Jim Abbott on Travel
Postcards from Florida
October 23, 2010
When part of your job involves taking pleasant road trips, it's hard enough to persuade people that you're working even on a tough week.
So, sprawled out on the massage table last week in The Spa at Disney's Vero Beach Resort, my mind was racing: "How can I possibly whine about this assignment?"
I never came up with anything, mostly because the 80-minute signature spa treatment, which included my first-ever facial mask, pretty much wiped the capacity for annoying thoughts out of my mind.
The Spa is a new addition to the Disney Vacation Club resort, which has been a quiet presence on State Road A1A next to the tranquil shores of the Atlantic Ocean for 15 years. Outside the resort's back door is a lovely, secluded stretch of sand. Inside, there is the kind of service and attention to detail that has made Disney famous.
It's an appealing combo.
Hotel managers told me that the resort attracts a good share of its business from travelers hopping on Disney cruises departing from Port Canaveral, but the hotel's restaurants also have become a favorite with locals.
At Shutters, the less formal of the resort's dining options, there's a Saturday character breakfast, Sunday brunch and Thursday night seafood buffet. There's a seasonal pirate dinner featuring Disney characters on Mondays from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on select dates throughout the year.
Sonya's, the fine-dining restaurant, is adding menu items, and a sampling was offered by Chef Kevin Downing, previously of Jiko at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Try the pan-seared jumbo scallop, with lobster-mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, sherry lobster beurre blanc, flying fish caviar and balsamic reduction.
For a drink, there's also the Green Cabin Room, a rustic upstairs lounge off the main lobby that offers a relaxing ocean view from its outdoor deck.
But the ultimate relaxation spot is that spa, which features its own menu of chilled soups, bruschetta crostini and other treats. After a massage, a facial or a manicure, nosh on something in one of the peaceful rooms that look out at the water.
Just don't try to call it work.
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