The 15 Best Resorts in Florida

The best resorts in Florida, according to Travel + Leisure readers, offer access to beaches, theme parks, and golfing.

Lounge at White Elephant Palm Beach
Photo: Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects

Florida has 1,200 miles of coastline and 660 miles of beaches, dozens of amusement parks, and more than a thousand golf courses, all drawing visitors from around the globe. Picking the 15 best resorts in Florida, out of more than 4,000 properties, is no easy feat. However, T+L readers used their favorite activities to help choose — considering the hotels' proximity to white-sand beaches, family-friendly theme parks, and world-class golfing.

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 ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.

T+L readers loved Sandpearl Resort (No. 3) and Little Palm Island Resort & Spa (No. 2) for their easy beach access and stunning ocean views. On the other hand, one reader was drawn to LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort (No. 13) for the 18-hole course designed by Robert Cupp. "This is our favorite hotel in Florida," the WBA respondent said. "We go as often as we can."

Palm Beach, which is quickly becoming a favorite destination among younger travelers, stood out among the top Florida resorts with three properties recognized this year. The Colony Hotel (No. 4) is a favorite among readers for its incredible service and convenient location; "It's really like having one foot in the sand and one foot on Worth Ave," one fan noted. And, of course, the romantic Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, which one reader said is "perfect for couples, families, friends, and even business," made the list at No. 14.

Read on to find which Palm Beach resort took the No. 1 spot — and the other top Florida resorts as voted by T+L readers.

1. White Elephant Palm Beach

Patio at White Elephant Beach Palm Springs
Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects

At the best Florida resort of the year, black-and-white striped awnings and umbrellas welcome guests to an updated Mediterranean revival-style retreat. Inside, each of the 13 deluxe rooms and 19 suites has a breezy, coastal décor with Moroccan poufs, wicker lampshades, and colorful art. The restaurant, Lola 41 — like White Elephant it is an offshoot of a Nantucket, Massachusetts, establishment — offers dressed-up comforts like the Lola burger with foie gras sauce. But in Florida, beach access is the most coveted hotel amenity — and the White Elephant Palm Beach offers shuttles to the beach, as well as complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, and toys for kids, all set up and awaiting guests' arrival.

Score: 98.13

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2. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key

Beach at Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Score: 95.83

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3. Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach

Gulfside Suite at Sandpearl Resort
Courtesy of Sandpearl Resort

Score: 95.40

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4. The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach

Exterior of The Colony Hotel
Courtesy of The Colony Hotel

Score: 94.21

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5. The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, St. Augustine

Guest room at The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens
Courtesy of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens

Score: 94.11

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6. Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach

Premium king room at Opal Sands Resort
Courtesy of Opal Sands Resort

Score: 94.00

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7. The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa, Destin

Exterior of The Henderson
Courtesy of The Henderson

Score: 93.41

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8. Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Key Largo

Pool at Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection
Courtesy of Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection

Score: 93.33

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9. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Score: 92.82

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10. Pelican Grand Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale

Guest room at Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Courtesy of Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Score: 92.80

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11. The Alfond Inn, Winter Park

Dining at The Alfond Inn
Courtesy of The Alfond Inn

Score: 92.15

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12. Sunset Key Cottages, Key West

Pool at Sunset Key Cottages
Courtesy of Sunset Key Cottages

Score: 91.91

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13. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Naples

Exterior of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
Courtesy of LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

Score: 91.46

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14. (tie) Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Pool at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Score: 91.12

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14. (tie) Ocean Key Resort & Spa, Key West

Guest room at Ocean Key Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Ocean Key Resort & Spa

Score: 91.12

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