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22 of the best beach hotels in Florida for an oceanfront getaway

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JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort View

Florida is home to some of the best beaches in the U.S. and the world.
Many Florida hotels take advantage, with locations directly on or adjacent to the best beaches.
We rounded up the best Florida hotels with the best beach access, amenities, and guest rooms.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Every year, Dr. Stephen Leatherman, an author, professor, and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University – a.k.a. Dr. Beach – offers his top 10 list of beaches in the nation.

Using 50 evaluation factors, ranging from beach shape to bathing area bottom conditions, he usually includes a couple of Florida beaches in the top 10. Occasionally, like in 2020 and 2017, Florida even beats out Hawaii for the top spot. This year, two Florida spots, Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater (#8) and St. George Island State Park in the Florida Panhandle (#4) made the list.

Inspired by these popular spots, we offer not only Florida's best beaches but Florida's best beach hotels, which range from historic and luxury resorts to sprawling accommodations favored by families. Most have world-class restaurants, pools, and activities, and all take advantage of their best amenity: the beach.

The best beach hotels in Florida were selected based on the following criteria:

All hotels are located on or directly near a beach where it's easy to stroll straight from your room to the sand.All hotels have beach-related amenities, such as towels, chairs, umbrellas, and water sports equipment as part of the package or offered as additional rentals.Every hotel has stunning design details and offerings such as spacious rooms, rooftop bars, pools, and locally-inspired restaurants.I've stayed at many of these hotels personally and also researched ratings and reviews from trusted traveler sites like Trip Advisor and Booking.com.Hotels range in price from $189 to $999 in the off-season, although you can expect them to hike rates during peak seasons, which vary according to geographical location. We looked for and noted hotel COVID policies. However, Florida state law no longer requires masks or proof of vaccination.

Browse all the best beach hotels in Florida below, or jump to a specific area.

The best Florida beach hotelsOur methodology for selecting hotelsFAQ: Florida beach hotelsMore of the best hotels in Florida

These are the best beach hotels in Florida, sorted by price from low to high.

One Ocean Resort & Spa

The pool at One Ocean Club in Florida.
Savor ocean views directly from the pool.

Book One Ocean Resort & Spa

Category: Luxury

Location: Atlantic Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $189/339

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Restaurant and lounge, spa, 24/7 fitness center, bicycles, pool, airport shuttle service, business center, morning coffee-tea service, hydration stations, dry-cleaning service, 24-hour front desk

Pros: The resort is located directly across Beaches Town Center, offering plenty of off-campus entertainment, and the resort fee comes with discounts for the shops and restaurants there.

Cons: While the resort is pet-friendly, the animals aren’t allowed in the restaurant, lounge, or pool area, which means that they’re pretty much confined to the rooms — but you’re also not supposed to leave them in the rooms for long periods of time.

If your idea of a perfect vacation is getting a five-hour (!) spa treatment package while staring at the sparkling ocean that you’ve either just visited or will visit afterward, then this resort is for you. And oceanfront spa rooms are just part of the pretty package.

Rooms are decorated in themes and hues that recall the natural environment outside, so if you don’t find hatching turtles on the white-sand beach, you’ll discover them on the pattern of your pillowcase. Upgrade from partial-view rooms to oceanfront ones with balconies for not much more, even during peak season. It’s worth it for the view.

And be sure to dine on-site at least once, as the cuisine at Azurea is seafood-driven, drawn from local and regional providers. During the day, snack on dishes and cocktails poolside before heading to the fitness center or hopping on a bike to explore the coastline.

Sandwiched between the beaches of Amelia Island and Jacksonville Beach, this top-notch resort is close to the airport and cruise terminals, making it an excellent add-on stay for those about to hop onboard a ship.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
This Hilton sits on one of the nicest stretches of beach in popular Destin, Florida.

Book the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Category: Boutique

Location: Miramar Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $194/$407

Best for: Families, groups, business travelers, Hilton loyalists

On-site amenities: Beach, outdoor pool, water sport rentals, golf course access, multiple restaurants and bars, spa, fitness center with classes, tram, business center, babysitting services and kids’ club, tennis court

Pros: The Sandestin Resort Tram takes you to tennis courts, Baytowne Marina, and to The Village of Baytowne Wharf to shop or dine.

Cons: Because this is a family-style place with something for everyone, it can get pretty busy, and reservations for restaurants and popular times for dining are competitive.

This beachside resort provides all the Emerald Coast views and toes-digging-in-the-sand opportunities one could want. Snorkel, paddleboard, kayak – the Walton County vending kiosks provide equipment right then and there, along with lounge chairs and umbrellas. 

If you desire more action, the resort is known for access to Raven Golf Club, Burnt Pine Golf Club, Baytowne Golf Club, and The Links Golf Club, as well as The Dunes putting course in nearby Sandestin. 

After a full day in the sun, choose from multiple dining options ranging from steaks to sushi. At the moment, only Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is open to the public. If that worries you, opt for delivery in rooms that begin at 460 square feet. If you’re comfortable with more contact, Serenity by the sea Spa is open with social distancing protocols, as is the fitness center. Try a Barre class or early morning yoga on the Sunrise Deck.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort

View of the pool and beach from a room at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Resort.
The Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort offers a quarter mile of primo beach access and plenty of chairs.

Book Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort

Category: Mid-range

Location: Fort Lauderdale Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $199/$329

Best for: Couples, friends, families, business travelers, Marriott loyalists

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, pools, private beach with chairs and cabanas, beach volleyball, water sport rentals, fitness center, tennis court, ping-pong tables, yoga classes, meeting/event space

Pros: A kids’ surf club, among other indoor-outdoor children’s activities, is bound to keep your offspring busy and safe in the gentle waves.

Cons: Some guests say the rooms are dated and complain about the lack of service.

With a quarter-mile of private beach to its name, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa is the very definition of a beach resort. While it’s located near busy boutiques, bars, and restaurants, you might not want to leave this ocean oasis.

The 8,000-square-foot lagoon-style sea-level pool offers a variety of depths for every family member, with plenty of chairs, shade, and service. It’s on the same level as the beach, where you can recline under an umbrella or cabana while watching your family members indulge in water sports lessons, rides, or rentals on any number of boards and boats.

Take advantage of the spa options to treat skin that may have seen too much sun, or muscles that aren’t used to paddling out into the Atlantic.

Rooms are calming, with neutral, natural, and white hues. Request one with a balcony and you’ll find whether they’re ocean-facing or not, that there’s plenty of tropical color outside the windows.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

W Fort Lauderdale

W Fort Lauderdale Living Room Terrace
Lounge away the day overlooking the sand at the W Fort Lauderdale.

Book W Fort Lauderdale

Category: Luxury

Location: Fort Lauderdale Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $249/$449

Best for: Couples, friends, families, Marriott loyalists, travelers with pets

On-site amenities: Restaurants, spa, gift shop, salon, 24/7 fitness center and classes, complimentary bikes, event/meeting space, pet program

Pros: The W offers an excellent number of ways to experience the beach, from sunrise yoga to boot camp classes, which are included in the resort fee.

Cons: The room categories are so confusing it’s almost too difficult to make a decision. That said, this particular W has specialized suites that others don’t, so upgrade if you can.

Stunning in design from cruise ship-inspired exterior to detail-oriented interior, the W Fort Lauderdale is a luxurious enclave for humans and pets alike.

After a 53 million-dollar renovation, the facility offers signature amenities that are so irresistible you might even leave the golden-hued beach for them. These include the infinity pool on the fifth floor, and the brightly-hued spa, which contains everything from treatment rooms to a nail salon.

With names like “Wonderful,” “Fabulous,” “Fantastic,” and “Sensational,” it’s hard to get an idea of what rooms are really like. Make sure to read the descriptions, as they’ll usually include whether or not they come with an ocean view, even if it’s partially blocked, and a balcony. It’s worth it to invest in both view and balcony for morning coffee and sunset cocktails for the days when private spaces seem more appealing than public.

That said, the common areas are incredibly inviting, from the five dining and drinking venues to the oceanfront terrace. If you need more variety, you can always hop on a complimentary beach cruiser and explore other establishments in the area.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Omni Amelia Island Resort

The view from a guest room balcony at Omni Amelia Island.
The Omni overlooks pretty Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.

Book Omni Amelia Island Resort

Category: Luxury

Location: Fernandina Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $256/$416

Best for: Families, couples, business

On-site amenities: Indoor/outdoor swimming pools, luxury spa, meetings spaces, multiple restaurants, world-class golf courses, excellent kids’ club

Pros: Sweeping views and stunning grounds with a mind-boggling array of dining options from 10 different restaurants that range from steak to seafood to Southern-inspired fare.

Cons: Cleanliness and maintenance issues pop up among customer complaints from time to time.

The versatility of the well-named Omni brand is legend. It can work as easily for a corporate retreat or destination wedding as it can for a couples’ getaway or family vacation. That’s because the resort with 402 oceanfront rooms sprawls over the tip of this barrier island, and includes everything from a conference center to a chapel.

Done up in pastel blue, aqua, and cream colors — with a patterned or red accent thrown in — the rooms start at a liberal 425 square feet. Beachy decor (think cane back chairs) extends to the balconies and beds are particularly comfortable, with 330-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets over pillow-top mattresses.

If you don’t want to take advantage of the 3.5 miles of beach that beckons right outside, check out what the venue calls its multi-tiered pool deck. For adults-only, the infinity-edge pool is highly tempting, and for families, the 10,000-square-foot splash pool and water park are just as exciting. On cool nights, cozy up to two oversized fire pits.

Omni Amelia Island Resort is renowned for its two golf courses, one designed by Tom Fazio and the other by Pete Dye. Park the kids, if you have them, at Camp Amelia and head out for a round or two. Or take them with you. There’s instruction for all ages available.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

South Seas Island Resort

South Seas Island Resort
South Seas Island Resort is large, multi-faceted, and accommodating

Book South Seas Island Resort

Category: Resort

Location: Captiva Island

Typical starting/peak prices: $269/529

Best for: Couples, families, friends

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, golf courses, tennis courts, marinas with tours and charters, water sports rentals, bicycle rentals, stores, pools and water slides, fitness center and classes, children and family programs, wildlife and nature preserve, event space

Pros: Because this resort is surrounded by a 330-acre wildlife preserve, there are unique opportunities to book kayak tours to view dolphins and manatees up close, go on birdwatching excursions, or take guided beach combing walks.

Cons: Captiva’s beaches are made from shells, so they’re not quite as smooth and silky as those on, say, the Panhandle. But for those who like to discover and collect shells, you can find more than 400 varieties (plus shark teeth).

Originally a key lime plantation, this resort makes water activities the focus and highlight for every age group. Multiple marinas allow you to book fishing charters and parasailing tours, rent water crafts, arrange for lessons for sailing and other water sports, and more. There is also a two-and-a-half-mile-long beach known for its shelling with warm, gentle waters.

That’s not to say landlubbers can’t have fun, too. The ocean rims the golf course for certain holes, so you get a fabulous view while you’re playing, and tennis and pickleball courts beckon your racket. Rent bicycles for the whole family or send the kids to Sanibel Sea School Day Camp and head to the Kay Casperson. You can also always relax at the multiple pools with a cocktail.

Accommodations range from water-view rooms in the Harbourside Hotel to extended stays in apartment-style rooms which are independent vacation condos and home rentals.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Henderson, A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort

The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa - Destin, Florida
The Henderson overlooks a mile of underdeveloped beach in Destin, affording the most privacy possible.

Book The Henderson

Category: Boutique

Location: Destin

Typical starting/peak prices: $270/$515

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, lazy river, spa, private beach, multiple on-site restaurants and bars, event space, water sports, free Wi-Fi

Pros: There are 16 “spa rooms” that have access to a private elevator, which leads directly to the spa. 

Cons: The second floor of the hotel is dedicated to dog-friendly accommodations, with a limit of two pups per room. Dogs are not allowed in common areas, however, so getting them in and out can be a little tricky.

Wood-shingled and wind-swept, The Henderson looks like it should be perched on a moor. Instead, it overlooks a mile of one of the more underdeveloped beaches in Destin, affording guests the most privacy possible in town.

Take advantage of all the usual beach activities (or non-activities), practice getting your zen on in the adult pool cabanas, or float on the lazy river.

The 178 coastal-inspired rooms and suites are designed in hues of sand and sea blue, with four-poster beds and patterned carpets that give off a romantic manor house vibe. This lovely property, with a spa that includes a Himalayan Salt Suite, is ideal for taking a breather from the tumult that 2020 has offered so far. 

Located next to the Henderson Beach Preserve, the resort features plenty of resources for the nature lover, but it’s also deeply invested in the arts, highlighting the works of 13 local artists throughout the property. Learn about them, visit their galleries in town, and cap with a meal at signature restaurant Primrose.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Treasure Island Beach Resort

A guest room with an ocean view at Treasure Island Beach Resort.
Treasure Island Beach Resort Treasure Island Beach Resort is one of the most charming boutique hotels on the Gulf Coast.

Book Treasure Island Beach Resort

Category: Boutique

Location: Treasure Island

Typical starting/peak prices: $288/512

Best for: Couples, friends

On-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, pool, hot tub, social hour, fitness center, beach yoga

Pros: Niceties like social hour and fire pits give this boutique hotel a friendly feel.

Cons: The standard king room starts at 285 square feet and a junior suite with a sleeper sofa and kitchenette is only 390. These aren’t very large rooms when you consider that rooms at many other hotels begin at 400 square feet.

This delightful boutique hotel sits on one of those aforementioned, regularly listed top 10 beaches. See why by spending time sifting through three miles of floury sands while blissfully staring out at the placid, crystalline waters. Everything from the shape of Treasure Island to the breezes that caress it, makes it a lovely place to swim, explore water sports, or simply toast to the famous West Coast sunset.

With only 77 nautically designed rooms and suites, this intimate resort is a retreat from the stress of everyday life. Take a load off at the beachfront pool or join the social hour at BRGR Kitchen + Bar. In cooler weather, gather around the fire pits.

But don’t feel obligated to lounge all day. The fitness center is well-equipped and beach yoga classes take place every day, in addition to the many other Treasure Island activities and events to attend.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Betsy South Beach

The Betsy Penthouse
Arts and culture lead the way at the Betsy South Beach.

Book The Betsy South Beach

Neighborhood: South Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $309/$936

Best for: Families, couples, business travelers

On-site amenities: Restaurants, coffee bar, lobby bar, 2 pools, roof deck, sunrise yoga, fitness center, spa, library, conference rooms, event spaces, live music/concerts, poetry readings, art exhibits

Pros: Beach towels, loungers, and umbrellas are included in the resort fee, so pop across the street to the Boucher Brothers concession and they’ll set you up near the landmark Art Deco lifeguard stand.

Cons: If you’re looking for the kind of beach hotel that promotes parasailing and jet-skiing, you’ll be disappointed. But you can always inquire with the concierge about how to participate in those activities.

The Betsy South Beach comprises two renovated and connected buildings: The Betsy Ross, a Florida Georgian hotel on Ocean Drive, and The Carlton, an Art Deco hotel from 1938 that stands directly behind it on Collins Avenue. The main entrance is on Ocean Drive, just across from the beach.

Owned by the Plutzik-Goldwasser family, The Betsy is an epicenter for the literary, visual, and performing arts. The Lobby (with bar and restaurant), The B Bar, The Library, The Gallery, The Carlton Room (with bar and gallery), and rooftop spaces all host poetry readings, musical performances, academic lectures, visual arts displays, and more. Programming every day and night of the week allows up-close-and-personal meetings with artists-in-residence. Also, meet the CEOs (Canine Executive Officers) at golden (retriever) hour on Fridays.

One of the larger boutique hotels on the list, The Betsy offers a wide variety of rooms and suites. They start at 250 square feet, which is small, but the art-filled public spaces are generous and vibrant. Food and beverage offerings are under the direction of Laurent Tourondel; don’t hesitate to luxuriate in the dishes at LT Steak & Seafood – especially the noteworthy popovers.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of The Betsy South Beach

The Don Cesar and Beach House Suites

The Don Cesar and Beach House Suites
The magnificent Don CeSar is a beach resort that all other beach resorts aspire to be.

Book The Don Cesar and Beach House Suites

Category: Luxury

Location: St. Pete Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $329/$429

Best for: Couples, friends, families

On-site amenities: 6 restaurants, boutiques, 2 pools with concierge service, spa, fitness center, kids’ programs, pet programs, event/wedding spaces, water sport rentals

Pros: The 11,000-square-foot spa is such a tempting wellness retreat that it very likely will cut into your beach time. But you just won’t care.

Cons: The little extras such as on-site wave runner, kayak, and paddleboard rentals, as well as self-parking at $24 per day (you might as well valet for $31) add up. That doesn’t even include the resort fee.

The beloved Don CeSar, overlooking St. Pete Beach like a patriarch, revealed a three-year, top-to-bottom, multi-million-dollar renovation this year, making it even more highly desirable as a location to stay and play. Open since 1928, the property has served guests continuously since, even through WW II, and welcomes everyone from celebrities to locals to its private stretch of Gulf Coast beach.

Whether you choose one of the breezy Art Deco-inspired 277 guest rooms or opt for one of the 71 all-suite bookings (ideal for families and extended stays) at the nearby Beach House Suites, you’ll be delighted by design and functionality alike.

With six restaurants, boutiques, two pools, and a luxurious spa, The Don CeSar is a roomy and relaxing resort that prioritizes excellent service. Savor concierge attention at the pools and exacting coastal cuisine and craft cocktails at Maritana, noted in the region for Chef de Cuisine’s Emily Ferrari’s local and seasonal creations.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

JW Marriott Marco Island

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort View
The JW Marriott Marco Island's tropically landscaped pools are just as tempting as the sugar-spun beach.

Book JW Marriott Marco Island

Category: Luxury

Location: Marco Island

Typical starting/peak prices: $329/$489

Best for: Couples, families, friends

On-site amenities: Restaurants, heated pools, whirlpool, spa, fitness center, sauna, golf courses, tennis courts, volleyball courts, water sports, tours and excursions, children’s activities, meeting/event space

Pros: The live beach webcam allows you a glimpse at any time, day or night, into what’s happening on the sands outside the hotel. Assess the crowds, see if it’s raining, or just watch the sunset from your bed.

Cons: While there are amenities galore ranging from kids’ day camp to parasailing, everything is extra. Come prepared for a final bill that’s significantly higher than just your room rate and resort fee.

Gourmands and athletes’ ears prick up when they hear about the JW Marriott Marco Island, as well they should. With a dozen food and beverage venues and two championship courses, this a play-hard, dine-well kind of place. And for those who don’t care for the greens — either the ones for forks or the ones for nine irons — there is the beach, of course.

Maximize beach time with a yoga, boot camp, or core sculpting class right on the sand. Then recover at the spa or any of the pools dotted with palm trees and cabanas alike, before returning to the stunning contemporary design of your room, where your eye is drawn to everything from driftwood-base lamps to a lime-colored area rug.

You can also book tennis lessons, learn to sail, or join an excursion through the Everglades. The JW Marriott Marco Island has something for everyone, including full programming for kids.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

The gym facing the ocean at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort.
In addition to the beach and pool, an incredible amount of spa and fitness options await at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort.

Book Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Category: Luxury

Location: Miami Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $359/639

Best for: Couples, friends

On-site amenities: Restaurant, cafe, pool, spa, wellness and health programs, life coaching, fitness center, salon, store, event/meeting space; thermal, emotional, and relationship therapies

Pros: The sheer number of spa and wellness treatments, as well as fitness options, run the gamut of Western, Eastern, Alternative, and Aesthetic medicine plans.

Cons: The trainers and guides are so enthusiastic they can talk you into anything. But if you’ve never done some of these therapies before, including the Touchless V.E.M.I. (Vibroacoustic Electro Magnetic And Infrared Therapy), Whole Body Electric Cryotherapy, and Halotherapy & Infrared, you might want to proceed with caution.

The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort offers some of the most interesting accommodations in Miami Beach. Located in a quiet neighborhood known as North Beach, the rooms are actually one- or two-bedroom deluxe apartments starting at 720 square feet, with floor-to-ceiling windows, living rooms, kitchens, and spa bathrooms.

Superior sleeping arrangements aside, this seaside resort is truly a luxury vehicle for fans of wellness and fitness. The amount of treatments and classes you can fit in depends on your time and energy, but suffice to say that the cutting-edge experiences range from salt bath floats to energy healing, and that’s just the beginning.

When you’re ready to take a break from self-improvement, the pool awaits with frozen cocktails, and the Carillon also sits on one of the longest — and most sedate — stretches of beach in the city. The Strand offers fresh local cuisine through a Mediterranean lens, and South Beach action is only 40 blocks south.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club

The Resort at Longboat Key Club
The Resort at Longboat Key has it all, from fine dining to beach views, plus golf, tennis, and its own marina.

Book The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Category: Luxury

Location: Longboat Key

Typical starting/peak prices: $371/953

Best for: Couples, friends

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, spa, golf courses, tennis courts, marina, pool, fitness center and classes, meeting/event space, complimentary shuttle service

Pros: The resort is so committed to fine food and drinks that it hosts its own food and wine festival, Bacchus on the Beach, which should resume after the pandemic.

Cons: The Resort is consistently ranked in golf and tennis outlets for its courses, courts, pro shops, and staff, so bookings can be competitive and pricey in season.

One of the few, if not only, resorts with storm-protected, deep-water marina slips for yachts (along with services, harbourmaster, dock crew, 24-hour security, and marina village), The Resort at Longboat Key is committed to caring for its guests whether they come by boat, plane, car, or foot. It’s also ideally positioned to be both beachside and close to the renowned St. Armands Circle, which offers additional dining, shopping, and gallery-browsing.

Not that you necessarily need to leave the resort. With award-winning golf courses (plus instruction), 20 landscaped Har-Tru tennis courts, and an array of spa, pool, beach, and water sport options, it’s impossible not to be entertained.

Retire to one of the 226 fully renovated rooms and suites decorated in deep nautical blues and sand colors, that start at a generous 415 square feet. All have views of either Sarasota Bay, the Intracoastal, or the golf courses, and come with a wet bar, refrigerator, microwave, and balcony. Studio-style lagoon view rooms come with a full kitchenette and depending on the season, upgrades are worth it.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

WaterColor Inn & Resort

The boardwalk to the Water Color Inn beach.
WaterColor Inn & Resort is situated in the prettiest part of the Florida Panhandle.

Book WaterColor Inn & Resort

Category: Boutique

Location: Santa Rosa Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $392/$612

Best for: Families, couples

On-site amenities: Complimentary bike/kayak/canoe rentals, large fitness center, spa, hiking trails, multiple restaurants, outdoor movies, free Wi-Fi

Pros: The location might feel remote, but satellite and cable flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi keep you connected. And Santa Rosa Beach and the small towns that surround it all feature plenty of restaurants and boutiques.

Cons: Occasionally, nature gets in the way — the dunes can block the view, for example. Santa Rosa is also difficult to get to from certain parts of the country.

WaterColor Inn & Resort is situated in the prettiest part of the Florida Panhandle, where the award-winning beaches are so white and fine that you can’t help but think of cake icing. 

David Rockwell designed the 60 rooms starting at 500 square feet with Adirondack chairs on the balconies and cabana showers on the patios. The 500-acre setting includes longleaf pine forests for hiking and biking, a coastal dune lake for kayaking and canoeing, and a 1,400-square-feet of private beach. The hotel is also next door to Grayton Beach State Park, where you can make good use of the property’s complimentary bicycles, kayaks, and canoes. 

The resort also offers local seafood, Southern, and family-friendly fare, and a terrific collection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails. The spa and fitness center provides plenty of distraction, as do beach bonfires and outdoor movies.

COVID-19 policies can be found here.

Henderson Park Inn

Henderson Park Inn view
This adults-only inn is romantic, secluded, and includes breakfast and lunch in rates.

Book the Henderson Park Inn

Category: Boutique

Location: Destin

Typical starting/peak prices: $405/$582

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Breakfast and lunch included, private beach, romantic dinner offerings, complimentary welcome bottle of wine, bike rentals, complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas

Pros: The hotel is adults-only and some rooms have stair-access only, giving them a more private, secluded feel.

Cons: Don’t be confused by the word “suite,” especially when “mini” or “junior” is in front of it. Everything is a suite. What it really means is that rooms vary in size, from a very small 140-square feet to a much more spacious 427 square feet.

This mostly-inclusive (more on that in a minute) hotel is adults-only (every guest must be 25+ unless you’re younger than that but married), private and romantic. 

After a good night’s snooze in the pale green-and-ivory room — some with balconies overlooking the Gulf — take included breakfast in the socially distanced dining room, while lunch is served as a picnic, packed to enjoy on the beach. Or take it for a ride using the complimentary bicycles. Return from the sand or explorations of the local parks and preserves for happy hour at the tiki bar or with snacks delivered to your room.

Dinner is the only meal not included in the overall cost. Beach Walk Café, located on the property, commands high prices but is worth it, especially if you choose the VIP “toes in the sand” experience and consume your meal at a white linen-covered table set up directly on the beach. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

The view of La Playa Beach and Golf Resort from the water.
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort partners with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to provide sea turtle information and packages so guests can have an eco-experience from May 1 to October 31 each year during nesting season.

Book LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

Category: Luxury

Location: Naples

Typical starting/peak prices: $449/619

Best for: Couples, families, friends, business travelers

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, golf course, spa, pool with cabanas, beach butler service, water sports rentals, fitness center and classes, cruiser bikes, kids’ slumber party, nightly bonfires

Pros: Check out the Sea Turtle package, which includes a welcome kit with a beach bag and stuffed sea turtle, tickets for four to the Conservancy Nature Center, help to track sightings, assistance in “adopting” a sea turtle, and more. A portion of proceeds from these stays is donated to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Cons: Naples has become inundated with transplants thanks to the pandemic. Book hotel and restaurant reservations far in advance of your stay.

Traditionally, Naples was known for retirees, business golf vacations, and family beach time. Now, thanks to the pandemic, it’s been infused with all sorts of visitors who simply want to escape. Romantic and elegant with modern furnishings and art, LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort stands ready to assist both the former and the latter categories.

The contemporary design of the rooms includes pops of royal colors and updated marble steam showers. Make sure to request a balcony so that you can be bathed in extra golden light as the sun sets on the west side of the Florida coastline. It’s worth the bump in price.

Then choose your activities. Bob Cupp golf course? Check. SpaTerre treatments (poolside or otherwise)? Indeed. Bike rides, yoga sessions, or fitness machines? Of course. There is also the pool with complimentary sorbet, beverage samplers, and fruits delivered throughout the day; as well as the wide swath of beach, complete with butler service. Then dine on-site and attend the nightly bonfire.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Reach Key West

The Reach Key West
Stunning views of the ocean abound throughout the hotel.

Book The Reach Key West

Category: Luxury

Location: Key West

Typical starting/peak prices: $511/626

Best for: Couples, families, friends, Hilton loyalists

On-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, pool, bocce ball court, on-site water sports rentals and tours, Escape Room experience, sand sculpting workshop, fitness center, meeting/event space

Pros: The amenities include different but welcome experiences, such as an artist-led sand-sculpting workshop and an Escape Room experience in partnership with Key West Room Escape (good for those rainy days).

Cons: The lack of a spa, especially at this price range, is a bummer. However, guests have access to the one at sister property Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort‘s (as well as other amenities there such as dining).

With a freshly finished multi-million-dollar renovation, The Reach Key West, a member of Hilton’s upper upscale Curio Collection, enters island resort royalty. Boutique in design but luxury in spirit, the hotel spreads its nautically-hued skirts on the only natural sand beach of this southernmost spit of land.

All 150 rooms and suites feature a balcony, along with artistic elements like mermaid tails hanging on each door, a whale-shaped driftwood print above each bed, and bathroom vanities carved to look like boat hulls. The entire resort is filled with maritime references — a boat cleat here, a rope-hung mirror there — along with local, tropical-hued art, including a mural framing the patio that honors the island’s iconic roosters.

The hotel also has a new signature maritime restaurant and bar, Four Marlins, inspired by famed resident and fisherman Ernest Hemingway. In addition to enjoying three square meals per day, explore the great rum collection here.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

The pool and beach area the the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.
The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is steeped in style, sophistication, and sunshine.

Book Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Category: Luxury

Location: Palm Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $520/$1,665

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, pools and beach with concierge service, cabanas and beach beds, water sports rentals, tennis and yoga classes, fitness center, spa and salon, boutiques, Krigler perfumery, house car, kids’ programs, teen game room, mixology and culinary classes, weekly poolside pop-ups

Pros: You don’t just get bicycles here, you also get helmets and maps, along with tons of other activities.

Cons: This hotel is expensive, especially so in peak season.

The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is one of the island’s signature luxury properties. In fact, this six-acre oceanfront property, framed, by oceanfront pools, practically exudes Palm Beach charm and character.

What does that mean, exactly? Aside from lovely architecture, 207 beautifully designed guest rooms and suites, and food and drink that includes the affiliation of three Michelin-star restaurant Chef Mauro Colagreco, it’s all about service. Book a beach picnic, access exclusive fragrances at the on-site Krigler perfumery, and take advantage of everything from luggage pick-up and delivery services to complimentary sunglass cleaning. Your every wish is granted so immediately at this expansive, private beachfront, it will be a rude re-entry back into the regular world when you check out.

Fortunately, you’ll be absorbing Vitamin D all day, so you’ll be feeling healthy enough after a respite at this resort to face your everyday challenges. And if you suspect you’re getting too much sun, retreat to the restaurant “academies,” where both adults and children can take cooking classes.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

The pool lit up at night at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
The Boca Raton Resort & Club glows pink at sunset.

Book Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Category: Luxury

Location: Boca Raton

Typical starting/peak prices: $600/$1,100

Best for: Couples, families, Hilton loyalists

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, 2 golf courses, 28 tennis and 4 pickleball courts, 11 boutiques, 7 swimming pools, 3 fitness centers, marina

Pros: This may be one of the only high-end resorts to have officially added pickleball courts (not to mention a tennis concierge).

Cons: Because it also has club members who can act proprietary, it can get competitive for some athletic services, spa and fitness times, and restaurant reservations.

Boca Raton Resort & Club originally opened in 1926 and is now approaching its 100th anniversary. It’s still a beloved and highly sought-after vacation accommodation as well as a year-round club for the community.

Set on 200 waterfront acres, the resort actually comprises five hotel buildings: Cloister, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Tower, and Bungalows. Prices vary depending on where you want to stay. As of summer 2021, the historic pink Tower is under renovation, however, and the Yacht Club and Cloister will reopen in December 2021. But the Beach Club and extended-stay Bungalows are ready to receive guests.

Wherever on the extensive property you do find yourself, you’ll have access to 28 tennis courts, four pickleball courts, 11 retail boutiques, seven swimming pools, three state-of-the-art fitness centers, and multiple fitness collaborations, currently including Orangetheory and Hydrow. And while there’s only one spa, one salon, one 32-slip full-service marina, and two championship golf courses, they’re all ready for you to book a treatment, a charter, or game.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Villa Casa Casuarina

the villa casa casuarina
The Villa Casa Casuarina is the former residence of Gianni Versace.

Book The Villa Casa Casuarina

Category: Luxury

Location: South Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $712/$3,009

Best for: Couples

On-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, pool, spa services, beach access

Pros: Daily breakfast is included in the room rate, and other food and beverage options include Onyx Bar and the poolside Gianni’s Restaurant.

Cons: The Ocean Drive location and famous history means this place sees excessive tourist action. Also, the design includes a lot of slippery stairs and no elevators or ramps, so it is not accessible to all. 

Gianni Versace’s storied former mansion is a Miami Beach landmark, and now, an intimate hotel. While prices are usually sky-high, weekdays in the off-season offer a relative bargain in this all-suite, elaborately decked-out hotel.

Originally built in 1930 by wealthy architect Alden Freeman as an apartment building, the Spanish-Mediterranean property is now a 10-suite hotel, thanks to Versace’s $32 million investment and that of various owners over the years after his murder. Staying at The Villa Casa Casuarina affords you access to the historical statues, columns, fountain, and the absolutely stunning Thousand Mosaic Pool, which is made out of 24k gold tiles. 

The suites are absolutely lavish with murals on walls and ceilings, tapestries, carved rare wood furniture, objets d’arts, and more. Marble bathrooms include oversized double showerheads and double sinks, and every suite has a balcony or terrace; some even have two. It may be hard to leave these quarters for even a second, but do head up to the Rooftop Lounge for a sunset drink.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

The Breakers Palm Beach

The lobby at the Breakers Palm Beach.
The Breakers Palm Beach is the grande dame of Florida beach resorts.

Book The Breakers Palm Beach

Category: Luxury

Location: Palm Beach

Typical starting/peak prices: $795/$1,350

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: 4 pools, 5 whirlpools, private beach, water sports, poolside bungalows, indoor-outdoor spa, fitness center, 2 golf courses, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, shops, restaurants, bars, interactive family entertainment center, kid camps

Pros: Activities range from a sunset Catamaran cruise to wrinkle-reducing facials at the spa. And while the fitness center and spas are for those 16 years old and up, there’s a petite spa for littles.

Cons: Founded in 1896, The Breakers Palm Beach celebrates 125 years with events and deals that draw big crowds. And not all guests, including members of the recently introduced summer, beach, tennis, pool, and golf clubs, are as gracious as their surroundings.

With 140 acres, The Breakers Palm Beach has a lot to keep up. And keep it up it does. Every year, this independently owned hotel, one of the 1,000+ still in the hands of the original family, invests $25 million in modernization, preservation, and amenities.

That’s why this grande dame of seaside resorts is still so regal. With continuous improvements such as Via Flagler by The Breakers, a plaza of boutiques and restaurants, the resort offers guests something new every time they come, which for many is annually. That’s for good reason, too. Regally designed, guest rooms exude midcentury elegance with pops of blue and yellow with balconies framing beach views.

That beach, naturally, is private, with all the services and water sports you expect. The pools grab attention, too, with a range of styles and settings. And Ocean Fitness is one of the most up-to-date and best-outfitted hotel gyms we’ve ever encountered

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Known for its stunning spa, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is the only beach in the region to have cabanas on it.

Book Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

Category: Luxury

Location: Manalapan

Typical starting/peak prices: $999/1,499

Best for: Couples, families

On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, spa, fitness center, private and group fitness classes, Har-tru tennis courts, 2 pools, beachfront cabanas, water sports, bike rentals, children and teen programs, meeting/event space

Pros: Seven acres of private beach featuring the area’s only beachfront cabanas means you can take advantage of deals in the hot summer months and keep relatively cool at the same time.

Cons: This is one of the more expensive beach resorts in Florida (it’s located in one of the most expensive towns), however, it frequently offers specials such as stay two nights and get the third free.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa’s own elevator pitch is “Capri meets Santorini meets Palm Beach.” We simply call it Posh x Cool. It’s Palm Beach without the pretension, but with all the fashion, design, art, food/beverage venues, and services that you expect from “America’s First Resort Town.”

While far from inexpensive, this beach resort is one of our favorites for several reasons. The Eau Spa is iconic, with innovative treatments that include cooling facial massages with ice globes. It also has an exclusive skincare line with Valmont, which skin routine devotees stock up on while on site.

The fitness center and options are equally terrific, with barre, yoga, Pilates, Peloton, and more. Try solo sessions, group classes on the beach, or go all out for a private evaluation and trainer.

If your family is in tow, send them out for surfing lessons, or join for snorkeling and paddle-boarding, cruise the waterfront on bikes, or refresh your tennis groundstrokes. Then dine al fresco on local farm-to-table fare at Orange or Angle or head to nearby Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

More on our methodology for selecting hotels

In addition to the criteria above, I considered the following factors:

My experience: I’ve been living in Miami since 1992 and covering the entire state as a food-and-travel writer for a large variety of international publications and guidebooks. I’ve stayed in many of these hotels over the years and can vouch for their overall experience. Some, we’ve even reviewed too.

Overall features: The best Florida beach hotels and resorts all make it easy to hit the beach, both in proximity and by offering amenities like chairs, umbrellas, towels, and more.

COVID-19: Florida has lifted statewide restrictions on masking and does not allow private businesses to directly ask about vaccination status. However, many businesses still choose to follow CDC protocols with new cleaning policies and masking in public spaces, and we prioritized these hotels.

FAQ: Florida beach hotels

Are hotels safe and open in Florida?

Yes, experts agree hotels are safe, provided you take the necessary precautions outlined by the CDC. Additionally, the CDC now says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US. All the hotels on this list are open and accepting guests.

That said, the state of Florida has lifted governmental restrictions and protocol for COVID-19. Still, you should keep in mind that many private businesses still opt to follow the CDC masking and social distancing guidelines and come prepared with safety precautions for hotels, restaurants, and other businesses who might enforce their own rules on the premises of their properties.

In addition, services are subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Some spa, transportation, and entertainment amenities might be curtailed or unavailable. Others might be on their way to being reinstated.

Still, you should come prepared to comply with requests that you wear a mask in various places of business.

What are the best beaches to visit in Florida?

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline, the second-highest in the nation behind Alaska (where you certainly don’t do much tanning). These soft sand beaches make is easy to sun, fish, swim, enjoy water sports, collect seashells, and build sandcastles with your partner or kids. You can also really get a sense of the differences between east and west coast Florida beaches, which are only two hours apart by car in the southern part of the state, and the diversities of lifestyles around the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Coast, and Panhandle beaches.

If you prefer a plethora of arts programming, dining, and nightlife, then Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, or The Palm Beaches all have great hotels that deliver on those interests.

If you’re looking for water sport-friendly or relaxing vacations, the slower-paced Panhandle, where Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Santa Rosa Beach are located, will suit you.

For a mix of both, the Naples and St. Pete on the Gulf Coast and the Jacksonsville/Amelia Island region on the East Coast are ideal.

When can I find cheap deals for Florida beaches?

Some Florida beach towns, especially those that are closer to the Alabama and Georgia borders, where it gets cold, are communities where the slow season is in the winter, resulting in cheaper prices.

In the Southeast and Southwest, where it’s warm year-round, the summer is the low season when it’s hot and rainy. But in places like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, where tourists from all over the world visit, there is no longer any real slow season.

Weekday and weekend rates will also change during music, art, and food festivals, fishing tournaments, and other Florida-specific events as well as high school and college graduations. Resort fees range widely but often include bicycle rentals, barre or yoga classes, happy hours, or breakfast.

When is hurricane season in Florida?

Hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30, and Florida does see its share of storm watches/warnings as well as actual storms.

Do I need a car to go to the beach in Florida?

Usually, yes. While many Florida seaside cities offer public transportation, various free neighborhood trolleys, and ride-share services, sometimes Florida beach towns are located on peninsulas, islands, or keys. That means you have to cross causeways or bridges to get to them. Public transportation might not always extend that far, especially trains, and rides can be long and expensive. If you want to take a day away from beach activities, without a car you might be stuck.

From regional or major international airports, car rental deals are always available, and experts say renting one in a pandemic is safe. Additionally, these are the best car rental companies.

More of the best hotels in Florida

1 hotel south beach

The best hotels in FloridaThe best hotels in MiamiThe best hotels in South BeachThe best hotels in Fort LauderdaleThe best hotels in DestinThe best hotels in Orlando and KissimmeeThe best hotels in Walt Disney WorldThe best hotels in Key West
Read the original article on Business Insider

Source: 22 of the best beach hotels in Florida for an oceanfront getaway

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