Per­fect Pair­ings

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY ROCHELLE LASH

All you need is love. Florida sup­plies the rest—sun­shine and sea breezes, bou­quets of trop­i­cal flow­ers and re­sorts that ex­cel in cel­e­bra­tions.

Here is a look at Florida’s di­verse and daz­zling choices for heav­enly honeymoons, won­drous wed­dings and leisure for the mod­ern fam­ily: straight, gay, blended or other. Look for perks such as a com­pli­men­tary suite on the big night and en­ter­tain­ing fea­tures from swim­ming with man­a­tees to bon­fires with Cham­pagne and s’mores.


The so­phis­ti­cated Lago Mar Re­sort and Club is part of Fort Laud­erdale’s Luxe Col­lec­tion. Tra­di­tional and se­cluded, Lago Mar ex­cels at white-glove ser­vice and cer­e­monies on the beach or in the ball­room.

At the south­ern end of Greater Fort Laud­erdale, the ex­cit­ing Mar­gar­i­taville Hol­ly­wood Beach Re­sort is a trop­i­cal beach party with posh in­te­ri­ors and fab­u­lous photo ops on a spec­tac­u­lar glass ter­race with a panorama of the At­lantic Ocean.

The Hol­ly­wood Beach Mar­riott also has a spec­tac­u­lar ocean­front, but tra­di­tional in­te­ri­ors with ma­hogany pan­elling and bril­liant chan­de­liers. The Vow to Get Away pro­mo­tion, when avail­able, of­fers triple Mar­riott Re­wards points.

The classic queen of Hol­ly­wood Beach, The Diplo­mat Re­sort & Spa is one of Florida’s largest re­sorts, with two pools, a sub­lime spa, a kids’ club—and wed­dings to re­mem­ber.

The rain­bow spirit is strong in Fort Laud­erdale, the No. 1 LGBT re­sort des­ti­na­tion in the US, with nearly 20 gay ho­tels and hun­dreds of LGBT-owned busi­nesses. The Grand Re­sort & Spa is a haven for gay men who love its ter­rific spa and cloth­ing-op­tional pool. Sev­eral main­stream ho­tels also are strong on same-sex unions, in­clud­ing the B Ocean Fort Laud­erdale, which has a pri­vate swatch of sand, and the Son­esta Fort Laud­erdale Beach, pop­u­lar for its pent­house ball­room and ocean­front ter­race.

The cool town of Del­ray Beach is more in­ti­mate. The deluxe Sea­gate Ho­tel & Spa is a

gorgeous get­away with wed­ding op­tions, such as the Wine Room in the At­lantic Grille, the Coun­try Club and the truly dis­tinc­tive Beach Club, a beau­ti­fully re­stored 1920s ocean­front colo­nial pavil­ion.

Sundy House in Del­ray Beach has charm, his­tory and fine cui­sine. The am­brosial botan­i­cal area called the Taru Gar­den en­com­passes a gazebo, trop­i­cal fo­liage, a flow­ing wa­ter­fall and pretty ponds.

The high-so­ci­ety land­mark of Palm Beach, The Break­ers is a match­less des­ti­na­tion for pres­tige and pomp. The Break­ers’ wed­ding blog dishes on food, drinks, fash­ion and the best par­ties, so you are sure to have a cre­ative cel­e­bra­tion and an in­dul­gent hon­ey­moon.

The all-suite Palm Beach Mar­riott Singer Is­land Beach Re­sort of­fers va­ri­ety with bon­fires on the beach and cock­tail soirées on the ve­randa.


Spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets over the Gulf of Mex­ico cre­ate un­par­al­leled ro­man­tic oc­ca­sions.

The Naples Beach Ho­tel & Golf Club has it all, start­ing with a beach­front ball­room, plus a spec­tac­u­lar new golf course re­designed from scratch in 2016 by Jack Nick­laus, a stun­ning spa, waterfront din­ing, ten­nis and a kids’ club.

The mod­er­ate price range at the­ in­cludes the fully-equipped con­dos at the Sun­dial Beach Re­sort & Spa on Sani­bel Is­land.

The tran­quil par­adise of Cap­tiva Is­land, in the glo­ri­ous Gulf near Sani­bel and Fort My­ers, is a world apart, with pris­tine beaches and sun­sets rated the most ro­man­tic in the US by Trav­e­loc­ity. The South Seas Is­land Re­sort hosts wed­dings to re­mem­ber, from bare­foot on the beach to black-tie in the ball­room. Nearby, ’Tween Wa­ters Inn, Is­land Re­sort & Spa, has vin­tage cot­tages and mod­ern stu­dios, plus a spa, wed­ding-wor­thy sun­set cruises and tiki torches along gar­den paths.

For the ul­ti­mate bach­e­lor party and a sporty twist on ro­mance, Ma­jor League Base­ball can be the home run hit of your wed­ding or hon­ey­moon. The posh Sand­pearl Re­sort on Clear­wa­ter Beach is near the spring-train­ing sites for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadel­phia Phillies. The Sani­bel Har­bor Mar­riott Re­sort & Spa, on an 85-acre waterfront par­adise in Fort My­ers, is the ideal home base for fans of the Bos­ton Red Sox and the Min­nesota Twins.

An­other trea­sure is the eco-con­scious Plan­ta­tion on Crys­tal River, about an hour’s drive north of Tampa on in­land wa­ter­ways near the Gulf of Mex­ico. Here you can swim with man­a­tees, play golf, fish or have a spa day, so the fam­ily will be en­ter­tained be­fore and af­ter the cel­e­bra­tions, in the heart of a con­ser­va­tion area.


The vast Hy­att Re­gency Or­lando has 1,639 rooms, a di­rect con­nec­tion to the Or­ange County Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, a full spa, ball­rooms, an ex­cep­tional pool sys­tem and out­door party venues bloom­ing with or­chids and trop­i­cal land­scap­ing.

Head­ing to the At­lantic coast east of Jack­sonville, One Ocean Re­sort & Spa is a lux­u­ri­ous des­ti­na­tion that has earned four stars from Forbes Travel Guide. Bri­dal par­ties and hon­ey­moon­ers can en­joy ocean­front din­ing, pri­vate concierges (called do­cents here) and The Spa. If you bring the fam­ily, kids adore the Sea Tur­tles Club.

Just north of Jack­sonville, Amelia Is­land is a pic­turesque and pure home to his­tor­i­cal sites, thrilling sail­ing ex­cur­sions and splen­did re­sorts. The posh Ritz-Carl­ton, Amelia Is­land, on a pris­tine bar­rier reef, com­bines south­ern gra­cious­ness with the ex­cite­ment of op­u­lent ball­rooms, ocean­front re­cep­tions and award-win­ning cui­sine. The lush Omni Amelia Is­land Plan­ta­tion Re­sort has a waterfront set­ting and an or­ganic gar­den, which is an en­chant­ing venue.


Sch­nebly Red­land’s Win­ery & Brew­ery, in Home­stead be­tween Mi­ami and The Keys, blends agri­tourism with party places sur­rounded by wa­ter­falls and vine­yards. For dis­tinc­tive din­ners and bach­e­lorette/bach­e­lor events, you can make wine and beer tast­ings part of the cel­e­bra­tions.

In Mi­ami, the splen­did Viz­caya Mu­seum & Gar­dens is a his­toric es­tate with waterfront ter­races over­look­ing Bis­cayne Bay and Ital­ian- and French-in­spired gar­dens of flora, foun­tains and stat­ues.

Mixon’s in The Grove, a work­ing cit­rus farm in Braden­ton near Sara­sota on the Gulf coast, of­fers lux­u­ri­ant set­tings such as a koi pond. The Or­ange Blos­som Tram too­tles through the groves and Mixon’s adds a high-tech el­e­ment by live-stream­ing your cel­e­bra­tion to friends and fam­ily who could not at­tend.

An hour south of Or­lando, the West­gate River Ranch Re­sort & Rodeo is a com­fort­able rus­tic spread of cabins, camp­ing and cow­boy life, with new luxe teepees in Na­tive Amer­i­can dé­cor. Say “Howdy” in­stead of “I Do” and whoop it up at the rodeo.

TOP: A mat­ri­mo­nial ocean­front set­ting at The Break­ers Ho­tel in West Palm Beach. ABOVE: A chic­kee hut at the luxe West­gate River Ranch Re­sort & Rodeo near Or­lando.

OP­PO­SITE TOP: The splen­did Viz­caya Mu­seum & Gar­dens over­look­ing Bis­cayne Bay. OP­PO­SITE BOT­TOM: The pri­vate beach club at the deluxe Sea­gate Ho­tel & Spa in Del­ray Beach. ABOVE: A post-wed­ding mo­ment at the Naples Beach Ho­tel & Golf Club on the Gulf of Mex­ico.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.