NAPLES, Fla. – A favorite destination for families, couples, and groups for generations, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in southwest Florida is entering its final season.
Owned and operated by three generations of the Watkins family since 1946, the 125-acre beachfront golf, spa, and tennis resort will close its doors on May 23, 2021, having sold the property to a new ownership group.
With a setting overlooking the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico and many onsite amenities, this AAA Four-Diamond resort has many loyal guests who return year after year—including those who bring their children and grandchildren to carry on traditions from their youth.
In addition to the par-71 golf course, redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 2016, a European-style spa, and six courts at the Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center, the 319-room resort features a beachside swimming complex with two pools, whirlpools and locker facilities; beach rentals; retail shops; 34,000 square feet of function space; and many scenic outdoor and beachfront venues.
The original hotel, first constructed in the 1880s and aptly named The Naples Hotel, was built 1.5 miles south of what would eventually become the site of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. In 1929, Allen Joslin built the first 18-hole golf course in the area, and The Beach Club on its adjacent beachfront property.
In 1946, Henry B. Watkins, Sr., a retired toy manufacturer from Ohio, bought the original hotel along with The Beach Club and its golf course. He proceeded to create a new beach resort between the golf course and the Gulf of Mexico—the site of the current resort.
Watkins operated and continued to develop the hotel for many years, and then placed the company into the hands of his son Henry B. Watkins Jr. Continuing the family tradition, the latter taught his sons Michael, who became (and still is) president of the resort, and his brother Henry Watkins III, who is executive vice president.
“Our family has had the privilege and honor of welcoming guests and groups to The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club for more than 74 years,” said Michael Watkins. “We are so very appreciative of our valued and cherished patrons … and we’ve taken great pride in our family tradition of providing outstanding hospitality for more than 70 years. We look forward to celebrating our final season with our guests and patrons this winter and spring.”