South Florida Backyard Escapes, Part 3

Nowhere is the staycation experience filled with more possibilities than in South Florida, where high-end resorts feature over-the-top offerings as well as summer deals

1 Hotel South Beach (pictured above)

2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

VIP treatment: Escapes don’t come much greater in South Florida than a getaway to 1 Hotel South Beach, consistently ranked as one of Miami’s premier resorts. In addition to a seemingly endless expanse of private beach, guests have their choice of four different pools, including a rooftop option that’s 18 stories high (1 Hotel is that area’s only oceanfront hotel with a rooftop pool) and its famed 30,000-square-foot center pool. But what’s inside also counts, as evidenced by the Retreat Collection—a special group of 23 nature-inspired premier suites with an elevated menu of perks. Among them: a personal concierge/butler for the duration of your stay; daily chef’s breakfast buffet for two; early check-in, late check-out; two 50-minutes massages or facials; clothes-pressing service; and priority seating at restaurants Habitat, Plnthouse, Drift or Watr at the Rooftop.

Isn’t that special: Through Sept. 2, Florida residents can revel in all that 1 Hotel offers by taking advantage of a 10-percent discount that comes with complimentary valet parking, no daily resort fees and 20-percent off treatments at Bamford Haybarn Spa. As an added enticement for exercise buffs, the resort is welcoming Anatomy, and its menu of health and wellness programs, as its in-house fitness partner. Think personal training and complimentary group workout classes.

Contact: 305.604.1000; 1hotels.com/south-beach

 

Marriott Stanton South Beach

161 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach

VIP treatment: This renovated gem in the South of Fifth district of Miami Beach is one of the few hotels along Ocean Drive with direct beach access. Approximately $22 million worth of enhancements has put a chic shine on the 224-room resort with two oceanfront pools, two stellar restaurants (Lolo’s Surf Cantina and Azabu Miami Beach), and a new spa and fitness center. The rooms are on the quaint side, but it’s perfect for an adults-only weekend getaway that puts you within walking distance of all the action on South Beach.

Isn’t that special: The resort’s summer Staycation package features a complimentary room upgrade, late checkout, no pet fee, two daily beachside chairs, complimentary bike rentals, a free fitness class, and two welcome frozen margaritas from Lolo’s Surf Cantina.

Contact: 305.536.7700; stantonsobe.com

 

The Palms Hotel & Spa

3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

VIP treatment: Love is in the air at The Palms this summer with an Ultimate Romance package designed to stir the senses. Make one of the recently renovated 12th floor one-bedroom suites, with a balcony overlooking Miami Beach, your home base—where a complimentary bottle of Prosecco and chocolate-covered strawberries await. Enjoy a daily buffet breakfast throughout your stay at Essensia (the resort’s natural gourmet restaurant)—and feast one night on a private poolside five-course tasting dinner under the stars. Also included in the package: an 80-minute couple’s massage at the resort’s Aveda Spa.

Isn’t that special: The three-night Palms & Paradise package includes one free Tiki Bar cocktail per person, a $50 credit for the spa, daily breakfast buffet for two, private tiki cabana or beach cabanita usage, a personalized tour of the property’s organic garden led by the executive chef—and a grow-your-own garden starter kit to take home.

Contact: 305.534.0505; thepalmshotel.com

 

Cheeca Lodge & Spa

81801 Overseas Highway, Islamorada

VIP treatment: Of Cheeca’s 214 guestrooms, none turn heads quite like the Islamorada Suite, a 1,400-square-foot gem overlooking the Atlantic with a full kitchen, sprawling balcony, large living room, and a hidden outdoor soaking tub and shower. For those interested in taking their experience to new heights, inquire about the seaplane service for guests coming from the mainland—or the private helicopter ride from Opa Locka airport that touches down on the resort’s seaside, nine-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed executive golf course.

Isn’t that special: It’s been more than a year since this 27-acre paradise reopened its doors following a $25-million renovation in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. But the oceanfront property isn’t about to rest on any laurels. This summer, the resort is unveiling a new oceanfront pool and a second tiki bar. Florida residents can check out everything Cheeca has to offer—and enjoy discounted summer rates in the process (10-percent off best available rates on weekends, 15-percent off during the week) and a $25 per night resort credit.

Contact: 844.993.9713; cheeca.com

 

Isla Bella Beach Resort

1 Knights Key Blvd., MM 47, Marathon

VIP treatment: As part of its Endless Privileges package, Isla Bella rolls out the red carpet with private butler service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. You’ll even have the butler’s cell number, so you can communicate requests even if you’re off property. Services include shoe shining, laundry, in-room tea or coffee, mini bar selections, and day bed reservations at the pool or beach. Prior to your arrival, the Isla Bella team will coordinate your private dining needs, off-site tours, spa treatments and any special requests. The package starts at $800/night.

Isn’t that special: Florida residents can snag up to a 20-percent discount off weekend rates, with two complimentary welcome cocktails. Isla Bella’s Toes in the Sand package features a $100 resort credit, two welcome cocktails and guaranteed beachfront veranda accommodations.

Contact: 305.481.9451; islabellabeachresort.com

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