Playa Largo Resort & Spa (featured image)
Where: 97450 Overseas Highway, Key Largo
The scoop: If you can’t tap into the holly jolly spirit at this beachfront paradise nestled amid 14.5 acres of tropical foliage and pristine shoreline, you might want to check ancestry.com for a blood connection to Ebenezer Scrooge. The resort’s 30 Holly Days of Playa Largo promises a monthlong ode to the holiday season—think on-property scavenger hunts, ornament making, pajama parties, ginger bread decorating, ugly Christmas sweater mixers—and countless other events and programs.
That’s only half the fun at Playa Largo, only an hour south of Miami. A chic, island-style vibe permeates the rooms and suites here—including 10 two-story bungalow villas and a three-bedroom beach house. On the culinary side, Sol by the Sea features dockside dining and Caribbean flavors, La Marea puts a modern spin on Mediterranean cuisine, and the Sand Bar offers light bites and handcrafted cocktails.
Visitors who book one of the Stay & Play specials receive a resort credit that can be used at Ocean Spa, the gift shop or at one of the on-site restaurants ($100 resort credit for a three-night stay; $200 for five nights; and $350 for seven nights).
Contact: playalargoresort.com (enter code ZX0 for the Stay & Play deal); 305.853.1001
Acqualina Resort & Residences
Where: 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach
The scoop: The AAA Five Diamond resort invites locals to leave the holiday cooking to its world-class culinary team at Il Mulino, starting with a Christmas Day brunch from noon to 4 p.m. Priced at $100 a person, the feast includes bottomless mimosas, Prosecco, mojitos or bloody marys. Among the menu offerings: pancakes with housemade ricotta; a seafood tower with lobster tail, shrimp and oysters; braised veal in tomato sauce; margherita pizza; and prime New York steak with a fried organic egg and truffle fries.
Il Mulino also is hosting a second-seating prix fixe menu on New Year’s Eve (starting at 8:30 p.m.). Priced at $495 a person, the four-course celebration includes a premium open bar, live entertainment and a Champagne toast. Entree choices include grilled veal chop, rack of lamb, jumbo prawns, halibut and a 12-ounce filet mignon. The early seating (5 to 7 p.m.; $150 a person) features the same menu, but without the open bar and entertainment.
Contact: acqualinaresort.com; 305.918.6777
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa
Where: 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
The scoop: The apartment-style lodging at The Atlantic, the only all-suite hotel on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach (with oceanfront rooms up to 1,400 square feet, and penthouses as large as 2,200 square feet), isn’t the only thing that distinguishes the property. Along with a fifth-floor rooftop pool and oceanfront dining at popular Wild Thyme, the resort boasts full-service pampering—including sea salt treatments and algae facials—courtesy of Spa Atlantic.
Those looking to book a getaway over the holidays can take advantage of a sweet December special. The resort is offering a 25-percent discount off the best available room rate throughout the entire month. Guests also may qualify for food and beverage discounts, spa credits, and complimentary resort fees, based on the duration and details of their stay.
Contact: atlantichotelfl.com; 954.567.8020
Shelborne South Beach
Where: 1801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
The scoop: This art deco favorite seamlessly bridges the worlds of modern luxury with vintage sophistication. The Shelborne’s 200 guestrooms include 19 expansive suites, with one-bedroom (980 square feet) and two-bedroom (1,300 square feet) townhouse offerings—as well as a penthouse suite (1,700 square feet) overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. As part of its holiday celebration, the Shelborne is knocking 15 percent off a two-night stay—and giving visitors a complimentary room night for a future stay, redeemable through Sept. 30, 2021 (return reservations must have a minimum of two nights). The deal is not available on Fridays and Saturdays, and Dec. 30 and 31 are among the blackout dates.
Contact: shelborne.com; 305.531.1271
The Marker Key West Harbor Resort
Where: 200 William St., Key West
The scoop: Old Town feels more vibrant than ever inside this chic, 96-room oasis near Key West harbor. Set amid two acres of tropical gardens, and only a stone’s throw from Duval Street, The Marker features spacious suites (two-bedroom suites with wraparound verandas max out at 2,400 square feet) and three pools. The resort’s Key West Holiday package includes turndown service on Dec. 24 with milk and cookies for the kids—and a bottle of wine for Mom and Dad—along with a choice of Christmas stocking or Hanukkah surprise.
Contact: themarkerkeywest.com; 855.485.9291