Tons of fitness facilities, with gym, 18 tennis courts, and a nine-hole golf course
Contemporary and enormous spa with all sorts of treatments and wet facilities
Full marina is home to multimillion dollar mega-yachts
Lots of gorgeous space for meetings and other events
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Triple-digit daily membership fee adds up quickly
Not accessible by road, so guests must take a ferry to get on and off the island
Fitness center is not open 24/7
The luxury Fisher Island Hotel & Resort is situated on an exclusive private island originally built in 1925 by William Vanderbilt II as a winter estate. It's accessible only by boat or seaplane, just off the coast of mainland Miami. Guests arrive via a free 24-hour ferry ride that takes 10 minutes at sea. There are 15 rooms, cottages, and villas, all with elegant decor and many with their own private hot tubs. Amenities include multiple bars and restaurants that range from casual to snazzy, along with a huge fitness center, beach with white sand imported from the Bahamas, a luxe spa, and several pools. Travelers who prefer not to be on a private island (or pay a triple-digit daily resort fee) should know that The Setai in South Beach comes fairly close.
Luxury boutique resort on swanky Fisher Island, surrounded by lovely grounds and Biscayne Bay views
Originally built in 1925 by William Vanderbilt II as a winter estate, today Fisher Island is a private island residential community with a small hotel. Fisher Island Hotel & Resort is a swanky boutique hotel situated on a 216-acre private island that's dominated by private residences owned by extremely wealthy people. The hotel's main Vanderbilt House is elegantly low key, with a Mediterranean look featuring whitewashed exteriors and terra-cotta roofs, all surrounded by lots of grass, shrubs, and soaring palm trees. The odd roaming peacock adds a dose of color (and noise). Guests are greeted with Champagne or mimosas, and check-in takes place in a cozy, simple room with marble floors and a few tables and chairs. However, the outdoor areas here, particularly the large outdoor patio with lots of chairs and tables positioned around a main fountain feature, are a lot more inviting. Guests also get free use of golf carts, making it easy to get around the resort, and the island.
On an exclusive private island, just off the shore of mainland Miami
This hotel is located on the swanky Fisher Island, a private and mostly residential island in Biscayne Bay, just south of South Beach and east of the Florida mainland. Getting to the island requires hopping aboard a boat, helicopter, or seaplane, as there are no causeways connecting the island to South Beach or the mainland. Fortunately, a free ferry to the mainland runs 24 hours a day (ideal for those participating in South Beach nightlife) and takes about 10 minutes from port to port. From the port, it's about a 15-minute drive to the Miami Airport.
Elegant rooms, cottages, and villas with lovely decor, many with private hot tubs
The hotel offers a wide range of elegant room types, including Cottages, Courtyard Villas, and Guest House Suites. Suites come with one king bed or two queen beds, and have separate bedrooms and living rooms with sleeper sofas. Accessible Suites are also available. Courtyard Villas feature king beds with sitting areas plus private courtyards with their own whirlpool hot tubs. The four Cottages date back to the 1920s and are truly lovely, with a slight Art Deco vibe. All feature walled-in courtyards with their own whirlpool hot tubs, plus kitchenettes with a sink and two-burner stovetop.
Cottages and suites have a somewhat similar decor scheme, with off-white walls and fixtures and beige accents, tile floors that help rooms stay cool, and contemporary furniture with a vintage flair. Villas are a bit more elegant, with dark-wood floors and predominantly dark furniture; big French doors that open up to the villa's sunny courtyards help keep the spaces feeling bright. Standard amenities found across categories include minibars, beach bags, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with cable and DVD players, safes that are big enough for laptops, and iPhone docks.
Bathrooms in Villas are modern and bright, with huge soaking tubs and toilet rooms sectioned off by frosted glass. Bathrooms in cottages and rooms are more classically furnished, with lots of gray marble and a mix of white furnishings and silver-hued fixtures. Hairdryers, magnifying mirrors, scales, and luxury toiletries are provided.
Excellent wellness and dining facilities, with spa, gym, golf course, and multiple restaurants
It's no surprise that the amenities are excellent, particularly for guests with an interest in wellness and recreation. The spa is particularly fantastic, with all sorts of treatments ranging from massages to exfoliations, along with facials and other beauty services. The spa also has its own indoor and outdoor pools, while the hotel has a chic main lap pool with white lounge chairs and parasols along two sides. Alternatively, guests can swim and sun themselves down at the hotel's sandy beach, which has a mix of lounge chairs and covered sun beds for guest use. The sand for the beach was imported from the Bahamas, so expect it to be white and soft.
There's also a huge fitness center with all sorts of TechnoGym cardio machines, free weights, and resistance-training machines along with a wide range of classic classes running the gamut from Pilates (on expensive Cadillac reformer machines) to spinning. The only real downside is that it's not open 24 hours. Other recreational facilities include 18 tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course, with gorgeous views and a mix of lagoons and terrain, along with a pro shop and a clubhouse.
Dining options are outstanding. There's the Beach Club Restaurant, which is open from breakfast until early evening every day. It features all sorts of theme nights, including full moon parties and jazz brunches. The golf course has its own casual Golf Grill, which serves up salads and sandwiches. La Trattoria offers Italian fare at lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. For something a bit more sophisticated, Porto Cervo offers Mediterranean fare in an elegant, dining environment (think low lighting and white tablecloths), but is only open for dinner. Bar options include Garwood Lounge, a piano bar that also serves up steak and seafood, and the more casual City View Cafe. There's also a beachfront Sunset Bar with wine and cocktails, and the adjacent Sushi Bar (the name says it all). Room service is available, though it's not offered 24 hours.
For business travelers and those looking to plan weddings, this also offers a wide range of meeting and event spaces, including a large indoor ballroom that can seat up to 200 people theater-style and an even bigger terrace that's available for cocktail receptions and banquets. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. The marina has 100 slips to accommodate luxury yachts up to 250 feet.
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