Oceanside abodes, resorts with a private water park – or perhaps even a suite in Mickey Mouse’s backyard. See if you can choose between these amazing Sunshine State stays.Less
Get ready for game day in the best way at the Stadium Hotel in the city of Miami Gardens. Smack-bang in the entertainment district near Hard Rock Stadium, Stadium Hotel invites you to trade traffic jams for indolent drinks at their lounge – and perhaps a victory lap in the pool after the game. Free breakfast awaits you in the morning before you stroll out to nearby Pembroke Lakes Mall for a shopping spree. Only a five-mile drive from South Beach, this is well and truly a game-changing getaway.
Amid the jaunty pastel art-deco facades of South Beach, you’ll find Cadet Hotel – a real palate-cleanser. It has something to do with the peace of its leafy tropical garden, and the crisp, fresh towels they hand you for your beach day spent lounger-lazing. The in-house restaurant, Pied a Terre, does zingy oven-roasted cauliflower tacos for lunch, before you submit to a transcendental massage at their spa.
This oceanfront art-deco delight is a great mood-enhancer, from its sunny rooms of white bedlinen and pale woods to its sweet little fountained garden. Step out, and within five minutes you can be taking selfies before Casa Casuarina, the old Versace mansion on Ocean Drive – a great dinner spot here is the airy, Italian-flavoured restaurant, Gianni’s, for lobster and delicate tortellini. Take a morning dip in the pounding Atlantic, and shop for Armani jeans and GAP bargains at Lincoln Road Mall.
Reel in relaxation at The Marlin Hotel in Miami Beach. An Art-Deco landmark on famed Collins Avenue, it’s a truly funky boutique hotel, resplendent in hardwood floors and jazzy scatter cushions for an upbeat tropical vibe. It’s amazing to think that you’re sipping martinis in the same hallowed place where Mariah Carey, among others, created hits – the building used to house a music studio. Continuing the party mood, step out and the best nightclubs in the city are more or less on your doorstep.
Savvy travellers seeking sensational views and lavish suites in Fort Lauderdale know to book in at the Riverside Hotel. This stylish place, on Las Olas Boulevard, attracts guests of every stripe. Even budget-friendly micro-rooms pull out the stops with refined design. Executive tower suites come with a private Jacuzzi bathtub and classy wet bar. Las Olas Beach is two miles away, so hopping from brunch to briny takes a matter of minutes.
Dive into a chic seaside dream at Plunge Beach Hotel – minimalist white rooms overlooking sunny sands in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Those desiring undisturbed relaxation will be in their element: there’s simply no need to leave. Bean & Barnacle serves Starbucks brews and tasty pastries, while Backflip Beach Bar & Kitchen sends out swoony rum punches before lunches of chunky sandwiches.
Design hotels are chic, stylish and so this-season – unlike Florida’s crop of historic properties, which radiate eternal appeal, evocative of glamorous times gone by. Sometimes there’s a dash of notoriety, too – gangster Al Capone favoured this place back in the day. Still, Jacksonville landmark Casa Marina Hotel continues to ooze Old Florida charm, with whitewashed Med-feel facades, Spanish-style wrought-iron beds, and timeless dishes, such as crab cakes, in their al-fresco Penthouse Lounge.
You don’t need an oceanside suite to enjoy waterside luxury. Club Continental sits alongside the St John’s River, so you’re within 20 minutes of Jacksonville yet utterly secluded in Orange Park’s private club. Stay and play in Club Continental’s three pools and seven tennis courts. Enjoy dinners in the gourmet restaurant and take a relaxing walk in their sweeping gardens.