In case you were worried about only having access to theme parks, camp grounds and flea markets, rest assured that in addition to there being bastions of places to shop in Florida
, the Sunshine State also offers a number of luxury hotels for the discerning tourist. Here are a few of our favorites.
If you're looking for an ocean view, see Florida Beach Resorts »
Orlando Area Resorts
Gaylord Palms - Orlando
Located just a mile and a half from the front gate of Walt Disney World near Orlando
, the Gaylord Palms
was constructed in the style of an historic Florida mansion while having all of the expected amenities of a modern luxury hotel.
Featuring three signature atriums that bring a "gardens under glass" concept not usually seen in traditional family hotels, multiple world-class restaurants and a variety of on-site recreation opportunities, the Gaylord Palms is the place to stay if you're looking for a little luxury to offset a crazy family day at the temple of the mouse.
The largest non-gaming Forbes four-star hotel in the United States has just gotten a bit more posh. Having recently completed a $450,000,000 renovation to include a thirty-two story tower, twenty-two thousand square foot spa, three landscaped swimming pools and ten delectable dining establishments, the Peabody Orlando
has much to offer the discerning Orlando
Napa, the venue's wine-themed restaurant features fresh, organic farm-to-fork menu selections with chefs Jared Gross and Karl Edlbauer. Kick back in the Peabody's new six-thousand-square-foot lounge Rocks, or enjoy a mango ginger infusion massage at the spa. When a day of Orlando theme park exploration has taken its toll, you'll be able to relax and rejuvenate in style, while still being within easy reach of all the area attractions.
Rosen Shingle Creek - Orlando
Located along the headwaters to the Florida Everglades
, this fifteen-hundred-room, four-diamond luxury hotel features a championship golf course, fourteen dining venues, four outdoor swimming pools, sand volleyball, a spa, walking trails and access to basketball facilities. A Land Remembered and Cala Bella Italian Bistro, two of the dining establishments at Rosen Shingle Creek
, have received a four-diamond AAA rating as well. Spa treatment options include professional stretching, gentlemen's facials, the cypress salt glow and a citrus and cedar massage.
Just minutes away from world-famous Orlando attractions
and a half mile east of the Orange County Convention Center, the Rosen Shingle Creek boasts a convenient location for experiencing everything from the mouse himself to the current conference of note.
Waldorf Astoria - Orlando
Vacationers in Orlando should consider the Waldorf Astoria
among their luxury resort options. Enjoy area theme parks, a night at the ballet or a classical concert performed by the local philharmonic. After a busy day, catch dinner at one of the Astoria's seven separate restaurants, grab a late afternoon round of golf or book one of the luxury spa treatments such as a deep tissue massage or body polish.
Orlando also offers some of the country's most superior shopping experiences, with brands in demand by travelers from around the world. All of those venues are accessible from the Waldorf Astoria, making it a relaxing choice from which to launch all of your Orlando vacation
adventures. The hotel also offers complimentary direct shuttle service to Walt Disney World.
Wyndham Grand - Orlando
Located within the gates of the Walt Disney World Resort itself, the Windham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
provides posh relaxation after a full family day with Mickey. Scheduled to open in October of 2011, the venue features a full championship-level golf course, lagoon-style pool, multiple food and beverage outlets, Wi-Fi, a twenty-four-hour business center and the Blue Harmony spa. Featuring seawater-infused products as well as indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, Blue Harmony brings serenity to travelers overwhelmed with lines at the teacup ride. So grab a cocktail, book a couple's massage or unwind with a round of golf. After all, Mom and Dad deserve to have fun at Walt Disney World too.
South Florida Resorts
The Villa by Barton G - South Beach Miami
Formerly the Versace Mansion, The Villa by Barton G
is a boutique luxury hotel, restaurant and event space in Miami's South Beach
. Guests have exclusive access to the mansion's upper two floors and a duo of private lounges.
Besides the original exquisite detail one would expect from a Versace residence, more than one million additional dollars has been spent renovating the property, making it even more appealing to the discerning traveler. In addition to The Thousand Mosaic Pool, lush, private gardens and certified personal British butler service, a stay at this posh palace also comes with access to personal strength training, beach yoga sessions and a daily newspaper delivered to your Kindle.
The Westin - Key West
Located on laid-back Key West
, the Westin Resort and Marina
provides a posh playground when you've had your fill of Key West's signature "rustically casual" seaside atmosphere. With oceanfront bliss and a spa menu featuring treatments like the island wrap and tropical sugar scrub, you really can't go wrong. Factor in a few divine dining options, all with a view, and you know you've arrived at a tropical paradise in the Florida Keys
. Area activities include pub crawling, boating and historical walking tours.
Seagate Hotel - Delray Beach
With chic, sophisticated guest room décor and pristine beachfront location, the Seagate Hotel
located in Delray Beach brings an extra level of relaxation to the travel table. Foodies will enjoy the interactive cooking classes as well as the sizzling signature seafood dishes available at the on-site dining establishments.
Experience snorkeling or kayaking at the beach club or choose from a smorgasbord of spa options including a gentlemen's facial, couple's massage or ocean-themed body wrap. Easily accessible from the Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami airports, the Seagate offers a refreshing change from the typical tourist hotel on the beach.
Southernmost Hotel in Key West
If kicking it in Key West
is your idea of a great getaway, then the Southernmost Hotel
on Duval Street
might be just what the doctor ordered. With fish-themed lounge chairs, private pier, killer Cuban food around the corner and a two-block walk to the southernmost point
in the United States, what's not to love? New York native and former hotel guest Sara Gorelick agrees, pointing to the pool bartenders and fun hotel atmosphere as being among the many highlights of her Key West vacation. The Duval Street location, close to all the action, doesn't hurt either.
Bahia Mar - Fort Lauderdale
Just minutes from the airport, Bahia Mar
stands ready to relax you with a serene waterfront atmosphere, on-site marina, tennis facilities and more. Watch angel fish and stingrays through a glass-bottomed boat, go parasailing or book a dinner cruise on the Jungle Queen. Dine at the resort or experience any of the numerous fine dining options Fort Lauderdale
has to offer, along with world-class shopping and boatloads of beach access. Maintain your exercise schedule with a waterfront stroll, bike rental or time in Bahia Mar's state-of-the-art fitness center.
Hyatt Regency at Pier Sixty-Six - Fort Lauderdale
Whether you want to book a charter while you're there or need a place to park your sailboat while you get your land legs again, Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six
in Fort Lauderdale
is available to handle all of your vacation needs. With a full range of concierge services, high-speed internet and access to local attractions like the Bonnet House and Dolphins Stadium, you'll barely have time left to shop. And shop you can on exclusive Las Olas Boulevard, South Florida's answer to Rodeo Drive. After that, you'll likely be ready for a deep tissue massage or foot reflexology treatment at the Hyatt's Spa 66. Enjoy sunset on the beach or by one of the resorts three pools, one of which is a forty-person hydrotherapy pool perfect for relaxing at after experiencing your spa service.
Gulf Coast Resorts
Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club - St. Petersburg
Situated on the water in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida
and overlooking Tampa Bay
, the Renaissance Vinoy
blends chic sophistication with historical ambiance. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property opened its doors in 1925. Since then, it has played host to the likes of the Guggenheim family, Marilyn Monroe, Calvin Coolidge and Babe Ruth. Amenities include a marina, private golf course, five restaurants, a salon and a day spa.
The Emerald Grande - Destin
Be entertained and pampered in style at the Emerald Grande
in Destin, Florida
. Meal options include Grande Vista which accommodates indoor and poolside dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well Harry T's for scrumptious pasta or a steamed seafood bucket at the Crazy Lobster. Book a hand, foot or body treatment at the resort's spa, or opt for a day of serious Destin shopping at Harborwalk Village. If you prefer your privacy at mealtime, the Emerald Grand also boasts fully-equipped kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
If luxury travel is your preference, the Sunshine State has plenty of options just waiting for your exploration and discovery. Pamper yourself from the Space Coast
to South Beach
and Naples to the Nature Coast. What are you waiting for? Florida's waiting.
If you're looking for an ocean view, see Florida Beach Resorts »
By Myscha Theriault – Contributing Author & Photographer