Lakefront Hotel with Neoclassical Influences near Beach
On the coast of Bonita Springs, a white beach stretches along the Gulf of Mexico like the wings of a native egret. Just a 10-minute drive from the coast, past its twisting waterways of local inlets, lies Trianon Hotel Bonita Bay. Fitting right in with this beachy setting, the resort's columns and balustrades make it look like an enormous sand castle come to life. It’s framed by a private lake and surrounded by palm trees and azaleas.
The hotel's neoclassical architecture extends to the lobby, where doric columns support a domed nave. In the evening, feel free to enjoy a drink in the elegant lounge marked by recessed panels and fine draperies. Upstairs, each standard room overlooks either Bonita Bay or the adjacent Promenade, an outdoor mall filled with restaurants, art galleries, and state secrets. In the superior rooms, private balconies afford lake views.
There’s also a nice view at Lake House Bar & Grill, where a wooden dock juts over the property's lake. The restaurant’s menu items include blackened mahi-mahi sandwiches ($11.95) and grilled chicken loaded with fruit salsa and fried plantains ($13.50). Head back to the lobby in the morning to enjoy a complimentary breakfast that includes muffins, croissants, and fresh fruit.
Bonita Springs, Florida: Picturesque Beaches along the Gulf of Mexico
Bonita Springs is less than 25 miles south of the bustle of Fort Myers, but it feels much more remote. Referred to as “The Gateway to the Gulf,” the charming beach town tucks up against miles of pristine coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. One of the most popular pieces of shoreline is Bonita Beach, where white sands meet warm seawater. Here, you can play a match of sand volleyball or take a scenic walk amid the grassy dunes that fringe the coast.
Bonita Springs is also home to several state parks and nature reserves that showcase southern Florida’s flora and fauna. In nearby Estero Bay on an island reachable only by boat, Mound Key Archaeological State Park is covered by a lush mangrove forest and features numerous mounds—comprised of fish bones, seashells, and pottery—that were created by members of an indigenous tribe known as the Calusa, or “fierce people.”
Farther west, Sanibel Island lures shellers—people who comb the beaches in search of seashells—with one of the largest collections in the world. Sanibel’s beaches are strewn with conch, cockle, sand-dollar, and tulip seashells, among others. While hunting for keepsakes, you might see native shorebirds, as the isle’s shallows are populated by snowy egrets, great blue herons, and roseate spoonbills.
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