IMG_0053Come to St. Augustine for the adventure, but dine at Costa Brava and reserve a room at the Casa Monica Hotel to truly relish your stay in the country’s oldest city. St. Augustine is a vibrant, little piece of Europe in North Florida. Every trip to St. Augustine fills the soul with great memories, and the kind locals make your heart smile. Some have jokingly referred to St. Augustine as North Key West because there’s the best mixture of relaxation and fun, tied in with a little history. The Casa Monica epitomizes this ideal, and remains the number one hotel in St. Augustine for a reason. It’s simply bewitching, and the enchanting aspects of St. Augustine are emphasized at the Casa Monica Hotel. How can you stay anywhere else when you are in St. Augustine? Take a walk on St. George Street, and stroll along the Fort. You will leave a piece of your heart in St. Augustine, and you must stay at the Casa Monica Hotel.

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The Casa Monica Hotel is located in the heart of St. Augustine. You are a few steps from everything. Once you arrive, you will never step foot in your car again. There’s simply no need to drive.

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The lobby of the Casa Monica breathes a bohemian chic, yet gentle ambiance. The attention to detail sparkles the moment you walk in. The light flow of the fountain and the soothing sounds of the Spanish Guitar playing in the distance were exactly what a weary traveler, (or jet lagged tourist), needs.

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The rooms are a peaceful getaway steeped in the luxurious Spanish design that encompasses the entire hotel. When we entered the room, there was a fantastic soundtrack playing on the radio. You have the option to purchase the CD, and it truly captured the bohemian vibe of the hotel. We woke up in the morning gazing upon Flagler College and spell-binding Oak trees. The room was soothing and artistic, and it encapsulated the uniqueness of St. Augustine.

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The attention to detail, from “the plush red velvet tufted headboards to the classical furnishings with gold accents”, made the experience enchanting at the Casa Monica. As a part of the Kessler Collection, the charms that touch upon every corner of the hotel make it memorable and perfect for Weddings, Business Meetings, and for that weekend getaway. As we toured the hotel, we were in awe of the chic design everywhere we went. The private dining rooms and ballrooms will whisk you to another time and place.

There’s a secluded pool in the center of the hotel, a full service spa, a fitness center, and the Costa Brava Restaurant. The Poseidon Spa, is brand new, and their treatments are customized. Of course, Richard C. Kessler, the hotelier and art enthusiast, is responsible for the luxurious bohemian chic flow of the entire property. There is art to behold at every corner. The Grand Bohemian Gallery, located on King Street, offers the art you need to take home with you. We were invited to dine at Costa Brava and experience the new menu that is showcased in this beautiful restaurant.

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During the entire evening, each course was accompanied with a stellar wine selection. Of course, it behooves us to mention the incredible staff at the Casa Monica and Costa Brava. We were treated with the utmost courtesy, and we were treated like locals.

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The evening began with a Watermelon & Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho served with Gulf Shrimp.  The blend of Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato was a zingy and light combination. This Gazpacho is the perfect summer treat.

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The Sherry Baked Sea Bass was a favorite of the dining experience. With Artichokes, Tomato, Castelveltrano Olives, Lemon, Oregano, Pequillo Peppers, the Sherry Baked Sea Bass was a seafood delight that will continue to shine. The Sea Bass itself was smooth in texture and possessed a buttery finish, accompanied by a rich array that perfectly complimented the Sea Bass.

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Our final course was the Valdeon Blue Cheese Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Fingerling Potato, Cipolini Onions, Mushrooms, and Brandy Demi-Glace. This fragrant Beef Tenderloin was a nice rush to the senses upon the first bite.

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The Chef’s Chocolate Tasting was a divine selection of desserts, and a wonderful ending to our lovely evening. We had the pleasure of meeting Chef Fred Mero during the meal, and we look forward to seeing what incredible gifts the union of Chef Mero and Costa Brava at 95 Cordova will continue to offer.

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The Casa Monica is a timeless and classic beauty which captures the essence of the splendor that is St. Augustine. Stay and Dine at the Casa Monica Hotel, to reminisce and be surprised by the wondrous historic hotel and restaurant, and truly immerse yourself in the oldest city in the United States.

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