I allotted two weeks of my cross-country road trip to exploring Florida’s landscape and attractions, as well as basking in the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. During my time there, I also had the opportunity to stay in some of the most beautiful hotels in the state, if not the country. All of the hotels were modern and luxurious, and not only provided me with a relaxing visit, they were also inspirational.
Location: 1000 East Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL
Features: Full service spa; 24-hour room service; 24-hour valet parking; complimentary transportation within three miles; two outdoor pools; private beach club and country club
Inspiring Design: The Seagate’s guest motto is: “Stay calm. Stay cool. Stay comfortable.” and as soon as I stepped into my room, that is how I felt.
The bathroom was also very inspiring…though I never thought I could feel that way about a bathroom, this place was unreal. It had a big whirlpool tub with a window that looked out into the bedroom and through the two glass doors that opened up to the terrace. I would often draw myself a bath and listen to the palm trees as they swayed against the balcony.
It was the tranquil design of The Seagate hotel that allowed me to enjoy silence and find clarity so that I could write with ease and simplicity.
Suggested activity: The Seagate Beach Club
Location: 1111 Collins Ave., South Beach, Miami, FL
Features: Rooftop pool and lounge; spa; Serafina Restaurant
Inspiring Design: Located in the Art Deco district of South Beach, The Dream hotel is a Miami hot spot.
The obvious reason that it’s a hot spot is because it’s minutes away from the beach, but, it’s ‘hotness’ doesn’t end there.
For starters, the lobby and the actual hotel are in two different buildings. This is because The Dream used to be the Tudor Hotel and Palmer House up until 2011 when it was converted and redesigned by Lawrence Murray Dixon, the architect behind some of Miami’s other popular hotels such as The Victor Hotel, The Senator and The Ritz Plaza Hotel.
Not only does The Dream’s exterior have a lot of history and influence on South Beach, but the interior is also something to boast about. Featuring French and Moroccan inspired themes, the hotel lobby, for example, is white with purple and black accents, Godly chandeliers and trendy art work. The rooftop pool includes 70’s inspired furniture with a modern twist, and it looks over Collins Avenue and the beach.
My room included mood lighting, light blue bedding, a chandelier, and obscurely-shaped furniture which complemented the chic and edgy designs found throughout the hotel.
Being surrounded by so much creativity encouraged me to look at things from a different perspective and with that, I was able to come up with some interesting article ideas.
Suggested activity: Bike ride along Ocean Dr.
Hyatt Regency, Sarasota.
Features: Hypo-allergenic rooms; bi-level suites; airport and beach shuttle; pet friendly; private 32-slip marina; Currents restaurant; yacht for private events; pool with waterfalls; complimentary fitness center
Inspiring Design: The Hyatt Regency in Sarasota is located in the city’s cultural district which means that the hotel itself is inspired by the surrounding art, history and landscape.
Recently restyled by Lilly Pulitzer, American socialite and fashion designer, the hotel features rooms with bright, colorful and floral prints that exude a “Florida chic” style.
The most inspiring thing about my room was the balcony – it overlooked the marina and the pool with a waterfall. And the low-key atmosphere of Sarasota and the hotel allowed me to focus on my work and discipline myself. It was here that I was able to finish writing a lot of my articles and organize the rest of my road-trip.
Suggested activity: A stroll around Main St and Orange Avenue, and dinner at Tsunami Sushi
The Boardwalk Beach Resort Condo
Location: 9400 S Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach, FL
Features: Pool; two hot tubs; kids splash pool; sauna; steam room; fitness center; choice of 1-3 bedroom units; suites with kitchenettes, and washer and dryer
Inspiring Design: The first thing I noticed when I unlocked my room on the tenth floor of the Boardwalk Beach Resort Condo was the blue water and sky. It was hard to distinguish between the two because I didn’t know where the water ended and where the sky began.
The influence of the sky and water was found throughout the condo building: in its lobby, restaurant and rooms. My suite, for example, was decked out in beach inspired bedding, lamps and artwork. Also, having amenities such as a kitchen and a washer/dryer was very convenient as this allowed me to enjoy my vacation and spend time exploring Panama City Beach.
This was my last stop in Florida and staying at The Boardwalk Beach Resort Condo allowed me to relax, reflect on the first half of the road trip and prepare for the second half.
Suggested activity: Gulf World Marine Park – get kissed by a sea lion and dance with a dolphin.