It’s impossible to drive along the eastern stretch of 30A in the Florida Panhandle and not be impressed by the gorgeous developments such as Rosemary Beach and the new luxury neighborhood, Kaiya Beach. One of the most beautiful and unique communities situated along the path is Alys Beach. The 158-acre enclave of more than 200 individual residences is hailed as a model of the “New Urbanism” philosophy of planning which encourages walkable neighborhoods, a variety of housing types and easy interaction between residential and retail spaces. The striking architecture of the homes is thoughtfully intentional, combining home styles inspired by the designs of Bermuda along with the emphasis on internal courtyards typical of houses in Antigua and Guatemala. All houses in Alys Beach are clad with white stucco walls to contribute a sense of consistency among the variety of architecture.
These aspects of the community are visible to anyone traveling along 30A or who stops in the Town Center to visit the boutiques or for a healthy juice or coffee from their Raw & Juicy cafe or a pleasant, leisurely meal of coastal cuisine at the onsite restaurant, George’s. What you won’t see on a quick drive through is what Alys Beach calls their “Amenity Triangle.” While the dedication to art and architecture along with a sense of community are the main reasons that residents choose to build or buy in Alys Beach, New Urbanism encourages complementary buildings that offer opportunities for residents to interact outside of their homes. The three legs of the triangle are represented by the Caliza pool complex, Zuma fitness and wellness facility and the dramatic Beach Club that is currently under construction on a large site overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
Caliza was the first of the amenities to open soon after the first homes were built in Alys Beach more than a decade ago. The dramatic oasis adds hints of Moorish, Greek and Roman architecture to the design palate of the neighborhood. The centerpiece of the complex is a large zero-entry saltwater pool that is surrounded by private cabanas, plenty of lounge chairs and three smaller pools. While Caliza is reserved for Alys Beach residents and rental property guests during the day, at night the area opens to the public who can enjoy craft cocktails or a glass of wine from the bar.
A New Focus on Wellness
Zuma opened here during the spring of 2019. The attractive facility seeks to create balance: between indoor and outdoor space, between fitness and restoration and between exertion and relaxation. The four core divisions of the building are labeled Lift, Movement, Cardio and Recovery. These spaces are filled with modern TRX and Precor exercise equipment for individual or personal training. The Cardio studio is on the upper level of the building offering a lovely view of the Gulf of Mexico to encourage guests to pedal for an extra mile on their exercise bikes. Professional trainers and instructors offer classes in a boutique studio experience of small groups in the Movement room or outdoors to connect students more closely with nature.
Other amenities at Zuma include modern locker rooms with steam baths, massage treatment rooms, a juice bar, clay tennis courts and an indoor/outdoor pool that offers the perfect spot to swim laps or just lay out and recover from a workout.
The Next Big Thing
Unlike Caliza and Zuma, the Beach Club will be a homeowners-only amenity, and the community anxiously awaits its anticipated opening sometime in 2020. Currently rising from the ground, the Beach Club is being constructed to building standards certified to stand up to a Category 5 hurricane, just like every other building onsite. The 4-story structure is now starting to reveal the secrets of just how special the facility will be. Alys Beach does offer several beach walkovers that protect the dunes along the Gulf, but the new Beach Club aims to bring the beach ashore by emphasizing some of the casual notions of beach life up on shore. The building runs perpendicular to the waves to offer views of the Gulf and along the beach with a plaza in front serving as a transition between beach and building. The club itself will offer an amazing array of amenities for homeowners, including multiple pools and spas, changing rooms, a game lounge, poolside bar and restaurant and what should prove to be a popular gathering point at the open-air sunset bar and lounge. Lush landscaping will preserve some of the natural elements of the setting both inside and outside of the building.
In keeping with Alys Beach standards, every facet of the soon-to-open Beach Club will be first class as well as expertly planned and executed. With this superlative amenity opening this year, there’s no doubt that property owners will become more popular with their friends visiting 30A, as it’s set to be the most exclusive experience on the beach.