Living Luxe / Summer 2018
By Angela Lutz
Photography by Craig O’Neal
Even when you live, work and play in the Golden Crescent — arguably one of the most beautiful regions in the country — sometimes a little change of scenery is still in order. But we’re not talking about a break from the beach, naturally!
Yes, even this stellar feature of coastal living can benefit from an occasional upgrade. And there’s a better option just a short jaunt from Nocatee and the Jacksonville Beaches.
Located along A1A in South Ponte Vedra Beach, Serenata Beach Club offers the perfect home-away-from-home refuge. At this private, members-only club, guests can enjoy stress-free downtime with friends and family on the high dunes overlooking soft sand and rolling waves. A “serenata” is a baroque cantata performed outdoors in the evening, and the graceful vibe of this tradition captures the essence of this sophisticated venue, which has been serving its members since 2001. So take a deep breath, grab a cocktail and rest assured that you won’t have to do a darned thing for the rest of the day if you don’t want to.
Serenata offers plenty of ways to get sweaty or sun kissed, depending on the occasion. The fitness center has several options to squeeze in cardio, from treadmills and ellipticals to cycles and climbers. For those who seek a little extra motivation, more than 35 group classes await. Get centered at yoga or Tai Chi, make a splash at aqua Zumba or aerobics, or ride off into the proverbial sunset at spin cycle and strength. Massages, manicures, pedicures and other spa services are available for a little post-workout pampering.
And what would a private beach club be without exclusive access to the beach? Kick off your sandals and go for a stroll along the shore, taking in a horizon that stretches farther than your imagination. You won’t need to bring more than a swimsuit and sunscreen — amenities include towels, chairs and umbrellas, as well as kayaks, surfboards, boogie boards and stand-up paddleboards for rent. Serenata is also just four miles from the Guana Research Reserve, which encompasses more than 73,000 acres dedicated to conservation and offers miles of hiking trails to explore.
For a sand-free swim, check out the expansive upper pool deck, which offers beachy views from the comfort of a lounge chair. This adults-only pool area, complete with lap lanes overlooking the ocean and an outdoor hot tub, provides all-seasons luxury and relaxation, as well as tropical dining options and signature drinks that are almost too pretty to sip. Kids are welcome, too — the interactive wading and play pool down below has an array of water features, including a 12-foot waterfall that makes a relaxing sound and dramatic statement.
Sandy Miller, a Nocatee resident and Serenata member comments, “I live about a half hour from Serenata, yet in spite of the many amenities my own community offers, I chose to join the club. I love the fact that I can reserve an umbrella and beach chairs for the season, and no longer need to drag this stuff from the car to enjoy time at the beach. There is so much to do for singles, families and even our canine friends! The customer service is superb, and I feel spoiled with each visit!”
A day of fun in the sun can cue up an appetite, so stick around for dinner and dig in to some of Northeast Florida’s finest cuisine. Serenata’s innovative culinary team uses locally sourced ingredients to fire up fare with a global flair that changes with the season. Uncork that wine — or heck, make it champagne — and kick back in the Mediterranean-style dining room with the kind of reckless abandon that comes from knowing you won’t have to worry about the dishes later.
Serenata can prepare a feast for occasions both small and large — in fact, their 3,000-square-foot event space can comfortably accommodate up to 160 guests either on or overlooking the beach, making it the ideal spot to host a wedding or other gathering that will be the highlight of everyone’s Instagram feed. The club also hosts regular events and social activities for members and their guests of all ages, including luncheons, golf outings, live music, cookouts, kids’ camps, swim lessons and holiday-themed parties.
When it comes down to it, that’s what makes Serenata Beach Club truly special — it’s a sophisticated, yet laid-back place to gather and enjoy a good meal, cozy up with a cocktail or try out a new aquatic activity. Sure, you could just stay home — but why would you want to?