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TravelBest resorts in Florida - The Points Guy

Best resorts in Florida – The Points Guy

Thanks to oft-sweltering temperatures, wild animals and various Florida Man tales, people have a lot of feelings about the Sunshine State. But there’s one thing everyone can agree on: Florida is undisputedly a year-round vacation destination, mostly due to an abundance of postcard-perfect beaches on 12 distinct and nicknamed coasts, mild winters and an average of 230 to 250 days a year of sunshine. It’s even home to what many consider America’s first true resort destination, Palm Beach.

Not even sticky summer heat, giant blobs of seaweed or hurricane season — at its peak from mid-August through October — keep people from making multigenerational memories at Orlando’s theme parks, spotting alligators in Everglades National Park, fishing and boating until the sun sets, swimming with manatees, catching space shuttle launches, digging into tart Key lime pie, scuba diving in the Florida Keys, or partying like Pitbull in Miami.

No matter how you plan to spend your Sunshine State sabbatical, chances are you’ll need somewhere to stay, and Florida’s best resorts and hotels are as diverse as the itineraries it boasts. To help narrow the search, here’s our list of the 16 best resorts in Florida, many of which can be booked with points.

Related: These are the best times to visit Florida

The Tampa Edition

Tampa, Florida, USA


Best for: The chicest stay in Central Florida.

Why stay here: Those who live to eat (and drink) will be sated by seven food and beverage outlets, including a velvety lounge serving Caribbean-inspired punches and a Michelin-starred stunner from John Fraser. For everyone else, there’s a rooftop pool, a spa, a live-entertainment venue and waterfront walks.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits while still earning Marriott Bonvoy points, or directly with Marriott to redeem points.

Since debuting in 2022 as part of the $3.5 billion mixed-use Water Street development and revitalization project, this sophisticated sanctuary in the city has become one of the hottest spots in town for eating and drinking — and one of the best resorts in Florida.

Steps from the waterfront promenade and parkways, The Tampa Edition’s see-and-be-seen scene starts the minute you walk through the bougainvillea-crowned front door into a veritable jungle of potted plants, wisely used to break up the cavernous lobby into more bijou vignettes. Here, you’ll find shaggy seating and extra-long sectionals, a pool table, a bar, a white spiral staircase (a distinguishing feature of the brand) and, if you arrive in the afternoon, a punch-serving welcome wagon. At night, the low lighting casts shadows up to the high ceilings, and it is hard not to be mesmerized by the tangoing fronds. You’ll notice the signature black-tea scent by Le Labo, which creates an alluring and peaceful vibe that will set the tone for your stay.

Equally scene-y and eye-catching is the rooftop pool deck, the first of its kind in Tampa (but judging by its popularity, it most certainly won’t be the last). The green walls, sprays of flowers, alfresco bar, twinkling skyline and glassy pool are instant camera clickbait, no matter the time of day.

Inside the Morris Adjmi-designed 27-story tower, there are 172 rooms and 38 private residences. Expect creamy minimalism, big windows, refined finishes and one of the coziest beds in the industry. Two more brand hallmarks are found here: a faux fur throw — each Edition has a unique blanket — and framed black-and-white photos that convey a sense of place. Also, trust us, you’re definitely going to want a stand-alone tub if only to put the fancy bottle of salts to good use.

When you’re ready to leave your quiet luxury cocoon, you won’t have to go far to fill your belly or your social calendar. Foodies should call far in advance to secure a green velvety banquette or seat at the chef’s table at Lilac, chef John Fraser’s one-Michelin-starred modern Mediterranean tasting menu experience. Heaven is Fraser’s milk bread and dark chocolate souffle. He also oversees the property’s open-air Greek restaurant. The ground-floor Market at Edition is the spot for breakfast, caffeine or getting some emails sent. The second floor vaunts a swanky drinking den that specializes in punches made with flavors and spirits culled from around the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and Arts Club, where guests can catch live music and stand-up comedy under a canopy of disco balls.

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Compared to many of the other Florida resorts on this list, the spa is minuscule. But small and mighty still get the job done. The same can be said about the gym, which stocks Technogym machines, Peloton bikes and free Kind bars and apples.

Rates at The Tampa Edition start at $549 or 71,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Related: The best Edition hotels in the world, according to Marriott Bonvoy loyalists

Faena Hotel Miami Beach

Bayshore, Miami, Florida, USA


Best for: Those with deep pockets that appreciate this art-focused hotel’s see-and-be-seen atmosphere.

Why stay here: It’s a one-stop shop in an excellent location with stunning rooms, a beautifully landscaped exterior, excellent beach service, a trendy bar scene and entertaining evening cabaret show.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elitelike perks and on-property credits. It’s also available on American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts and Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, where you can get valuable perks like credits to use on property, room upgrades and late checkout, depending on the program.

There are plenty of solid reasons to book the Faena Miami Beach the next time you find yourself in the 305, starting with the fact that maybe you’ve outgrown the raucous revelry of South Beach but still seek easy access to playtime in the tides and a historic building given a new lease on life. Perhaps you love art or food or pool butlers who clean sunglasses and pour fruit-infused water. Possibly, you want to give shaman-developed wellness rituals (which you saw while stalking A-listers on Instagram) a go. Or maybe you’ve always wondered what “Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann’s fever dreams look like.

You’ll need to like loud colors, unexpected pattern combinations and edgy art. You’ll also need to be open-minded about woo-woo practices (i.e., sound baths, palo santo cleansing, chakra harmonization, etc.), be able to handle punchily spiced meals and strong drinks, and be willing to part with a good chunk of change to fully appreciate Argentine hotelier Alan Faena’s bold redo of a 179-room property from the 1940s. After all, there is a giant mammoth skeleton encased in glass adjacent to the pool (Damien Hirst, of course). You can also expect DJs who spin actual vinyl and abundant meditation opportunities at the spa.

“Moulin Rouge” mastermind Luhrmann and his Oscar-winning costume-and-production-designer wife, Catherine Martin, were tasked with the design, which is how animal prints, tassels, floral pillows, candy-striped umbrellas and whimsical knickknacks (like shells and fish-shaped pitchers) all come together stylishly. Faena also assembled an all-star food-and-beverage team: South America’s renowned grillmaster Francis Mallmann continues his advocacy for open-fire cooking and gaucho flavor profiles at Los Fuegos. “Top Chef” winner Paul Qui oversees both inventive Filipino fare at Pao and a sushi speak-easy, El Secreto Omakase. There are also several bars that serve more casual snacks alongside tipples and the hotel’s own Malbec vintage.

Rates at the Faena Miami Beach start at $1,593 per night.

Conrad Orlando

Orlando, Florida, USA


Best for: Those who want to be close to Disney, or to just experience one of Orlando’s most unusual — and elevated — resorts.

Why stay here: Check in to Orlando’s only beach resort, featuring a man-made 8-acre lagoon, a high-end spa, tons of restaurants and a kids club, too.

Best way to book: Book directly with Hilton to earn or redeem Hilton Honors points and enjoy any elite benefits.

The new-hotel smell hadn’t even worn off — the Conrad Orlando opened in January as part of the billion-dollar Evermore Orlando compound — when accolades, including a spot on TPG’s list of the most anticipated new hotels of 2024, started rolling in for the luxury brand’s second Sunshine State outpost. It has quickly become one of the best resorts in Florida. It’s billed as Orlando’s first beach resort (no, you didn’t read that wrong!), thanks to an 8-acre blue lagoon surrounded by a palm-dotted sandy shoreline complete with daybeds, hammocks and kayak/stand-up paddleboarding rentals (included with resort fee).

The aquatic adventures don’t end there at this Hilton-owned hotel. There’s also a sizable pool with cabanas and chaises, a splash pad, and a tranquil spa inspired by the state’s hundreds of springs and native plants. Arrive an hour before your treatment, which starts with breathwork, to wander the 12,000-square-foot water garden and soak in its various warm and cold plunges. There are water features on Evermore’s two golf courses and in the neighboring preserve.

The nature motifs continue throughout the resort’s public spaces, meeting rooms and 433 units, which are bright, airy and full of cooling blue shades and light woods. Because Orlando is a family destination first, some rooms contain built-in bunk beds, gourmet kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Disney’s nightly fireworks. If you want a closer look, a complimentary motorcoach shuttles guests to the theme parks.

Be sure to return in time to eat and drink at the rooftop bar Ceiba (Mexican fare), spritz-forward Apero, Sophia’s Trattoria, Papaya Club (Polynesian/Asian) and Little Spoon (all-day dining and cafe).

Rates at the Conrad Orlando start at $450 or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

Bal Harbour, Miami, Florida, USA


Best for: Marriott Bonvoy elite members who fancy an upgrade to gorgeous suites.

Why stay here: For exquisite service — all suites are assigned a butler — and St. Regis flourishes like the traditional Champagne sabering ceremony in the lounge.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elitelike perks and on-property credits. It’s also available on American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts and Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, where you can get valuable perks like credits to use on property, room upgrades and late checkout, depending on the program. Or, reserve your room directly with Marriott to redeem points for your stay.

Bal Harbor Village has long been one of the destination’s ritziest neighborhoods, and The St. Regis Bal Harbour, with its butler service, marble baths, shiny appointments and Champagne sabering, has fit right in since its opening in 2012.

Sandwiched between bustling Collins Avenue and a scenic strand of sand fronting the Atlantic, the gleaming 27-story high-rise holds 213 refined neutral-hued guest rooms and suites, every single one of which, whether it’s an entry-level room with two queens or one of three new four-bedroom signature suites, promises ocean views and at least one balcony. (Some have three.) To use them, you’ll need to get out of the pillow-topped bed or the stand-alone tub.

Of course, if you never leave the room, you’ll miss quite a lot, including a 14,000-square-foot spa where 24-karat gold wraps and customized baths are the norm, the 24-hour gym with group fitness classes (including beach boot camp), a sprawling sundeck and two pools (one is for the 16-and-older crowd), oceanfront day villas, afternoon tea or French cuisine at La Gourmandise, Greek delights at Atlantikos, and a glass lobby lounge. Several of these were added or upgraded in 2020’s $65 million enhancement. If your Miami vice of choice is shopping, cross the street to the Bal Harbour Shops, a compound of couture featuring names like Balenciaga, Gucci and Harry Winston.

Before you go, slide up to the namesake bar to toast to a great getaway (and to how many Marriott Bonvoy points you earned) with a Key lime-garnished Bloody Sunrise, its take on the brand’s signature cocktail, the bloody mary.

Rates at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort start at $1,199 or 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Breakers Palm Beach

Palm Beach, Florida, USA


Best for: Luxury travelers who appreciate a historic-meets-modern beachy vacation in Palm Beach.

Why stay here: An iconic landmark set along the glistening island strip of Palm Beach, lavish amenities, upscale dining and high-end shopping among endless spectacular seaside views.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

Debuted in 1896 and reopened two more times after major fires in the early 1900s, this grande dame of Atlantic Ocean accommodations is not only surviving but thriving as one of Florida’s most lavish lodgings.

The Breakers, a 534-room Italian Renaissance jewel plopped down on 140 beachfront acres of the longtime posh playground, reinvests millions annually to maintain its opulent character — frescoed ceilings, Florentine fountains and crystal chandeliers won’t preserve themselves, after all — while modernizing (think bathroom mirrors with an embedded TV). The property continues to provide the top-tier services guests demand when they show up to frolic in its four pools and six hot tubs; stroll the manicured grounds; get rejuvenating rubdowns in the indoor-outdoor spa; partake in tennis, watersports or kid-friendly activities like spin art and Skee-ball; golf on two 18-hole courses and one minigolf course; or stage envy-inducing celebrations in majestic ballrooms.

There are five room categories and 11 varieties of suites plus accessible versions. Jovial Lilly Pulitzer-esque prints, quality linens, fragrant toiletries and soft robe-slipper combos make it difficult to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. For a more intimate, exclusive and indulgent holiday, look into the Flagler Club, a 21-room hotel-within-a-hotel with its own club lounge, rooftop hang and chauffeured Mercedes-Maybach fleet.

There is also much diversity in the resort’s dining options. Eat your way around the world at 10 restaurants, including Echo (pan-Asian), HMF (global snacks like Greek lamb sliders and duck empanadas with a wine list 2,000 vintages long), Henry’s (an American bistro) and The Italian Restaurant. There’s also a seafood bar and a chophouse. Reservations for The Circle’s epic Sunday brunch should be squared away several weeks ahead of the preferred dining date.

Rates at The Breakers Palm Beach start at $790 per night.

Caribe Royale Orlando

Orlando, Florida, USA


Best for: Big multigenerational groups and conventioneers with family in town.

Why stay here: With pickleball courts, a waterslide, a playground, a running trail, seven dining venues, a rum bar featuring 90 different sips, a catch-and-release fishing lake, and 240,000 square-feet of meeting spaces and ballrooms, there really is something for everyone.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best deals and packages.

While we don’t have the exact stats on what brings visitors to Orlando, we’d bet good money that a big chunk of that demographic would include those traveling to theme parks, conventions or the meetings-and-Magic Kingdom one-two punch. The Caribe Royale is the move for those third-circle folks, particularly after news broke that the all-suites independent property was joining the WorldHotels Rewards program.

With the last pieces of a $140 million renovation and expansion falling into place in late 2023, including 240,000 square feet of primo meeting and events space and an abundance of amenities for all ages, this Barbie-pink behemoth — less than 2 miles from Disney’s parks — is business-leisure travel at its finest, especially if you’re bringing the family along for the fun.

The 1,337 contemporary one-bedroom suites and “villas” (basically two bedrooms with full kitchens, screened patios and laundry facilities) are comfortable and quite sizable, especially given the affordable price point when compared with similarly sized options. Whether traveling as a couple, pals or a family, opt for the model with a vanity in the hallway and a wash closet that can be sealed off.

No one will be bored while you’re taking care of business. There’s something to entertain everyone: a playground, a game room and three open-after-dark pools, one of which has a 75-foot slide and a cascading waterfall. Break a sweat in the two-story fitness center or courts for basketball, pickleball and padel tennis. (Don’t know how to play that last one? No problem, as the current coach of the women’s national team gives tutorials!)

There’s even a lake with catch-and-release fishing, and the fishing gear is covered by the resort fee (which also covers loaner bikes and transportation to Walt Disney World and Disney Springs).

The convention center handles massive groups under one roof on one level and just far enough away from the towers that house distractions like the spa, The Market’s dangerous made-in-house sweets selection and the very well-stocked Rum Bar. An on-site Starbucks provides caffeine fixes, which can be ordered through the app from the comfort of your suite’s ergonomic workstation. Reward a hard day’s work with a rib-eye or chicken parm at The Venetian Chop House or by watching multiple big games on the 360-degree overhead display at Stadium Club, a sports bar with pub food and numerous simulators.

Rates at the Caribe Royale Orlando start at $175 or 32,000 WorldHotels points per night.

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Little Torch Key, Florida, USA


Best for: People who want a tropical vacation without needing a passport.

Why stay here: It’s America’s only private-island resort — and that’s something you should experience.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best rates and savings.

Rebuilt and better than ever after 2017’s Hurricane Irma, Little Palm Island, a 4-acre private-island hideaway in the Lower Florida Keys, provides discerning travelers everything they need for a romantic rendezvous, digital detox or slightly more affordable Maldives destination dupe.

The only way to arrive at this member of the Noble House portfolio is by seaplane or vintage boat, adding to the air of exclusivity. (Sandra Bullock, Blake Shelton, John Stamos and Lil Wayne have all allegedly graced the isle with their presence.) Once there, sugary beaches, hammocks, early morning dips in turquoise waters, fruity libations at the palapa bar, sound therapy in the spa and attentive service will kick-start the unwinding process. The noticeable absence of room phones, TVs and kiddos further aids the sense of total escape from the mainland. (Fun fact: There is one flat-screen in The Great Room on the property for can’t-miss TV moments)

Your home-away-from-home is one of 15 thatched-roof bungalows — each is divided into two suites — with ocean views, high ceilings and a distinctly British West Indies design. It will be hard to pull yourself away from your private beach fire pit, the hammered copper tub on the furnished deck or the daybed built for two, even when your stomach starts telling you it’s time to sit down to a supper of chilled caviar and seafood towers, rich soups, and hearty meat entrees at The Dining Room.

Before turning in, sip and socialize in the Monkey Hut. Sunday brunch is a spread not to be missed.

If you simply must do something grander, sailing, deep-sea fishing, stargazing and scuba excursions to Looe Key can be organized for a fee.

Rates at the Little Palm Island Resort & Spa start at $2,800 per night.

Related: Best private-island resorts in the world – and not just for billionaires

PGA National Resort

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA


Best for: Couples who like to golf and relax together.

Why stay here: A golf haven nestled in Palm Beach Gardens, this resort is home to six championship courses, a renowned wellness facility and two foodie hot spots from “Top Chef” alums.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

If you’re serious about golf, staying and playing at the PGA National Resort, where pros take on the notorious Bear Trap at the annual Cognizant Classic, probably tops your bucket list. For friends, family and better halves who don’t care about the sport, not so much. After 2022’s $100 million top-to-bottom glow-up, which combined 1960s Palm Beach nostalgia chic with country club culture, convincing them to join you shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

Golf is still the main driver of reservations. Five courses are found on the main property. Free shuttle service deposits players at a sixth 5 miles away. First-time swingers have several schools and clinics to choose from.

The much-improved, heavily wallpapered product promises (and delivers) “a 360-degree luxury travel experience” even if you never play a single one of the 99 holes. It starts with 339 smart rooms and suites featuring wingback headboards, lacquered furniture and showstopping curved mauve sofas. For a tonier, more intimate stay, there are 21 cottages by Serena & Lily (as in tennis champ Williams) on their own cul-de-sac.

Non-players have many options to fill their itinerary: a racquet club, a gym, cornhole, birding (and occasionally gatoring) near water hazards, tasting local chocolates at Sugarplume (where the coolest flamingo floor mosaic resides), pool parties, reading in the hammock grove or donning a beekeeper’s suit to learn about the hive and honey program. Grab fancy coffee at The MKT, negronis under the lobby’s handblown banyan tree illuminated by 1,500 LEDs or boozy milkshakes at a ’50s diner. Get a mullet and a Macallan in the barbershop. Try acupuncture, apricot mani-pedis or the three mineral pools made with healing salts imported from around the world at the 40,000-square-foot spa designed by Venus Williams’ company. (Her sister can’t have all the fun!)

Two restaurants helmed by “Top Chef” alums are reason alone to check in. Lindsay Autry’s Honeybelle serves seasonal American favorites like fried chicken and wood-fired pizzas with a side of Southern charm. The Butcher’s Club, Season 13 winner Jeremy Ford’s slick take on a steakhouse, is a meal you’ll never forget, particularly if you order the tomahawk steak that is set on fire while dangling from a hook tableside. Even appetizers — truffle brisket jalapeno poppers, potato gratin Vidalia onion or scratch-made parkerhouse rolls with whipped honey butter — leave a lasting impression.

Rates at the PGA National Resort start at $399 per night.

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Amelia Island, Florida, USA


Best for: Fun in the sun and surf.

Why stay here: With a fab spa, golf, on-site kids club and 13 miles of pristine beaches at its door, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island ticks all the boxes for Florida vacation fun.

Best way to book: Book directly with Marriott to earn or redeem Marriott Bonvoy points and enjoy any elite benefits.

The beautiful barrier island that’s home to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is less than 30 miles away from the urban sprawl of Jacksonville yet feels a world away with its 13 miles of wide and quiet shoreline, Victorian buildings, gentle breezes that make moss-covered trees dance, and animal-filled marshes best explored by kayak. The serenity continues at this seaside resort, part of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, with its calming color palette, seemingly boundless balcony views and evenings spent at fire pits enshrouded by dunes.

All 446 guestrooms and suites, including ground-floor gems with terraces warmed by fire tables and suites with separate living rooms, were redesigned recently to reflect North Florida’s sky, sea and multicultural heritage. There’s evening turndown service, newspaper delivery and 24-hour room service. Add an extra layer of indulgence by booking the club level for access to the lounge’s mouthwatering culinary spreads, dedicated concierges, daily garment pressing and an exclusive section of sand with umbrellas and coolers full of cocktails.

While away days on pickleball and clay tennis courts, bike tours, the private golf course or on a nature tour to try birding or crabbing. Or catch dinner with the fish-to-dish experience. If you’d prefer someone else do all the work, sit down for white-tablecloth service at Salt, seafood and steak at Coast, Lowcountry classics at Tidewater Grill, sushi at The Lobby Bar or Spanish/Latin eats outside at Coquina.

Though it caters best to couples seeking a romantic getaway or adults in need of a reset, there are options for families beyond hours of building sandcastles. Given the island’s pirate past, costumed swashbucklers regale kids with stories, make toasts and can be hired to handle bedtime tuck-ins. Get some alone time by sending the kids to the Ritz Kids daytime club or Kids Night Out programming.

Rates at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island start at $699 or 57,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Don CeSar

St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA


Best for: Beachy bachelorette parties and weddings with a Barbie-pink backdrop.

Why stay here: Hollywood history combines with a gulfside setting and a 11,000-square-foot spa for great getaways.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best deals and packages.

Forbidden love, a Florida real estate fortune and an obsession with the Royal Hawaiian Resort on Waikiki Beach led an Irish immigrant to build his own pink palace in the sunny Tampa Bay enclave in 1928. The Don CeSar quickly became a high-society hangout with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Al Capone, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig among the regulars.

Since then, its wild history has included Depression-era Yankees spring training, numerous presidential stays starting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a stint as a World War II army hospital, numerous cameos in movies and TV series (including Robert DeNiro’s “Once Upon a Time in America”) and a community campaign that saved it from demolition in the ’70s. Now, at 96 years young, the only registered historic hotel on the Gulf Coast is greeting a new generation of guests with its laid-back luxury, Instagram-worthy architecture and pole position on 7 miles of powdery beach.

Built to mimic a Mediterranean castle, with some Moorish elements thrown in for good measure, the hotel now contains 277 pastel-tinged rooms, one-bedroom suites and two penthouses decked out in Jazz Age reproductions and awesome avian wallpaper. Desks and strong Wi-Fi enable seamless work from the hotel, but the photogenic headboards, spectacular sunsets, two heated pools, full-service salon, cabanas, five boutiques, 11,000-square-foot spa with an indulgent five-hour package, swing in the sand, and a predominance of pink are better suited to girls trips, bachelorette parties, sexy stays and weddings.

All of those trip types will benefit from six establishments dedicated to eating, imbibing and entertaining. Small plates and live music are found in the jewel-toned Lobby Bar. Beeline to Society Table for a casual vibe and coastal cuisine. Special occasions call for Maritana’s stone crabs, hogfish and roasted bone marrow.

Rates at The Don Cesar start at $399 per night.

The Boca Raton

Boca Raton, Florida, USA


Best for: A high-end vacation with a built-in beach club.

Why stay here: Celebrate the good life at this historical resort in Boca Raton with butler service, fine dining and the namesake beach club.

Best way to book: Book directly with the resort.

The Boca Raton’s story begins back in 1926 when it was known as The Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn. The Addison Mizner Moorish-Mediterranean masterpiece was a vision of archways, secret gardens, finials and fountains, and upper-crusty Northerners arriving for fun in the sun became instant fans. Flash forward to 2021, when phase one of a thoughtful $200 million transformation that preserved the best parts of the past kick-started a much anticipated sequel. Given that it is now five hotels nestled within the resort’s 200-acre complex bordered by ocean, lake and a 32-slip marina, the plot of a South Florida furlough here is choose your own adventure.

While all are impeccable examples of salt air chic with shared services, including water taxis and evening turndown service, each member of the fab five offers a unique vibe. Cloister is the 294-room original. Yacht Club is an all-suites adults-only hotel where you can watch over your boat from the balcony. Bungalows is set up for long-term stays, with 58 two-bedroom suites with kitchens. It has its own entrance, pool and comped continental breakfast in the reception area. The 212-room Beach Club is for water babies as it and its three pools and cabana collection encircle a golden beach. It’s also home to a tween hangout and, soon, a surf simulator.

The newest bookable spot is the 27-floor, 224-room Tower, which has floor butlers, free minibar snacks and 11 signature suites following its $65 million face-lift. Splurging on one of those — perhaps the Townhouse with double-height views of the Intracoastal Waterway and a sectional perfect for movie screenings — unlocks an added portfolio of goodies such as preferred seating at the beach and pools (good for ensuring seats closest to the action on the two waterslides and 450-foot-long lazy river!) and entry to the Top of the Tower lounge. Pinkies out for high tea, cooking demos and sommelier-hosted wine tastings while perusing the Assouline library.

Those suites also come with priority reservations at 11 restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisine, including Italian, veggie-forward and Japanese. Four are part of the acclaimed Major Food Group empire, and two were curated by Colin Cowie.

The resort also has plenty of other accouterments of hoity-toity hospitality to brag about, such as a macaron shop, live bossa nova, bocce and a fleet of houseboats.

Rates at The Boca Raton start at $399 per night.

Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Surfside, Florida

Surfside, Miami, Florida, USA


Best for: Anyone looking for an upscale, tranquil oasis in the otherwise noisy hubbub of Miami Beach.

Why stay here: For a nostalgic take on Miami that still delivers modern — and elegant — rooms, public areas and pool and beach activities.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark for elitelike perks and on-property credits. It’s also available on American Express’ Fine Hotels + Resorts, where you can get valuable perks like credits to use on the property, room upgrades and late checkout.

Sure, this elegant offering in the tranquil northern area of Miami is from the reputable Canadian brand that delivers tailored interiors, proffers polished service and caters to well-heeled wealthy folks who like to make deals between laps in the pool and black-diamond runs. But don’t get it twisted. The Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club is not a boring, buttoned-up hotel.

It couldn’t be if it tried, and that’s mostly because it was built around an iconic Prohibition-era social club kept damp by Cuban and Bahamian rum runners that lured the likes of Douglas Fairbanks, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Tennessee Williams, Joan Crawford, Henry Ford and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to parties that are the stuff of legend. (We’re talking live elephants, kayaks in the pool and 300 tables made of ice.) And while the events are tamer these days, it’s a den du jour once again.

But it’s also a result of the Four Seasons’ solid reputation for hospitality and hiring the best people in the biz, including Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Richard Meier and Parisian interior designer Joseph Dirand, the latter of which conjured a minimalist-meets-golden-age-glamour mood inside classical modernist exteriors. Across 9 acres, there are 77 rooms, 30 residences, four bungalows and 121 apartments. In some, you can see the Atlantic from the shower, while others let you peep the sunset show over Biscayne Bay.

Common spaces are lousy with beamed ceilings, arched windows, oversized pendant lighting and potted plants. There’s a sublime spa with a traditional hammam and tea lounge. Even the three pools, 40 cabanas, gym, seaside gardens and beach area are effortlessly crisp and classy.

Award-winning chef Thomas Keller’s first Florida foray, The Surf Club, already wrangled a Michelin star for his meticulously plated takes on continental cuisine from the social club’s heyday, including avocado Louie, Dover sole meuniere, short rib Wellington and lobster thermidor. Taste la dolce vita at Lido in what was once the fabled ballroom. Bragging rights for the city’s largest collection of bubbles belong to The Champagne Bar, which also makes a mean gin sling and 747. Procure yummy provisions with slightly less pomp and circumstance at Crudo Bar or Winston’s.

Rates at the Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Surfside, Florida start at $1,500 per night.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Orlando, Florida, USA


Best for: Families who want to stay on the monorail loop in a tropical-themed oasis.

Why stay here: The Polynesian is one of Disney World’s most extensively themed hotels, plus it offers easy access to the Magic Kingdom and some of the most popular dining options.

Best way to book: Book via TPG’s Disney booking partner, Mouse Counselors, for assistance with planning your Disney World vacation. You can also potentially save money by renting Disney Vacation Club points.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, one of the original branded properties in Orlando imagined by Walt himself, is a fantastic lodging choice for those who don’t want their Disney World dream vacation to end when the park closes. This is particularly true if one of the party had voted to instead spend their PTO somewhere in the South Pacific sipping umbrella drinks, as it conveniently sits on the monorail system but creates the illusion of an island paradise complete with dense vegetation, high-pitched fale-like roofs, water taxis, overwater bungalows and a “Moana” theme.

Despite being around since 1971, the 39-acre, 847-room resort’s quality has remained high due to an extensive commitment to the theme and regular renovations. The upkeep is most noticeable in the longhouses. With floral throw pillows, carved vanities and wall art featuring Maui, Pua and Heihei, the various rooms, suites and deluxe studios sleep up to five adults, while bungalows — a worthwhile splurge with plunge pools and full kitchens — can accommodate eight people.

There are nine places to dine at this Central Florida resort, most of which serve tropical delicacies like Tonga toast (Capt. Cook’s) and tuna poke (Kona Cafe), American standbys, or food with Asian flair. Notably, there’s Ohana, with its “Lilo & Stitch” breakfast and all-you-can-eat dinner with delectable noodles, teriyaki beef and bread pudding. Hawaiian pupus like pork ribs are plated at Tambu Lounge, while the ever-popular Dole Whips can be procured at the Pineapple Lanai. There are even dueling indoor and outdoor Trader Sam’s tiki bars.

When you aren’t at a theme park, there are plenty of activities and amenities on the grounds, such as the Senses spa, marshmallow roasts, free outdoor movies, motorized boat rentals on the lagoon, the Electrical Water Pageant and 142-foot waterslide that dunks riders into a pool with a volcano.

Rates at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort start at $574 per night.

The Gabriel Miami South Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton

Miami Beach, Florida, USA


Best for: Splashy South Beach sojourns.

Why stay here: An art deco jewel in the heart of Ocean Drive’s nonstop party offers the hallmarks of a quintessential Miami visit, from top-tier people-watching and lively bars to a sexy glass-bottomed rooftop pool and bold art, without breaking the bank.

Best way to book: Book directly with Hilton to earn or redeem Hilton Honors points and enjoy any elite benefits.

Hilton Honors loyalists desiring a reasonably priced, reliable and unique hotel smack dab in the heart of Miami’s nightlife and tourism hub should look no further than this colorful Curio Collection boutique housed inside a mix of preserved art deco low-rises and newbuilds.

Visitors who want to shop, eat, hit the club, work out or have fun in the sun can’t beat the location of The Gabriel South Beach, offering 132 rooms along famed Ocean Drive and across the street from one of the world’s most famous stretches of sand. The resort fee includes manual and electric bike rentals, daily beach chairs, a shuttle to the downtown sister property every hour and one to Wynwood on weekends, rooftop yoga classes at dusk, and free tickets or discounts to several immersive art experiences including Wynwood Walls, the Bass Museum and the new Artechouse.

Staying on the property provides big vacation energy with two bars, a mezzanine library, a small but stocked gym and two pools — one in the garden where DJ sessions pop off and one glass-bottomed one atop a building that looks down onto a 30-foot mural by street artist Mr. Brainwash.

There are three restaurants, though only the Mediterranean spot in the lobby, Meet Dalia, can be signed to the room. It’s hopping at happy hour with cheap oysters and micheladas, and patio tables provide front-row seats to endless people-watching.

Spying on passersby and people working out at the beach gym from personal terraces is also a good time, but there’s a tradeoff. Those quarters suffer from more street noise, though decent insulation, a calming coastal aesthetic and turning up the complimentary movie rental can help. Kudos are in order for myriad sustainability measures like bamboo key cards and “do not disturb” placards, digital tablets for directories and notepads, energy-efficient windows, and reusable water bottles.

Rates at The Gabriel Miami South Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton start at $259 or 63,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

Manalapan, Florida, USA


Best for: Upscale travelers who enjoy good food and a fabulous spa day by the ocean.

Why stay here: This extravagant and relaxing resort is laced with delights, from Champagne-filled spa days to steakhouse feasts to dog-friendly tent rentals by the pool.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

Thrilling is Eau Palm Beach’s business, and business is good for this independent luxury hotel that provides a similarly pricey but more playful alternative to the dignified matriarch that lives up the street, The Breakers.

Built out of the bones of a former Ritz-Carlton, majorly updated in 2021 and situated on 7 acres of sun-dappled coast, Eau knows the vast turquoise expanse just beyond its retaining wall is the star of this show. As such, it takes every opportunity to feature it, from the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors in the 309 rooms to the island’s only private ocean-facing cabanas. The aptly named Breeze Ocean Kitchen, one of eight dining venues, is an open-air patio with waves for a soundtrack. Other outlets showcase the Atlantic’s edible bounty while Eau’s good-works partner, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, fights to save one of its most vulnerable residents.

Guests can also get quality sea time by experimenting with nonmotorized water sports, beach yoga or bicycles, all of which are complimentary — which is particularly notable given there is no resort fee. Other inclusions of note: dog amenities, beach furniture use, the teen club and summer kids club, and free dining for kids 5 and under at most restaurants. Club-level guests get even more extras.

The adorable rooms give the sea a run for its money. Jonathan Adler deployed numerous of his calling cards — electric colors, fanciful and retro embellishments, wow wallpaper, and statement curtains — to achieve a Capri-meets-Santorini mirage.

If you spend plenty of time indulging in Wine Down Fridays, Polpo’s pasta, Angle’s foie gras and short rib mac and cheese or waffle cones from Melt (instead of Savor’s healthy chickpea and cucumber bowls), you can schedule some time with the Technogym toys in the fitness center or in the yoga studio. Personal trainers and a tennis pro, who can be found at the Har-Tru clay courts, can help. If you prefer private workouts, Peloton bikes can be delivered to your room.

Or skip exercising and go straight to treating yourself in the 42,000-square-foot spa. Between self-care journeys that take six hours and include Champagne and caviar bumps, a DIY body polish bar, cupcakes and swinging chairs, it’s an adults-only refuge so inviting you may never want to leave.

Rates at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa start at $479 per night.

Bungalows Key Largo

Key Largo, Florida, USA


Best for: Adults who want to take advantage of an all-inclusive resort with Florida Keys vibes.

Why stay here: It’s a true all-inclusive resort that offers an all-you-can-eat-and-drink, kid-free stay in laid-back Key Largo.

Best way to book: Book directly with the resort for the best rates and packages.

As with the rest of the U.S., true turnkey Florida all-inclusive resorts are few and far between. The best of the rare breed is Bungalows Key Largo, an adults-only Florida Keys paradise of pools, premium alcohol and protected waters perfect for paddleboarding and snorkeling that is only 75 minutes from Miami International Airport (MIA).

Toss your keys to the included valet, swig the coconut rum-laced welcome cocktail during the golf cart tour, and settle into a garden-view or waterfront cottage featuring verandas adorned with two Adirondack chairs, cozy bedrooms with either one king or two queen beds, bicycles and Keurigs. The star of the setting is the fenced-in patio with lounge furniture, a soaking tub and an outdoor shower, ideal for admiring the starry skies.

Your wristband grants access to a quiet pool and a party pool, daily yoga classes, karaoke, trivia nights, a fitness hut, cabanas, hammock nooks and an assortment of open-water sports equipment, including clear kayaks, water trikes and snorkeling gear. Taking a cruise aboard a floating tiki hut or hanging out in the spa and its Himalayan salt room and eucalyptus steam room comes with an added cost.

Unlimited food and drinks from five restaurants — as well as poolside and beachside service — are included, however. Enjoy the breakfast buffet and island-meets-Italian dishes at Fish Tales, bar bites and frozen spiked concoctions at Sunset Tiki Bar, craft cocktails with lamb chop lollipops at Hemingway Bar, or upscale Mexican dinner at Sea Senor. Staying four or more nights earns guests one complimentary reservation at the most elegant offering, Bogie & Bacall’s, where you can feast on wagyu beef carpaccio, lobster bisque and bison strips.

Rates at Bungalows Key Largo start at $1,359 per night.

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