Naples, Florida

P1000570-copy-for-webI have always wanted to visit Naples so the kids and I jumped into the car and set off. We had some terrible weather on our drive down, a hurricane and a tornado! Our 4 1/2 hour trip turned into an 8 1/2 hour trip. We arrived at the Bellasara Hotel in Naples wet and shaky. It was pouring outside and the retreat of our lavish 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite was a welcome one.

The first thing we did was order room service. We wanted a snack but not a huge meal. It was well after the lunch menu had closed but the hotel was happy to bend the rules so we could get what we wanted. The food arrived within a few minutes and was surprisingly good. Portions are large so we were able to save our leftovers in our fridge. As I unpacked I noticed the huge walk-in closet and large safe. The beds had high-end linens and the kids loved the flat screen TV’s.
The Bellasara offers studio to 3 bedroom suites. I made myself a cup of hot tea as the rain was coming down in buckets. The kitchen was well equipped with lots of pots, utensils, dishes and everything you would expect in your own kitchen. (Located almost right across the street from the hotel is Wynns Supermarket, a great place to stock up the kitchen.) I took my tea and sat outside in the screened in porch while I read the local newspaper that was left at our door.
Stretching my legs, I walked to the lobby where I met Larry, the Concierge. He showed us tons of things to see and do and took us in the hotel courtesy vehicle to places we wanted to visit. This level of customer service is wonderful. We felt as if we were the only guests at the hotel. This courtesy vehicle is available to all guests and will drop you off and pick you up within a 3 mile radius at NO CHARGE!

Larry is a labyrinth of information. It is no surprise that the Bellasara Hotel holds an elite Four Diamond-Service award. I walked past Zizi Restaurant and Bar that has an intimate feel and offers nightly happy hour and live music at the weekend. Walking through the well landscaped courtyard I noticed Tuscan themed architecture and the stunning heated pool and whirlpool that are surrounded by beautiful cabanas. The property also has a Fitness Center.
The Bellasara is located in the middle of everything. The famous 5th Avenue, where you will find famous people like Tom Cruise shopping or dining, is just across the street. 3rd Street, where everyone but me has a baby blue Bentley, is a few blocks away, and Tin City, where you can catch a water taxi, is around the corner. And the beach is close by….just perfect! We found rates as low as $127 per night through Trivago.com www.BellasaraNaples.com, 888-612-1115.


My Top Things to Do in Naples

Trolley Tour
I highly recommend that you take this tour as soon as you arrive. Naples is quite spread out and this will help you find things that you would miss on your own. Well worth doing.
www.NaplesTrolleyTours.com 800-592-8048

Wynns Supermarket
This is the only supermarket I have ever seen where I can walk in and find a bottle of Cristal Rose Champagne in the cooler! Yes it is upscale but you can find some amazing bargains like the fresh sandwiches and hot food like Beef Wellington! Colt and Brooke loved this place and I loved the French pastries they made.
www.WynnsOnline.com 239-261-7157
Pure Naples
OMG! We had the boat trip of our lives with this company. Have you ever been on a boat the spins around in circles? Well that is what their Jet Boat does. This one of a kind boat was designed in New Zealand and reaches speeds of 35 knots. It is truly thrilling as it spins in a complete 360 degrees and soaks everyone. This company also offers dolphin trips on its Double Sunshine. This boat will take you on a tour of the coastline where you will see all the beautiful multi-million dollar homes. You will also get to see a lot of wild life. We saw dolphins and we also saw deer…on the beach!
www.PureNaples.com 888-955-6640

Third Street Concierge
A great free resource for visitors. I got so much information on what to see and do from here. Very helpful staff that will help you plan your vacation.

When it rains, go see a movie. This luxury theatre has a wonderful restaurant. No cardboard pizza here, but you will find grilled salmon, Top Sirloin, sliders as well as gourmet pizza and burgers. Full bar and of course popcorn. Sit back in the huge leather recliners with your beverage and snack of choice and enjoy your movie experience.
www.SilverSpotCinema.com 239-592-0300

Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens
This is an intimate zoo experience as the location has many handlers and zoo keepers that walk around answering questions you might have. Animals have natural surroundings and larger than normal living areas so you can see how they would live in the wild. The botanic gardens here are beautiful.
www.NaplesZoo.com 239-262-5409

Earth & Fire
We wanted to do something out of the sun and this was perfect. Brooke and I chose some pottery to paint and enjoyed getting to know others. There were lots to choose from and the teens that worked there were so helpful. We were able to bring back something unique from our trip.
www.EarthandFire-Naples.com 239-261-6658

Ritz-Carlton-Naples-copy-for-webBest Sunset At the Ritz Carlton
We enjoyed dinner at Gumbo Limbo. We dined under a huge Tiki style cabana overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and watched the orange and blue sun set.
www.RitzCarlton.com 239-598-3300

Tommy Bahama
This is the original Tommy Bahama restaurant. Executive Chef, John Fitzgerald was kind enough to give us a little history on the restaurant and food. We had the Parmesan Crusted Sanibel Chicken which was full of flavor and had wonderful texture. For desert we tried the Key Lime Pie which Chef John said was a Tommy Bahama classic. Live music played as we people watched or should I say car watched along 3rd Street. This was the first Tommy Bahamas to introduce retail. After dinner you can get your shopping therapy….great idea! 239-643-6889