A time for us

Take advantage of off-season specials at luxurious Florida resorts

An oceanview balcony at The Atlantic in Ft. Lauderdale.

Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 3:56 p.m.

Tourists flock to Florida from late fall to early spring, longing to spend their carefree vacation days lying on the warm sand staring out into cerulean waters. But late summer-early fall belongs to us Floridians, making it an opportune time to take advantage of the beautiful calm, lower rates and special packages hotels offer. Our list of luxurious hotels includes such appealing offers, you’ll feel like a visiting snowbird. Grab a swimsuit and hit the road!

Live Artfully at The Atlantic

A member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, The Atlantic in Ft. Lauderdale prides itself on serving the sophistication and luxury expected of the Gold Coast. Three miles from downtown Ft. Lauderdale, the hotel is minutes away from leading shopping, dining, golfing, boating, entertainment, nightlife, museums, theaters and casinos — in addition to overlooking 23 miles of beach. Featuring private balconies in each room, a European-style spa and a Parisian-inspired restaurant, The Atlantic promises an overall cultural experience. You can stay at this stylish pad for 20 percent off with the Florida Residents Package until Dec. 31.

Live it Up at the Fontainebleau

If you’re looking for tranquil days and a lively night scene, Miami Beach is your destination. A classic representation of the glamor of the city, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, renovated and reopened in 2008, exudes luxury and promises a good time. Designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus and opened in 1954, the resort was named to the U.S. Register of Historic Places in 2008. The 20-acre oceanfront hotel is located on Collins Avenue in the heart of Millionaire’s Row. A few feet from the Atlantic Ocean, it features 1,504 guest rooms and suites plus a sizeable poolscape, 40,000-square-foot Lapis spa and 12 fine-dining and casual restaurants, bars and lounges. Its “24/7 Glamor” special offers a fourth night free before Dec. 31. The deal also features a $100 hotel credit for onsite amenities, including dining, spa treatments and shopping. Look your best at the two chic nightclubs, which are known for celebrity and VIP sightings.

Live Royally at the Loews Don CeSar

Modeled after a Mediterranean-style castle, the Loews Don CeSar Hotel is an historic St. Pete landmark. Known as Florida’s “Pink Palace,” it houses 277 newly redesigned rooms, most with brilliant views of the Gulf beaches or Boca Ciega Bay. While guests are only minutes from golfing, shopping, entertainment and an exciting nightlife, many choose to lounge at Spa Oceana. With more than 11,000 square feet of spa facilities, the full-service salon offers spa treatments and a rooftop garden overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Before Sept. 29, get 30 percent off each room with complimentary WiFi when you book three rooms or more. If you’re traveling with a smaller group, you can opt for the “Loews Long Weekends” deal and save 20 percent on three nights (Thursday through Saturday arrivals) until Dec. 30.

Live Luxuriously at the Four Seasons

Palm Beach has a way of making any visitor feel privileged. Surrounded by palms and gardens, the oceanfront Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is a U-shaped, four-story complex with a heated swimming pool centrally located in its courtyard, offering panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Each room is designed in a beach house aesthetic and accented with residential-style furnishings. The newly renovated fitness club is open 24 hours and includes free daily fitness classes. The resort offers a complimentary third night with every two consecutive paid nights until Sept. 30.

Live Carefree at the Sandpearl Resort

The Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater captures the essence of the Sunshine State with its warm, Florida-inspired décor. Surrounded by white sands and clear blue waters, the resort revolves around beach culture, from the climate-controlled, zero-entry pool to a private beach equipped with fire pits. Guest rooms offer stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico or Mandalay Bay, and the on-site restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf, gets high marks on such online sites as Yelp and Tripadvisor. Through Sept. 30, Florida residents enjoy 25 percent off weeknight stays or 15 percent off weekend visits. Other offers include 25 percent off stays of three nights or more as well as $200 off each night in a vacation condo-style suite, both of which extend through September. Relax along the beach, enjoy the nightly festival at Pier 60, or visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Live Historically at the Santa Maria

The southernmost point in the United States, Key West is revered for its history and charm. Just one block from the bars, shops and cafes on Duval Street and a short walk to the Atlantic Ocean, the Santa Maria Suites is designed to showcase Key West’s colorful history with an added contemporary twist. The 35 luxury suite setup has two garden-enclosed heated swimming pools complete with chilled pool towels, smoothies, bottled water, popsicles and fresh fruit served poolside. Visit shops, the home of Ernest Hemingway and more with the “Weekday Retreat” deal: Check in on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday before Dec. 19 and receive a 10 percent discount off the “Make Your Escape Rate.” If you crave a longer getaway, stay six consecutive nights using the “Make Your Escape Rate” and the last will be free.

Live Internationally at the Bellasera

Inspired by the villages of Tuscany, the Bellasera Hotel in Naples aims for elegance, charm and historical beauty. Named at the Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards as one of the “Top Ten Hidden Gems in the U.S.,” the hotel boasts Italian architecture, courtyard fountains and Mediterranean cuisine. Located near the gallery-, boutique- and restaurant-lined streets of Fifth Avenue South, Bellasera also offers the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Naples, with luxury cabanas and a heated outdoor pool and spa Jacuzzi. Florida residents receive a yearlong 15 percent discount to stay at the Bellasera, but as an added bonus, you can stay four nights and receive your fifth night free until Dec. 19.

Closer to home

Spend a day or weekend at the charming fishing village of Cedar Key, just an hour’s drive west on the Gulf coast. Stay at one of the bed and breakfast, hotels or rentals and take a chartered fishing trip or rent a kayak and explore the natural areas of the coast. And don’t forget to enjoy the tasty seafood by the Gulf.

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