14 of the Coolest Hotels in Florida: The Ultimate List

As residents of the sunshine state, we spent time traveling up down the coasts visiting some of the coolest hotels in Florida.  From dolphin encounters to private islands, Florida hotels have unique and amazing experiences that you can’t find anywhere else in the US.  Here is our list of the coolest hotels in Florida that you don’t want to miss.

Hyatt Regency fountains in Bonita Springs, Florida

Coolest Hotels in Florida: Unique Experiences

Westgate River Ranch

Westgate River Ranch is a unique outdoor adventure experience located in Central Florida. It’s a 1,700 acre working cattle ranch one hour south of Orlando overlooking the Kissimmee River.

At Westgate River Ranch, guests can stay in a Luxe Conestoga Wagon, a Luxe Teepee, or experience a “glamping” tent. There are also lodge rooms for the less adventurous.

There is tons to do here for families. The Westgate River Ranch offers a wide variety of activities for guests to enjoy including horseback riding, fishing, airboat rides, archery and more! Every Saturday night, guests can attend a live rodeo in their 1,200 seat arena.

The Westgate River Ranch also features on-site dining options such as the Saloon Bar & Grill and The Smokehouse restaurant. With tons of activities, and unique lodging, the Westgate River Ranch is definitely one of the coolest hotels in Florida.

Address: 3200 River Ranch Blvd, River Ranch, Florida

Hotel Link: Westgate River Ranch

Steinhatchee Landing Resort

The Steinhatchee Landing Resort is one of the only hotels in Florida you can travel to with your boat. 3 miles upstream of the Gulf of Mexico on the Steinhatchee River, this is the perfect departure spot fishing or scalloping. With multiple reservable and community docks, Steinhatchee Landing Resort allows folks to bring their own boat, or can reserve charters upon request.

Guests can enjoy any of 23 quaint Florida cracker style private cabins. The resort also offers a variety of amenities and activities. Guests can take advantage of the pool, bike rentals, shuffle board courts, hiking and a playground. Local restaurants are available that can prepare your catch from earlier that day.

Steinhatchee Landing Resort is one of the coolest hotels in Florida, embracing the fishing lifestyle in a private, quaint, and relaxing setting.

Address: 350 River Road, Steinhatchee, Florida

Hotel Link: Steinhatchee Landing Resort

Plantation on Crystal River

No Florida trip is complete without a manatee encounter, and at the Plantation on Crystal River you can get up close and personal. This perfect setting on the Crystal River is one of the coolest hotels in Florida. It has excellent accommodations, delicious food, and even an award-winning spa.

The main attraction here is the Plantation on Crystal River Adventure Center. They offer boat rentals, fishing charters, and swimming with manatee experiences.

It’s an incredible and unforgettable experience to get close to these majestic animals and the Plantation on Crystal River makes that happen in a classic and comfortable setting.

Address: 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, Florida

Hotel Link: Plantation on Crystal River

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Have you ever woken up with giraffes grazing outside your hotel room? This is a reality at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World. With views of the savanna and over 200 species of African wildlife, this luxurious hotel is like no other.

Our family has stayed at this resort several times, and it never disappoints. Its definitely one of the coolest hotels in Florida. There are two resorts to choose from – Jambo House and Kidani Village. If you can afford it, Jambo House is our preference for its extraordinary design and restaurants.

African design in the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Animal Kingdom Lodge features a variety of room types to choose from, each with exquisite views and upscale amenities. They have great pools and Kidani Village has a fun splash pad for the kids. We recommend Jiko The Cooking Place if you want a luxurious dinner with adults.

Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830

Hotel Link: Animal Kingdom Lodge

Coolest Hotels in Florida:  Historic Beauties

The Amelia Schoolhouse Inn

Located in charming Fernandina Beach, The Amelia Schoolhouse Inn is a historic hotel that was built in 1879.  The hotel is located in a restored schoolhouse, which was the first school on the island.  Its special history makes this one of the most unique hotels in Florida.  

Each room features unique period decor and handcrafted furniture, taking guests back to the 19th century. With an upscale bar named “The Principal’s Office”, guests can enjoy drinks relaxing in the adorable space.  This charming inn is located within walking distance many downtown attractions.

If you are visiting Amelia Island, don’t hesitate to stay a night or two at the Amelia Schoolhouse Inn.  It takes you back into a special time in Old Florida.

Address:  207 South 9th Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida

Hotel Link: The Amelia Schoolhouse Inn

The Biltmore

The Biltmore is one of the most iconic hotels in Florida. Located in Coral Gables, the hotel opened its doors in 1926 and has been a local landmark ever since.

This luxurious resort features lush Mediterranean-style architecture and beautiful gardens. The rooms are decorated with elegant furnishings and plush bedding, providing guests with all the comforts they could need.

At The Biltmore, guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at the resort, including golf, spa treatments, and swimming. The hotel also offers several dining options, from fine dining to casual restaurants.

Address: 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, Florida

Hotel Link: The Biltmore

The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers Palm Beach is one of the most luxurious and iconic hotels in Florida. Located on the beautiful Atlantic Coast in Palm Beach, the hotel has been a destination for high-end travelers since 1896.  The hotel has burned down twice since its original construction, but it continues to thrive and the current building has stood since 1925.

The Breakers Resort offers guests an unparalleled level of luxury and sophistication. The rooms are beautifully appointed with elegant furnishings, plush bedding, and modern amenities. Guests can enjoy two golf courses, four swimming pools, and eight restaurants.

The hotel has a half a mile of private beach, and a 20,000 square foot spa.  It is a breathtaking resort, and definitely worth the price if you have the opportunity to stay here.

Address: 1 South County Road, Palm Beach, Florida

Hotel Link: The Breakers Palm Beach

The Don CeSar Hotel

This Gatsby era luxury beachfront hotel is located on the Gulf of Mexico in St. Pete Beach. It has been a part of Florida’s history since it was built in 1928 and is known as the “Pink Palace”. 

The Don CeSar is a beautiful historic landmark that has been featured in movies and books. It served as a sub base hospital and convalescent center for airman returning from WWII. 

The Don CeSar an iconic building with its majestic pink facade, lush gardens, and white-sand beach. The hotel offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Guests can dine at the timeless Maritana with coastal cuisine, or enjoy drinks at the gulf front Rowe Bar. The Don CeSar also offers beautiful outdoor pools, a spa, and a state of the art fitness center with Zumba and Water Aerobics classes.

Address: 3400 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, Florida

Hotel Link: The Don CeSar Hotel

Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse

Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse is a historic hotel located in the heart of downtown Tampa. The building was originally constructed as a courthouse in 1905, and has since been converted into a luxurious hotel.  Ballrooms and meeting rooms have been transformed from the historic court rooms.  

This stunning hotel features a grand marble staircase, original brickwork, high ceilings and large windows that provide plenty of natural light. Its rooms are beautifully decorated with plush bedding and modern amenities.

Le Meridien Tampa also offers their upscale Bizou Brasserie that serves French food in an elegant setting. It is conveniently located downtown in Tampa, and walkable to local attractions.

Address: 101 East Kennedy Boulevard Tampa, Florida

Hotel Link: Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse

Coolest Hotels in Florida:  Romantic Hideaways

Little Palm Island

Little Palm Island is the perfect place for an unhooked vacation. This luxury hotel is located on its own private island in the Florida Keys, Little Palm Island is only accessible by boat or sea plane. Children under the age of 18 are not permitted on the island.

The bungalow suites at this hotel are exquisite and feature private balconies with views of the ocean and lush gardens. Afternoon tea is served outside on the terrace. Exclusive, private, with breathtaking views, Little Palm Island is perfect for a honeymoon or other romantic getaway. It’s remoteness makes it truly one of the coolest hotels in Florida.

Address:  28500 Overseas Highway, Little Torch Key, Florida

Hotel Link: Little Palm Island

The Brazilian Court Hotel

The Brazilian Court Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel located in the heart of Palm Beach. This high-end property offers guests a sophisticated and chic atmosphere and top-notch service.

The hotel boasts beautiful Mediterranean architecture, lush gardens, and a serene pool with cabanas. Guests can enjoy fine dining at Café Boulud or drinks at The Leopard Lounge.

Each room at the Brazilian Court Hotel features modern furnishings and a private balcony. The hotel also offers complimentary transportation to the beach with beach chairs and umbrellas upon arrival.

Address: 301 Australian Ave, Palm Beach, Florida

Hotel Link: The Brazilian Court Hotel

Coolest Hotels in Florida: Fun with Family

Hawk’s Cay

Hawk’s Cay is one of the only hotels in Florida that allows guests an up close experience with dolphins – making it one of the coolest hotels in Florida. Nestled in the middle of the Florida Keys, Hawk’s Cay provides luxury, adventure, and relaxation to all members of the family.

Onsite, guests can spend time snorkeling and scuba diving in the crystal clear waters off Hawk’s Cay. Paddleboards, kayaks, and charter fishing boats are also available to rent. The resort also houses a full service spa where guests can indulge in massages, facials, and more.

The resort itself is beautiful with guest rooms that feature private balconies overlooking the ocean. Families will find plenty to do here, and you can not leave the resort for a week and have a full and busy vacation.

Address: 61 Hawk’s Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, Florida

Hotel Link: Hawk’s Cay

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa

Fountains at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Florida

With three acres of water fun, the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort is one of the coolest hotels in Florida. For families with kids, this is the perfect place to enjoy time together. With a lazy river, five waterslides, four swimming pools, a hot tub, and a waterfall, there is something for everyone at this resort.

Resort rooms have impeccable decor, and with two restaurants and a bar, guests can enjoy delicious food without having to leave the resort. The resort has recently been remodeled, and the tropical guest rooms feature vibrant colors and hard wood flooring.

Waterslides at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point for a weekend with our two boys and had an incredible time. Our kids didn’t want to leave the pool area, and there was plenty to do to fill the time.

Address: 5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs, Florida

Hotel Link: Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa

JW Marriott Grande Lakes

Lazy river at the JW Marriott Grand Lakes in Orlando

A short ride from Disney World, the JW Marriott Grande Lakes is stand alone in its unique water park area. Guests can spend a morning floating along their quarter mile long meandering lazy river. With tropical plants and ornate bridges decorating the path, it’s by far the best lazy river in Orlando.

Waterslides at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando

Headwaters Slide Tower features three waterslides for the more adventurous hotel goer. Our favorite feature of the JW Marriott Grand Lakes is the AquaVenture aqua course, where brave hotel goers can strap in and explore an obstacle course while onlookers try to aim water buckets and pistons at them.

Water Aquaventure Course at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes, Orlando

Our family has stayed at this resort several times, and we always have a blast. In our opinion its definitely one of the coolest hotels in Florida.

Address: 4040 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, Florida

Hotel Link: JW Marriott Grande Lakes

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