Check in for an unforgettable stay.
Florida's history is filled with snowbirds fleeing winter temperatures for the mild weather of the Sunshine State. Over many decades, they’ve roosted in beautifully appointed stays, leaving a legacy of storied hotels and resorts across the peninsula. In our South's Best survey, we asked our readers to vote on their favorite historic hotels in Florida, and they delivered. These spots contain layers of stories within their walls, and they also offer all the amenities that you could wish for on a beach vacation. When you visit, you may find that you never want to check out–and who could blame you? You won’t find any judgment from us if you decide to extend your trip for a few extra days. Find a few slices of history and a lot of fun in these one-of-a-kind Florida properties.
10. Casa Marina Hotel
The history of Jacksonville Beach’s Casa Marina Hotel dates to 1925. It thrived in the 1920s before being appropriated for government use during World War II. The re-opened in 1991 after many fallow years, bringing both a sense of history and a fresh new energy to its balmy corner of Jacksonville Beach. Take note of the property’s stucco facade, swaying palm trees, and cozy rooms–they lend a sense of storied elegance to the nearly century-old hotel.
9. The Boca Raton
Architect Addison Mizner was the mind behind the majestic architecture of this Boca Raton property, which opened in 1926 as a 100-room inn and today comprises 224 elegant rooms, luxe bungalows, panoramic views, and a private beach. Its Spa Palmera has become a well-regarded wellness destination, and the hotel’s many culinary options offer delicious dining for every taste.
8. The Colony Hotel
The gorgeous peach-pink facade of The Colony Hotel offers a cheery welcome to visitors checking into this Palm Beach stunner on Hammon Avenue. The building rose out of the sands in 1947, at which time it became a destination for a glitzy beach-going set that included famous actors and musicians like Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. These days, you can breeze around on beach cruisers, let a beach butler bring you bites as you lounge, and take in the general splendor of a historic hotel filled with stories and style.
7. The Biltmore Miami Coral Gables
This 1926 hotel has lots to recommend it. It’s located along 150 tropical acres in the Miami-Coral Gables area, and it’s swathed in Mediterranean architecture. A championship golf course, multiple dining options, and programming including cooking classes, Sunday brunch, afternoon tea, and a cigar club treat visitors during a visit to this Coral Gables institution.
6. Fontainebleau Miami Beach
This elegant hotel can be found on Collins Avenue, an oceanfront drive that’s part of Miami Beach’s Millionaire's Row. In addition to a top-notch location, the property has history, too. The Fontainebleau Miami Beach has been a beloved beach destination for more than fifty years, during which time it has earned many return visits. In addition to the luxe surroundings, the hotel’s private cabanas, oceanside bistro, Lapis spa, and signature curved architecture have contributed to both the hotel’s noteworthiness and its enduring success.
5. Gasparilla Inn & Club
You’ll never forget a visit to the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande. It’s located on the Gulf of Mexico and has been welcoming guests since 1913. These days, visitors come for boating, sport fishing, biking, and lounging on the sands as well as special events, golfing, spa bookings, and kayaking the tranquil waterways that snake through the area. It’s also a fantastic holiday destination.
4. The Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, Autograph Collection
Opened in 1925, this historic Mediterranean Revival-style hotel recently completed the initial phase of an enormous renovation project. With its telltale pink facade and its windswept location along Tampa Bay, it welcomes visitors to St. Petersburg to enjoy golfing amid ocean breezes, dining on fresh seafood, and staying in a luxe property with a variety of lavish amenities.
3. Casa Monica Resort & Spa
In a city with a long, rich history, you’d expect to find glorious historic hotels. St. Augustine has one of the best in Casa Monica Resort & Spa, which opened in its first iteration in 1888 and now boasts a rooftop pool, palm-planted and fountain-studded grounds, and an excellent spa. It also offers easy access to some of the city’s most interesting attractions, including the historic district, Lightner Museum, and Castillo de San Marcos.
2. The Breakers
Palm Beach’s most iconic hotel is The Breakers, a legendary spot founded in 1896. It’s visually stunning: an Italian Renaissance-style property located on 140 ocean-facing acres, with a private beach and noteworthy dining options. Here, luxury is the name of the game, from serenity-inducing spa packages to beautifully-appointed guest rooms, and suites with views of crashing waves.
1. The Don CeSar
It’s no wonder The Don CeSar topped the list of The South’s Best Historic Hotels in 2023. The vibrant building dates to 1928, and its hue has earned it a few nicknames, the “Pink Palace” and the “Pink Lady” among them. When you visit, you can expect Gulf panoramas, serene white-sand beaches, a pool bar, a rooftop deck, and dining options that include the Lobby Bar and Maritana restaurant. Learn more about why The Don CeSar is Florida’s favorite historic hotel.
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