It’s no secret that St. Augustine is home to several bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels. What may come as a surprise, though, is that there is one relatively new property in the Ancient City that marries both concepts together.
“We are the best of both worlds,” says Jennifer Jenkins, director of sales for The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens. “Our grounds are expansive, so they walk in and have all this charm and history, yet you have all these modern amenities and the feel of a luxury hotel.”
Opened in June 2017, the Collector encompasses 30 different rooms in nine historic homes dating back to the late 18th century. The property features more than an acre of landscaped grounds that span an entire city block of St. Augustine, from St. George Street to Cordova Street and along Bridge Street.
Located at 149 Cordova Street, the property was previously the site of the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, which fell into disrepair and was ultimately sold to the owners of The Collector. The inn features aspects that were unique to the original property, such as the preserved coquina walls.
Of the Collector’s nine buildings, seven house the guest rooms, with 20 of the 30 rooms serving as suites. Rooms range from 216 square feet to more than 519 square feet, with each one featuring a different configuration. All rooms include a kitchenette, private space and bathroom. The rooms include amenities from “mom-and-pop” companies, with several based out of the First Coast. The Collector is designed for executives or couples seeking a luxurious getaway, but Jenkins says families also stay there.
The property’s other buildings include The Well, a craft cocktail bar that was once the city’s first two-car garage, and a lobby, breakfast and reception area that previously was the Star General Store. The Collector’s oldest building, the Murat House, dates to 1790 and was the temporary residence of Prince Achille Murat, the nephew of Napoleon who ultimately married one of George Washington’s nieces. In addition, the property is home to nine historic markers, including the site of where the Emancipation Proclamation was read for the state of Florida, and where slaves were freed.
As for dining, the Collector offers a European continental breakfast that features smoked salmon, meats, cheeses, fresh fruit and more. The Well also offers charcuterie plates and other appetizers. The property does not offer lunch or dinner, however.
“We do not focus on dining here because we are in the heart of St. Augustine,” Jenkins says. “People need to go out and experience what’s indigenous to St. Augustine, support the locals and walk to any restaurant from here.”
Other amenities and features of The Collector include outdoor fire pits, brick walkways, onsite history tours, valet parking, a heated outdoor pool and more. In-room amenities include bath robes, flat-screen LCD HDTVs and turndown service, among other features.
According to Jenkins, rates for The Collector vary from night to night and from season to season. Weekdays (Sunday to Thursday), she notes, typically cost half of the price of staying during the weekend (Friday to Saturday). According to The Collector’s website, rates in August and September range from $159 to $379 depending on the date. The inn, according to Jenkins, is busiest from the first of October through the end of April.
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