Miami and the Florida Keys are nothing if not a smattering of islands punctuating the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico. But some islands have more cache than others. When it comes to exclusivity and the lap of luxury, these three private islands across South Florida reign supreme. Here’s how to snag your slice of privileged paradise.
1. Castaway in the Keys
A private island off the coast of the Florida Keys, roughly 30 miles north of Key West, Little Palm Island’s 5.5 acres has a romantic Robinson Crusoe appeal. Accessed by a charming wooden ferry boat with 15 thatched roof bungalows housing 30 luxurious suites, a fine dining restaurant and a spa, it’s a popular honeymoon or anniversary destination.
How To Gain Access: You don’t have to book a bungalow for the night to enjoy the novelty of this island getaway. The restaurant at Little Palm Island, whose menu changes daily, is open to non-guests for lunch and dinner. Reservations are required and timed to the ferry schedule.
Starting Room Rates: From $690 in low season and $1,499 in high season.
2. Old World Island Club
The 216-acre Fisher Island is one of the most exclusive enclaves in South Florida, home to roughly 720 private residences made up of both homes and condominiums. Located across Government Cut from South Beach, the Fisher Island boasts two deep-water marinas, an impressive tennis center, a P.B. Dye 9-hole championship golf course and spa, as well as seven distinct dining venues.
How To Gain Access: For those who aren’t members or residents (or their lucky guests), a night at the Fisher Island Hotel & Resort is the only way to gain access to the island. The 15-room boutique hotel consists of four cottages, six courtyard villas and five junior suites inside a guest house.
Starting Room Rates: From $420 in low season and $980 in high season.
3. Exclusively Key West
What’s better than a vacation in Key West? A vacation on a private island less than a mile off the coast of Key West, of course. That’s the allure of Sunset Key Cottages. Not to mention sunset dinners on the patio at Latitudes for dreamy, unobstructed views and fresh, inventive seafood. The resort’s 40 cottages share the 27-acre island with private residences. The island also boasts a private beach, pool, tennis courts and spa.
How To Gain Access: A lunch or dinner reservation at Latitudes will get you onshore. The island is accessed by a small ferry.
Starting Room Rates: From $595 in low season and from $765 in high season