6 Beautiful Beach Stays in Florida at Boutique Hotels and Big Chains

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Ready for a Florida beach vacation? With an ever-expanding array of options at all price points, how does the beach-loving Florida traveler choose? Here are the best waterfront accommodations for couples, families, and group getaways.

The Gabriel Miami South Beach – Miami Beach

The Gabriel Miami South Beach — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

That Gabriel Miami South Beach, part of the Hilton Curio Collection of unique accommodations, offers upscale amenities and authentic local experiences in the heart of South Beach, just steps from the ocean. Relive decades of glory at the site of Desi Arnaz’s big band hiatus, which continues to welcome discerning partygoers.

A glass-bottomed rooftop pool overlooks four floors of ornate circular hallways. There’s also an infinity pool near the outdoor bar in an attractive, contemporary-style seating area — perfect for afternoon cocktails and sumptuous breakfasts, including the delicious Greek omelette.

Spacious rooms and suites suit couples and BFF getaways. Spring for a signature full-length balcony suite overlooking South Beach’s bright green and yellow bike path. Complimentary beach chairs and a beach cruiser bike are available to ride the Ocean Drive Trail and beyond.

Hillsboro Beach Resort – Hillsboro Beach

Hillsboro Beach ResortHillsboro Beach Resort — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

Further north, just below Boca Raton, is the intimate boutique Hillsboro Beach Resort features king and queen rooms and suites overlooking the blue-green waters and white-sand beaches of the Atlantic.

The sophisticated beachfront design – both indoors and outdoors – together with the informal, friendly and helpful staff inspire a restful and relaxing holiday, particularly suitable for couples and singles.

Rooms and suites — some with balconies — feature luxurious linens, plush French terry bathrobes, rainfall showers, 55-inch 4K Smart TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, and Lavazza coffee and tea. Rates include free bikes, paddle boards, and kayaks.

The attractive Roi Restaurant, which focuses on international tastes, towers over the beach and caters exclusively to guests. Nearby foodie destinations include Mizner Park in Boca Raton and Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale

Lobby, the Sonesta Hotel Fort LauderdaleLobby, The Sonesta Hotel Fort Lauderdale — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

That Sonesta Hotel Fort Lauderdale overlooking seven miles of famous white-gold sands.

The recently redesigned rooms (some with water views) and pool offer all travelers a laid-back beach vacation with the interesting addition of a Caribbean-South Florida fusion restaurant, Steelpan. Start your dinner with a Tropical Splash happy hour cocktail and coconut shrimp taco.

Join the beach yoga sessions on the weekends or work out anytime in the newly renovated fitness center at this dog-friendly property. Within two miles of the Sonesta you will find Fort Lauderdale’s water taxi system – a tour in itself, along with museums, shopping, a state park and other great restaurants.

The Diplomat Beach Resort – Hollywood

Atlantic View Suite with Balcony, The Diplomat Beach ResortAtlantic View Suite with Balcony, The Diplomat Beach Resort — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

Just south of Fort Lauderdale, The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywoodwith its large, light-filled rooms and suites with luxurious amenities and linens, offers views of the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway.

There really is something for everyone here. Water sports fanatics will appreciate the two beachfront pools: a partially glass-bottomed infinity pool on the lagoon pool, a dip + slide waterpark. There’s also a private beach where guests can jet ski, kayak, or paddleboard.

Spa enthusiasts will love the 15,000 square foot oasis of manicures and pedicures, facials, wraps, massages and more.

Foodies and party-goers will love the six distinct lounges and restaurants staffed by celebrity chefs, while boaters with dinner reservations dock free for four hours at the Diplomat Marina.

Family-friendly activities are offered via Hollywood’s Circuit Shuttle to downtown historic homes and museums, while the water taxi ride stops at Fort Lauderdale attractions.

Postcard Inn – St. Pete Beach

The Postcard Inn, St. Pete Beach, FloridaThe Postcard Inn, St. Pete Beach, Florida — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

On Florida’s west coast, the Postcard inn sits on a desirable stretch of St. Pete Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, complete with a tiki beach bar, colorful giant Adirondack chairs, and the largest hotel pool in an area teeming with restaurants.

This renovated retro motel offers spacious, renovated rooms – perfect for families and groups, as well as accessible rooms with beach wheelchairs.

The sprawling property offers all forms of recreation – both indoors and out – in a pretty, garden-like setting where you’ll find picnic tables and outdoor games and activities. Books, board games, and billiards are available in the open lobby library, while the snack shack offers soft serve.

Tours can be arranged with local companies, while parking, pool towels, beach chairs, and cruiser bikes are free.

Holiday Inn Express and Suites – Madeira Beach

Holiday Inn Express Madeira Beach, FloridaHoliday Inn Express Madeira Beach, Florida — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell

Right on the beach in Madeira – via a reliable, free beach shuttle – families, business travelers, groups and couples will enjoy a stay full of amenities Holiday Inn Express and suites.

Guests are greeted in a large lobby with a business center and a sunny indoor/outdoor breakfast room where a complimentary hot breakfast is offered.

Contemporary, well-designed rooms with plush beds and blackout drapes ensure a restful night’s sleep, while the landscaped outdoor space is home to a pool, hot tub, grills, and private sitting areas, some with propane tabletop fireplaces.

Nearby attractions include John’s Pass Village, which features waterfront dining and shopping and is accessible via the free shuttle service.

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