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Florida has 1,200 miles of coastline and 660 miles of beaches, dozens of amusement parks, and more than a thousand golf courses, all drawing visitors from around the globe. Picking the 15 best resorts in Florida, out of more than 4,000 properties, is no easy feat. However, T+L readers used their favorite activities to help choose — considering the hotels’ proximity to white-sand beaches, family-friendly theme parks, and world-class golfing.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.
T+L readers loved Sandpearl Resort (No. 3) and Little Palm Island Resort & Spa (No. 2) for their easy beach access and stunning ocean views. On the other hand, one reader was drawn to LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort (No. 13) for the 18-hole course designed by Robert Cupp. “This is our favorite hotel in Florida,” the WBA respondent said. “We go as often as we can.”
Palm Beach, which is quickly becoming a favorite destination among younger travelers, stood out among the top Florida resorts with three properties recognized this year. The Colony Hotel (No. 4) is a favorite among readers for its incredible service and convenient location; “It’s really like having one foot in the sand and one foot on Worth Ave,” one fan noted. And, of course, the romantic Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, which one reader said is “perfect for couples, families, friends, and even business,” made the list at No. 14.
Read on to find which Palm Beach resort took the No. 1 spot — and the other top Florida resorts as voted by T+L readers.
1. White Elephant Palm Beach
At the best Florida resort of the year, black-and-white striped awnings and umbrellas welcome guests to an updated Mediterranean revival-style retreat. Inside, each of the 13 deluxe rooms and 19 suites has a breezy, coastal décor with Moroccan poufs, wicker lampshades, and colorful art. The restaurant, Lola 41 — like White Elephant it is an offshoot of a Nantucket, Massachusetts, establishment — offers dressed-up comforts like the Lola burger with foie gras sauce. But in Florida, beach access is the most coveted hotel amenity — and the White Elephant Palm Beach offers shuttles to the beach, as well as complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, and toys for kids, all set up and awaiting guests’ arrival.
More information: whiteelephantpalmbeach.com
2. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key
More information: littlepalmisland.com
3. Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach
More information: sandpearl.com
4. The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach
More information: thecolonypalmbeach.com
5. The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, St. Augustine
More information: thecollectorinn.com
6. Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach
More information: opalsands.com
7. The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa, Destin
More information: hendersonbeachresort.com
8. Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Key Largo
More information: playalargoresort.com
9. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
More information: ritzcarlton.com
10. Pelican Grand Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale
More information: pelicanbeach.com
11. The Alfond Inn, Winter Park
More information: thealfondinn.com
12. Sunset Key Cottages, Key West
More information: sunsetkeycottages.com
13. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, Naples
More information: laplayaresort.com
14. (tie) Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
More information: fourseasons.com
14. (tie) Ocean Key Resort & Spa, Key West
More information: oceankey.com