The Suite Life

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From affordable extravagance to pure indulgence, these over-the-top luxury stays are sure to make even your most lavish vacation dreams come true.

As a state where the average forecast calls for sunshine and the beaches go on for miles and miles, it’s no wonder that Florida is home to some of the grandest and most luxurious stays in the world. From posh hotel suites to private mansions available to rent by the week, this is your guide to where the stars sleep and how you can get the same red carpet treatment during your next Florida escape.

Northwest Florida’s Alys Beach is known for three things: stunning, emerald-green ocean; its opulent, Mediterranean-inspired architecture; and the famously exclusive Caliza Pool. Country music stars and other celebrities have been seen here, shading themselves from the Florida sun underneath medjool date palms, Moorish archways and billowing white curtains. Select estate homes in Alys Beach are available as vacation rentals if you’d like to immerse yourself in this dreamy beachside community. Rates can be surprisingly affordable during the winter season, starting at $300 per night.

On the opposite coast in St. Augustine, Florida's oldest continuously occupied city offers accommodations that are sure to make you feel like royalty living in a dreamy historic novel. Take the Kessler Suite , the four-story “tower” penthouse at The Casa Monica Hotel. This spectacular, castle-like room offers a living area, full kitchen, three bedrooms, a master king suite and stunning panoramic views of the city.

Another location known for hosting royalty – well, Hollywood royalty, at least – is the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach. During the making of Dolphin Tale, its Presidential Suite was home to Morgan Freeman. The accommodations here include floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Gulf of Mexico, a grand staircase leading to a deluxe king bedroom, a well-equipped kitchen and even a private chef available to cater meals.

In South Florida, you’ll find more stays worthy of movie stars, as well as fashion’s elite. Casa Casuarina, the mansion once owned by Gianni Versace and now home to The Villa by Barton G, is one of Miami’s most luxurious boutique hotels. Located on South Beach in the middle of Miami’s Art Deco District, The Villa boasts a 57-foot mosaic pool lined in 24-karat gold, Italian marble bathrooms, Versace draperies and 24-hour room service by certified butlers.

Another popular stay for fashionistas is The Star Style Experience package at The Setai in Miami where guests are treated as stars of their own fashion shoot. In addition to a stay in an ocean-view tower suite, the experience includes a custom Domenico Vacca men’s suit and ladies’ cocktail attire, Asprey diamond and sapphire men’s cufflinks, diamond earrings and a professional hair and makeup stylist. After shimmering under the lights of a professional photo shoot, guests are treated to the ultimate champagne and caviar tasting. The price tag for this indulgence? A mere $50,000 for two.  

If that price tag didn’t make your jaw drop, get ready for the most extravagant of vacations. Imagine having your very own private island in the Florida Keys. At Little Palm Island, it’s possible. Guests arrive to this intimate resort by seaplane or mahogany motor yacht where island staff await to greet them dockside and cater to their every need. If you’d like the island all to yourself, Little Palm Island is ready to accommodate. Starting at $1,000,000 per night, guests can “Own the Island” for the day.

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sherilyn klick
sherilyn klick August 22, 2013 7:42 PM
im looking for a suite or a condo on the beach at clearwater.id like 2 or 3 bedrooms,and possibly a pool.arriving in late september/october.