Cooped-up tourists eager for a taste of Florida’s sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and warmer climates are visiting the Sunshine State in droves, topping pre-pandemic levels in recent months. (Nov. 29)
The Sunshine State is more than just its theme parks, water parks and breezy beach towns. And while there are plenty of unique things to do with kids in Florida, there are just as many places to visit when you need an adults-only escape. Whether you want to relax, recharge, or reconnect, some hotels are just better than others for romantic getaways in Florida.
When you need a little together time, you want to head somewhere with a romantic vibe. In Florida, that means endless sunsets, powder-soft sand and plenty of spa time for both of you. Here are the top vacation spots for couples in the Sunshine State.
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1. Casa Monica Resort and Spa – St. Augustine
With a design inspired by Moorish and Spanish Baroque architecture, Casa Monica Resort and Spa is a well-known fixture in St. Augustine’s historic district. Dating to 1888, the eye-catching structure features an impressive, castle-like exterior lined with decorative balconies. Inside, ornate touches abound, from fountains and frescos to sparkling chandeliers and colorful mosaics.
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Casa Monica Resort & Spa sits in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic center. (Photo: Susan B. Barnes)
You’ll receive champagne at check-in and can spend your together time relaxing at a poolside cabana, enjoying a luxurious spa treatment, or admiring the hotel’s art collection. The city of St. Augustine awaits right outside. Book a carriage ride for a just-the-two-of-you tour of the historic district.
2. The Gasparilla Inn and Club – Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island
Couples have been coming to the The Gasparilla Inn and Club for romantic getaways since 1913. (Photo: Gasparilla Inn)
Spend a weekend in “Old Florida” style at the Gasparilla Inn and Club, where guests have been checking in for romantic Florida getaways since 1913. Accommodations at this elegant escape on Florida’s Gulf Coast include guest rooms with vintage flair in the historic main inn (where the dining room still requires jackets for men at dinner during winter high season) and more spacious options like the inn’s cottages and newer, larger houses that offer modern functionality with retro charm.
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Enjoy a round at the waterfront 18-hole golf course, get some sun at the Beach Club, or visit the on-site spa offering a couples package and other treatments. The inn is located in the of-another-time village of Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island, where golf carts are the preferred mode of transportation and boutiques carry everything from fishing gear to Lilly Pulitzer dresses.
3. Little Palm Island Resort and Spa – Florida Keys
Little Palm Island Resort and Spa bills itself as America’s only private island resort. (Photo: Little Palm Island Resort and Spa)
Romantic getaways in Florida don’t get any more luxe than a splurge at Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, considered America’s only private island resort. You’ll arrive at this adults-only escape in the Florida Keys by boat or seaplane and immediately begin unplugging and unwinding. Thatched-roof bungalows offer ocean views and West Indies style, with no phones or TVs to distract you from the peaceful setting.
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Take your stay to the next level with one of the resort’s romantic turndown options with rose petals, candles and champagne to help set the scene. You can spend your days poolside, on the white sand beach or exploring the waters surrounding the resort by paddleboard or kayak.
4. Fontainebleau Miami Beach – Miami
Miami’s Fontainebleau hotel is a midcentury modern landmark. (Photo: Fontainebleau)
A midcentury modern landmark designed by Morris Lapidus, Fontainebleau Miami Beach first opened in 1954 and has been attracting movers and shakers ever since (Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball and Judy Garland among them). It underwent a major renovation in the early 2000s, but Lapidus’s curving facade and famous “Stairway to Nowhere” in the lobby are still there, better than ever.
The fashionable 22-acre oceanfront property includes a central pool area where you can reserve a private cabana or daybed, a slew of restaurant and nightlife options on-site, a luxurious spa that offers a private oceanfront spa suite for treatments for two and a marina where you can book a private yacht charter to get out on the local waters.
5. The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club – St. Petersburg
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort is a prime spot from which to explore St. Petersburg. (Photo: The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club)
Putting you right in the middle of the action in downtown St. Pete, the pink-hued Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club first opened on New Year’s Eve in 1925 and underwent renovations in the 1990s and 2000s to bring the hotel into the modern era. But plenty of historic charm remains from its original Mediterranean Revival design, like the lovingly restored glazed tile floors, pecky cypress beams and frescos adorning various areas of the hotel.
Guests today can grab a drink at the Lobby Bar and indulge in some people-watching, enjoy a seafood dinner at Paul’s Landing overlooking the marina, or lounge beside the outdoor pool. Head out from the hotel on foot to take in St. Pete’s lively arts, dining and craft beer scenes.
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6. The Breakers – Palm Beach
The Breakers, a legendary resort in Palm Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. (Photo: The Breakers Palm Beach)
Founded in 1896, The Breakers Palm Beach has been a popular spot for romantic getaways in Florida for more than a hundred years, attracting names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Astor and Carnegie to its Atlantic Coast location over the years. Situated on 140 oceanfront acres, the extravagant Italian Renaissance-style hotel offers refined guest rooms and suites featuring high-end linens and fluffy bathrobes and slippers.
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Here you’ll have access to amenities that include an indoor-outdoor spa with a tranquil private courtyard space and the Beach Club featuring a private oceanfront stretch, four pools and 25 daytime bungalows. When you want to explore the rest of Palm Beach, take advantage of the complimentary chauffeured house car service.
7. The Pearl Hotel – Rosemary Beach
The Pearl is a luxury boutique hotel just steps from one of the sunshine state’s “hidden gem” beaches. (Photo: Stacie Standifer)
Located in Rosemary Beach, The Pearl Hotel offers an ideal location for a romantic escape in the Florida Panhandle. The 55-room boutique hotel exudes Old World European style and many rooms feature private balconies, with some overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. A room refresh is currently underway, including new flooring, window treatments and other updates to make rooms even more comfortable and reflective of their coastal setting.
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Guests receive complimentary sparkling wine at check-in and have access to a private stretch of beach with complimentary beach chairs and black-and-white-striped umbrellas that match the hotel’s awnings. Spa Pearl provides a range of treatments in four private poolside treatment rooms, while the hotel’s Havana Beach Rooftop restaurant and bar offers light bites, fire pits and views of the Gulf.
8. Mandarin Oriental – Miami
Miami’s Mandarin Oriental sits along Biscayne Bay on the southern tip of Brickell Key, a man-made island. (Photo: Mandarin Oriental Hotel)
Book a stay at Mandarin Oriental, Miami for a luxe couples getaway on Miami’s Brickell Key. Understated but elegant nods to the hotel company’s Asian heritage can be found throughout the property and amenities include a private infinity-edge pool and dining options with waterfront views.
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Guestrooms and suites feature blackout curtains, baths with a soaking tub and separate glass walk-in shower and private balconies with views of the city skyline or Biscayne Bay. For a special treat, arrange for a massage at the hotel’s spa in one of the suites with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Biscayne Bay.
9. The Ritz-Carlton – Amelia Island
Head to the hotel’s Salt restaurant for a dining experience that’s rated AAA Five-Diamond. (Photo: Courtesy of Salt)
Get back to nature (but in a totally upscale way) at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Situated on a North Florida barrier island, this romantic Florida hotel sits along more than a mile of dune-lined Atlantic Ocean beachfront ideal for strolling, paddleboarding and even horseback riding. If you’d rather spend a day by the pool, reserve a cabana complete with an outdoor TV and butler service.
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All 446 guestrooms and suites were recently redone in luxe coastal style and feature newly designed baths with dual vanities and enlarged showers. Head to the hotel’s Salt restaurant for a dining experience that’s rated AAA Five-Diamond, or book the on-site spa‘s signature Heaven in a Hammock treatment that combines a massage with the gentle rocking motion of relaxing in a hammock.
10. The Alfond Inn – Winter Park
Owned by Rollins College, the Alfond Inn is a boutique hotel in Winter Park, an Orlando-area city that offers a totally different vibe from all the nearby theme parks. (Photo: Alfond Inn)
Enjoy a sophisticated and romantic Florida getaway at this little gem of a boutique hotel in Winter Park, an Orlando-area city that offers a totally different vibe from all the nearby theme parks. Owned by Rollins College, the 112-room Alfond Inn showcases pieces from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College throughout the property.
Guests can take a virtual happy hour tour of the art collection or just discover it on their own throughout their stay. Take a dip in the heated pool or venture out the hotel’s front doors on foot to explore the shops, museums, galleries and restaurants that call Winter Park home.
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