The Top 15 Resort Hotels in Florida in 2020

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on Mar. 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline are a major draw for visitors: 14 of the 15 winners this year are set on the water. But one property impressed with a different kind of enviable location: the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort ranked No. 7, making it the only theme-park property on our list.

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 were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Sunset Key Cottages, resort pool, Key West, Florida
Courtesy of Sunset Key Cottages

Related: The World's Best Awards 2020

The Breakers Palm Beach earned its No. 9 spot with “classic style that creates an elegant yet casual resort environment,” said one reader, referring to the grand Italian-Renaissance Revival structure that dates from 1896 and is steps from the Atlantic Ocean. Another reader appreciated the “stunning floral arrangements and ocean views,” as well as the Sunday brunch (“expensive, but worth it”). A soaring lobby filled with elaborate wall tapestries and chandeliers nods to the hotel’s Gilded Age history and rounds out the picture.

Travelers looking for the old-school version of Florida can’t do much better than the No. 4 Gasparilla Inn & Club, on the Gulf of Mexico in Boca Grande. The main building is a historic, columned 1913 landmark and is popular for multigenerational trips thanks to the feeling of “going back in time, with quiet, simple pleasures,” one reader writes. In other words: plenty of chances to bond as a family in a serene, unrushed environment. “It’s gorgeous and meticulously maintained, with extraordinary service.”

Read on for more on this year’s best resorts in Florida, including No. 1 Sunset Key Cottages, which occupies prime waterfront territory.

1. Sunset Key Cottages

Sunset Key Cottages, resort, three bedroom ocean front cottage, Key West, Florida
Courtesy of Sunset Key Cottages

Score: 95.35

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“What more could you ask for than a stunning cottage on your own island?” one reader wrote, referring to this year’s top Florida resort. Upon arrival in Key West, a ferry whisks guests to Sunset Key Cottages’ exclusive 27-acre island. Here they’ll find the resort’s 40 pristine bungalows, surrounded by bougainvillea and other tropical vegetation. “The cottages are beautiful and the perfect size for travel as a couple or with the entire family,” said another reader. The property’s restaurant, Latitudes, is also a standout, considered one of the best in Key West, with its “outstanding atmosphere and great service and food.”

2. Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club

Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club, hotel pool, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Courtesy of Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club

Score: 94.73

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3. The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens

The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, exterior pathway, St. Augustine, Florida
Courtesy of The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens

Score: 94.61

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4. The Gasparilla Inn & Club

The Gasparilla Inn & Club, resort lobby, Gasparilla Island, Florida
Courtesy of The Gasparilla Inn & Club

Score: 94.01

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5. The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, resort lobby, Florida
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

Score: 93.43

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6. Edgewater Beach Hotel

Edgewater Beach Hotel, beachside exterior, Naples, Florida
Courtesy of Edgewater Beach Hotel

Score: 92.91

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7. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, guest room, Orlando, Florida
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort

Score: 92.44

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8. The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort

The Henderson, a Salamander Resort, beachside exterior, Destin, Florida
Modus Photography/Chandler Williams/Courtesy of The Henderson, a Salamander Resort

Score: 92.42

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9. The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers, resort suite, Palm Beach, Florida
Courtesy of The Breaker

Score: 92.20

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10. Sandpearl Resort

Sandpearl Resort, beach front fire pit, Clearwater Beach, Florida
Courtesy of Sandpearl Resort

Score: 91.79

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11. The Perry Hotel Key West

The Perry Hotel Key West, lobby, Key West, Florida
Courtesy of Perry Hotel Key West

Score: 91.36

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12. The Resort at Longboat Key Club

The Resort at Longboat Key Club, suite, Longboat Key, Florida
Courtesy of The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Score: 91.29

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13. The Pearl Hotel

The Pearl Hotel, exterior, Rosemary Beach, Florida
Courtesy of St. Joe Hospitality

Score: 91.16

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14. Opal Sands Resort

Opal Sands Resort, King Suite Standard on Clearwater Beach, Florida
Courtesy of Opal Sands Resort

Score: 90.91

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15. Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa

Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, beachside exterior, Vero Beach, Florida
Courtesy of Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa

Score: 90.71

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See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.

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