Departures is published by Meredith Corp. and owned by American Express. While American Express Card Member benefits are highlighted in this publication, including through the links indicated below, the content of this article was independently written by the editorial staff at Meredith. Other Departures content paid for by American Express is explicitly marked as such.
American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property Little Palm Island Resort & Spa—the only private island resort in the U.S.—reopened March 1, revealing new architecture and decor. Guests now have 30 thatched-roof bungalow suites outfitted with all-new plush interiors and new Island Premier and Island Romance suites with floor-to-ceiling glass doors in every space and outdoor copper soaking tubs.
Common spaces like the spa now boast a two-story atrium with carved architectural details, and the Dining Room has been enhanced to encompass sweeping views of the ocean. It will also offer a six-person, intimate, “Chef’s Table” experience. More private cabanas have been added to the oceanfront pool area, and the famous Palapa Bar will be returning as well.
Throughout the four-acre property, guests will find crushed seashell paths that take them through a mini paradise filled with birds, endangered Key deer, and bright green iguanas.
“We’ve invested a lot of careful thought and attention to details in rebuilding Little Palm Island to retain elements loved by guests while ushering in sophisticated new design elements and amenities,” said Kevin Geanides, the resort’s general manager, in a statement. “We are also thrilled to welcome back 50 percent of our staff and many local vendors.”
What hasn’t changed is the charm of the hotel. It’s still located discreetly off the fabled coastline of the Florida Keys and accessible only via seaplane or boat. Plus, it’s sticking with the tradition of keeping TVs and photos out of the guest rooms and public spaces. The new design is simply meant to enhance the idea of a true getaway.
Suites start at $1,500 per night and include welcome cocktails, motor yacht transfers to the island, non-alcoholic minibar beverages, Wi-Fi, use of the fitness center, non-motorized watersports, and nightly turndown service.