As one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., the Sunshine State has no shortage of upscale resorts. Planning luxury travel in Florida can take time because you'll first need to settle on the part of the state you want to visit. You can focus on one or several; options include Sarasota, Disney, Miami Beach, the Gulf, Naples, and Key West (to name a few).
Best Resorts in Florida
If you're looking for the most exclusive resorts in Florida, Jet Setter puts the Villa Casa Casuarina in Miami at the top of their list. Formerly the home of designer Gianni Versace, the owners converted it into a 10-villa hotel. It's located on Ocean Drive and features private balconies, the in-house V- Spa, Gianni's restaurant, and exceptional service. You'll pay around $850 to $1,000 a night here in high season.
Coming in at number two is Costa d'Este, which is in Vero Beach. This beachfront gem has 94 guest rooms, and most come with private patios or balconies. The property has a narrow pool in the middle that leads down to a pristine white sand beach; enjoy the view from their Cabana Bar, have dinner at the Wave Kitchen and Bar, and relax at their amazing on-site spa.
If you want to do a luxurious Disney trip, the top choice is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. It's in Walt Disney World Resort and provides an elegant escape from the parks, with its spa, tennis courts, gourmet restaurants, and golf club.
Beach Resorts on the Gulf
Florida's Gulf Coast is on the western side of the state and can be less crowded than the east coast; you'll find an impressive selection of luxury beach resorts on the Gulf worth considering. Luxury Hotel Guru likes the Henderson Beach Resort. It's in the northern panhandle, about 1 1/2 hours west of Pensacola. Guests enjoy the upscale spa, watersports, and delicious, fresh seafood served in the Primrose and Horizons restaurants.
The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota is another stunning Gulf Coast resort, with a private beach club, 18-hole championship golf course, and oversized guest rooms that cost around $900 a night in December. Another option is Marco Island, close to the Florida Everglades and Naples. This highly elegant and trendy 80-room March Beach Ocean Resort is popular with couples and has a beachfront location with elegant amenities and service. You'll want to book well in advance since it's on the smaller size and highly rated.
Luxury in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are known for their quirkiness, and you can find plenty of budget, mid-range and luxury hotels here. Conde Nast Traveler shares their favorite luxury resorts here, starting with The Moorings Village. It's an old-fashioned property in the Florida Straits turned into an 11-acre paradise with eight cottages, hand-tended orchids, banyan, and palm trees. It feels like staying on a private island, and prices start at $680 a night. Isla Bella Beach Resort is in Knights Key and is elegant yet unpretentious. It's also family-friendly and less expensive; you can get a beachfront room for around $549.
The Bungalows Key Largo is another top choice, with 12 waterfront acres in Key Largo. It's one of Florida's adults-only all-inclusive resorts, designed for grownups who play as much as they party. There's also the Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada; it has the longest pier in all Keys, three pools, a fantastic beach, and endless activities to keep its guests busy. Another one of this source's top picks is the Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in Little Torch Key. This recently renovated private island retreat is exclusive, with a higher price tag: $1,500 per night.