A private adults-only island in the Florida Keys and a glamorous oceanfront slice of history in Surfside were just named the best resorts in the United States by Travel + Leisure.
In the travel magazine’s annual World’s Best Awards for 2023, which will appear in the August issue, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa on Little Torch Key was named the favorite resort in the state. The resort was named one of the best in the world by Condé Nast Traveler in 2021.
In a separate category for the Miami Beach area, voters chose The Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club in Surfside as the best resort in the Greater Miami Beach area. The resort, which earned Forbes Five-Star honors earlier this year, was named one of the best hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler in 2022.
More than 165,000 Travel + Leisure readers voted in this year’s awards.
Bill Foster, regional director of marketing for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, which owns Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, said it is always “an incredible honor” to be recognized.
“We are thrilled to see that Little Palm Island was named as the number one resort in Florida,” he said. “Our island team is passionate about providing world-class luxury service to our remarkable guests, and it is their dedication that has made this award possible.”
Below is the full list of Florida winners.
BEST RESORTS IN GREATER MIAMI BEACH
Travel + Leisure is clearly under the spell of history of The Four Seasons at the Surf Club: “In the mid-20th century, The Surf Club was Miami’s most exclusive social club, where Hollywood stars like Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra rubbed shoulders with the likes of Winston Churchill and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor,” the magazine writes.
“Today, the Mediterranean Revival clubhouse is the beating heart of the Four Seasons Hotel at Surf Club, where Parisian interior designer Joseph Dirand dreamed up 77 rooms split between a 12-story glass tower and a collection of beachfront suites and cabanas.”
The other Miami Beach area resorts that made the list are the St Regis Bal Harbour Resort; The Setai Miami Beach; Nobu Miami Beach; Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami; The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach; Faena Hotel Miami Beach; Hilton Aventura Miami; The Palms Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach; Acqualina Resort & Residences, Sunny Isles Beach; W South Beach; The Miami Beach Edition; 1 Hotel South Beach; Eden Roc Miami Beach; JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa, Aventura.
BEST RESORTS IN FLORIDA
You need to take a boat or a seaplane to reach Little Palm Island Resort, located on Little Torch Key. Travel + Leisure praised the property for its no-TV policy and its rule that cell phones must be kept on silent.
“The luxurious property evokes the feel of a Caribbean hideaway with 30 suites housed inside 15 thatched-roof bungalows,” the magazine writes. “Guests can focus on relaxing in one of the beach hammocks, kayaking, sailing, or snorkeling. The resort’s Dining Room restaurant continues the barefoot luxury ethos, offering both indoor and beachfront dining, with menus that highlight seafood and produce from the region.”
Three other Keys resorts made the list: The Marquesa Hotel at no. 2 and Ocean Key Resort & Spa (8) in Key West and Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection in Key Largo (9).
The other top resorts in Florida, according to the awards: The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburon; LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Naples; Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra Beach; The Alfond Inn, Winter Park; The Breakers, Palm Beach; Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort; The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, St. Augustine; Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes; Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island; Inn on Fifth, Naples; and Hotel Effie, Miramar Beach.