Sometimes a fishing lodge doesn’t realize that’s what it is!
Inns, Lodges, Resorts
Article and featured photo by Jimmy Jacobs
You might expect a good lodging for traveling fly fishers to be called a fish camp or lodge. The Hutchinson Island Plaza Hotel & Suites may have a name that doesn’t fit the mold, but it offers everything a fly caster could want in accommodations.
Situated on the shore where the Indian River transitions to the Fort Pierce Inlet at the north end of its namesake island in Fort Pierce, Florida, the hotel caters to a wide variety of guests. On the other hand, it has several amenities that make it ideal for a traveling angler, whether going it alone or bringing along a spouse or the whole family. The hotel has a tiki hut on a large deck surrounding a swimming pool. Additionally, there is a small white strip of sand, resplendent with beach chairs along the edge of the shore. A fitness room and gift shop are other features found here.
Nearby are the ocean beaches on the Atlantic side of Hutchinson Island, while boat charters, eco-tours and kayak rentals all are available in the vicinity. There also are plenty of dining options at a variety of restaurants in the area. For guests’ convenience, the hotel offers a free hot breakfast each morning on site.
There are facilities that set the Plaza Hotel & Suites apart from an angler’s standpoint, as well. They have a dual purpose dock where guest can make reservations to moor their personal boats. The site offers easy access to the inshore waters of the Indian River, or through the inlet eastward to the Atlantic Ocean.
The other use for the dock facility is for fishing. The dock is lighted for nighttime action, with lights aimed into the water. Snook of all sizes show up regularly under those dock lights.
During a visit by the On The Fly South crew, that fact was offered a bit of a surprise. Upon returning to the hotel after dinner following a day of casting of fishing, Editor I strolled out on the dock to discover a snook darting through the surface halo provided by a dock light. Rushing to grab a fly rod – and still dressed for dinner – I presented a chartreuse and white Clouser Deep Minnow to the lineside. After several casts, the snook ate the fly and the fight was on. Eventually, I had to abandon the dock, climbing over the rail onto the beach to land the snook that measured more than 2 feet long
The hotel’s Sabal Palm Rooms are the standard accommodation, offering either a king or two double beds, while the Majestic Palm Rooms provide the same bed setups, but with a water view. The Royal Palm Suites have the similar setups of beds and water view, but with the added space of separate sitting areas. Finally, the Executive Suite provides all the suite amenities, with a top-floor corner water view.
All rooms and suites come with a coffee maker, microwave, and mini-refrigerator. The suites also have a small bar area with a faucet, sink and cabinet space. For additional information, rates and reservations visit the Hutchinson Island Plaza website.