The Best Resort Hotels in Florida in 2016
Florida is rightly famous for its theme parks and beaches, but the state's upscale accommodations are pretty incredible, too.
Among Florida’s most notable hotels are pedigreed resorts, sleek beachfront towers, and elegant urban retreats. You need no more proof than our list of the Sunshine State’s best.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. In the hotels category, readers rated properties on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Hotels were categorized as resort properties based on their locations.
In Miami Beach, three hotels have our reader’s hearts. The Palms Hotel & Spa, which comes in at No. 10, offers chic rooms at an affordable price. Custom cocktails like the Painkiller, a mix of rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut, and nutmeg are an absolute hit on the beach. A few miles up the shore is the all-suite Carillon Miami Beach, whose blue-tinted windows overlook 750 feet of shoreline just 10 minutes from the heart of the city. “Carillon is unique because of its fitness class offerings and fabulous gym with a gorgeous view of the beach,” wrote one reader. “The spa has some unique services — I like the polar shower — you won't find anywhere else.”
The trendy Como Metropolitan Miami Beach is the place to be seen. The property has attracted celebrities for its pool club and private access to the beach.
This year, however, the top honor goes to the Gasparilla Inn, a 115-year-old bastion of gentility on the Gulf Coast. Guests can take a tennis lesson, sip sparkling wine on the beach, or tee off on the Pete Dye-designed golf course. The fluted columns and strict dress code bring visitors back to a more gracious age — or, as one reader put it, “simple elegance — the best of ‘old Florida.’"
No. 10: The Setai, Miami Beach
No. 9: The Palms Hotel and Spa, Miami Beach
No. 8: Carillon Miami Beach (formerly Canyon Ranch Miami Beach; Miami Beach
No. 7: St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences, Bal Harbour
No. 6: Brazilian Court Hotel, Palm Beach
No. 5: Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach
No. 4: Como Metropolitan Miami Beach
No. 3: Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
No. 2: Acqualina, Miami, Sunny Isles Beach
No. 1: The Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande
With its columned façade, croquet lawns, and championship golf course, The Gasparilla Inn offers guests a taste of a forgotten Florida — all on an island by the state’s Gulf coast. You won’t want to be caught in flip-flops and a tank top, as there is an explicit dress code in the property's dining room, lobbies, and clubs. In addition to the golf course, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities throughout your stay. Take a lesson at the tennis club, sip sparkling wine at the beach, or snag a tarpon from one of the resort’s fishing boats.