Jun. 9th, 2020
There is only one private island resort in all of the United States and it’s a well kept secret. For years, Florida VIPS, along with celebrities and dignitaries, have taken a quick seaplane from Miami to Little Palm Island Resort & Spa. The luxury island resort is located off Little Torch Key in the Florida Keys and made up of 15 bungalows with direct access to their own private beach.
The property reopened in spring 2020 after a 2.5-year closure as the property encountered severe damage after Hurricane Irma. The luxury resort was only open briefly before having to again shut its doors during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Finally, on June 1, 2020 the 5.5-acre ultra-luxe private island resort opened, offering all-new interiors including a world-class spa with a two-story atrium, a renowned Dining Room with views of the ocean and sunset dinners on the sand, The Monkey Hut lounge and Palapa Bar alongside the resort’s cabana-lined pool and beach. For American travelers looking for something new and exotic, yet nearby, Little Palm Island immerses its guests in luxury at its finest.
For those who choose to drive to the resort instead of a sea plane arrival, entry into the resort is still incredibly stylish. As guests pull into the Shore Station for check-in they are given a sample of the island’s signature cocktail, a “Gumby Slumber.” The name was a passing thought by a bartender on the island, who was attempting to describe the effects after drinking it — your body turns to a “Gumby” state and you simply want to “slumber” in a hammock all afternoon. The libation immediately puts you into island mode as you board The Truman or Miss Margaret, the resort’s fully restored teak motor yachts and head to the island.
The days at Little Palm run together as you wake each morning under a sheer linen canopy to a bountiful meal sits on your oceanfront patio breakfast table and the afternoons spent in the property’s new poolside cabanas or beachfront loungers. Lunch is usually served at the hotel’s Palapa Bar as you chat with other island visitors or even the bartenders – some of which have been serving up tropical drinks here for over 15 years.
As part of the island’s renovation after the hurricane, the fitness center and Spa Terre were updated. Notable treatments include Biologiqué Rechérché Experience, a facial treatment including exfoliation, aromatherapy and microcurrent treatments, along with a series of cold masks. Other highlights include The Royal Treatment which incorporates Vata, Pitta and Kapha Rituals including a body exfoliation treatment, a full-body massage and a ritual bath in an outdoor tub filled with water, essential oils and rose pedals.
Each night, guests make their way to the dining room for sunset. While there are options to eat on the waterfront deck, there’s no better seat than a candlelit table along the sand as the sun goes down. It is here where you truly make a connection with the attentive staff who make each meal memorable as it’s common to have the same server night after night, sharing the details on the eatery’s wine collection, seafood specials and historic details about the island. It’s meals like these that are romantic and unforgettable.
Upon arrival guests walk the crushed seashell paths among tropical foliage to their private bungalow with their names adorned on the exterior. The suites are about 550 sq. ft. with large terraced decks overlooking the ocean and an exclusive sand beach with a fire pit. The private deck includes a copper outdoor tub, an outdoor shower and a couples’ lounger. On the interior is a tropical inspired living room, separate canopy bedroom and a luxurious bathroom with a deep soaking tub. Those looking for privacy can truly let their hair down without a care in the world as each of the 15 bungalows a separated enough to the point that you truly feel that you have the island all to yourself. There is only one television on the island and cell phone usage is prohibited with an exception of the Harry Truman “outhouse” on property.