If you’ve never heard of Little Palm Island, there might be a good reason for that, and once you go, you may decide to help keep the secret. A hideaway frequently enjoyed by high profile celebrities, executives, and even US presidents, Little Palm Island Resort and Spa caters to the sophisticated traveler looking for a top level experience. Consistently rated among the world’s best by leading travel organizations, they are used to providing guests with personalized unobtrusive attention. The exclusive five acre island in the Florida Keys offers world class service, dining and lodging in a relaxing, barefoot, sand in your toes kind of way designed to make you leave your cares back on the mainland.
Accessible only by boat or sea plane, you will be greeted upon arrival by the staff bearing welcome cocktails, and escorted to your thatch roofed bungalow suite, thoughtfully personalized with your name out front spelled in wood block Scrabble-like letters. There are only 30 suites on the island, each of them decorated differently in a West Indies meets British Colonial style, complete with luxurious four poster beds, butterfly netting and indoor and outdoor showers. Each suite is situated oceanfront, with some having private hot tubs overlooking the water. There are no cars on the island, and you won’t find a TV in the room unless you request one in advance. In keeping with the restful environment, you’ll be requested to refrain from cell phone use in public areas.
You won’t want to stay in the room however, because the name of the game here is water. There is plenty to do whether you want to get some sun on the private beach or grab a kayak or paddleboard and explore the island. The resort offers complimentary motorboat use for adventures further away from shore, including setting you up with fishing gear so you can catch your dinner. While most activities are complimentary, there are extra amenities available. For the ultimate romantic afternoon, you can arrange for a private gourmet picnic on a deserted island, reachable by your own sea plane. This deluxe excursion will cost about $3000 for the afternoon. Some may prefer to stay on the island and visit the fitness center or SpaTerre, where yoga classes are combined with personal treatments. Their signature spa treatment is the Madrugada couples massage. The Madrugada, which translates as “early morning” is done in the quiet morning hours on massage tables actually placed in shallow water in a private beach area. It is said that the negative ions of the ocean contribute to your relaxation and help wash your stress away out to sea. For $1000 per couple, this popular treatment is a nice way to begin the day.
Of course, all of your meals will be at the mercy of the award winning kitchen. The all day restaurant, called The Dining Room, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner focusing on local Florida Keys fare with Cuban and French influences. Think of Snapper Ceviche with Passion Fruit and Coconut, or Roast Pork Tenderloin with Papaya and Pomegranate, and you get the idea. Of course seafood is the specialty, and its execution and presentations have gained attention from the best: Zagat Survey rated the Dining Room as “extraordinary to perfection” in the food, décor and service categories. And they were also recently rated best hotel dining in Florida and number three in the US by Zagat. For a different experience, they’re happy to arrange for private dining in your room, at a table on the beach, or at the Chef’s Table located in the kitchen.
Nearby Key West airport is a location frequently used by Private Jets Charter. From there you can drive about 25 miles to the resort or arrange for the House Car to pick you up, with champagne, of course. You’ll then be greeted at the Welcome Lodge on Little Torch Key where you’ll hop aboard a 1930’s styled polished wood yacht called The Truman (named for the president) for the 20 minute ride out to the island. Depending on the season, rates range from about $1000 to $2800 per room per night. Prepare yourself to be pampered, coddled and spoiled rotten.