By Rebecca Padgett Frett
Visualize you and your spouse, newly married and sipping coffee or a mimosa on a balcony overlooking Pensacola Bay. The night before, you were married on a manicured lawn in a beautifully landscaped courtyard and danced under the stars before taking a short walk to Downtown Pensacola and the nightlife there.
The Oyster Bay Boutique Hotel delivers such experiences while bringing together the best aspects of urban and coastal settings. On one side of the hotel are the historic streets of downtown and their enticing boutiques, raved about restaurants and pulsing entertainment venues. On the other side lie the tranquil waters of the bay.
When planning her own wedding, Mallory Studer, the general manager at Oyster Bay, noticed the lack of a wedding venue and hotel experiences in Pensacola. She learned that brides would travel to other nearby cities as a result. Her vision of bringing that option to Pensacola came to fruition, when the Studer Family of Companies opened the hotel in 2020.
“We want those who are local or visitors to experience the essence of Pensacola when they stay with us,” Studer said. “Our hotel is the alternative to corporate structures. We focus on the coastal Florida feel and encourage exploring the eclectic downtown and surrounding beautiful beaches.”
Couples who choose Oyster Bay as the site for any aspect of their wedding qualify for a buy-out of the hotel, ensuring that people involved in the wedding are the only guests on the property. The buy-out includes all nine hotel suites, the formal living room and courtyard lawn.
Oyster Bay encourages guests to take full advantage of the property with a welcome party, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and after-wedding brunch. Should you wish to move to another location for an event, there are nearby restaurants that can host rehearsal dinners. Many couples choose to marry at the iconic Old Christ Church and then head back to the hotel for the reception. Along the way, there are countless photo opportunities at oak-lined parks and along the bay.
The lawn can easily be transitioned to an event space. Tables, chairs, linens and china are provided. The hotel has a caterer, who is among the best in the city and customizes his meals to the occasion. As an eco-friendly hotel, Oyster Bay uses china and tableware rather than disposable products.
Upon entering the hotel, clean lines, a neutral color palette, cozy furniture and sophisticated coastal décor welcome and immediately relax visitors.
Typically, the couple, bridal party, family and out-of-town friends stay in the rooms. The rooms have balconies or porches. Each suite is adorned with local artwork, the beds are pillowy and plush with white Peacock Alley bedding and the bathrooms are stocked with luxury LATHER bath products. Suite amenities include a minibar, Nespresso machine, walk-in showers, dining areas and built-in-wardrobes. Guests are provided breakfast by the hotel. For other meals, you are just steps from the best eateries in downtown.
The bridal suite was designed with photography in mind. The room is made chic with pops of soft pink, crystal chandeliers that perfectly light the room and a stunning antique mirror to get ready in front of.
With a bustling downtown and the beach a short ride away, your guests can enjoy the entire weekend exploring. And, the Oyster Bay Boutique Hotel is equally well suited for a bachelorette weekend, a honeymoon stay or an anniversary celebration.