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The Court: What to know when you book a room at Seaside's boutique hotel

Margaret Abrams

Posted on Sep 03, 2021 in The Court , The Motorcourt , Erica Pierce

Set to open this fall, the former Motorcourt (previously the “No Tell Motel”) has been completely transformed into a boutique hotel that’s unlike anything else in the area.

The Court now offers guests an innovative, updated version of a classic motor court. The building was originally designed by American architect Scott Merrill, who was a recipient of the Seaside Prize in 2012 and the Driehaus Architecture Prize in 2016.

The beautiful boutique hotel features Serena & Lily furniture, landscaping that’s perfect for a picnic, and the three-story “Ivory Tower" unit, which is ideal for a wedding party because of its size and privacy. It's the largest unit and can accommodate more people, with a spiral staircase encased in white oak, its own living room, powder room, a large bedroom and a reading nook loft with a Gulf view.

Live oaks, palms and palmettos decorate the central courtyard, which is the perfect place to share a charcuterie board, enjoy a yoga class or escape from the sand.

Interior walls throughout boast vintage sketches by Seaside Prize winner Ray Gindroz, co-founder and principal emeritus of Urban Design Associates.

Vice President of The SEASIDE Style® Erica Pierce has been working on the project for two years and calls it “an extension of The SEASIDE Style®.” Pierce and her team were inspired by other trendy boutique hotels, including a memorable stay at the Surfrider Inn in Malibu.

Pierce says, “It was a privilege and a lot of fun to work with Seaside’s Town Architect, Ty Nunn. Ty and I have very similar styles and tastes, so we work together like a well-oiled machine. We bounce ideas off of each other, which results in an incredible design experience. Ty was my partner during every step of the way.”

The Court is in partnership with Serena & Lily, with all of the furnishings designed by the brand. Some standouts include the pendant lighting and the tropical wallpaper, which feels like Seaside’s version of the Beverly Hills Hotel’s iconic palm fronds.

“It’s almost a modern coastal feel, it’s not your traditional cottage experience,” Pierce explains. “After traveling so much and staying in luxury hotels and not so great places through the years, I knew what the guest experience needed to be. We started fleshing out what the furnishings and interior style needed to be, we felt like Serena & Lily was a perfect fit for us.

“We’ve been successful in translating the lifestyle of Seaside through clothing, gifts and housewares,” she continues. “And now we wanted the guests to really experience what Seaside’s all about.” The curated collection of Court merchandise will be available at The SEASIDE Style® for purchase, including a coffee mug, baseball cap, drinkware, keychains, T-shirts, polos, beach towels, plush robes and mores.

Each room has a private deck with a locally-made teak hanging bed, created by Erica Pierce’s husband Wyman Pierce, as well as comfortable teak lounge chairs from Serena & Lily.

Unit 5, affectionately called the Garden Bungalow, is a must-book. The room features a romantic four-poster bed and opens out into the north garden, offering visitors a private oasis. This unit is ADA compliant and accepts service dogs.

Over the past two decades, the Seaside Community Realty team has also been in this location, where it will remain with hardworking team of Jacky Barker, Donna Spiers and Larry Davis. Across from the real estate office will be the new Black Bear Bread Co., a local cafe that serves freshly baked bagels, pastries like Pop-Tarts and famously fun coffee drinks.

Court guests will receive plenty of perks, including designated parking spots close to the units, espresso machines in each room, and an easy walk to the beach right across the street.

Guests will also receive complimentary bike rentals from the Seaside Transit Authority and pool passes. Exclusive beach access with chairs and umbrellas can be booked through Club Cabana Man.

Already The Court is turning out to be the ultimate wedding destination. It has been booked for three events this October. The central courtyard can be rented for events when you also rent all eight units.

For more information about booking The Court, visit thecourtseaside.com.