It goes without saying that most luxury resorts in Florida have a sweet relaxed vibe to them. Florida is one of the few places where you can wear shorts and flip flops to resort restaurants. I know, because I did—and I do! Please, though, no wet swimsuits.
This list of relaxed luxury resorts in Florida is organized from north to south, as you might encounter them on Sunshine State road trips. I also included at least one special feature (a McCool Travel tip) for each property. and if you visit these fun relaxed luxury Florida resorts after Thanksgiving, their holiday decorations are amazing. See also Fun Tropical Christmas Decorations to Inspire a Florida Holiday Vacation
While I personally visited these Florida luxury resorts, I realize there are many others. Leave a comment below with suggestions of other Florida resorts I should visit.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is a massive 1,300 acre property, with tons of space to explore and play. All of their rooms face the Atlantic Ocean. Nine dining venues, all under the direction of Omni Executive Chef Daven Wardynski, offer a variety of culinary experiences.
McCool Travel tip: try the honey made on the property—collected from more than 1 million bees—and especially sample the spectacular honey bourbon. A cool unique experience is the monthly dinner in The Sprouting Project (reservations required).
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
All rooms at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island have their own balcony—great for relaxing to ocean sounds and scents. The property has four restaurants, including SALT, one of only three AAA 5 diamond restaurants in the entire state of Florida.
McCool Travel tip: If dining at SALT is not exclusive enough for you, book the Heaven in a Hammock spa treatment. It was created at this property and is offered nowhere else in the world.
For more Amelia Island information, please read 8 Great Things to Do in Amelia Island Florida.
Epicurean Hotel, Tampa
Epicurean Hotel is inspired by Bern Laxer, founder of Bern’s Steakhouse (located across the street from Epicurean Hotel) which houses one of the world’s largest wine collections (over a half million bottles). This is the only hotel I have been to with its own Cooking Theater—featuring culinary demonstrations, seminars, and competitions. Spend a pleasant evening sipping a craft cocktail at the rooftop bar.
McCool Travel tip: try the Bourbon on the Rocks foot treatment (my first pedicure!) at the onsite Spa Evangeline. Fortunately, you pass Chocolate Pi on the way back to the hotel lobby so you can indulge in more treats.
Inn on Fifth, Naples
Inn on Fifth is an esteemed Forbes Travel Guide 4-star rated hotel and the only luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown Naples. It is within walking distance of the beach, fantastic shops and amazing restaurants, and Tin City. For an enhanced experience, stay across the street at the Inn on Fifth Club Level Suites, with a private rooftop deck (with pool and hot tub) and dedicated concierge lounge (great snacks and drinks).
McCool Travel tip: an underutilized amenity is their shuttle service within 2 miles. Options include an upscale golf cart, an Escalade, and a Tesla (for Club Level guests).
For more Naples information, please read 8 Great Places to Eat in Naples Florida.
South Seas Island Resort
Occupying 330 acres of nature preserve with 2.5 miles of private beach, South Seas Island Resort is a tranquil but also adventurous (your choice!) waterfront resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Make sure you rent a golf cart to explore all of the hidden gems and secret paths. See our South Seas Island Resort review and click here for best South Seas Island Resort rates.
McCool Travel tip: catch a Captiva Cruises excursion to Cabbage Key and visit the alleged inspiration for Jimmy Buffet’s Cheeseburger in Paradise. While there definitely try the Cabbage Key restaurant Key Lime Pie, made from the original recipe!
For more information on the area, please read Fun Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach.
Boca Raton Resort & Club, Boca Raton
Boca Raton Resort & Club is not one but two magnificent relaxed luxury resorts in Florida. Choose the Beach Club, where rooms have massive ceiling to floor windows to tempt you to get outside. On the other hand, the Main Resort includes the Tower, Yacht Club, Bungalows, and The Cloister—the original classic resort from the 1920s but completely modernized and refurbished. Both resorts have a variety of activities and dining options.
McCool Travel tip: reserve a window table for dinner at The Blue on the 27th floor of The Tower—or at least have drinks or snacks in the magnificent panoramic setting.
>>> See the McCool Travel article: 8 Great Boca Resort Relaxed Luxury Features to Enjoy
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
Margaritaville Resort Hollywood Beach is a perfect example of relaxed luxury resort in Florida. You can put your toes in the sand in several places, chill in the spa, and eat very well. You bet I wore flip flops to their fine dining restaurant (JWB) and I definitely was not the only one! Guest rooms have comfortable bed and pillows, elegant but comfortable wood decor, and two adirondack chairs on the balcony.
McCool Travel tip: ride a funky beach cruiser bicycle with an epic parrot horn for an hour each day.
>>> See the McCool Travel article: Relaxed Luxury at Margarita Hollywood Beach Resort
The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove
With its Old World design and elegant marble and decor, the lobby of the The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove instantly transports your mind to Europe’s finest luxury hotels. Here, though, is a great location to stay when you sail from Dinner Key marina, visit the University of Miami, or attend the world famous Coconut Grove Art Festival. Treat yourself by relaxing in the salt water pool.
McCool Travel tip: ask the front desk for information about the self-guided art tour. The property houses over $1 million of art.
The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne
Close to Miami yet a world away is The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne. The property has a large tennis center, extensive fitness center, amazing spa, but also a spacious, clean beach and two pool areas to relax.
McCool Travel tip: Have dinner at Cantina Beach and ask the only Tequilier in the United States to help you select from over 100 tequilas, including one blended specifically for this restaurant. Cantina Beach also hosts free tequila tasting sessions every day at 6pm.
Do you have favorite relaxed luxury resorts in Florida that are not yet included on this list? Leave a comment below and I hope to visit them and might include them in an article update.
Fabulous Relaxed Luxury Resorts in Florida was originally published on 20 March 2017 for McCool Travel
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