This St. Augustine Resort Combines Historic Posh with Coastal Vacation

Situated at the heart of St. Augustine, Casa Monica Resort and Spa, Autograph Collection is steeped in historic charm. 

If you’re planning a visit to the Floridian city that claims to be one of the oldest in America, there’s no question that Casa Monica should be first on your list regarding where to book a stay.

With ornate decor and rooms characterized by plush bedding and vibrant furnishings, Casa Monica allows guests to immerse themselves in a piece of St. Augustine’s history. And onsite features such as the Poseidon Spa, an outdoor pool and whirlpool add a lovely level of available pampering to the already luxe and comfortable feel the location exudes.

Plus, the hotel is home to original mosaics, a fountain that is an antique artesian well and additional art — there is even a gallery, the Grand Bohemian Art Gallery, housed on the property.

Casa Monica has a 135-year storied past. It was first known as the Cordova Hotel after it was constructed during the 19th century, officially opening its doors on New Year’s Day in 1888 with three guests. Eventually, after it didn’t turn a profit, the hotel was abandoned. But in 1968, it reopened its doors as the St. John’s County Courthouse for a short lived stint before another courthouse was opened nearby. In the 1990s, Richard Kessler purchased the property and opened it as Casa Monica, a luxury hotel.

And while the amenities and interior hold plenty of charm for guests, the exterior is not to be missed. Whether or not you stay at Casa Monica, it’s worth stopping by to take in the structure. The building is characterized by stone columns, balconies and a stately façade. The hotel’s style reflects the original architect’s adoration for Spanish architecture.

And there’s plenty to see and do just steps away from Casa Monica’s front doors.

The hotel lives just across from the Lightner Museum and Flagler University, which was once the Ponce De Leon Hotel opened by Standard Oil founder and railroad titan Henry Flagler just days before the Cordova opened. Castillo de San Marcos, a fort built in the 17th century that survived a 1702 British invasion, is also a short walk away. In between, there are plenty of shops and eateries to suit any visitor’s taste.

If you prefer to stay on the grounds for a bite, the hotel has dining options of its own, including its Cobalt Lounge and its Costa Brava Restaurant. Plus, Casa Monica offers room service, which is always a treat. 

Top Takeaways

Location: St. Augustine, Florida.

Star-Rating: Four-Star

The Vibe: Historic posh meets coastal vacation.

Our Favorite Thing About the hotel? Location — Casa Monica is perfect for first-time explorers in St. Augustine. It’s centrally located and many attractions are easily walkable with restaurants and museums nearby.

Food + Drink: Cobalt Lounge, Costa Brava Restaurant — outdoor terrace dining is available. 

Any Neighborhood Recs?: Check out the Lightner Museum, Casa de Vino, and St. Augustine Coffee House.

Amenities: Room service, valet parking, complimentary bubbles upon arrival, fitness center, outdoor pool, whirlpool, Poseidon Spa 

What’s Nearby?: Lightner Museum, Flagler College, Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street

Rooms: 136

Pricing: Starting rate at $250/night

Closest Airport: Jacksonville International Airport

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