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Matters of State

We love Miami, but summer is a time to hit the road and leave the county line far behind. From enticing packages at some of our favorite resorts to new hotels that deserve attention, here’s to rediscovering what Florida has to offer.
 

The spa at Eau Palm Beach Resort has pampering well covered.

Spa Seductions
No longer part of The Ritz-Carlton family, the now independent Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa has maintained all its five-star trappings while adding creature comforts to enhance the visitor experience. There’s Champagne at check-in, a fleet of custom-designed bicycles for guests to pedal away around town, a daily Mediterranean brunch buffet and live acoustic guitar entertainment in its lobby on Friday evenings. However, it’s still the 42,000-square-foot Eau Spa that makes this property stand out. This couplescentric sanctum features a co-ed outdoor water playground and 19 treatment rooms with bespoke color therapy to ensure relaxation is guaranteed. Overnight rates from $189 for Florida residents, 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, 561.533.6000

Northward Bound
The beaches of northeast Florida are popular for old-school family getaways, but there’s one particular Atlantic Beach property that’s all about modern families—and couples. One Ocean Resort & Spa is that fresh and funky rebel along Jacksonville’s beaches, a place where South Florida flair shines through chic rooms with vibrant colors, ubiquitous ocean views and an easy-on-the-eyes clientele. As part of this summer’s Spa Package, visitors receive a $100 credit to spend as they choose at the resort’s seductive pampering palace, plus two-night accommodations. Overnight package rates from $215, 1 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach, 904.249.7402

I Dream of Dalí
The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg is the type of first-class cultural institution you’d expect to find in Europe, but, lucky for us, it’s only a car ride away. The expansive museum houses the most comprehensive permanent collection of Salvador Dalí’s work and also organizes limited-time exhibitions that explore surrealism and juxtapose his works with those of other artists throughout the year. As part of its Artful Retreat Package, The Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club provides guests with two tickets to the museum, a $50 credit to the hotel’s award-winning Marchand’s restaurant and an upgraded bay-view room. Visitors who seek more artistic stimulation can always take a short walk to The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center for a glimpse at hundreds of the sculptor’s colorful glass installations. Overnight package rates from $264, 501 Fifth Ave., St. Petersburg, 727.894.1000

The Panhandle Perfected
In the picturesque town of Rosemary Beach along Florida’s Emerald Coast, a new 55-room boutique hotel is making major waves. Nestling the Gulf of Mexico, The Pearl is a chic hideaway with everything you wouldn’t associate with Florida panhandle hotels: a rooftop lounge; poolside cabanas; a farm-to-table restaurant fusing the flavors of New Orleans, Mexico and Cuba; and a spa that incorporates the pearl gemstone in most treatments (the mother-of-pearl body wrap, exfoliation and karité massage is a must). Upping the ante in the rooms is the addition of Apple TV, a first for any resort in the United States. Overnight rates from $279, 63 Main St., Rosemary Beach, 850.588.2881

The pool at The Pearl

Active Duty
Whether enticed by a Jack Nicklaus-designed nine-hole golf course; an endless stretch of private sandy beach; or just that intoxicating, laid-back Keys vibe, Cheeca Lodge & Spa has been entertaining the who’s who of the political, financial and social worlds for nearly seven decades. This spring, the resort’s new Sail Away in Romance package takes advantage of the season’s calm waters by offering a private sailing lesson for two alongside Cheeca’s standard amenities for the outdoor enthusiast—we’re talking golf, tennis, kayaking, biking and fishing off the classic 525-foot wood pier. The two-night package also includes daily breakfast and a welcome amenity of gourmet key lime cookies. Overnight package rates from $655, 81801 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada, 305.664.4651

Italian Sustenance
One of the Gold Coast’s most popular beachfront hotels, The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach is all abuzz since the late winter opening of its much-anticipated Jové Kitchen & Bar. Locals and tourists simply can’t get enough of chef Mauro Zanusso’s housemade, modern Italian cuisine, served up in high style within a fabulous, design-savvy resto-lounge. Jové’s glam factor fits right into the redesigned Palm Beach resort, which swapped traditional Old Florida panache for heavy doses of modern luxury less than three years ago. Overnight rates from $399, 2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, 561.582.2800

Naples Renaissance
The grande dame of the Gulf Coast for 27 years, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, has emerged from a face-lift of Hollywood proportions. So what’s changed? In two words: almost everything. Each of the resort’s 450 rooms received a head-to-toe overhaul and now flaunt modern sophistication in the form of classsically elegant interiors enhanced by the the floor-to-ceiling views of the Gulf of Mexico. The property has also significantly enhanced its waterfront-dining scene with ample alfresco seating at the new Italian restaurant Terrazza and the reinvented sushi bar Dusk. In with the new, we say! Overnight rates from $399, 280 Vanderbilt Road, Naples, 239.598.3300

Fit for a Princess
Embracing a new luxury mantra, Disney World is proving that its secret recipe of fairy tales and imagination isn’t just for tykes and tots. The forthcoming August opening of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort—and its over-the-top, half-billion-dollar excess—has become the latest addition to five-star Disney. Highlights at the 23-acre property will include an 18,000-square-foot spa, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, a slick adults-only swimming pool, the largest standard rooms in Orlando (at 525 square feet), a rooftop tapas restaurant and a jaw-dropping firework-inspired 3-D chandelier in the lobby, which reflects over the resort’s surrounding lake. Now that’s some Disney magic at work! Overnight rates from $545, 10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Golden Oak, 800.267.3046