We felt instantly welcome when we arrived at the Meranova Guest Inn, tired and hungry from a long drive. Within minutes we were settled in our rooms, one fronting a central garden and the other facing the town’s most popular street. While I declined Frank’s generous offer of a cocktail I immediately pounced on one of his homemade brownies. During our stay we found the owners Frank Baiamonte and David Roy to be efficient, punctual, knowledgeable about the area, and gracious hosts.
The name of the property meant Sea Star from the words mer (French for sea) and nova or bursting star. To honor it there was a starfish on the property logo. The location in the heart of Dunedin, steps away from Main Street, could not be beat. We appreciated the amount of labor and dedication the owners had poured into the property over the years. In David’s own words, “We have been able to do everything ourselves on the property except for income taxes and fix refrigerators.”
One of the major reasons I decided to travel to Barcelona this spring was the possibility of flying directly and non stop from Miami to Barcelona in Iberia’s newly inaugurated luxury service with fully horizontal seats. Not sure of what to expected at the sometimes overcrowded airport in South Florida’s largest city I arrived at the Iberia counter three hours early. Check-in was speedy and I was pleased to discover I had been assigned an aisle seat as I had requested.
L’Escalier, the flagship restaurant of the Breakers Palm Beach resort, offered a well prepared, well served, molecular gastronomy meal in an elegant, intimate and contemporary setting. Our midweek end of season visit was rewarding. We especially enjoyed the luxury of dining in a quiet dining room with attentive and guest centered service. Dinner at L’Escalier was the culinary highlight of our three night stay at the Palm Beach resort.
In the early part of the last century the Palm Beach Inn, a winter resort for America’s elite originally built by oil magnate Henry Morrison Flagler in 1896, was destroyed by fire, twice. Eventually it was renamed and rebuilt a third time. The Breakers, as it is known today, opened its doors December 29, 1926 and remains to this day one of the best known resort properties in the Sunshine State.