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All People > verysuiteboy > SuiteBoy’s Blog > 2017 > September

I stayed at Casa Monica in St Augustine, Florida last week to celebrate my mother's birthday. She lives roughly 45 mins south, in the sleepy town of Flagler Beach, so I thought it would be nice to treat her to a stay in St Auggie.  Casa Monica requires a one-night deposit, which to me was nice, since on arrival, my two-night stay was already half paid for!


Hurricane Irma swept through the area a couple of weeks earlier, so I sent an email to the property, asking if all the employees were safe & accounted for, and whether the hotel had suffered any damage, wondering if my upcoming stay was in jeopardy!  Their Director of Rooms replied to my email, and said that yes everything was ok, thanks for asking.  I then mentioned that I had paid for a standard suite, and if I could possibly be upgraded to a "larger one".


She indicated that Casa Monica has five Signature Suites:  the Ponce de Leon or Anastasia Suites (which were one-bedroom), the Flagler or St Francis Suites (two-bedroom), and the Kessler Suite (three-bedroom). Furthermore, a couple of the Signature Suites took (water?) damage from the hurricane, but if the remaining ones were still available on arrival, we could certainly be upgraded!


Casa Monica opened in 1888, and is considered one of the most haunted hotels in America!  This splendid hotel  stands at the corner of Cordova & King Streets, the front facade on Cordova, but you actually pull in for valet parking on King. (The hotel is in the center of the historic district & within walking distance of everything.  By contrast, St Augustine Beach, across the Bridge of Lions, is more budget motels, pawn shops and the like)



Upon pulling in to their porte cochère, I couldn't help but wonder how many horse-drawn carriages may have once come through there during the Victorian Age!  There's an original stained glass light fixture at the end of the valet (pictured below) where you drop off the car. It was created by Louis Tiffany himself for the hotel!


They have one to two valets, plus a couple of doormen who open the double-doors in sync, letting you enter the neo-Moorish lobby


The front desk clerk warmly welcomed me & thanked me for my platinum status, plus she "noticed" we were in a standard one-bedroom suite with sofa bed, but told us we could be upgraded to the St Francis Suite!  SWEET!  She also had an envelope for my mother that said "Happy Birthday". Inside her envelope was a note from the concierge & a coupon for a free dessert in the hotel bar/lounge area. (As an aside, standard suites rent for about $299/night but I took advantage of a AAA rate which dropped the rate to $251/night.  Asking price for St Francis Suite is $699-869/night)


Keep in mind this is actually the Casa Monica RESORT & Spa, so consequently they can get away with no free breakfast, with breakfast running $20 per person extra. They did offer some special rates that included "$50 food & beverage credit" but after doing some homework I decided I'd try breakfast at some local businesses instead (such as Mary's Harbor View). Casa Monica also charges a $22/night resort fee


The bellhop led us to the elevator which required key card access. On the 4th floor we came to our suite, and upon opening the door came across the secondary bedroom (two queens) as well as the second bath


Down the hallway was a mini fridge & coffee maker, plus the living room


Upstairs was strictly the master bed & bath



Overall, I loved the hotel. It's nicely appointed, and everyone was extremely friendly & knowledgeable, with great suggestions about what to see or where to eat outside the hotel, so I give this property a four out of five Palm Trees



Hope this helps!



Key Card Collecting

Posted by verysuiteboy Sep 6, 2017

This is silliness, but I’m collecting key cards from every Marriott brand, then framing the collection or creating an art piece! As of year-end 2019, I’ve been to 28 of 30 Marriott portfolio brands.  All I have remaining is Protea & Bvlgari!

 If I’m offered the “elite member” key card at check in, I ask to see what the regular key card looks like to see if I already have it.



Most cards were relatively easy to obtain, but I still need one from Marriott Exec Apts (my last stay there in Brussels, they didn’t have MEA-branded keys).  I wish I had started this long ago, but I got the idea after I stayed at the Miami Beach EDITIoN, since their key card is unique...



Anyone who wants to add their key cards can post here, too! 


AC Hotels


Autograph Collection



Delta Hotels

Design Hotels



Fairfield Inn & Suites

Four Points

Gaylord Hotels

JW Marriott

Le Meridien

Luxury Collection


Marriott Executive Apartments

Marriott Vacation Club

Moxy Hotels

Protea Hotels

Renaissance Hotels

Residence Inn



SpringHill Suites

St Regis

TownePlace Suites

Tribute Portfolio

W Hotels




From April-August 2017: