Romantic Getaways and Florida’s cornucopia of hotels and resorts specializing in romance.
From dreamy-eyed newlyweds to couples celebrating years of wedded bliss, there’s no better way to fan the flames of passion than by indulging in a romantic getaway.
Imagine gazing into your partner’s eyes over a beautifully set table arranged under a starry sky, the flickering candlelight fanned by gentle ocean breezes. Or how about a dip for two in the hot tub, complete with frothy bubbles and a chilled glass of wine?
Florida is much more than theme parks and shell-strewn beaches. In fact, this versatile vacation spot is a cornucopia of hotels and resorts specializing in romance. Whether you’re looking for a private getaway for two or a whirlwind holiday brimming with social activities, Florida is your best bet.
Sanibel Island (Southwest Florida)
Sanibel’s Song of the Sea is intimate seaside inn is ready for romance with two packages designed especially for lovers. Sanibel Romance is perfect for couples getting married or renewing their wedding vows. The package features three nights in a choice of accommodations, welcome basket, dinner for two at the picturesque Windows on the Water at nearby Sundial Beach Resort and a sunset cruise for two. The ceremony includes a facilitator, cake, bottle of champagne with two glasses and six memory-making snapshots.
For those craving seclusion, Sanibel Couples offers three nights in a choice of accommodations, welcome basket, one diner for two at Windows on the Water and one sunset cruise for two.
Sanibel’s Song of the Sea is located on the Gulf of Mexico tucked into the coastline of Sanibel Island. Decorated in French country style, the 32 accommodations include fresh flowers upon arrival, bottled water in each room and complimentary use of several amenities, including bicycles, movies, heated pool, whirlpool and tennis.
Destin (North Florida)
Henderson Park Inn is a quaint bed and breakfast inn by the sea is renowned for its traditional warm hospitality and quiet elegance. Located in Destin on North Florida’s Emerald Coast, this New England-style retreat offers over a mile of untouched, soft white sand beaches and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Each of the inn’s 35 rooms is the perfect haven for romance, outfitted with luxuriant bathrobes, complimentary evening turndown service, romantic decor and patios or private balconies perfect for admiring the evening sunset. Indoor or outdoor dining is available in The Veranda, where the aroma of impressive culinary creations competes with the stunning beachside view.
Henderson Park Inn is a popular choice for weddings, and staff are ready to help you plan your special day. The memories are so magical that many couples return year after year to celebrate their anniversaries.
Florida Keys (Southwest Florida)
What could be more romantic than a private getaway on an island retreat? Little Palm Island is located just offshore in the lower Florida Keys, 28 miles from Key West International Airport. Once a secluded haven for several U.S. presidents, this intimate tropical resort is reminiscent of the romance and glamour of the South Pacific.
Thirty spacious suites in thatched-roof villas are discreetly nestled throughout the island, surrounded by hundreds of Jamaican coconut palm trees. Each villa is designed to inspire romantic thoughts, from the private ocean-view sundecks and mosquito netting-draped beds (for effect only) to the whirlpool baths for two and bamboo-fenced, private outdoor shower.
A poolside tropical bar, white sandy beach, gourmet dining, sauna and massage rooms and a host of outdoor activities all add up to the perfect luxury vacation.
Sarasota (Central West Florida)
Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel is a tropical paradise on Lido Beach is the ideal location for weddings, honeymoons or anniversary celebrations. Enjoy strolling hand-in-hand along a beautiful powder white sand beach or feel like a kid again as you frolic in the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
There’s nothing more romantic than watching the sun set over the Gulf waters, unless, of course, you’re watching it together from your suite’s luxurious Gulf front balcony. From its lush tropical landscaping to the 600-foot private beach, the Helmsley Sandcastle is a place where the honeymoon never ends. Guests enjoy a full range of water sports, outdoor meals at the romantic Sidewalk Cafe, lively entertainment in the lounge and happy hour by the pool bar.
Staff are well-equipped to plan a Sunset Beach or Ballroom wedding, complete with a wide choice of meals following the ceremony. After the knot is tied, newlyweds and guests can enjoy a dinner or luncheon reception, or a luau or barbecue for a more casual occasion.
Steinhatchee (North Florida)
If you like the idea of getting back to nature with your favorite guy or girl, then consider a unique resort that captures the spirit and romance of Old Florida. Steinhatchee Landing, sitting on the lush banks of the Steinhatchee River three miles from the Gulf of Mexico, is a couple’s dream come true with its tin-roofed cottages surrounded by flowers and manes of Spanish moss tumbling from majestic live trees.
Their “romantic occasion” package includes two nights in a Honeymoon Cottage. Guests are greeted with fresh-cut flowers and candles, a basket of fruit and bottle of champagne. Each morning, enjoy a delicious breakfast served on your private verandah overlooking beautifully landscaped gardens.
On the second night, guests will enjoy a gourmet dinner for two served in The Landing Restaurant. After your meal, take a relaxing stroll in the peace and quiet of this unspoiled setting, tucked miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Seaside (Northwest Florida)
Seaside is more than a beach resort; it’s a beach community offering over 270 rental cottages in an 80-acre beach town with half a mile of sandy shore. Located between Panama City and Destin on the Gulf of Mexico, this unique community is made up of beach cottages lining brick streets and a town center with shops and restaurants within walking distance of the cottages.
Amenities include three swimming pools, six tennis courts, a fitness center, bicycle rentals, shopping and nature walks. A dozen restaurants and eateries span cuisine from several continents.
If romance had a middle name, it would be Seaside. Several wedding settings range from the grandest celebration to the most intimate ceremony. Choose from nine beach pavilions overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, three lavish town greens or one of several grand cottages. From barefoot weddings on the beach to a traditional sunset ceremony, Seaside is considered one of the best locations to get married or simply remember your own wedding day.
There’s so much to see and do as a couple – walk to the corner market for groceries for an intimate home-cooked meal for two; browse through a multitude of shops and galleries; soak up the Florida sunshine on the sandy white beach or simply spend a few quiet moments in your private cottage.
Amelia Island (North Florida)
For those who enjoy surrounding themselves in history and luxury, The Fairbanks House (circa 1885) is the ultimate retreat. Reflecting the subdued refinement of an earlier era, this elegant inn is resplendent with polished hardwood floors, intricately carved moldings and rooms decorated with antiques, Oriental rugs and period pieces.
Why not treat yourself to the ultimate indulgence – The Tower. This king/queen suite is situated inside a 15-foot tower overlooking the island. Inside, a large living room and sitting room are decorated in country French using shades of yellow and green. Iron beds, antiques and a Jacuzzi tub with shower add the crowning touch.
Of course, Fairbanks House also offers many other luxurious suites, each one uniquely decorated. Guests can begin their day with a gourmet breakfast of a hot entree, seasonal fruits, breads, juices, hot coffee or assorted teas in the Fairbanks’ formal dining room or outside in the courtyard overlooking the gardens.
Historic Fernandina Beach is only a short distance away, beckoning visitors to explore its quaint shops and art galleries, before settling down to a fine meal followed by an evening’s entertainment.
Lake Wales (Central Florida)
Chalet Suzanne Restaurant & Country Inn is one of those unique getaways that can “rekindle dying embers or spark new passions” according to the author of two books that list some of America’s most romantic destinations. This enchanting 30-room inn nestled on a 70-acre estate is a peaceful oasis amid the excitement of Central Florida’s attractions and theme parks.
Each beautifully decorated guest room welcomes visitors through a private entrance. A sparkling pool and lake are only steps away.
But what makes the Swiss-styled Chalet truly special is its cuisine, served in a unique setting of five quaint rooms perched on many levels, overlooking the lake. Romance is in the air, thanks to the ambiance created by antiques, stained glass and old lamps.
Lake Buena Vista (Central Florida)
Walt Disney World might not be the first location that comes to mind when considering a romantic holiday. But most people would be surprised by the seductive nature of some of Disney’s famous resorts.
Disney’s Dixie Landings recreates the splendor of the South with its stately southern mansions and rustic bayou dwellings amid a lush landscape of trees and flowers. This 2,048-room fantasy vacation adventure combines wandering paths, picturesque waterways and the sounds of Cajun music in a depiction of the Old South. Varied cuisine, including spicy fried chicken and pasta dishes, adds to the ambiance.
A 3.5-acre recreation complex on Ol’ Man Island offers pools, spa, fishing hole and playground. After a trip by bicycle or boat, enjoy a cool drink at the Muddy Rivers pool bar.
Down river is the Port Orleans Resort, a village of seven three-storey residence buildings plus shops, restaurants and recreation areas. Bonfamille’s Cafe serves Creole-inspired fare amidst floral tones and a soothing fountain. Enjoy a variety of specialty drinks at Mardi Grogs poolside bar.
If you prefer something on the wild side, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is the perfect choice. Hidden on the shores of Bay Lake surrounded by a towering forest, the Lodge is a 728-room hideaway accessible by boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Inside, a sun-drenched atrium is dominated by 60-foot pine timbers and a massive stone fireplace, perfect for cuddling up before the evening’s end. Most of the woodland-inspired rooms include a balcony with views of waterfalls, “geysers”, courtyards, Bay Lake or the surrounding woods.
Guests aren’t expected to survive on bad coffee and baked beans out of a can. Artist Point offers fine dining with a focus on northwestern specialties such as smoked seafood, salmon steaks and venison tenderloin. The Whispering Canyon Cafe serves cuisine that’s been wood-roasted, smoked, grilled or barbecued.
Key West (Southwest Florida)
Marquesa Hotel & Cafe is a small luxury hotel in the heart of Key West consists of 27 rooms, boasting marble baths, unique decor, a living room area, private outdoor porch with lounge chairs and fresh orchids awaiting each guest’s arrival. Outside, two swimming pools, a three-tiered waterfall and lushly landscaped gardens will make you think you’ve just discovered paradise.
Enjoy an evening stroll through gardens filled with flowering tropical plants, including a blooming wall covered with orchids from around the world. Only five blocks from the Gulf of Mexico and 10 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, the Marquesa Hotel offers easy access to a variety of water sports.
Snorkeling is a wonderful activity for couples. Let your body float in the buoyant ocean waters as you gaze at an underwater world filled with a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. Marquesa staff can help you arrange a memorable snorkeling experience.
Stone floors, large bay windows and a handpainted trompe l’oeil wall are the most striking features of the 48-seat Cafe Marquesa, which serves a different menu each day using the freshest ingredients in the Florida Keys. Typical fare includes tropical fruits and vegetables, black grouper and yellowtail snapper.
Amenities such as twice-daily maid service, Godiva chocolates at turndown and poolside iced tea make the Marquesa a wonderful choice for a glorious getaway.
The Peabody Orlando (Central Florida)
Honeymoon and anniversary couples who want to say “I do” all over again will find the perfect setting at The Peabody Orlando. The Romance Romance Pleasure Package takes care of all the intimate details required to create the ultimate romantic getaway.
Each package includes one night’s luxurious accommodations, chilled champagne upon arrival, a full American breakfast (room service or restaurant), dinner and a bottle of house wine in Capriccio, the Peabody’s award-winning Italian restaurant, and a no-rush, late check out.
This award-winning hotel, located minutes from some of Florida’s most popular attractions, offers a full range of fitness and recreational facilities. A heated Olympic-sized pool can be found in a large courtyard surrounded by shade trees.
Before retiring for the evening, a visit to Mallard’s lobby bar reveals two hidden seating nooks just perfect for an intimate conversation.
South Seas Plantation Captiva Island (Southwest Florida)
Dubbed “Florida’s Tahiti” for its subtropical climate and lush foliage, South Seas Resort can be found on the northern tip of Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico, three miles off Florida’s southwest coast. Famous shell-covered beaches, a full-service yacht harbor and marina, recreational activities, island excursion cruises and an abundance of water sports create a holiday haven comparable to any tropical location.
South Seas is a 330-acre island resort with more than 600 units ranging from deluxe hotels rooms and villa suites to three-bedroom beach homes and cottages. A myriad of dining choices allows guests to indulge their cravings, from fine dining in King’s Crown and Chadwick’s casual fare in a tropical setting to Cap’n Al’s Dockside Grille or Mama Rosa’s Pizzeria.
Spend a fun-filled day shopping, golfing or biking, then spend a relaxing evening enjoying entertainment provided in the King’s Crown and Chadwick’s lounges.
Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island (Central West Florida)
Stunning sunsets, the soothing rhythm of waves as they wash upon the beach and warm hospitality are part of the charm of Harrington House, a beachfront bed and breakfast inn located on Anna Maria Island in the Gulf of Mexico.
This restored 1926 retreat offers a selection of uniquely decorated rooms, most with French doors opening on to balconies that overlook the heated swimming pool, the beautiful sandy beach and the Gulf waters. Each morning, guests awake to a full island breakfast and the anticipation that a new day brings.
Stroll for miles along the white sand beach, kayak with dolphins, tour the island by bicycle, take a dip in the Gulf or pool, or simply relax as you bask in the warm sun. Nearby Sarasota and Bradenton are wonderful places to shop, sightsee and enjoy the area’s fresh cuisine.
Cabbage Key Island (Southwest Florida)
Floating north of Fort Myers and south of Boca Grande in the Gulf of Mexico is the Island of Cabbage Key, a unique spot boasting a wonderful hideaway retreat. Built in the 1930s and restored to its original splendor, Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant is a study in relaxation with its lush, peaceful surroundings, natural wildlife and unhurried atmosphere.
Guests can choose to enjoy each other’s company or opt for one of several restful activities, including fishing, shelling on nearby deserted beaches, boating or wandering throughout the tranquil estate. An observation platform on the water tower offers a bird’s-eye view of the island and the glorious sunsets.
Guest rooms are located in the main inn and outlying cottages contain many of the original wall coverings and furniture.