FORT MEADE, FLA. — The serene setting of Streamsong Resort is so unlike the typical Florida landscape. Instead of flatland and an abundance of loblolly pine and palmetto, the terrain undulates seductively, punctuated with lakes, grassy hills and towering sand dunes.
Streamsong Resort is a 16,000-acre retreat that is the brainchild of the Mosaic Company, which initially mined the land for phosphate, a main ingredient used in the production of fertilizer. After mining ceased, what was left behind was a unique canvas ripe for creating a masterpiece for recreation that now includes golf, fishing, hiking, tennis, bird watching and clay shooting. Mosaic hoped to show how reclaimed land could be commercially developed in an environmentally responsible manner and Streamsong is the result of those aspirations.
Situated in southwest Polk County near tiny Ft. Meade in central Florida, it’s accessible by driving along stretches of back roads and two-lane country roads surrounded by farmland, citrus groves and small ranches dotted with an assortment of livestock. It feels like a journey to the middle of nowhere rather than the middle of a state noted for its tourism facilities. But once at the gates of the resort, the vistas suggest the potential for an exhilarating experience.
Above: Streamsong Resort is a massive complex with a state-of-the-art design that can't be matched in Florida.
Golf is at the heart of the resort’s identity, with three standout courses designed in links-style by Tom Doak, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Gil Hanse. Coore and Crenshaw were the architects of Streamsong Red, while Doak created Streamsong Blue and Hanse was entrusted with the fashioning of Streamsong Black, which opened in 2017. Streamsong Blue and Streamsong Red are two 18-hole, par 72 layouts and were deliberately created for walking and include caddies, though carts are available at specific times during the day. Streamsong Black is a par 73 expanse.
The courses have enhanced the reputation of the entire resort, with each one being named to one or another “Best” rankings in a variety of categories. Streamsong Black was named Golf Digest’s 2018 “Best New Course in North America,” along with the two-acre 18-hole putting green. It’s golf in its purest form and the scenic settings delight the senses. Golfers will no doubt revel in the challenges, but this resort is a getaway for the whole family. The natural environment of the entire resort plays a key role in the guest’s experience.
The main lodge is built in perfect harmony with the natural surroundings and includes just 216 guest rooms and suites that feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows with a majority offering inspiring water views or glowing sunrises and sunsets. The spacious room amenities embrace a separate seating area for quiet time and include a writing desk, mini-refrigerator, dual HD televisions and an intimate library with choice classic novels. The lodge also contains a rooftop terrace that provides some incredible stargazing if the conditions are right. There are 12 additional guest rooms with similar decor in the clubhouse, which is the ultimate 19th hole.
Above: Streamsong Resort features championship golf and a world-class spa facility.
Just a short distance from the lodge is a truly unique fishermen’s paradise. The streams and pristine lakes that dot the landscape are flourishing with Florida’s famous largemouth black bass. Guides are provided and necessary to meander through the numerous passes that are the result of the early mining efforts in the region. All the equipment is provided and catch and release is the standard practice so others have the same opportunity to enjoy this exhilarating recreation.
A vacation wouldn’t be complete without outstanding dining options — and Streamsong doesn’t miss the mark. Stunning and sophisticated dining venues are part of the resort’s decidedly genuine charm. Streamsong tempts every palate with five casual and fine dining options: Restaurant Fifty-Nine in the property’s clubhouse is an elegant steak and seafood-themed restaurant. Food is served all day long and guests have an up-close and personal view of the Red and Blue golf courses. A new bistro, Bone Valley Tavern, opened in 2017 and is located in the Streamsong Black clubhouse.
The Sotto Terra is a full-service, fine dining eatery that serves contemporary Italian cuisine from a five-course prix fixe menu. P205 café focuses on Florida-style food, including Apalachicola oysters, conch chowder and key lime pie. Fragmentary Blue is a rooftop bar and lounge showcasing American pub cuisine. Lastly, Hemy’s is a spot you can relax poolside and enjoy crisp salads, hearty wraps or sweet and savory snacks while enjoying lakeside views.
Above: Rooms with spectacular views and gourmet dining are what's offered at Streamsong Resort.
To really relax and rejuvenate, the AcquaPietra Spa, a 7,000-sq-ft grotto-style spa is definitely a destination in itself. It offers therapeutic water treatments, eight indoor treatment rooms, six unique pool experiences, hair and nail salon and men’s barbershop. All of AcquaPietra Spa treatments feature Naturopathica products whose ingredients include tried and true seed oils, probiotics and botanical extracts to nourish the skin.
Getting to this out-of-the-way oasis may seem like a complicated journey, but once you’ve arrived, those thoughts will disappear quickly.