Kara on the Coast
For an intimate and cozy ambiance, consider booking one of Florida’s many excellent boutique hotel options. Typically featuring fewer than 150 rooms, boutique hotels make great vacation destinations for families and couples alike.
“I love boutique hotels for many reasons, but one of the most important is the personal attention and attention to details and from a style point of view, I like to know when special care was taken to design each room,” said luxury travel blogger Ana Silva O’Reilly, a.k.a. Mrs. O Around the World. “Having a smaller number of guests means being able to do little things like get to know their name and or any special preferences.”
“Typically, a luxury boutique hotel is smaller and has unique traits to it like an old structure with a story or themed décor,” said Lauren DiMarco, a.k.a. Lola Travels. “It's the little details that make a difference to me and make boutique properties stand out.”
Check out some of Florida’s fine boutique hotels.
Ocean Key Resort & Spa in Key West
The 100-room Ocean Key Resort & Spa is situated on Key West’s lively Duval Street and next to Mallory Square, home of the infamous nightly sunset celebrations. Besides the panoramic water views from many of the property’s tropically designed rooms, one of the best attributes of this Noble House Resort is its location. You can walk to everything: bars, restaurants, boutiques and attractions like the Key West Aquarium and the Key West Lighthouse Museum.
Amara Cay Resort in Islamorada
Nestled halfway between Miami and Key West, Amara Cay Resort is a 110-room waterfront boutique hotel in Islamorada. Décor exudes a combination of playful adventure and island-style relaxation, complete with hanging basket chairs in the lobby and umbrella-shaped tiki huts located al fresco. Dine on fresh sea-to-table dishes and handmade pastas at Oltremare, an Italian restaurant. Nearby head to the Florida Keys Brewing Co., a microbrewery decked out in colorful local art.
Inn on Fifth in Naples
Located in the heart of downtown Naples, Inn on Fifth is a stunner. Featuring 119 luxurious rooms, including 32 suites on the club level, the hotel is located within walking distances to all the fine shops and boutiques on the main promenade. Follow fashionable Fifth Avenue South from the inn to the beach, where a white sand haven and calm gulf water awaits. Dine at Avenue5, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant that attracts its fair share of locals and in-the-know travelers.
The Atlantic Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale
With a prime location directly across from Fort Lauderdale’s most popular beach, The Atlantic Resort & Spa is the perfect spot for an oceanfront getaway. While nearby hotels offer more of a large resort-style feel, this intimate property features 124 guest rooms, making it feel less crowded. And the rooms are quite spacious, the smallest of which spans more than 600 square feet, about twice as big as the average hotel room. There’s much to do within walking distance, including the opportunity to explore all the restaurants and shops that line bustling Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, a.k.a. A1A.
Seagate Hotel & Spa in Delray Beach
Situated in the heart of all the action in Delray Beach on Atlantic Avenue, the Seagate Hotel & Spa is a beach-inspired luxury hotel located within walking distance to popular sidewalk cafes and trendy boutiques. Be sure to check out the giant aquarium in the lobby filled to the brim with tropical fish. The coastal vibe continues throughout the property and the guest rooms. Hop aboard the private beach trolley reserved solely for guest and enjoy access to the oceanfront Seagate Beach Club.
The Brazilian Court Palm Beach
At The Brazilian Court in Palm Beach, you’ll find equal parts Old Florida charm and elegant luxury. Not only is the hotel located within walking distance to the high end designer shops along Worth Avenue, it’s only a couple of blocks from the beach. With lush tropical landscaping and bubbling fountains setting the scene, the grounds of the property exude a secret garden style of romance. Helmed by celebrity chef Daniel Boulud and thought of as one of Palm Beaches most highly acclaimed restaurants, Café Boulud is a fine dining experience that’s well worth the splurge.
Costa d’Este in Vero Beach
Jaunt up from South Florida to sleepy Vero Beach and you’ll find a hidden hotel gem. Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa is owned by music powerhouses Emilio and Gloria Estefan and this luxurious abode is nothing short of eclectic. It’s great for families or for couples looking for a romantic escape and the location directly on the beach is perfect for any style of traveler. Even four-legged friends are welcome at this boutique beauty. Sip on a cocktail at the cabana bar and enjoy those panoramic views of Florida’s Treasure Coast.
The Alfond Inn in Winter Park
Located in the heart of picturesque Winter Park near Orlando, the upscale and refined Alfond Inn is truly a unique place to stay. Owned by Rollins College, the hotel was funded in part with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation with the intention of using proceeds from the hotel to fund scholarships for students. And the inn’s art collection featuring more than 200 works of contemporary art is a major asset to the well-appointed 112 guest rooms. Stroll along the café-lined cobblestone streets and soak up the relaxed vibe of the neighborhood.
Henderson Park Inn in Destin
The beachfront Henderson Park Inn in Destin is undoubtedly one of the most romantic hotels in the country. The New England-style bed and breakfast features a stunning sunset deck that overlooks the aqua waters of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Every morning you’ll look forward to the impressive breakfast spread and the inn’s own Beach Walk Café is an excellent fine dining option for an intimate dinner for two overlooking the gulf.
Hotel Duval in Tallahassee
Situated near state museums and Florida State University in Tallahassee, Hotel Duval is a historic boutique hotel with loads of character. A member of the Autograph Collection, the hotel features 117 guest rooms and a rooftop bar, Level 8 Lounge. After happy hour on the rooftop, head to Shula’s 347 Grill named after Hall of Fame NFL Coach, Don Shula.
Check out more great places to stay in Florida.
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