Sub-tropical Florida is a fab place to spend a romantic weekend getaway. For one thing, the ‘sunshine state’ clocks up an impressive 230 days of sun each year, providing the perfect excuse to sink your toes into sand as warm as the Gulf of Mexico’s waves.
Then there’s a rich culture which spans Spain and Latin America via the Caribbean, a clutch of theme parks that can be found nowhere else, and the world famous Everglades National Park. That’s surely enough to keep even the most active of vacationers busy for a couple of days.
Here’s our pick of the 15 best romantic getaways in Florida:
1. Ritz-Carlton – Key Biscayne
Bask in the luxurious intimacy of the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, an island off the coast of Miami. You’ll be off the beaten path of the city traffic of Miami, and will be able to soak up the gorgeous beaches with your own private balcony.
To get away from the vacationing families, you and your sweetie can take a dip in the adult-only tranquility pool on site. And to heed the call of the state’s Latin American influences, partake in the Ritz’s nightly tequila tastings.
Travel back in time to the Ritz’s 1940s Cuban bar and lounge, RUMBAR. As live Latin music fills the air, high ceiling fans and rich-dark wooden features bring you to the sultry heyday of Havana. Choose between over 85 rums, piscos, and cachacas at RUMBAR, with fresh fruits of the tropics for specialty cocktails.
2. The Biltmore – Miami
Sparkle in the elegance of the Biltmore, a stunning 192os-built hotel that looks like it was picked up from Europe and taken to Miami. A National Historic Landmark, the Biltmore isn’t small with over 270 rooms. However, with 150 acres of landscaped ground to explore, seclusion and tranquility is still pretty much guaranteed.
The perfect care of the lavish gardens and Biltmore’s courtyards complement the marble columns, barrel vaulted ceilings, and carved mahogany designs which swirl aroun the resort like some sort of Mediterranean dream. And when the Miami heat starts to weigh you down, I can’t recommend cooling off in the country’s largest pool enough.
3. Brazilian Court Hotel – Palm Beach
This romantic Florida pick is situated unobtrusively on a quiet residential street a couple of blocks from the boutique stores and high-end dining of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. As such, it’s location is second to none. It’s beach club provides the opportunity to soak up the rays hand-in-hand, while a series of courtyards in this historic residence provide no end of hidden corners too.
Bringing together the best of the old and new worlds, rooms are decadent but not ostentatious. There’s a wealth of warm polished mahogany furniture, alongside wisteria fabric wall panels which add further personality. So to does each rooms curated selection of black and white photographs, specially chosen for just the right vibe by photographer Terry O’Neill.
4. The Villa Casa Casuarina – Miami Beach
Ever heard of the famous Italian designer Gianni Versace? You know, bags, accessories, clothing, that sort of thing? Well, before it was converted into a boutique hotel, Villa Casa Casuarina on Miami Beach was nothing less than the great man’s mansion. Unsurprisingly, Versace’s touch for design and elegance are evident everywhere. If you need just one example, how about this. Forming a swimming pool out of a thousand mosaic tiles wasn’t enough, so Versace made sure it was accented with 24-carat gold throughout. I wouldn’t have expected anything else.
Tying in with the grandious palatial architecture, The Villa Casa Casuarina’s cuisine also reflects Italian inspiration. At Gianni’s, the location’s decadent restaurant, authentic Italian food will melt in your mouth as you dine under the stars. Savor a grilled octopus salad, delight in a fresh lobster pasta second course, or indulge in a filet mignon entrée, all prepared by renowned Executive Chef Thomas Stewart.
Also check out my guide on Miami Beach.
5. Mandarin Oriental – Brickell Key
Live large at the cosmopolitan Mandarin Oriental on the Brickell Key right off the coast of Miami. Staying at this exclusive destination will not only be an amazingly luxurious experience, but it will also give access to the only spot in Miami where you can find a private beach with both a water and a city skyline panorama. Perfect for a romantic getaway then.
But this Asian-inspired hotel defines elegance too. Rated a 5-star resort, I can’t think of anything better than taking your loved one to the spa suite for a couple’s massage, accompanied by champagne and strawberries. Meanwhile, on the private beach, the hotel’s personal beach butlers are on hand to pamper you both. And when you’re ready to grab a bite to eat, you can sit down to the fusion cuisine of Peru’s most famous chef, Gaston Acurio, at La Mar.
6. B Ocean Resort – Fort Lauderdale
Just steps off the gorgeous turquoise waters of Ft. Lauderdale, on a broad expanse of soft sand, this gem makes for the perfect beach getaway for couples. As if to prove it, it was the resort of choice for Marilyn Monroe and husband Joe DiMaggio among others. Here’s why…
At B Ocean Resort you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic from intimate balconies and patios in each sophisticated suite. Hungry? No problem. B Ocean Resort has five options to choose from – plus in-room dining. Whether you and your significant other want to participate in Ft. Lauderdale’s famous water-sport scene or just sit back in the sun, B Ocean provides it for you.
7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Orlando
I can’t talk about Florida without mentioning Disney. In the state where Mickey and Minnie are royalty, there’s a place where adults can play, too.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll get wrapped up in the magic that encompasses the place. In an incredible blend of nature and architecture, you’ll roam through the resort with zebras, giraffes, elks, antelopes, exotic birds, gazelles, and wildebeests… like you’re straight-up in The Lion King singing about being born to be king.
Animals aside, this Orlando resort has one of the most-impressive collections of African art in the US. But it’s the two pools, one with water park, which are most likely to attract your attention first. Add to these an upgrade to a room or suite with access to the club lounge (providing complimentary refreshments throughout the day) and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
I’ve also got a great post on what to do in Orlando.
8. Carillon Hotel – Miami
Beyond the limits of a standard vacation, the 5-star Carillon Hotel in Miami offers a wellness retreat for guests like few others. Decompress at the largest spa in Miami—an astounding 70,000 sq. ft.—and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit with the plethora of treatments and facilities, from the Finnish Sauna to Experiental Rains.
Stylishly contemporary, and right on the shore, it’s palm-shaded outdoor pools lead directly to sands which stretch for miles. But the best ocean views are reserved for the floor-to-ceiling windows of rooms – though panoramas of the Miami skyline are also available. Revitalize yourself and your relationship at this indulgent resort that caters to your comfort from the first seconds after arriving.
9. The Breakers Resort – Palm Beach
As their logo puts it, “Once you stay, you’ll understand.” This idyllic, Italian-Renaissance resort has attracted travelers to the beautiful shores of Palm Beach since it opened in 1896. Thoroughly up-to-date while maintaining a feeling of historic grandeur, you’ll want for nothing here. The service is impecable, interiors luxurious, and location hard to beat.
Guests can cool off from the hot Florida sun in one of the Breakers’ four oceanfront pools, or walk directly out into the ocean waters with the Breakers’ beach access. For lovers craving extra privacy, slink into one of the private bungalows to claim your own little slice of heaven. All bungalows are poolside and offer concierge services 24 hours a day.
10. Cheeca Lodge & Spa
Escape from the swarm of tourists on this quiet island of Islamorada (translated as “the purple island”), commonly known at the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.”
You and your loved one can rejuvenate in the high-end suites, complete with marble bathtubs, private ocean-view balconies, and West Indies décor, while relaxing away from the crowds. Outside the spacious guest rooms, couples can enjoy the laid-back ambiance of Islamorada. Explore why the island is deemed the Sportfishing Capital, with nearby charter boats that will show you up to over 500 species of fish right off the shore.
At the end of the day (or beginning—time is irrelevant in paradise), visit the Cheeca’s oceanfront Tiki Bar for a true taste of the Caribbean. The bar can concoct any signature drink for you, but the fresh lime agave margaritas and hand-crafter mojitos are the Tiki’s specialties.
11. Sunset Key Cottages
Nestled perfectly on a private island (the last of the Florida Keys) a stay at Sunset Key Cottages is the closest you’re going to get to Cuba while remaining on the right side of US law. And because Sunset Key is the furthest Key from the mainland, it’s also beautifully quiet and secluded—perfect for a romantic getaway with your loved one.
Couples stay in their own brightly colored, private cottages with a hint of Hemingway chic among lush tropical gardens and turquoise waters. Wrap around verandas lie just feet from almost-empty white sands, while upscale cuisine is available at the award-winning Latitudes Restaurant. And all just 160 miles from Miami.
Also see: 25 Best Things to Do in Florida
12. St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort – Miami
Travel to Hollywood without ever having to leave the US East Coast when you stay at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami. Regularly lined with luxury cars outside, decked out in glamorous décor inside, and worth $1 billion, the St. Regis exudes extravagance. Guests are greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne, and then escorted to their room by a personal butler.
Sip on your morning coffee with your significant other on your own private oceanfront balcony, and relax in the adults-only pool on site, or in the two-person cabana on the beach. And to wind down at the end of the day, soak in a two-person tub at the 5-star resort’s spa. When you’re ready for dinner, the ocean-view restaurant on site serves gourmet cuisine, while the St. Regis Bar hosts a live jazz band every night.
13. Barefoot Beach Hotel – Madeira Beach
On the other side of the Florida peninsula, the Barefoot Beach Hotel sits on beautiful shores brushed by the waters of the Gulf. Situated on Madeira Beach, known for its clean sands, the hotel boasts a range of amenities, from outdoor pools and beach cabanas to a heated spa and barbecue area. All are fully accessible to disabled travelers too.
Should you seek some time outside of your beachfront or poolside studio suite, I suggest renting one of the hotel’s scooters and riding the two blocks to historic John’s Pass, the quaint fishing village full of unique shopping, fresh seafood restaurants, and water activities.
Further reading: 40 Places to See in Florida Before Your Kids Grow Up
14. Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort – Hollywood
What came first, the Jimmy Buffet song or the hotel? At Margaritaville, located on the legendary Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, Jimmy Buffet’s lyrics come to life.
Often compared to the funky beach towns of California, Hollywood Beach attracts all those looking for a laid-back vacation to wash away all their troubles and just chill. Oozing sultry tropicalness, Margaritaville is a place to flop down and do almost nothing except gaze at the Atlantic ocean from your bed.
When hunger strikes, there’s nine different dining options to choose from, which buzz from early evening until late at night.
15. The Setai – Miami Beach
Slip into sleekness at the Setai, which Forbes has dubbed one of the “Sexiest Hotels in America.” Built in 1938 as the famed Vanderbilt Hotel and refurbished continuously since, this 5-star hotel boasts modern luxury where east and west meet.
The Setai is so sleek that celebrities are known to frequent the spot, and the hotel even has a recording studio designed by Lenny Kravitz. But even those who sadly lack the voice of a rock star will appreciate The Setai’s Collins Avenue location, alongside direct beach access, a spa, fitness center, and even Tesla charging points.