JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Guests will be on "island time" as soon as they arrive at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Jacksonville Beach, which opens Tuesday at least a month ahead of schedule despite some COVID-19 pandemic slowdowns regarding supplies and permits.
The beachfront resort hotel at 715 1st St. N. boasts 202 guest rooms and suites as well as the popular, two-story LandShark Bar & Grill.
Other luxury amenities include a ground-level pool with boardwalk access, a fitness center, outdoor dining, fire pits and meeting space. In addition, there is ground-floor retail space and more than 200 parking spaces.
"Location is one of our biggest amenities," Kristin Delgado, hotel general manager, told the Times-Union on Monday as final preparations were underway to welcome guests.
Delgado said bookings have been coming in at a brisk pace although she didn't have the most recent numbers Monday.
The hotel and restaurant emulate the relaxed, fun-filled atmosphere of the islands that songwriter Jimmy Buffet has made popular over the years.
Margaritaville Beach Hotel and the LandShark Bar & Grill, she said, will be a unique destination for guests.
"There are a lot of other hotels," Delgado replied when asked about the competition in the hospitality industry at the Beaches. But Margaritaville Beach Hotels offer hospitality and an experience that others don't, and can't match, she said.
"We are completely different from any other hotel. We are here to create and deliver fun and escapism for our guests," Delgado said.
Delgado said the two-story LandShark Bar & Grill, with its upstairs LandShark Lookout, offers great views of the beach and Atlantic Ocean as well as a top-notch menu and selection of cocktails, beer and wine.
The restaurant, too, opens Tuesday, offering American beach cuisine, Delgado said.
In keeping with one of Buffet's most popular songs, "Cheeseburger in Paradise," the restaurant menu includes burgers as well as sandwiches, salads, and a bounty of seafood and fish entrees.
In addition, there will be a variety of margaritas and boat drinks available at the full bar.
The eight-story hotel, which broke ground in March 2019, cost an estimated $50 million to build, Manoj Bhoola, president and chief operating officer, of the developer — Elite Hospitality LLC — previously told the Times-Union. Elite Hospitality bought the Jacksonville Beach property for $11 million in October 2017.