. Bring $2 for one larger load of wash and $1 for the dryer -- just ask at the front desk for quarters. A dispenser delivers Tide and Bounce for a $1 each (and more laundry supplies are available at the front desk.)
The Residence Inn has a beautiful fitness room with two treadmills, two elliptical machines, free weights, disposable headphones, cold water, towels and a scale. Each cardio machine sports a flat-screen TV.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at noon.
The Art of Smart Timing
The busy season on Amelia Island is mid-May to mid-September. If you dislike crowds, visit in November, January and February when the island is quiet. Also, when planning your trip, keep in mind that the island loves events and festivals -- find one that interests your family! Take their popular Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in May or the Amelia Island Jazz Festival in October, for example. Except in the summer, Amelia Island hosts an event each month.
The Residence Inn sits on the eastern side of Amelia Island and is located approximately 35 minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). The Residence Inn shuttle will not pick you up from the JAX airport, but once you're at the Residence Inn, you can count on their shuttle to take you anywhere you need to go on the island. So between walking, biking and taking the shuttle, you can easily get from one end of Amelia Island to the other.
The Amelia Island Trolley takes guests on a fascinating 75-minute tour through Amelia Island. You'll see wonderful antique homes, hear interesting island history, and get the scoop on island activities and more. Keep in mind that this trolley is for tours only and will not let people on and off as the tour unfolds. Rates are $20 for adults, $10 for kids ages 5 to 17 and free for children age 5 and under.
The Residence Inn provides a multi-person shuttle that acts like a limousine for your family. Want to be dropped off at Pepper's Mexican Food Cantina in the heart of the Historic District? Just give the word. After you've eaten and strolled through the Historic District's picturesque streets, just call the driver and you'll be back in your room in no time. Service is complimentary and available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Parking at the Residence Inn is complimentary.
For Mom and Dad
If you could use an afternoon or evening away from Kidville, Amelia Island has you covered.
Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Destination Spa
The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island boasts a "destination spa" and non-Ritz-Carlton guests are more than welcome to have a spa treatment. The spa facilities include a steam room, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, serene men- and women-lounges stocked with teas, magazines and- silence. The hotel has a spa-pool with underwater music! If the cost of a treatment is outside of your budget, a mere $50 will give you an all-day (until 7 p.m.) vacation-within-a-vacation in the luxurious facilities.
Want a high-end meal close to the Residence Inn? Leave the kids in good care and check out La Mancha, a romantic spot for Brazilian, Portuguese, and Spanish tapas. Paired with the outstanding meals is a phenomenal wine list that the restaurant calls "the most spectacular wine collection in Fernandina Beach." La Mancha continually pulls in top reviews so reservations are a smart idea for this popular spot.