10 South Florida Resorts That Will Make Your Staycation Better Than Any Trip Abroad
What to Pack
Everything you need for a weekend getaway
EUGENIA KIM Max feather-trimmed hemp fedora; $325
GUCCI Cat-eye printed acetate and metal mirrored sunglasses; $395; Available at net-a-porter.com
HESPERA Dahlia necklace in gold; $395; Available at hesperadesigns.com
PETER THOMAS ROTH Max UV milk all day protection SPF 50; $42; Available at Sephora, Ulta and peterthomasroth.com
HAMMAMAS Set of two striped woven cotton towels; $80; Available at net-a-porter.com
PEDRO GARCIA Vacchetta bucket bag in chamois; $775; Available at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom; pedrogarcia.com
PEDRO GARCIA Belice “baby doll” wedge in punch gloss; $570; Available at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom; pedrogarcia.com
MARRERO COLLECTION Scarf; $79; Available at marrerocollection.com
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
If you haven’t had the chance to sneak away to the Eau Palm Beach yet, make it a priority this summer when tourists are far, far away. Conde Nast Traveler named the resort one of the Top 10 Best Resorts in Florida and we can see why. Call a few girlfriends and spend the weekend indulging in the Eau Spa Goddess Retreat ($595) from July 24 to 26. The weekend features yoga workshops that include stand-up paddleboarding, Thai yoga massage, acroyoga on the beach and meditation, plus unlimited spa access. Sounds like heaven to us. If you can’t make it that weekend (darn!), the resort also offers stand-up paddleboard “yEAUga” classes all summer long.
Discounts: The Florida Resident Summer Escape package, valid through Sept. 30, includes discounted rates, complimentary valet parking and free meals for kids at Temple Orange. A two-night stay is required.
Cost: Florida resident rates start at $199/night
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan / 561.533.6000
The Tropical Refuge
Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas
South Florida is packed with high-rise hotels offering glamorous pools and stunning water views. But it can be hard to find a place with laid-back luxury—a place that’s more southern comfort than it is South Beach luxe. So in a search for charm, we took a short drive to Delray Beach and found Crane’s Beach House. It’s a block from the beach, steps from fine dining (Caffe Luna Rosa, anyone?) and a short trolley ride from nightlife that blends Key West-esque dive bars with hipster-like cocktail lounges (try The Office or Dada). Feel like staying put? The recently renovated villas include luxury kitchens, flat-screen TVs and rustic-chic décor that you’ll want to replicate at home. And we can’t forget Crane’s poolside tiki bar—a weekend retreat doesn’t get more tropical than that.
Notable: Named to TripAdvisor Hall of Fame
Discounts: Book two nights and save 20 percent off each night; book three nights or more and take 25 percent off each night; or, Sunday through Thursday, Florida residents receive 15 percent off the standard rate.
Cost: $279-$309/night for a private villa, prices vary
Crane’s Beach House, 82 Gleason St., Delray Beach / 561.278.1700
A Luxury Stay
If you haven’t stayed at a Noble House hotel or resort yet, you’re missing out— especially since there’s one in our backyard. With white wood paneling, white rocking chairs that overlook the ocean (the perfect spot to watch hazy summer sunrises) and guest rooms that make you feel right at home, the Pelican Grand is old Florida grandeur at its best. The resort includes 500 feet of beachfront property, a lazy river (even adults can have a little fun) and a brand new spa. Plus, you’ll want to make reservations at Ocean2000, the hotel’s award-winning waterfront restaurant that includes seafood dishes, such as Florida yellowtail snapper and sautéed Gulf shrimp.
Discounts: Florida residents receive an additional 15 percent off the best available rates; Stay four consecutive nights and receive the fourth night for free.
Cost: A one-night stay starts at $299/night on weekends, prices vary
Pelican Grand Beach Resort, 2000 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale / 954.568.9431
PGA National Resort & Spa
We know it’s hot out there, but if you can withstand the heat, now is the time to take advantage of great summer golf packages at PGA National Resort & Spa. With five top golf courses, impressive dining at Ironwood Steak & Seafood and a daily happy hour at iBar from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., it’s the ideal place to grab your buddies and spend a weekend on the greens. But if your golf swing needs a break, check out the tennis and racquetball courts, the resort pool, or try your hand at a new sport and reserve a private croquet lesson (keep in mind that crisp whites are required of all players).
Discounts: The Summer Escape Golf Package includes luxury accommodations; full breakfast each day; one round of golf daily on the Palmer, Fazio, Squire or Estates courses; a complimentary replay round daily; 50 percent discount on daily golf clinics; access to Waters of the World Mineral Pools; and unlimited golf balls and golf bag storage.
Cost: The Summer Escape Golf package starts at $89.50/person/night, prices vary for other rooms and packages
PGA National Resort & Spa, 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens / 561.627.1800
Royal Blues Hotel
Just south of the iconic Fishing Pier in Deerfield Beach, the Royal Blues Hotel is a beached yacht. At least this is the concept owner Edward Walson, an acclaimed film and Broadway producer, was going for when he worked with architect and designer Jorge Garcia of the Garcia Stromberg firm to create the five-story, boutique art hotel. Sleek lines, plenty of glass, genuine wood, and stone and leather accents bring guests to believe they’ve boarded a luxury vessel. The Royal Blues also brings the ocean inside at its seafood restaurant, Chanson, which hosts an overhead saltwater aquarium recently featured on Animal Planet’s “Tanked.” There, chef Sylvain Noel switches up the menu on a near weekly basis to offer local organic ingredients. Each of the 12 guest rooms and suites at the Royal Blues Hotel includes a private balcony, king-size beds with Frette linens, flat-screen TVs, a bathroom with automatic showers and facilities and teak wood fixtures. But, no one room is the same. Each has an individualized flare and displays an original piece of art from Walson’s personal collection, including pieces by photographer Massimo Vitali and painter Vanessa Raw. With each reservation, guests also receive access to the second-floor swim-spa, which overlooks the ocean, gym and lobby wine lounge, featuring an enomatic wine system.
Discounts: The staycation package for Florida residents includes a decadent prix fixe brunch, yoga classes, a free night stay with the purchase of two nights and a $50 food credit per room, per night.
Cost: Nightly room rates start at $415 during the off season
Royal Blues Hotel, 45 NE 21st Ave., Deerfield Beach / 954.857.2929
Cocktails & Cuisine
The Breakers, Palm Beach
The Breakers Palm Beach is known for a lot of things—opulence, elegance and history—to name a few. But this summer, spend a weekend at The Breakers for another reason: the food and drink. The resort offers eight (yes, eight) different restaurants and bars. You’ve probably heard of HMF, Palm Beach’s trendy cocktail spot to see and be seen. If you haven’t stopped by for the “RedHead” cocktail, add it to your bucket list. For a classic power dinner, try the reimagined Flagler Steakhouse, or hop on a free shuttle to try the resort’s Asian-inspired restaurant, Echo. Don’t leave without enjoying The Breakers’ Sunday brunch in The Circle restaurant with floor-to-ceiling ocean views. It’s been a Palm Beach tradition for more than 25 years.
Discounts: Through Sept. 30, Florida residents received a $50 nightly resort credit for two-night stays and longer; complimentary “Everyday Summer Benefits” for all guests including kid’s meal menus, access to the Ocean Fitness facility, unlimited group fitness classes and more; unlimited golf for $70/person; and summer savings on tennis and golf instruction, select spa services and more.
Cost: Summer weekend rates start at $449/night based on deluxe resort view accommodations
The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach / 561.655.6611
Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place
Dining, boating, shopping, paddleboarding, biking and hanging out on the beach—all elements to the perfect family trip, and the Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place is central to it all. The modern hotel sporting pink chandeliers and swanky artwork is less than a mile away from the Maltz Theatre and the historic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. But, there’s no need to board a vehicle. By day, the third floor, rooftop pool and hot tub is ideal for kids to splash around in while moms and dads recline on chaise lounge chairs with craft beers in hand from the poolside bar. By night, live music often escapes the Wyndham’s own restaurant, deep blu seafood grille, and other Harbourside dining spots, like Bravo! Cucina Italiana, BurgerFi, Another Broken Egg Cafe, Too Bizaare and Tommy Bahama. And at nearly every turn, shoppers and diners will have a remarkable view of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Discounts: Florida residents receive a 25 percent discount off the lowest rate.
Cost: Approximately $230/night for a deluxe king studio suite
Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place, 122 Soundings Ave., Jupiter / 561.273.6600
The Pillars Hotel
Hidden from city traffic and tourism, time slows down at The Pillars Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Tucked along the Intracoastal Waterway on New River Sound, the classic, secluded art deco building offers only 18 rooms, making it the perfect destination for a private getaway with a special someone. “Elegant, sophisticated, warm” is the slogan the boutique hotel awards itself. But an abundance of accolades backs this up—it’s been rated as Florida’s best hotel through a survey provided to Conde Nast Traveler magazine readers; named among the top 25 inns nationwide by Coastal Living Magazine; and acknowledged by The New York Times as the best small, “posh” hotel in Fort Lauderdale. The rooms achieve an essence of home, a shaded pool hosts a beautiful backdrop of the Fort Lauderdale waterways, and the in-house restaurant, The Secret Garden, offers elegant dining inside or along the dock. Guests can also rent the Pillars’ Ferretti Mochi Craft 51’ Dolphin yacht for a discounted hourly price.
Cost: Approximately $279/night for king poolside deluxe
The Pillars Hotel, 111 N. Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale / 954.467.9639
Health & Wellness Retreat
Wyndham Boca Raton
So you’ve stuck to the diet and dusted off the bikini for a summer trip. But, after a week of poolside cocktails and restaurant portions, you’re destined to reverse all that hard work. That is, unless, you’ve reserved a room at the Wyndham Boca Raton. The boutique-style hotel offers guests a wellness retreat, rather than an overly indulgent getaway, with farm-to-table dining and in-house yoga classes—so you can refresh, not relapse. Tranquility is attained first with the hotel’s atmosphere—a heated outdoor saltwater pool, courtyard area and a secluded garden with a peaceful water fountain. To further relaxation, guests of all ages can attend one of the 30 yoga classes offered each week in the Yoga Journey Studio. After, the Trend Tea Lounge offers organic or iced beverages. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are celebrated at the Farmer’s Table, which just last year won Open Table’s Diner’s Choice Award. Dishes are often garnished with greens grown next to the restaurant in the chef’s garden, and many plates are crafted for vegetarians and vegans.
Notable: TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence Award
Cost: Approximately $150/night for a king suite
W Fort Lauderdale
From infinity pool to oversized balconies to upscale steakhouse to spa treatments, a stay at the W Fort Lauderdale never strays from luxurious. But while these features are common to South Florida hotels, what separates a reservation at the W from the pack is its attentive staff. Everything—from the 517 rooms and suites to accommodations and special features—is well thought out and executed. The shortcut button for dialing the front desk says it all, labeled “Whatever/Whenever.” A white, stuffed alligator greets guests on each plush bed facing views of the ocean, Intracoastal or both, which can be enjoyed from inside, or on the balcony on chaise lounge chairs. Morning boot camp and yoga classes start with supplied mats, towels and water, and take place daily on the beach. Facial and massage treatments are enjoyed in the Bliss Spa, or poolside in a designated cabana. After, a trip to the rooftop pool includes food and drink from the WET bar; or for any meal, guests may ride the elevator to the ground floor to visit the esteemed STEAK 954, operated by famed restaurateur Stephen Starr. The day may end across the hall at Whiskey Blue, a horseshoe bar and lounge that lets out sounds of live music most evenings starting at 8 p.m.
Discounts: Florida residents receive 20 percent off best rates.
Cost: Approximately $335/night for the Fantastic Suite
W Fort Lauderdale, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale / 954.414.8200
Stay a While
Here’s a roundup of other local hotels offering deals just for Florida residents this summer. Don’t wait until Christmas to plan your next trip!
The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
Florida residents receive a special rate of $199/night and complimentary valet parking through September.
2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach / 561.582.2800
Lago Mar Resort & Club
Florida residents receive 15 percent off room rates from Sunday to Thursday, starting June 1 and ending Sept. 30.
1700 S. Ocean Lane, Fort Lauderdale / 954.678.3915 / lagomar.com
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa
Florida residents receive 20 percent off room rates.
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale / 954.567.8020 / atlantichotelfl.com
The Seagate Hotel & Spa
Florida residents receive 10 percent off room rates and a $25 resort credit with promo code DISFLA, valid from June 1 to Sept. 30.
1000 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach / 561.665.4800 / theseagatehotel.com
The Brazilian Court
Florida residents receive 15 percent off room rates and complimentary valet parking.
301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach / 561.655.7740 / thebraziliancourt.com
Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa
Florida residents receive up to 40 percent off best available room rates.
5 N. A1A, Jupiter / 561.746.2511 / jupiterbeachresort.com
Florida residents receive a special rate of $215/night and breakfast daily.
155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach / 561.655.5430 / thecolonypalmbeach.com
– Alison Eckerle