Florida is home to a huge number of hotels that cater for all needs and budgets. However, if it’s luxury you’re after, there are a select group of hotels that certainly won’t disappoint.
Below, we take a look at five of the best luxury hotels in Florida:
The Setai, Miami
The most expensive hotel in Miami is without a doubt The Setai, on South Beach. A favourite of Madonna, who takes the opulent penthouse when she stays there, other celebrity clients include Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Boris Becker, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and U2.
The genuine imported Asian decor is off the luxury scale, mixing shameless opulence and serenity in equal measures. A 40-storey glass tower overlooking South Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, each of the 131 suites have sea views, while the penthouse boasts granite floors, two master bedroom suites, its own rooftop pool and a butler whose previous job was at Buckingham Palace, all for a cool $30,000 per night. A standard room costs upwards of $800 per night.
The original Art Deco building, from which the glass tower arises, was built in the 1930s as the Dempsey Vanderbilt Hotel. The gardens are an abundance of palm-trees which surround the three swimming pools, each with a different temperature, to allow guests to select what suits them best; there are also ample reflecting pools by which to relax.
The Setai is regularly the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Conde Nast Traveler's 'US and UK Gold List 2012', the UK's Readers' Choice Awards 'Best in the World' and among the 'Top 50 Hotel Spas in the US.' It also won the Conde Nast Johansens Award for the 'Most Excellent Hotel in the USA and Canada.'
W South Beach, Miami
Just across the way from The Setai, the W South Beach is another of Florida's top hotels and the brand's flagship property. Bringing Bali to Miami Beach, each of the 312 rooms are sea-facing with edgy, urban decor that is the height of cool. The hotel's restaurants and bars are the place to be seen, in particular the Wall nightclub and Mr Chow, frequented by the likes of Sean Penn, George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Tom Cruise.
Renowned for its 'Whatever/Whenever' approach to service, the W really does provide the ultimate in luxury. Prices start at around $750 per night for a Wonderful Suite and escalate according to varying degrees of incredible for a Spectacular, Fabulous, Fantastic, Oasis, Mega, Sanctuary, Marvellous or Sensational Suite, right up to the E-Wow Penthouse. Penthouse accommodation starts at $6,980 per night.
The W's Bliss Spa offers the ultimate Spa heaven, with luxurious treatments to wax, peel, exfoliate and massage your cares away. Emerging fully rejuvenated, you may wish to enjoy a signature cocktail while relaxing alongside one of the hotel's two award-winning pools.
Needless to say, the W is the recipient of a clutch of awards. In 2012 alone it was voted 'The Hautest Hotel on the East Coast' and as having one of the 'Top Five Pools in Miami' by Haute Living and among the 'Top 10 Sexiest Hotels in Miami' by MiamiandBeaches.com. The Huffington Post awarded it for having 'The Best Hotel Pools in Miami' as well as 'The Best Hotel Bars in Miami'.
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
Away from South Beach but still in Miami at Key Biscayne, home to one of 'America's Best Beaches' is the idyllic Ritz-Carlton, built in a British colonial style with unparalleled views of the Atlantic. The oceanic elegance and tropical ambiance of the hotel are enhanced by the custom-designed interiors inspired by the sea, including sumptuous mother-of-pearl wall coverings and colourful silk fabrics.
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne promotes itself as a romantic getaway as well as a family escape with a mix of luxurious relaxation with culture and adventure. The 20,000 sq ft spa, two heated seafront swimming pools and whirlpool, four restaurants, tennis courts, water sports facilities, nearby golf course and stunning interior, all combine to make the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne one of Florida's top luxury hotels.
With 450 guest rooms, including 113 suites, 50 Ritz-Carlton Club Level rooms and suites and one Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite, prices start at around $600 per night for a standard room, all the way up to $5,499 for the Presidential Suite. This suite has two oversized terraces with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, access key to Club Level with Private Lounge with food and beverage presentations and dedicated concierge throughout the day, master bedroom with plush king bed and adjoining sitting area and much more.
Awards for the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in 2012 include Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice 'Best in World' and 'Top 270 Spas in North America, the Caribbean and Hawaii', also Forbes Travel Guide 'Four Star Hotels'.
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Palm Beach
North up the coast a little is the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, the only Five Star, Five Diamond resort on Palm Beach Island and quite often described as exquisite. Palm Beach was established by two oil magnates in the 1890s, on a narrow strip of land between the Atlantic and the Intracoastal Waterway. The pair built a magnificent hotel around which a town was established. Today, Palm Beach is a destination for the world's elite, with its prestigious shopping street Worth Avenue and many other attractions.
The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach boasts 210 classic and chic beach home deco inspired rooms and suites and a sumptuous choice of indoor and outdoor dining. Prices start at $579 for a limited view room. The 180-degree ocean view pool and soothing waters of the whirlpool add to the stunning gardens, with luxurious chaise longues for the ultimate in relaxation. If you can tear yourself away, then an evening stroll along the soft white sandy beach will give you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a picture-perfect sunset,
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Orlando
The crown jewel of Disney World Resort, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista is a glorious Victorian-style hotel with an impressive five-story lobby crowned with a Tiffany-style glass dome. Disney's flagship hotel offers world-class dining, entertainment and luxurious accommodation, starting from $550 per night. This spectacular hotel is situated on the pristine, sandy shores of Seven Seas Lagoon. The resort is an architectural marvel, with stately guest rooms that marry Victorian sophistication with modern comforts.
The resort grounds are dotted with gardens and swaying palm trees, plus two beautiful pools. The health club boasts top of the range exercise equipment and when you are ready to dine, there are six restaurants from which to choose, including the elegant award-winning Victoria and Albert's. A paradise for children, resort activities include rental of watercraft, a 24-hour game room and numerous sports. There is a pristine beach, a kiddie pool and the Beach Pool, which offers a waterslide and cascading waterfalls. For those who have aspirations of being a princess, there is a My Disney Girl's Perfectly Princess Tea Party, hosted in the Garden View Tea Lounge.
For anyone planning a Florida holiday, the five hotels listed above could prove to be the perfect base if it’s luxury that you’re in search of!
David Wilcox is a writer for TravelSupermarket.com. David has been a keen traveller from an early age and has been lucky enough to visit some amazing places. His favourite destinations he's so far are Florida, Thailand and Dubai.