Best Florida Resorts
Tourists head to Florida because it's a warm-weather destination -- a perfect getaway to unwind and relax. The Sunshine State, known for its beautiful beaches, has several luxury resort hotels, with high-end amenities -- some include a 5-star restaurant, golf course, spa and fitness club with an ocean view. So, unplug and stay at one of these luxury resorts for a sweet slipaway alone or with someone special.
Little Palm Island is a hidden treasure on a tiny private island accessible only by private boat or airplane. From the minute guests step foot on the island, it is clear that this resort is in a class entirely its own. Discreet accommodations can be found in 28 bungalows scattered across the island. The suites exude a rustic elegance with a rich Polynesian flair, and rooms feature special touches like a whirlpool tub and bamboo-fenced outdoor shower. Some things you won't find in the rooms include telephones, televisions or alarm clocks, which adds to the feeling of total relaxation. There are plenty of activities to fill the day, but lounging on the white sand beach seems to be the most popular choice.
The lobby of the Delano transports visitors to a magical, mystical world. Conceived by entrepreneur Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame, the indoor/outdoor lobby merges fantasy with reality and simplicity with style. Billowing white curtains cascade from the ceiling and usher ultra-hip guests from one decadent room to another. A large back porch overlooks a long expanse of grass and a glowing pool, which is surrounded by cabanas, palm trees and hibiscus. Guestrooms are simple, private sanctuaries decorated in pure white and evoke a feeling of relaxation and serenity. Special amenities include stereos, CDs and long white candles, all which make an overnight stay quite a treat. All this - and the hotel is right on the beach.
Paying homage to the opulence of the Victorian era, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa's rising turrets, gabled roofs and lavish verandas transport guests to the splendors of this pristine age. The resort's 40 acres rest upon the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, and guests can expect to be pampered by an extraordinarily attentive staff. The main building is home to a breathtaking 5-story ceiling and shimmering stained-glass dome, as well as an aviary and open-cage elevator. Visitors may choose to dine in elegance at the 5-diamond Victoria & Albert's restaurant or opt for the more casual Citricos -- featuring delicacies from the south of France.
There's no shortage of swank hotels in Palm Beach, but the granddaddy of them all is The Breakers, a 5-star, 560-room, Italian Renaissance-style behemoth sprawled across 140 acres of prime oceanfront property. The palatial property may have earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, but a recent $120 million renovation ensures guests will be treated to the latest in pampering and style. With two 18-hole golf courses, 10 tennis courts, a 20,000-square-foot spa, ocean-view fitness center and a beach club overlooking half a mile of private beach, it's no surprise that the Breakers' high-rolling guests keep coming back year after year.
Guests of the Animal Kingdom will feel like they've entered a bona fide African game lodge as they get up close and personal with the wildlife that grace the 3 savannahs of this 33-acre property. A 4-story observation window is the centerpiece of the lodge's lobby and affords unspoiled views of the 100 species of animals roaming the grounds, including giraffes, gazelles and ostriches. The 1,293 rooms have a traditional flair -- earth-tone walls, handcrafted wooden furniture, patterned tapestries and even mosquito netting create the ambience of an African retreat. When it's time to dine, guests can experience the tastes of Africa at Jiko or Boma, where wood-burning ovens and thatched roofs guarantee a unique dining experience.