Small Hotels and Inns Offer a Taste of Authentic Florida

    By Kara Franker

    Florida has its fair share of mega resorts and expansive hotels, but did you know there's also a fine collection of individually owned small hotels, inns, cottages, and bed and breakfasts in the Sunshine State?

    The Superior Small Lodging Association (SSL) is a non-profit organization that categorizes these smaller, individually owned properties and admits the best of the best into its ranks.

    If you're looking for a more intimate lodging experience in lieu of traditional hotel chains, then booking one of these properties might be the perfect fit for you.

    The big brand names may have more marketing power behind them, but SSL offers a clearinghouse for small properties that ensures they meet a very strict set of standards.

    What to Expect from Superior Small Lodging Properties

    At an SSL property, you can expect a more intimate experience -- individual owners, often on site, are very passionate about guests experiencing true Florida hospitality and authenticity.

    Plus, in order to become a member of the association, the property must consist of fewer than 50 rooms, pass a rigorous third-party inspection for cleanliness and maintenance, and agree to annual inspections. Those receiving a perfect score receive the "Dermody White Glove” award for superior cleanliness.

    “It’s not a surprise to us that our members do so well on TripAdvisor and other review sites” said Scott Rivelli, Executive Director of SSL.

    “As part of the Superior Small Lodging program all members must be inspected annually by an independent inspection company for housekeeping, amenities and guest service. In addition, our owner/innkeepers are committed to providing each guest with an extraordinary vacation experience. When staying at a Superior Small Lodging property our guests experience authentic local Florida charm and character combined with the modern amenities and comforts that today’s traveler has come to expect.”

    History of the Superior Small Lodging Association

    The Superior Small Lodging Association originated in Fort Lauderdale in 1989 with the goal being to enable travelers to find those small gems that offer a unique, authentic Florida vacation experience, while giving them the confidence they'll be staying at a property with high standards for cleanliness and guest services.

    Currently, there are approximately 170 members in 43 destinations throughout Florida, with more members and destinations set to join in the coming year.

    If you go...

    To book a property that's a member of the Superior Small Lodging Association, visit SuperiorSmallLodging.com.

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