Escape the winter blues with a stay at one of these 10 remarkable, historic Florida retreats…
It’s that time of year when most of you are buried in snow, freezing rain, and general winter nastiness. It’s about this time of year when we all start daydreaming about a little snowbird escape to the Sunshine State. If you’re thinking of heading to Florida for a winter getaway, why not add a little Old-Florida style to the trip?
Ditch the boring beds and go to one of these 10 unique and historic Florida hotels instead…
Casablanca Inn (St. Augustine)
If you’re looking for old-world Florida, St. Augustine, arguably the nation’s oldest city, is a great place to start. There’s no better place to set up “base camp” than the Casablanca Inn. From the moment you set foot in this 1914 Mediterranean revival, you’ll feel thousands of miles away from the hustle and bustle of modern day, all without giving up any modern amenities. After using your complimentary $25 breakfast credit, take in the bay or explore downtown St. Augustine.
The Raleigh (Miami)
Of course, this list had to feature an art deco gem from South Beach, and The Raleigh definitely fits the bill. From its curvy art deco lines to its pool, named in 1947 by Life magazine as “the most beautiful pool in America,” The Raleigh is the quintessential South Beach hotel. In case you needed another reason to stay here, a booking at The Raleigh also gives you access to “SBE’s Miami Collection” a series of other equally impressive resorts. Just bring your room key.
Colony Hotel and Cabana Club (Delray)
The Colony Hotel and Cabana Club offer the best of both worlds with the historic hotel’s downtown Delray location and their exclusive beachfront property just down the road. If you want to feel like a high-roller from the 20s, the Colony Hotel and Cabana Club will do the trick. Owned and operated by the same family since 1935, great lengths have been taken to ensure guests feel the old-world charm while enjoying the comforts of today’s top-notch hotels.
Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables (Coral Gables)
Coral Gables has a reputation for opulence, and the Biltmore Hotel is a perfect example. Built in the 1920s as a showpiece of Italian, Moorish and Spanish architectural influences, the Biltmore has a nearly 100 year tradition of excellence. Its 273 rooms are still an oasis for those looking for world-class golf, fine dining, spas, and luxurious relaxation.
Don CeSar (St. Pete)
I vividly remember sneaking into this hotel as a kid just because it seemed so magnificent. As an adult, the Don CeSar is still just as incredible. Known world-wide for its pink exterior, the “Pink Palace” retains its 1928 “Gatsby Era” vibe but with every modern luxury imaginable. Stroll the beach, enjoy one of two different pools, pamper yourself at the spa, or enjoy one of their multiple restaurants or lounges. (They even have an ice cream parlor) Relaxed yet? Give them a day, and you will be.
Marquesa Hotel (Key West)
The Marquesa has won so many prestigious awards it’s in a league all its own. Listed by Travel & Leisure as the #1 place to stay in Florida, the Marquesa is truly remarkable. Tucked into Old Town Key West, the Marquesa Hotel takes a series of 1884 conch houses and turns them into a blissful retreat just steps from the action of Key West. From the beautiful rooms to the lush garden and 2 swimming pools, the Marquesa Hotel is all Key West, all the way.
Florida House Inn (Fernandina Beach)
Join a long list of notable people such as Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Ford, Laurel and Hardy, and even Union soldiers with a stay at the Florida House Inn. Built in 1857, the Florida House Inn has historic charm in spades from its beautiful porches to its impeccably landscaped courtyard. Start your mornings with complimentary coffee and then a hearty home-cooked breakfast before exploring one of Florida’s most historic little towns.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club (Boca Grande)
Built in the early 1900s as a retreat for wealthy northern snowbirds, the Gasparilla Inn is still a year-round playground offering great golf, fishing and other warm-weather activities. One of the largest surviving Florida resort hotels, the Gasparilla Inn has hosted a who’s who of guests over the years including J.P. Morgan, Henry duPont, and Henry Plant. The original Inn has been expanded over the years, but great efforts have been made to preserve the unique history of the Inn and the area. If you’re looking for a classy Florida escape, the Gasparilla Inn & Club is the place for you.
Le Méridien (Tampa)
If you want something truly different, Le Méridien Tampa is the place for you. Occupying a former federal courthouse, the hotel blends the past and present together with stunning perfection. Little details such as the original jury bench and witness stand make staying here more like a scavenger hunt through history. Steps from the art, dining, and entertainment of downtown Tampa, Le Méridien Tampa is probably the hippest hotel in all Florida.
The Driftwood Resort (Vero Beach)
Founded in the early 1900s by the decidedly eclectic Waldo Sexton, the Driftwood Resort has weathered multiple hurricanes to remain one of the coolest resorts in Florida. With its unique architecture, the resort truly feels as if its build from driftwood nestled in the sandy Atlantic coast beach.
Whether you’re looking for a week on the beach or a weekend exploring Old Florida, these 10 hotels are sure to take your Florida escape to the next level.