With the sun setting on summertime fun, there’s no better time to squeeze in that Florida vacation you promised yourself. We’ve rounded up five outstanding stays in the Sunshine State for a last-minute Labor Day escape.
The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
Situated in the quaint, upscale enclave of Bal Harbour Village, this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star stunner oozes oceanfront luxury. Make the most of your sun-drenched surroundings with the Beyond the Beach Discovery Package, a three-night stay that includes a sumptuous cabana rental and daily breakfast at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Artisan Beach House.
You’ll also receive two “Unscripted Bal Harbour” passes, basically an all-access passport to the city’s museums, galleries and private art collections. Bonus: for fashionistas, a pop-up boutique brings a high-end, alfresco shopping experience poolside through October 31.
Be aware that beginning in mid-August 2018, the property’s rooms and suites will undergo a refresh, but as only one tower will be closed at a time, there shouldn’t be too much inconvenience.
Loews Miami Beach Hotel
Indulge yourself at this lavish (and newly renovated) Four-Star resort, where a prime beachfront location is always in season. Book the Summer is So Rewarding package, which lets you pick your own perks, be it a late checkout, a daily $50 hotel credit, daily in-room movie and Wi-Fi, or a SOBE Kids Club half-day session for one child.
Once on property, take advantage of newly launched, weekend-only family programs. Wind down after a day on the beach at poolside restaurant Nautilus during Family Happy Hour, when parents can cool off with cocktail specials while tykes play lawn games. On Friday evenings, Bar Collins offers a prix fixe, family-style menu complete with nostalgic desserts, such as an ice cream sundae big enough to satisfy your whole crew.
Do yourself a favor and book one of the Soak Cabanas on the pool deck, too. Equipped with air-conditioning and full bathrooms, these plush perches serve as an excellent home base when spending the day by the pool or beach.
COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach
Adventure-seekers, take note of this 74-room boutique beauty in the heart of Miami’s historic district. Beyond having immediate access to South Beach’s legendary dining, shopping and nightlife (an adventure in itself), you can also embark on a tour of nearby Everglades National Park through the high-end hotel’s dedicated package, which includes daily breakfast, an airboat tour of the famed swamp and a day-trip essentials pack.
When you return, the highly attentive staff will gladly make coveted dinner reservations at one of SoBe’s restaurants du jour.
If it’s a cultural adventure that lures you, there’s no need to wait until December’s Art Basel. The Art in the City Package (call to reserve) provides a privately guided tour of Miami Beach’s top art deco sites, tickets to the nearby Bass Museum of Art and a ride-share gift card that makes it easy to get to other creative destinations throughout the Magic City.
Villas of Grand Cypress
Space is never lacking at this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended resort, where 1,500 acres of green space make you forget that you’re just four miles from one of the world’s most popular theme parks.
Choose from one of 146 Mediterranean-style suites and villas, offering up to 2,800 square feet for your brood to spread out. The golfers in your group will appreciate the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, while those with little ones in tow can take advantage of courtesy transportation to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, plus an array of family-friendly festivities planned for Labor Day.
On the holiday itinerary: sounds from a resident DJ and steel drum artist; a dive-in movie night; and barbecue fare throughout the weekend. Finish the evening off with a bang as you catch Mickey Mouse’s famous fireworks display right from the resort.
The Henderson, A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort
Destin’s new kid on the block will quickly become your Gulf Coast go-to vacation destination. Between the rooftop terrace, two sparkling pools, serene spa and tranquil location between snow-white beaches and a 208-acre state park, you might never want to leave.
Take advantage of the property’s fabulous facilities with the Salamander Spa Package. Unplug with a $150 spa credit per night (enough to cover a 50-minute Well-Being Swedish Massage or Salt of the Sea Body Scrub) and fitness center access.
If you do decide to venture off the premises, a complimentary chauffeured car is available to drive you to area shopping, dining or other nearby activities. The Emerald Coast also has picturesque trails that beckon to be hiked or biked.