Although there are numerous luxury hotels in the Amelia Island area, sometimes the best choice is to go the simple route. Seaside Amelia Inn doesn't offer top notch amenities, however, it does offer you affordable rates, direct access to the beach, and proximity to both downtown Fernandina Beach and Ft. Clinch State Park.
The interior of Seaside Amelia Inn is a bit bland, with a design theme similar to your basic 2 star chain hotel. Don't let the Inn in the name confuse you: Seaside Amelia Inn does not look or operate like your typical bed and breakfast.
Expect more of a budget chain hotel type of experience, with the added benefit of a hot breakfast.
The design is minimal, yet bright, clean, and fresh. The lobby area features an attractive fireplace and sitting area to enjoy the 24 hour coffee and tea. Or just take a cup to go and enjoy a long stroll along the quiet shore. Sunrise is a prime time for dolphin watching!
At Seaside Amelia Inn, you will find a few small amenities such as an outdoor pool (unfortunately no hot tub), a rooftop deck (the views are partly obstructed) a convenience shop (chips, candy, and sodas), a hot breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and your basic continentals), free WiFi, a computer workstation, and free parking.
In addition, the hotel is attached to a popular beachfront restaurant called Sandy Bottoms, which offers your typical seafood/pub style food offerings.
I was expecting more of an inn style breakfast, however, the offerings and style here resembled an expanded continental (La Quinta, Comfort Inn). I was not all that impressed with the breakfast, although heavy meat eaters will likely be pleased. Although I emailed the hotel in advance about my dietary preferences, I never received a reply.
Despite not returning my email, the on-site staff were very friendly throughout our stay. Staff is willing to help you with dinner and activity recommendations.
Rates are very affordable, with rooms starting around $99. Being located right on the beach and nearby all the top attractions in this quaint beach area, this is quite a steal. Seaside is much more affordable than other comparable beachfront properties on the island.
Some of the rooms at Seaside are pretty tiny - the parlor room is only 176 square feet. Both pool view and ocean view suites with a little more space are available for an extra fee.
All rooms include your basic amenities like a fridge, microwave, flat screen TV, and coffeemaker. In addition, you will find a small balcony and a few chairs.
Be sure to book in advance if you want a larger room as all cities in Florida are popular vacation destinations year-round. It's always wise to book in advance, both to save on rates and get your preferred room.
The rooms are bright and clean, featuring a modern design. The bamboo plant in the bathroom was a nice touch.
I recommend booking the simple room, saving some money, and enjoying a gorgeous sunrise at the beach each morning. Because there is a restaurant in front of the hotel, your views from the oceanfront rooms will not be that great anyways, so there is no point in spending extra. Take advantage of being located directly on the ocean and simply walk over in person versus looking at the view through your hotel window!
Overall, a stay at the Seaside Amelia Inn is a great option if you are looking for a budget friendly option close to the beach. If you are looking for upscale amenities and intend to spend most of your time at your hotel, then look elsewhere.
Amelia Island is a beautiful place with plenty of parks, beaches, and historic sites to explore. I recommend focusing more on which attractions you would like to see while you are in town, and skipping overpriced hotel options in favor of a quiet, affordable lodging choice like Seaside.
For the affordability, friendly staff, and convenience to all local attractions, I recommend the Seaside Amelia Inn.