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22 Romantic Resorts in Florida

Unforgettable sunsets and champagne aren't the only reasons to snuggle up at these resorts

February 1, 2013
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From quiet beach escapes to big city nights, these sexy hotels and resorts make the perfect couple’s retreat to suit any travel style. Start making plans to slow down and recharge — just the two of you.

ocean key resort, dinner, couple, romantic

Ocean Key Resort & Spa

Location: Key West
Ocean Key Resort & Spa
Ocean Key Resort & Spa

Why It’s Great for Couples
This getaway exudes a chic SoBe vibe, a refreshing addition to laid-back Key West. Tucked at the tip of Duval Street within walking distance to the evening Sunset Celebrations at Mallory Square, it’s right in the middle of the action. But when you hole up in your private cabana by the sexy waterfront pool, you’d never know it. During the day, head out for a catamaran sail — snorkel stops included — or get pampered with Key Lime Margarita pedicures at SpaTerre. At night, roam nearby Duval Street or sample the specialty-drink menu at the guest-exclusive Liquid Lounge pool bar.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
With private balconies, whirlpool tubs and ocean views, the 100 rooms are designed to make “staying in” completely acceptable — even in party-heavy Key West.

Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

Location: St. Petersburg
Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

Why It’s Great for Couples
Located right on Tampa Bay, the water views are stunning at this 1920s-era hotel. But it’s the ornate flourishes of the hotel itself that really characterize this 85-year-old hotel: The Mediterranean Revival architecture landed The Vinoy on the National Register of Historic Places. Pop into the grand ballroom for a peek of the past, and enjoy the sweeping bay views from your room — some of which even have private balcony spas.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Book ahead for a swanky dinner at the elegant Marchand’s Bar & Grill. With their signature dishes that incorporate fresh herbs and olive oil, you’ll feel like you’re enjoying a romantic dinner in Italy without ever leaving the resort.

WaterColor Inn

WaterColor Inn

Location: Santa Rosa Beach
WaterColor Inn
St. Joe Club & Resorts

Why It’s Great for Couples
We have a major crush on this beautiful resort complex, spanning Route 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. For a romantic escape, stay in the main inn, where 60 plush rooms face the beach and perks include freshly baked cookies at turndown. (You can bring the family back another time to take advantage of their collection of rental houses in every shape and size.) Leave the keys in your room and get around the area on a pair of loaner bikes; it’s what the locals do.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Spend the morning kayaking or canoeing on the inland lake, then hit the beach. When you reserve those side-by-side beach chairs in advance, you never have to worry about losing that primo spot.

Sundy House | Romantic Resorts in Florida

The Sundy House

Location: Delray Beach
The Sundy House
The Sundy House

Why It’s Great for Couples
Originally the home of the first mayor of Delray Beach, this historic Atlantic Coast inn now welcomes guests with an acre of lush gardens, a freshwater swimming pond and 11 homey rooms and suites. Walk the town’s main drag, Atlantic Avenue, lined with trendy gift shops and restaurants. Or ride the hotel’s free shuttle one mile to the public beach; it’s exceptionally clean and dotted with crisp blue cabanas, available for rent.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Don’t miss Sundy House’s indulgent Sunday brunch. The fresh fruit, bite-size desserts and unlimited champagne taste even sweeter when savored at a cafe table in the inn’s Taru Gardens, which boasts more than 500 species of exotic plants and flowers.

The Palms Hotel & Spa | Romantic Resorts in Florida

The Palms Hotel & Spa

Location: South Beach
The Palms Hotel & Spa
The Palms Hotel & Spa

Why It’s Great for Couples
Living up to its name, The Palms is beautifully landscaped with swaying palm trees and lush tropical gardens that decorate the space between hotel and beach. The 251 newly renovated rooms makes a chic statement with bold hues and nature-inspired textures that align with the hotel’s focus on green sustainability. Even though you’re just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Miami, you’ll feel like you’re on a private island.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Dinner on the outdoor terrace at Essencia is a must, as much for the atmosphere as for the farm-to-table menu, which changes seasonally.

Sunset Key Cottages

Sunset Key Cottages

Location: Key West
Sunset Key Cottages
Sunset Key Cottages

Why It’s Great for Couples
The 40 cottages of Sunset Key are hidden away on a 27-acre island, located 500 yards from Key West. Each cottage is equipped with modern amenities disguised with “Old Florida” ambience — think Victorian-style tin roofs, airy living and dining areas, pre-stocked kitchens and grand porches overlooking the sea. There are no cars here; instead, people walk or take golf carts. The Sunset Key Pool, onsite restaurant Latitudes and the Spa are all steps away. (The four-bedroom cottages even boast their own private plunge pools.)

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
For pure seclusion at Sunset Key, have your concierge arrange a private dinner on the beach, paired fresh-caught seafood with glasses of bubbly.

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Location: Orlando
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Why It’s Great for Couples
This 750-plus-room bellissimo resort was designed to resemble Portofino, Italy on the Italian Riviera, with a lake standing in for the Adriatic Sea. During your stay, challenge each other to a game of bocce ball or book a treatment at the Mandara Spa, or relax by the Villa Pool (a much quieter setting than the resort’s family-friendly Beach Pool). Guests receive free Universal Express Unlimited access, which allows them to skip the regular lines on most rides and attractions in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Come sunset, grab a bistro table in the Harbor Piazza and enjoy Musica della Notte (Music of the Night), a nightly live show featuring classic opera, folk tunes and romantic ballads.

Steinhatchee Landing Resort | Romantic Resorts in Florida

Steinhatchee Landing Resort

Location: Steinhatchee
Steinhatchee Landing Resort
Steinhatchee Landing Resort

Why It’s Great for Couples
If your idea of romance involves truly getting away from it all, there are few better places than this residential-style cottage resort, tucked riverside in the Big Bend region. Check into a one-bedroom Honeymoon Cottage, set on a wooded lane with amenities including gas fireplace, oversized jacuzzi-style bathtub and your own charcoal grill just outside. Bring your boat and tie up to the pier; the Gulf of Mexico is just 3 miles away.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Want to take your relationship to the next level? Steinhatchee Landing has it’s own private chapel, which makes it an ideal spot for a destination wedding.

The Setai Miami Hotel

The Setai

Location: Miami Beach
The Setai
The Setai

Why It’s Great for Couples
Standing stylish on Collins Avenue in the heart of South Beach, this historic hotel dates back to the 1930s and exudes an Art Deco feel mixed with an Asian influence. Shop the onsite Asprey boutique (the classic British line is known for its leather goods, jewelry and home decor), laze beside one of three pools (each set with a different temperature), or listen to the surf from your beachside daybed. Come evening, retire to your room, sexily outfitted with rainfall shower, black granite tub and bed topped with custom Fischbacher linens.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
The Spa is one of the best in Miami. Book a Couples’ Bath and enjoy champagne and canapes as you soak up the view of the pool.

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Location: Lower Torch Key
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa
Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Why It’s Great for Couples
This intimate private-island resort was designed with romance in mind. Stand-alone thatched-roof bungalows showcase ambiance galore, in the form of canopy-draped king-size beds, oversized tubs and private garden showers. What they don’t have —in-room telephones and TV’s, or any guests under age 16 — is as important as what they do have: a beautiful beach, secluded pool, multiple shady nooks with hammocks, and a marina should you prefer to arrive by sea.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Toast to your love by the light of tiki torches when you sign up for a private dinner, served at a table in the sand or under a thatched-roof gazebo at secluded Palapa Point.

South Seas Island Resort

South Seas Island Resort

Location: Captiva Island
South Seas Island Resort
Thomas Hart Shelby/Wikimedia

Why It’s Great for Couples
This Gulf Coast resort is so sprawling (it takes over one entire end of Captiva Island) that guests hop a complimentary trolley to get around. Standard hotel rooms and one-bedroom villas make great home bases for couples, but the real fun is outdoors. Soak in the hot tub at the new lagoon pool, or gear up with Sunny Island Watersports. Itching to see more? Rent bikes — or better yet, a golf cart — to explore Captiva’s varied attractions, from quirky eats at the Bubble Room Restaurant to bird watching at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Grab picnic fixings (made-to-order paninis, fresh fruit, wine) at the resort’s Captiva Provision Company. Then claim a spot for two on the powdery beach — at 2.5 miles long, there’s ample room to find a some seclusion.

Don CeSar Hotel | Romantic Resorts in Florida

Don CeSar Hotel

Location: St. Pete Beach
Don CeSar Hotel
Don CeSar

Why It’s Great for Couples
Florida’s Pink Palace has it all — luxury service, infinite Gulf views and a little mystery (it’s rumored to have a friendly ghost). Nestle into 300-thread-count white linens in one of the 277 guest rooms. You’ll need the rest after all that parasailing, kayaking, beach volleyball and pool time (there’s even an underwater sound system). Need a break from the sun? The Don also boasts three restaurants, a host of specialty shops and an 11,000-square-foot spa.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Legend has it the hotel was built on romance. Developer Thomas Rowe used to meet his secret lover, an aspiring opera singer, by a fountain outside the Royal Opera House. After her death, Rowe built the hotel as a tribute to their love, complete with a replica of their special fountain. He called his hotel the Don CeSar, the name of the hero in Maritana — the opera in which his lover performed.

Hawks Cay | Romantic Resorts in Florida

Hawks Cay

Location: Duck Key
Hawks Cay
Hawks Cay Resort

Why It’s Great for Couples
Adventure-loving couples will feel right at home at this 60-acre paradise, which even has its own full-service marina. Swim with dolphins, catch a sunset cruise, explore the reef — the list of activities goes on and on, so bring some energy! A true island hideaway, each villa has a water or garden view, and the resort’s stone fire pit is a perfect place to sit back after a long day and before you snuggle into the cozy white linens of your dark-wood poster bed. When you’re done with all the high-energy thrills, sip a poolside mojito at the adults-only tranquility pool and then follow it up with a Key Lime Mojito body treatment at the Calm Waters Spa.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Get up early and watch the sunrise over their private lagoon. You’re likely to be the only ones there and the light on the still water is something you won’t soon forget.

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Location: Ponte Vedra Beach
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Why It’s Great for Couples
This oceanfront resort spans a whopping 300 acres, and includes private homes, 250 hotel-style rooms in the historic Inn and another 68 suites in the elegant, beach-facing Lodge. Generations of loyal families return here year after year (the resort dates to 1928), drawn by stellar golf, a top-rated tennis complex, four swimming pools and of course, that gorgeous beach. Book a romantic dinner at The Seahorse Grill, where fresh seafood is served from a second-level dining room overlooking the Atlantic.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Book time in the elaborate spa, where two Couples’ Suites come with perks like private steam room, Jacuzzi and outdoor patio for post-treatment relaxation.

Casa Monica Resort St augustine

Casa Monica Hotel

Location: St. Augustine
Casa Monica Hotel
Casa Monica

Why It’s Great for Couples
Blending modern luxury with old-world charm, this circa-1888 landmark in America’s oldest city takes you back to another time. The castle-like feel is present in every detail of the resort (it even has turrets!). Every one of the 138 rooms is uniquely appointed and decorated. We love the two-story Signature suites, especially the Ponce de Leon with its rooftop whirlpool and private balcony.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Arrange to have a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and fresh flowers waiting in your room upon arrival (or delivered at any time). The final touch: a carriage ride through the city’s historic quarter.

JW Marriott Marco Island | Romantic Resorts in Florida

JW Marriott Marco Island

Location: Marco Island
JW Marriott Marco Island
JW Marriott Marco Island

Why It’s Great for Couples
Why Marco Island? How about year-round summer weather, white-sand beaches and a scenic location in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands? This 727-room Marriott is one of the isle’s top stays, thanks to draws like two golf courses, beachside dining at Quinn’s on the Beach, paddleboard rentals and a Balinese-style spa with its own spa pool. Iconic Gulf sunsets are best viewed from the resort’s new Tiki Bar — with fruity cocktails in hand, natch.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Set sail aboard one of the property’s two catamarans (only six passengers each) to seek ocean-bound treasures such as dolphins, manatees and sea turtles.

florida romantic hotels, florida hotels

The Gasparilla Inn & Club

Location: Boca Grande
The Gasparilla Inn & Club
Gasparilla Inn and Club

Why It’s Great for Couples
Quaint cottages and palm-tree-lined walkways give a sense of home to this Old Florida resort, which dates to 1913. Guests love the upscale yet casual vibe, accessibility to the Gulf of Mexico, and storied fishing heritage. (Boca Grande is considered the tarpon-fishing capital of the world.) Bonus: Pets are welcome too!

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Jackets are required for dinner in the Main Dining Room during high season — a Gilded Age remnant that we love. Another reason to dress up: the resort’s three USCA-certified croquet lawns.

The Breakers | Romantic Resorts in Florida

The Breakers

Location: Palm Beach
The Breakers
The Breakers

Why It’s Great for Couples
Heading up the grand, palm-lined drive to the resort’s main entrance, you know you’re about to experience something special. Inside, the hotel’s opulent Italian-Renaissance decor aims to impress, as it has since 1902. Outside, the vibe is more classic beach escape, with a pristine beach and five oceanfront pools to choose from. Two championship courses may give you the urge to tee off; we also love their collection of well-curated shops, especially the modern jewelry at Mix.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Splurge on a poolside Beach Bungalow (exclusively for day use) for total pampered privacy — think day beds, a stocked fridge, a flat-screen TV, Wi-Fi and a private bathroom, plus dedicated concierges for any additional flights of fancy.

Casa Morada | Romantic Resorts in Florida

Casa Morada

Location: Islamorada
Casa Morada
Casa Morada

Why It’s Great for Couples
Mexican antiques and modern decor give this 16-suite hotel a tropical yet minimalist touch. Each orchid-laden suite features an outdoor or indoor living area (breakfast is served right on your patio), and some suites have a Jacuzzi or soaking tub with plenty of room for two. Don’t miss free yoga in the mornings, which takes beneath the palm fronds; in the afternoons, borrow a complimentary bike and explore the island.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Bring a camera to capture some special shots. The beautifully landscaped grounds have been the backdrop for numerous magazine shoots.

Boca Raton Resort & Golf Club | Romantic Resorts in Florida

Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Location: Boca Raton
Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Boca Raton Resort & Club

Why It’s Great for Couples
This Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel has been hosting the rich and famous for more than 80 years, lured by the striking Addison Mizner architecture and With its elegance and storied past, you’ll love the glamorous vibe of this pink-hued beach castle. Seven pools and a half-mile stretch of private beach (complete with wait staff and towel service) offer plenty of options for soaking in the Florida sunshine after a morning spent at the world-class tennis courts or one of the two 18-hole golf courses. Enjoy a romantic dinner without ever leaving the resort — you have a delicious array of options ranging from Mediterranean cuisine at the 27th-floor Cielo or sushi from the legendary Masaharu Morimoto.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Indulge in a couple’s massage in Spa Palazzo’s private couple’s suite — or have it up in your room instead, with 24 hours advance notice.

The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island | Romantic Resorts in Florida

The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island

Location: Amelia Island
The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island
The Ritz Carlton Amelia Island

Why It’s Great for Couples
The 444 rooms at this classic beach resort cater to luxury-lovers with plush beds, marble bathrooms and private terraces. Onsite amenities are just as cool: a waterfront pool and beach with chaise lounges and attendants; access to a private golf club; and dining options from the bikini-friendly Ocean Bar & Grill to Salt, an award-winning standout with a multi-course tasting menu.

Romantic Extra You’ll Love
Rent a pair of horses and take a ride along the ocean’s edge; Amelia Island is one of the few places in the country where regulations allow it.

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