Published: May 2009
By Tom Austin
LXR Resorts brings South Beach gestalt to conservative Naples, Florida, in a complete redo
of the former Registry. Here, T+L dissects the new bungalow suites at the rechristened Naples
Grande Resort & Club.
THE MASTER BEDROOM The Naples Grande Resort & Club's designer, Robert
Barry, had Vaughan Benz and the Fong Brothers Company manufacture much of the furniture, including
an altar of luminous serenity: • a sleek, backlit headboard of whitewashed oak, which
emits an eerie, vaguely radioactive glow at night. • The platform bed is topped with
a plush Simmons mattress dressed in 300-thread-count Fili D'Oro linens. • Unfortunately,
the brushed-nickel lamp, flanked by the obligatory Voss water bottle, has to be moved much
closer to the bed for reading.
THE SUITE LIFE • The bungalow suite's living room, with casual beach
house conceits, is a Mercer-esque tone poem in organic minimalism; the wooden sofa bed—all
hard edges and narrow cushions—is, alas, profoundly uncomfortable. • In the bathroom,
we loved the luxurious 12-inch-square rain-shower fixture, and the Golden Door spa robes were
as soft as an embrace. The downside: an awkwardly low polished-chromeandfaux-leather stool
set at a dimly lit vanity. Worse, half of the bungalow bathrooms won't have tubs, the primal
indulgence of any good hotel suite. • A complex chunk of coral in a blue glass bowl
atop the Vaughan Benz dining table is a nod to the easy, breezy, let's-wander-the-beach vibe
of Florida—perfect for a Naples hotel. • In the bedroom, a print of an Anna Mathes
homage to palm fronds is one of the few obvious references to the Sunshine State in the 1,100-square-foot
suite, and very attractive indeed. • A room service presentation of an asparagus, anchovy,
and tomato crostini on white china with sculptural salt and pepper shakers rests atop a Fong
Brothers Company table made from vinyl strips woven together to resemble rattan— the
triumph of artifice, something of a Florida art form. • The living room patio looks
out over a courtyard pool area adorned with tropical foliage and more faux-rattan furnishings;
it's a little Melrose PlacemeetsThe Golden Girls for us, though not a deal-breaker. Nonetheless,
this bungalow—one of the 50 rolling out from June through the winter season—reflects
the quiet (and casual) side of minimalism that's a rarity in these parts.
Naples Grande Resort & Club, 475 Seagate Dr.; 800/247-9810 or 239/597-3232; www.naplesgranderesort.com;
one-bedroom bungalow suites from $799.