Live Out Your Island Fantasies on Little Palm

By: Erin Marvin

Who hasn't dreamed of escaping to a tropical island retreat? In the Keys, you can check into a secluded resort or rent your own island.

Who hasn't dreamed of escaping to a secluded, tropical island retreat? A place where palm trees outnumber people...where you can rest in a hammock and fall asleep to the rocking rhythm of the waves...where there is no traffic, no work, no Wi-Fi and no worldly cares...where your every need is not only met, but anticipated...

When you're ready to fulfill your island fantasies, there's no need to hunt down your passport and book a flight abroad. You can stage the ultimate seaside escape right here in Florida. (Move over, Caribbean.)

Picture-perfect Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is an intimate tropical island retreat in the Florida Keys that's accessible only by boat or private seaplane. Hundreds of Jamaican palms decorate the five-acre island, part of a lush, flowering landscaping that hides 30 thatched-roof bungalow suites complete with whirlpool tubs built for two, private sundecks and ocean views (but no TVs, alarm clocks or telephones). Oh, and no one under the age of 16.

Your name will even be engraved in blocks on the suite door prior to your arrival. And if you need more of a "welcome" than that, arrangements can be made for a number of treats to be waiting in your bungalow upon arrival, from caviar and champagne to chilled vodka martinis to a pitcher of margaritas.

During your stay, island life can be whatever you make it: You can relax on a cushioned lounge on the white-sand beach, only lifting your pink beach flag to have a waiter come running with another drink; indulge in the Javanese Lulur Royal Treatment or a Margarita Key Lime Pedicure at the Indonesian-inspired SpaTerre; take advantage of the complimentary windsurfers, day sailers, kayaks, canoes and sailboats; or swim beneath waterfalls in the lagoon-style heated pool.

Sunset cruises, seaplane tours, fishing charters with local captains and diving excursions to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary can also be arranged.

Private islands for rent:

Melody Key: This secluded island off Summerland Key has an octagonal-shaped, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath, 3,500-square-foot home with a verandah that offers amazing ocean views. The house comes fully equipped, including a gourmet kitchen, washer and dryer, CD player, free wireless internet, plasma TV, stereo, DVD, pool and Jacuzzi. 

Seabird Key: A Swiss Family Robinson-style cottage on a 10-acre private island that sleeps eight in two double bedrooms and has a sleeping loft with four bunk beds (all rooms have private bath). Use of a 19-foot runabout, snorkeling equipment and fishing gear are included with the rental. Note: The house runs on solar energy and comes equipped with ceiling fans, but there is no air conditioning.

On a budget?

Key West may not be private, but it is an island. And with plenty of public beaches, quirky shops, exciting attractions and gourmet restaurants, it's a great place to get away. Try Ocean Key Resort & Spa. The Sunset Pier Tiki Bar enhances the away-from-it-all feel.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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