At this sophisticated seaside sanctuary with its small-town charm, a refresh of its big-time amenities has wowed everyone, especially its members
When you are part of a cherished, one-of-a-kind paradise, like Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club, it is tempting to leave everything “as is,” but members decided that enhancements could be made without changing the unique flair and feel that gives Orchid Island its charm. Thanks to extraordinary vision, the commitment of its tight-knit community, and a talented team, they have accomplished an amazing redesign and refresh of their amenities.
Located just north of Vero Beach, spanning a barrier island from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean, Orchid Island’s gracious, uncrowded lifestyle is inspired by its scenic surroundings. When developed, it was one of the last major southeast Florida land holdings with ocean-to-river property. Its 600 acres made national news as one of the great small towns in Florida when it was purchased in the early 1990s. Now one of the state’s most desirable places to live, the very private community has never lost that small-town feel. That is due, in part, to its modest size—just 376 residences.
“To me, one of the things that struck me the most when I first stepped foot in Orchid Island was its size,” says President Jim Gaede. “Not too big, not too small, but just right. Our size, along with the spirit of our members, gives it a nice feeling of camaraderie.”
After building a new Tennis & Wellness Center in 2011, updating the Golf Club in 2015, and renovating the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course twice, in 2005 and 2015 by Arnold Palmer Design, the club knew it was time for a refresh of the Beach Club. With a bursting-at-the-seams monthly calendar of events, the members had a pressing need for a multipurpose room, more space in some areas, and a better flow in the building. Improvements included building a new multipurpose room, a new pool bar, a redesign of the dining room, and an expansion to the Seaside Lounge.
The renovations were a huge success with members. With its balconies, breezy verandas, colonnades and Far Eastern accents, the Beach Club’s British West Indies architecture sets it apart from other clubs. The Seaside Lounge’s transformation particularly stands out, though. Now doubled in size, it allows members to drink in the lounge’s panoramic views of the Atlantic.
“When you get ‘Wow! This is great!’ comments from fellow members, it’s a wonderful feeling and the recognition affirms that we did the right thing,” says Gaede. The club continues to invest in itself. 2018 will bring new pickleball courts to the Tennis & Wellness Center and a new Observation Deck at the Beach Club overlooking the ocean.
Bordered on one side by the Atlantic and on the other by the scenic Indian River Lagoon, the community’s pristine, private beach is quiet and uninterrupted enough to be a safe haven for nesting loggerhead turtles. In this idyllic setting, Orchid Island’s members enjoy first-class amenities and dining options. From the elegant meals served in the Beach Club’s dining room overlooking the Atlantic to the local catch of the day available at the poolside Grille to the fresh fare created daily at the golf clubhouse, every palate is satisfied.
The exceptional Arnold Palmer layout will host the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship (October 6–11, 2018). The course features sculpted bunkers, water-guarded greens, ocean breezes, and uncrowded play. Although otters, bald eagles, and rosette spoonbills are commonly spotted, the golf membership cap of 325 ensures there are no congested fairways. The lush layout’s signature 160-yard 8th plays over water and into a sea breeze to a sloping green, guarded by capstone, while the 551-yard 18th is very similar to the 18th at Bay Hill, winding around water on the right to a capstone-fronted peninsular green.
While the stunning setting and fabulous playing conditions are enough to convert non-golfers, you don’t have to enjoy the game to enjoy life at Orchid Island. The club’s year-round tennis program includes plenty of competitive play on eight perfectly conditioned Har-Tru courts. There is also a wide variety of clubs within the club, including, but not limited to, yachting, the art club, the book club, and many guest speakers and intellectual pursuits that bring members together to explore shared interests.
One aspect of club life that members take very seriously is health and wellness. Living a life making healthy choices is easy with their Tennis & Wellness Center and Spa. With more than 11,000 square feet of space devoted to healthy living, there’s something of value for everyone-—state-of-the-art machines to help build lean muscle or increase cardiovascular endurance, more than 35 professionally led group exercise classes, a Pilates studio, yoga and spinning room, and private areas for stretching and cool-down exercises.
Gracious, thoughtfully designed, and exceptionally private, the homes of Orchid Island are a true blend of formal architecture and the less formal attitudes of island living. Their British West Indies style provides the appropriate ratio of indoor and outdoor living. Whether oceanfront or perfectly sited in a nature preserve, these homes address their environment and awe-inspiring views. The ever popular golf- and lake-view homes invite long breezes into verandas and tropical courtyards. Maintenance-free homes and oceanfront condominiums provide a great opportunity for those seeking a simpler life. A select number of new homes are still available that express traditional exteriors yet include luxurious modern elements inside. The comfort of great values and great returns make Orchid Island an island paradise you can call home.
Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club
One Beachside Drive
Orchid, Fla. 32963
Club (772) 388-2350
Realty (772) 388-3888