Bonita Bay Close Up
Residents of Bonita Bay sit in the catbird seat. Living in what has long been recognized as one of the top master-planned communities in the country —in terms of amenities, environmental stewardship, and exceptional design of clubhouses, residences and fitness facilities—homeowners are enjoying even more good news these days.
Two facets of Bonita Bay’s strength—Bonita Bay Club and the Bonita Bay Community Association—have recently become member owned and controlled, giving residents an active role in nurturing the success of the community. While separate, the two not-for-profit entities enjoy a synergistic relationship.
Located just north of Naples, the gated community was designed more than 25 years ago, and consists of more than 3,000 single-family, condominium, villa and high-rise residences. Preserving the environment has always been a guiding principle. With half of its 2,400 acres dedicated to open space, residents live in a well-maintained yet beautiful, natural setting. As an example, high-rise living is often an in-town experience. At Bonita Bay, the seven high-rise towers developed by The Lutgert Companies enjoy serene views of nature preserves, golf course greens, and magnificent water scenes.
Bonita Bay Club offers several membership levels including golf, tennis, and house, to suit the preferences of residents as well as a limited number of golf members living outside of the community. The Bonita Bay Club is known for its dining, golf, tennis, and fitness programs and amenities.
Since 2006, Bonita Bay has been ranked by Travel + Leisure Golf and Links magazines as one of America’s premier golf communities.
Bonita Bay has five championship golf courses designed by two legendary architects. Located within the community, the West Club features three Arthur Hills-designed courses. Marsh weaves its way through natural wetland terrain with beautiful oaks and palmettos. Creekside features broad fairways and limited carries, with subtle rolling hills, bunkering, and moguls. Bay Island, located along Estero Bay, features water hazards, sand traps, and thick stands of oak and cypress, making it the most challenging of the five courses. The West courses achieved Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status in 1995. The off-site East Club is located on 1,035 acres of cypress wetlands, with no residential development. It features two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses. Cypress is the longest of the five courses, and offers spacious fairways, natural bunkering, and memorable finishing holes. Sabal, named for the hundreds of native sabal palms on site, features undulating fairways and distinctive bunkering and greens. In 1999, Bonita Bay Club East was designated as the world’s first private 36-hole Audubon International Signature Sanctuary.
Since members took over the Bonita Bay Club in 2010, major capital improvements have upgraded club amenities considerably. The tennis club, for instance, was enhanced to give its 18 Har-Tru courts a state-of-the-art subsurface irrigation system. Bonita Bay is the only club in the country with two United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professionals; its tennis club boasts 25 league teams, and one of the most active and competitive tennis programs in Southwest Florida. The 10,000-square-foot The resident-controlled Bonita Bay Community Association oversees the community’s award-winning landscaping, community parks and lakes, architectural design review, bike trails, and the Bonita Bay Beach Park.
A top priority of the Bonita Bay Community Association is protecting the beauty and desirability of the community with features such as design review guidelines and specific native landscaping requirements. In 2004, Bonita Bay was certified as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary, only the sixth property in Florida and the 38th in the world to achieve this certification. The community association has always set the bar high, with a focus on excellence in environmental planning, wildlife-habitat management, resource conservation, waste management, and outreach and education.
“With the fabulous variety of amenities available to us, Bonita Bay has been a wonderful place to live for over 25 years,” said Steve Aronson, president, Bonita Bay Community Association. “Having just been turned over to resident leadership, we are truly excited about what the future holds.”
fitness center was redesigned with all new Life Fitness equipment; each of 34 cardio workout stations now features its own TV monitor. The fitness staff includes licensed athletic trainers, personal trainers, and specialists certified in golf conditioning, water aerobics, and strength and conditioning, as well as licensed massage therapists providing a full range of spa services.
Bonita Bay Club’s clubhouses provide much more than fine dining. The West clubhouse features a grand dining room and private dining rooms for a wide range of social and community gatherings and celebrations. The 55,000-square-foot clubhouse includes the casual Club Room and Lounge with a dance floor, fine dining in the Fireside Room, and a spacious card room. The 8,200-square-foot East clubhouse includes a casual dining room, grill room, bar and pro shop.
“There are no comparable communities when considering the beauty and amenities of Bonita Bay,” said Cindy White, president of Bonita Bay Club, and a member since 1995.
Complementary amenities offered to all residents include more than 12 miles of bike and walking paths, and four parks including a popular beach park. Located off-site on the Gulf of Mexico, Bonita Bay Beach Park includes parking, shaded pavilions, grills, chairs and umbrellas and